United States Defense Intelligence Agency


United States of America is one of the few countries in the world with well organized intelligence service. Formed in the year 1861, the Defense intelligence of United States has an outstanding mandate of carrying out and providing information to the state on matters of security. Under the department of defense, the DIA carries out operation in all the states although major operational activities are based in the pentagon and the defense intelligence analysis center in Alabama. The plan that is underway is the constriction of a new state of design support centre in Virginia. The agency responds to the intelligence needs ranging from the solders and in the field to the high ranking officials such as the president and the secretary of defense. The work and roles of the defense intelligence encompasses    

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History and origin

As a member of the intelligence community, the defense intelligence of United States came into being in the year 196(Durham, p32).This came into effect because of wise decision of the secretary of states known as Robert McNamara and approval of President John F Kennedy. The DIA was later to be designated in the year 1986 and given full mandate of overseeing and carrying out intelligence services in United States of America. Today, DIA is headed by the director who is a member of the military officer and is regarded as the principal to the secretary of defense as well as to the chairman of the joint chief of staff on matters of intelligence and other regal issues. The director also has a mandate and responsibility of chairing the military intelligence committee that runs all the activities of the intelligence services in the United States (Jeffrey, p21).

According to Alexandra (p23) the idea to form defense intelligence unit came as a result of mismanagement and duplication of information in the military department. For instance in the Second World War, the three military department collected, produced and distributed their intelligence for use within and outside the military. In many times this information was full of errors as duplication, ineffective and unnecessary costs were incurred. Such information submitted to the secretary of defense and government agencies lacked authenticity and accuracy. Immediately after the end of the Second World War, United States had realized the importance of solid and effective intelligence services and decided to make radical changes in the army. A defense reorganization act that was signed in 1958 was majorly designed to correct these deficiencies by assigning various responsibility and roles to a unified and specified command intelligence support.

Despite the great hopes attached to this move, the intelligence responsibilities still remained unclear, lacked coordination and at long last the result remained sort of national reliability. This triggered President Dwight Eisenhower to appoint another joint study group in the year 1960 to find the best ways of reorganizing the national military intelligence activities. It was until February 1961 that Robert McNamara who was by then a secretary of states ordered the development of concept that was skewed toward integrating all the military intelligence of the department of defense (Alexandra, p47). This was the final move that show the establishment of the United States defense intelligence agency (DIA).

Currently the Defense intelligence service is the main source of employment with almost 16,500 employees (Richelson, p61). Out of this, 35 percent are from the military while a staggering 65 percent are from the civilian population worldwide. This workforce comprises diverse workforce in the area of military history and doctrines, physics, economics .bio-science, computer science, political science, chemistry and many other fields of military management. To maintain the privacy of data, the agency has stated subjecting employees into polygraphic interrogation twice a year. In the year 2008, about 5,700 employees went through the process. The headquarter of Defense intelligence unit is in pentagon although there are a number of satellite sub-stations worldwide. The annual budget spent by the whole department is not clear partly because of the security and political reasons. However it is estimated that billion of dollars are used to finance the activities of the agency (Alexandra, p71).

Structure and organization of the United States defense intelligence agency

The Defense intelligence service is made up of complex units that join and work together. At the top is the overall top is the Director of intelligence who is typically a three star military office (Michael, p32). He serves as the sole principal advisor to the secretary of defense and also to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staffs on matters of state intelligence. He ensures that the advice he gives is authentically sourced by working hand in hand with the deputy and the various department in the military. Apart from the above roles the director also is a crucial member of the military intelligence board that coordinated the activities of the defense intelligence committee of which he is the chair person (Jeffrey, p61). Currently the director of the defense intelligence agency is lieutenant general Ronald Burgess who assumed service in the year 2009.However the defense intelligence agency is organized into three major operational directorates.

The directorate for the information management and the chief information officer is a unit of the intelligence that is designed to provide secure and standardized global information technology (Jeffrey, p54). This is in line with the mandate of the intelligence agency of staying ahead in terms of information sourcing and integration. The technology enterprise is to be continuously updated and improved as well as maintained in accordance to the intelligence customer needs that enables collaborative discovery in various aspects of life and for the continuity of the vital role of providing secure information to the decision making board of the state. As such critical intelligence information is delivered to the war fighters, defense planners, international partners and the national security policy makers. To date the information that is shared to these sectors especially to the national security policy planners and the international partners has seen that effective collaboration in tackling of terrorism and other international state security problems (Michael, p78).

