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Pentagon Intel Shift Focuses on Cyber, S&T

by Kris Osborn on January 7, 2014

Cyber Command officials define unit's scopeThe Pentagon’s intelligence arm is reorganizing resources to streamline and prioritize cyber warfare and science and technology efforts, senior officials said.

As part of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s initiative to reduce Pentagon headquarters manning by 20 percent over the next five years, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence has initiated an across-the-board realignment to become leaner and more agile, said Marcel Lettre, Principal Deputy to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.

While the realignment is focused across the scope of the Pentagon intelligence effort, the thrust of the reorganization involves the standing up of a new directorate to focus on integrating and consolidating cyber and S&T programs.

Due to Congressional direction to eliminate Deputy Under Secretary of Defense titles, offices within the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence have been re-designated as Directors for Defense Intelligence. The new Director for Defense Intelligence, or DDI, is called Technical Collection & Special Programs, Lettre explained.

“We added a fourth DDI for technical collection and special programs. The driver here is to look for ways to strengthen operational oversight of the science and technology programs and aspects of intelligence across NGA (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency), NSA and DIA – and also to strengthen oversight over our cyber operations and capabilities,” Lettre said.

The streamlining of S&T and cyber expertise within the organization is expected to increase emphasis and effectiveness in these critical areas.
“We looked across our organization and found pockets of expertise that were focused on these issues, particularly in the cyber arena. We are moving toward pulling them all together into this new DDI which we think will provide a sharper focus and a bigger critical mass to both conduct oversight and drive the development of new capabilities and new responses to strategic situations,” he explained.

The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence is now transitioning from 20 different offices down to under 12 to allow the organization to become more agile, flexible and nimble, Lettre explained.

As part of the re-organization, the Pentagon’s ISR Task Force is being merged into an ISR Operations Directorate, counterintelligence and security directorates have been merged together and HUMINT, sensitive activities and National Programs Directorates have been combined, Lettre said.

Also, part of OUSD(I)’s initiative is geared toward recruiting and retaining a capable cyber workforce, he added.

“We see value in aggregating our expertise. One of the main focal points for the last several years has been the recognition that we need to generate a cyber warfare workforce. The services need to bring young people into the military with the skills sets necessary to tackle this challenge,” he added.

The new DDI will also look more closely at S&T programs with a mind to what shows the most promise for the future.

“We want to think about where we want to be three, five, or ten years from now and help catalyze the development of technological capabilities. By having this fourth DDI in place with expertise, we’ll be able to better drive capability development for the future,” Lettre said.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

hibeam January 7, 2014 at 7:42 pm

We will get Cyber Security the same way we got air travel security. Because that's how we roll.

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Bif January 8, 2014 at 4:28 am
Dfens January 8, 2014 at 8:57 am

Ha ha, this article said, "the Pentagon's intelligence."

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WTF January 8, 2014 at 8:57 am

"The driver here is to look for ways to strengthen operational oversight of the science and technology programs and aspects of intelligence across NGA (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency), NSA and DIA"

“We looked across our organization and found pockets of expertise that were focused on these issues, particularly in the cyber arena. We are moving toward pulling them all together into this new DDI which we think will provide a sharper focus and a bigger critical mass to both conduct oversight and drive the development of new capabilities and new responses to strategic situations,”

A good journalist would have asked why the words "oversight" and "NSA" are in one sentence and what the hell is buried beneath the jargon of the second paragraph.

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BIF January 8, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Dear WTF, The so-called 'driver' is the control of resources, nothing more, nothing less, and the creation of bureaucracies filled by retired Colonels and Captains who are looking for intelligence in all the wrong places. POOF, the retired ops guy becomes an immediate EXPERT because they make them a DISL. Anyone know what an X-spurt is? It the 'drip' under pressure and usually carries a briefcase with nothing in it. How do you 'oversee' funds Mr. WTF for agencies whose funding comes from the NIP? Do you know the dif between the MIP and the NIP. BIF knows as the shadow shows -)-)-) These are test questions for all to read. If you answer correctly POOF, you're a DISL!!

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Hunter76 January 8, 2014 at 10:51 pm

DoD is the wrong agency for cyber warfare. They discourage intellectual curiosity, Cyber warriors need to look like Silicon Valley.

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Guest January 9, 2014 at 12:44 am

As if government's unparallelled extent of video-surveillance, wire-tapping, on-site peeking, and other forms of intelligence gathering and espionage by on the rest of the world had been a result of lack of curiosity.

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BIF January 9, 2014 at 3:58 am

Dear Guest,

'Wire-tapping'?! What a curiosity gone away. Do we have twisted pairs anywhere any more? Hmm, with the explosion and the worldwide deployment of wireless networks and the devices to ride them who needs a landline. WOW! Espionage by the rest of the world is the bureaus job to cover but they are sorely undersized and lacking in the amount of resources the DOD continues to waste, like on an organization that says it's intelligence but is not constituted BY LAW to be one. When is the government going to follow the law? If someone says 'the law' does not allow for intellectual curiosity then I would love to read comments to that premise. It is true that technology has outpaced the laws. Maybe that's what congress should debate with input from its constituencies with regard to all the hype about 'surveillance society'. What say HUNTER76?

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Hunter76 January 9, 2014 at 7:10 am

Bif,

When people say, "Because it's the law (the code, an order, tradition, etc)", they are stifling thinking. DoD lives by such rigidities.

Look at our innovative hi-tech companies. How many of them are driven by former military?

Look at hackers' conferences. The people there are nerds and odd-balls, not dress code enforcers.

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BIF January 10, 2014 at 3:00 pm

So you advocate not following the law, is that what I'm reading here. Interesting premise so we don't need the Constitution right? There are frameworks for success not just randomized activities. I was a part of that great Internet explosion and guess what, in Y2K it busted and cost a whole lot of people their job, their homes, and their 'fortunes.' The major reason for their loss was they claimed, "the business cycle was dead"; they did not need to make a profit (because of their stock value) and all one needed to do was build a web site and people would flock to it. Did that work for you or are you old enough to remember that reality. 'The law' is not a rigidity; it is a framework within which you and I can expect government, business, or other enterprises to operate so we can benefit. I guess you think 'hacking the planet' builds confidence in the net eh? Hmm, are you a member of my favorite agency sitting at Fort Meade under scrutiny because of some moron who did not follow the oath he took? Hmm, I guess hackers are important people eh!! So you don't mind Chinese hackers stealing your intellectual property and building a widget to flood the American market with cheap stuff, like HUAWEI servers. WOW, interesting premise. Civilians don't have dress codes; the military does because they're called 'uniforms' but I guess everyone should work in the Pentagon with pajamas which actually happens for some on Fridays, bags!

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BIF January 11, 2014 at 4:53 am

Hey Hunter76 where did you go, fly away? WOW, you know a good exchange between polar opposites can really energize the environment. I do believe in chaos not the bureaucratic impediments laid upon US as described in this article, the point of the discussion not some tangentially related issue. I agree that bureaucracy stifles creativity but WE, THE PEOPLE, must fight it at every chance and not just with words on a screen. When you vote (if you're old enough) in November get to the root of the problem. What and WHO has created this vast, expanding LEVIATHAN? I offer another thought: compromise is the realm of the politicians, not the real people. I have my views; you have yours and we can post here (ain't it wunnerful). BRING IT ON!!

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