The QDR slides got me thinking about the fact that DIA could be a really first rate intelligence agency and an effective counter to ODNI and CIA for the SecDef, JCS, and the military services, especially field commanders.
Although badly executed, DIA has two vitally important missions: support to military operations; and support to military strategy formulation. Unfortunately, DIA has always suffered from unimaginative senior leadership and the worst form of military thinking whereby rank trumps truth and an incompetent major trumps a competent lieutenant.
If DIA is going to achieve its potential and rally to provide the best intelligence possible to the SecDef, JCS, and service field commanders it needs to break free from the military hierarchical thinking and its influences on intelligence judgments.
In point of fact DIA has and has always had an excellent group of military and civilian analysts working there although there is a constant churn due to service requirements and limited prospects for civilians.
So what does DIA need? It needs an influx of original (out of the box) strategists who can visualize and articulate the multi-level threats to U.S. National Security, who understand the phenomenon of globalization and its effect on DOD strategic thinking, and can effectively relate such 21st Century phenomenon as trans-national asymmetric warfare to U.S. force and command structures.
Perhaps most importantly, DIA needs to build a capability to exploit the fact that increasing amounts of information relative to DOD concerns that are actually available from open sources. At the same time DIA needs to introduce much more effective information management systems to support its intelligence production.
Phi Beta Iota: This comment is repeated from the QDR OSINT thread. We’ve been saying this for 21 years. Perhaps we should have shouted. The two DoD OSINT briefings and the future of OSINT material are now circulating among presidential staffs of a handful of other countries. They get it, we don’t. How sad is that?