04 Nov 2010
It always seems that there is plenty happening in the Intelligence Community (IC) during GEOINT 2010. Perhaps GEOINT 2010 itself is the influencing factor? When you think about it. GEOINT brings together all the key leaders of the IC and, well, they make news. Today, we have pulled together all the major stories regarding the IC in one spot. From news of General Clapper reaching a “conceptual” agreement with Defense Secretary Robert Gates on the Intel budget to more coverage of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s new app-like approach. We got it all in one place for you.
Intelligence Director Says He Will Get Control of Funds
The top intelligence official said he has reached a “conceptual” agreement with Defense Secretary Robert Gates to take control of $50 billion in intelligence spending from the Defense Department. One of the raps against the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has been that it lacks unambiguous authority to implement the remaking of the intelligence community recommended in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper, picked in June as the fourth director of national intelligence, told an audience here that his office is poised to receive clear authority over national intelligence spending, which currently is hidden in the Defense appropriation. Clapper said he has “secured at least conceptual agreement to take the national intelligence program out of the defense budget” in 2013. He said that he was cleared to “publicly say” that the transferred spending will total $50 billion. Read the full Federal Times story here.
Intel Foiled al Qaeda Plot, DNI Chief Says
The nation’s most senior intelligence official said on Monday that U.S. security agencies worked together well in halting al Qaeda’s latest bomb plot, after shortfalls were found after an earlier plot by the group to conduct a suicide bombing on a Detroit-bound jetliner. “We had an exciting weekend with the air-cargo bomb plot,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a speech here. “Having watched and participated in that over the weekend, it was a remarkable amalgam of intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security, which in this instance worked very well.” Mr. Clapper, in remarks to the annual meeting of the private U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, also disclosed that he has reached agreement with the Pentagon to take control of some $50 billion worth of nonmilitary intelligence spending for annual budgets that are currently part of the defense budget. The money will be administered by the civilian Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) by 2013, he said. Read the full Washington Times article here.
One Spy to Rule Them All: Top Spook Launches Push for Real Power
Under an emerging deal hashed out between the Pentagon and the director of national intelligence, the country’s top spook might, for the first time, actually control the thousands of spies and contractors he’s responsible for overseeing. Just follow the money. You might think the director of national intelligence actually runs the spy world. But that would make too much sense. In fact, as long as there’s been a “community” of spy agencies, the Defense Department has kept the intelligence budget (now totaling $80.1 billion annually) under the military thumb. That’s not really surprising, since the military’s intelligence services — the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and others — own the majority of big-ticket intel items like space satellites. But it has meant that functional control of the intelligence budget isn’t in the hands of the nation’s top spy, despite years’ of legislative and bureaucratic fixes to consolidate control of intelligence under a single official. Check out the full Wired Danger Room story here.
NGA Looking at Amazon and Apple for Imagery Distribution Ideas
The chief of the U.S. government agency that provides commercial satellite imagery to the nation’s defense and intelligence community on Nov. 2 said the agency will adopt the practices of online retailers and smartphone application developers to make itself more user-friendly. Letitia A. Long, director of the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), also said her organization needs to expand its expertise from analyzing what is happening toward anticipating what is likely to happen. Addressing the GeoInt 2010 Symposium in New Orleans, organized by the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, Long did not say whether the budget pressures on many U.S. government agencies will affect NGA’s operations or its management of the 10-year, $7.3-billion EnhancedView contract for commercial satellite imagery. Read the full Space News article here.
NGA Touts App Store Idea
The new director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency unveiled major changes to how the organization does business, saying it must grow more nimble and push its products down to the lowest levels of the military. “I want to fundamentally change the users experience,” Letitia Long told the Geoint 2010 conference here. She spoke of building an intelligence community app store — details to follow — and of automating updates for crucial maps to free analysts and collectors of tedious work that can be better done automatically. Read the full DoD Buzz story here.
High-Tech War Requires Innovation, Cutting-Edge Resources From Home
When engaged in asymmetric warfare, the soldiers on the ground need more than the latest technology — they need technology that is collaboration-ready, and they need to get it quickly, according to one senior Defense Department official. This is especially an issue in Afghanistan, because the U.S. force is part of a coalition of 44 nations fighting the insurgency. This effort requires supreme collaboration and the technologies to support it, said Air Force Lt. Gen. John Koziol, deputy under secretary of defense (intelligence) for joint and coalition warfighter support, and the director of the DOD intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) task force. Read the full Defense Systems article here.