The Pentagon will send hundreds of additional spies overseas as part of an ambitious plan to assemble an espionage network that rivals the CIA in size, U.S. officials said.
The project is aimed at transforming the Defense Intelligence Agency, which has been dominated for the past decade by the demands of two wars, into a spy service focused on emerging threats and more closely aligned with the CIA and elite military commando units.
When the expansion is complete, the DIA is expected to have as many as 1,600 “collectors” in positions around the world, an unprecedented total for an agency whose presence abroad numbered in the triple digits in recent years.
Combined with the enormous growth in the CIA since 9/11 attacks, the recruitment drive will create an unprecedented spy network. “The stars have been aligning on this for a while,” an anonymous former senior US military official involved in planning the DIA transformation told the Post.
The news is likely to heighten concerns about the accountability of the US military’s clandestine programmes amid mounting concerns about the CIA-controlled drone programme.
The United Nations said last month that it intends to investigate civilian deaths from drone strikes. The US has refused to even acknowledge the existence of a drone programme in Pakistan. The US military is not subject to the same congressional notification requirements as the CIA, creating yet more potential controversies.
The Washington Post has provided a look at DIA’s “New” Clandestine Service, “recently created” by Lieutenant General Mike Flynn.
General Flynn has claimed credit for creating the DOD Clandestine Service; but it did need to be revitalized, even if he wants to claim credit for “creating” it.
DIA displaces CIA — again — in conducting Military Intelligence espionage! But, there are those of us who recall building this organization way back in 1984, obtaining DOD and Congressional authorizations, and full funding by 1985, and coordinating its full functions within DIA to deploy clandestine operatives world-wide.
Unlike the CIA’s Directorate of Operations [DO] — burdened with former cops [DEA, ATF, highway patrol, street cops, military cops] and focused almost solely on penetrating the KGB, our military officers were fluent in the languages of the countries to which they were assigned, many had graduate degrees in regional Foreign Area Studies [history, economics, political science, etc.], and many had even attended civilian or military schools in the countries to which they were assigned. The program was curtailed under President Clinton whose sycophant generals and DCI [George Tenet] decided that the US military need not spend such sums to create these military spies — particularly since they competed for CIA’s glory. So, all the work we did to build this organization atrophied. and a few months into George Bush’s new term as President, he was greeted by the greatest intelligence failure since Pearl Harbor.
What DCS is not authorized to do:
1) Covert Operations: Drone strikes, political sabotage, or arming militants. [Currently, these are carried out by contractors or special operations elements — under the supervision of CIA officers] 2) Lethal strikes or ” … other operations outside the public view.”
No change in the charter there; Clandestine Services, as defined, perform espionage while appearing to be engaged in other matters. Covert operations are not to be confused with Clandestine operations.
DCS Training: Case officers will continue to learn tradecraft at the CIA Farm as they have since the Military and CIA came to terms many years ago. The Military provides significant staffing for matters military [e.g., learning to fire a weapon, jump out of a perfectly good airplane, etc.] and the CIA’s old timers provide training on disguises, counter-surveillance, dead-drops, communications, and convincing potential agents to commit treason and spy against their own country.
Special Operations folks will train the Case Officers of CIA and DIA on self-defense processes as well as in defensive driving [not unlike what you’ve seen in James Bond movies — or “The Unit”.
CIA Liaison: In many instances, DIA Case Officers will work directly with CIA Station Chiefs [COS] around the world. Operations against Military targets will be DIA’s purview, while those targeting government or non-military targets will be assigned to CIA officers.
Cooperation: Returning to yesteryear, it appears that CIA and DIA will share resources, facilities, logistics, cover creations, and analytical support. We did all this in the 1980s and early 1990s, before George Tenet pulled CIA and DIA apart. The Democrats’ revisionist history is that Donald Rumsfeld was at fault; that story won’t fly since Tenet had annulled the CIA – DIA marriage under the Clinton regime and continued to destroy the alliance while he worked for Bush.
Rumsfeld was abrasive and arrogant, but it was under his direction that Star Watcher was recreated under the new designator Strategic Support Branch. This followed Rumsfeld’s determination that the CIA, under George Tenet, had reached its nadir operationally and intellectually. The intelligence failure leading to 9/11, Tenet’s assessment that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction [leading to the initiation of the Iraq war], the attack on the USS Cole, the CIA assessment that Iran was developing nuclear weapons in 2005 after it had announced in 2003 that Iran had halted the program; all these failures indicated that the CIA was an agency devoid of intellectual acuity.
Suggesting to Mr Tenet that he find other employment in 2004, Rumsfeld persuaded President Bush to end CIA’s reign of terror [and operational incompetence] by creating the Director of National Intelligence [DNI] — ending the dual hatting of the CIA Director as the Director of Central Intelligence where CIA controlled the operations of all other intelligence agencies.
Under the DNI, the CIA became just one of many US intelligence agencies [you’d be amazed at just how many there are].
In his urgency to shift military intelligence operations back to the Pentagon, Rumsfeld erred in attempting to add all facets of intelligence, from espionage, to Special Operations, to Executive Action, all under one organization.
However, eventually it all sorted out with the espionage operations under the direction of Army Reserve Colonel George Waldoup achieving significant success while the Special Operations were relegated to Army General Bryan Brown of SOCOM – melding the experience and skills of Delta Force, Seal Team Six, and the Gray Fox unit which conducted technical surveillance of targets.
Rumsfeld ended DOD HUMINT subservience to the CIA by announcing that it would coordinate its operations with the CIA, but would no longer require its consent — a long-time bone of contention between DOD and CIA. That history included many instances in which CIA took control over operations which the Military had initiated and developed, leaving the Military no participation in either the operation or the information gathered. That caused a bit of bad blood, particularly when the intelligence collected was critical to Military combat operations.
At the Pentagon, Panetta was relatively harmless; but Petraeus had his work cut out for him in undoing Panetta’s damage. The CIA politicos worked relentlessly to undercut Petraeus, and succeeded in undermining his credibility by leaking information about his affair to the FBI — and the Media [following their pattern of destroying Porter Goss].
With the reemergence of the DIA Clandestine Service as the equal of CIA, the DNI [Jim Clapper] can now exercise his true role in managing the entire Intelligence Community — no longer dealing with the CIA as an independent agency.