The defense counterintelligence and the HUMINT center is the primary interface in between the national clandestine service and the department of defense ((Alexandra, p83). Its full mandate is to manage the defense intelligence and the department of defense human source intelligence collection such as the defense attaché system. The defense counterintelligence carries out the humint data collection operation in support of the Department of defense, military operations and the national intelligence requirements. This is a costly exercise that requires high amount of expenses which the United States government allocates as defense budget every year. This managerial unit within the military defense deploys teams of experts including linguists, case officers, field analysts, technical specialist, interrogation experts and many others in the process of affecting their responsibilities (Durham, p60). The new recruited members go through vigorous training before allowed to work in the designated areas. However a special oath is taken by the members of the staff to uphold secrecy and good

The directorate for MASINT and the technical collection is entitled with the collection and, measurement of signatures and other documents for suspect identification (Durham, p37). The MASINT system helps in the tracking the suspects by identifying or describing the signatures of fixed dynamic target source. In most cases this may include sensitive matters such as the nuclear intelligence, radar Intelligence, acoustic intelligence as well as the biological and chemical intelligence. Working in conjunction with the directorate for MASINT technology is the directorate of analysis that is charged with the disseminating finalized and completed products from the DIA. This unit covers all the source and information from other partner intelligence community.

The analyst in this section focuses keenly the countries military capability and the influence of political and economic events in the foreign countries. This may be widened to cover areas such as the foreign military capabilities transportation system, terrorism, weapons of mass destructions. It is the role of the Directorate for analysis to brief the president and the secretary of defense of the current state of affairs with regards to the state of security inside and outside United States of America (Alexandra.p74). The president after consultative meeting with other security stakeholders has decision to make in regard to the safety of the country at large. The directorate of intelligence joint staff therefore give advises and support to the joint chief of staff with foreign military intelligence for defense policy and panning for any eminent war.

Mission of the agency

Since its first inauguration in February 1961, the greatest role of the defense intelligence unit was to harmonizes intelligence information and improve the effectiveness of the military intelligence in the United States (Michael, p51). The mission targeted providing timely, objective and cogent intelligence to defense planners, war fighters and the national security policy makers. This mission is achieved through cooperative approach of the whole issues by various players in the government and the private sector. The DIA is a member s of intelligence community of United States and the director in charge of the DIA is gives advice to the United States secretary of defense and is the chairman of the joint chief staff. The DIA also unifies all the state intelligence community on the major issues such as the deployment of forces, policy and resource mobilization (Jeffrey, p82).

Significant accomplishment

Under the leadership of the director, the United States defense intelligence agency has made a significant accomplishment. The agency has built itself as a credible force in matters of intelligence (Richelson, p58). For instance, the DIA has successfully managed to oversee and monitor crisis such as the soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the overthrow of Iranian monarchy. The agency has provided threat date on various dangerous areas of the world. The area that are regarded as the ‘hot sports’ include the Middle East, Africa and Asia. It has also helped in assessing the impact of the changes in the Eastern Europe. Former USSR and Asia. During the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in the year 1990, the defense intelligence agency of the United States set a full day management cell that was designed to tailor national level intelligence. This was a move that was to help the Kuwait and its allies spell the Iraqis forces from Kuwait territory (Michael, p51).

Summary and conclusion

Alexandra states by concluding that the United States defense intelligence agency has set out a pace that has revolutionalized the world intelligence service. From 1962 to date, much has been done which has bore great fruits in making the world a safer place to live. Many agree that the cardinal mandate of the formation of Defense intelligence agency has been achieved. Technological advancement has boosted the activities of the agency with information being retrieved and analyzed within short time period. Intelligent information on the war fighters, defense planners and national security policy is made timely and accurately. Critical information sharing between governments on the intelligence issues is now possible with many countries joining efforts to stem out possible threats to international security.

However it should be accepted that the United States defense intelligence agency is facing serious criticism as well as challenges. The current policies of United States of critical issues such as the Middle East have made many enemies. The resurgence of terrorism and the subsequent bombing of various places of the world including  America itself is a clear indication that the defense intelligence agency has improve on their services hence prevent happening of such problems. Also the government should be clear on the public spending of the defense intelligence department so that to satisfy the curious citizens who feel that the government is overspending the tax payers’ money in the areas that are less important.

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