- Defense Intelligence Agency
Defense Intelligence Agency Seal of the DIA Agency overview Formed 1 October 1961 by Robert McNamara Headquarters The Pentagon Employees Classified
Estimated Approx. 16,500 (35% military, and 65% civilian)
Annual budget Classified Agency executive Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess, USA, Director Website www.dia.mil
The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is a member of the Intelligence Community of the United States, and is the central producer and manager of military intelligence for the United States Department of Defense, employing over 16,500 U.S. military and civilian employees worldwide. The Defense Intelligence Community is headed by the DIA, through its Director (who chairs the Military Intelligence Board), and it coordinates the activities of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force intelligence components. The DIA and Defense Intelligence Community provide military intelligence to warfighters, defense policymakers and force planners within the Department of Defense and the United States Intelligence Community, in support of U.S. military planning and operations and weapon systems acquisition. The DIA, designated in 1986 as a Defense Department combat support agency, was established in 1961 as a result of a decision by Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, under President John F. Kennedy. The Department of Defense created the DIA with the publication of Directive 5105.21, "Defense Intelligence Agency" on 1 August, effective 1 October 1961.
DIA's Director is a three-star military officer who serves as principal adviser to the Secretary of Defense and to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on matters of military intelligence. The Director also chairs the Military Intelligence Board, which coordinates activities of the defense intelligence community. The exact numbers and specific budget information are not publicly released due to security considerations. DIA has major operational activities at the Pentagon, Macdill Air Force Base in Tampa Florida, the Defense Intelligence Analysis Center (DIAC) at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., the National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI) in Fort Detrick, Maryland, and the Missile and Space Intelligence Center (MSIC) in Huntsville, Alabama and is in the process of building the new Defense Intelligence Support Center (DISC) in Reston, Virginia. DIA is a member of the United States Intelligence Community, reporting to the Director of National Intelligence.
DIA possesses a diverse workforce skilled in the areas of military history and doctrine, economics, physics, chemistry, world history, political science, bio-sciences, computer sciences, and many other fields of expertise.
The Agency responds to the needs of a variety of customers, from the President of the United States to the soldier in the field. Its work encompasses all aspects of military intelligence requirements – from highly complex missile trajectory data to biographical information on foreign military leaders.
In August 2008, the agency announced that it would subject each of its 5,700 prospective and current employees to a polygraph interrogation at least once annually.
The DIA is considered to be a member of the Intelligence Community. The director of the DIA is the main adviser to the United States Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on matters related to military intelligence. Under the support of the Military Intelligence Board, the DIA unifies the Defense Intelligence Community on major issues such as the number of deployed forces, assessments, policy, and resources. To help weapon systems planners and the domestic weapons industry, the DIA plays a major role in providing intelligence on foreign weapon systems.
The gold flaming torch represents knowledge. The earth represents DIA's global intelligence mission. The red atomic ellipses symbolize the scientific and technical aspects of intelligence today and of the future. The 13 stars and the wreath identify DIA as a Department of Defense organization.
After World War II until the creation of DIA, the three Military Departments collected, produced and distributed their intelligence for individual use. This turned out to be duplicative, costly, and ineffective as each department provided their estimates to the Secretary of Defense or to other governmental agencies.
The Defense Reorganization Act of 1958 wanted to correct these deficiencies by assigning responsibility for Unified and Specified Command intelligence support. However, the intelligence responsibilities remained unclear, the coordination was poor and the first results were short of national reliability and focus. As a result of this poor organization, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed the Joint Study Group in 1960 to find better ways for organizing the nation's military intelligence activities.
Acting on the recommendations of the Joint Study Group, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara advised the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of his decision to establish the Defense Intelligence Agency in February 1961. He ordered them to develop a concept plan that would integrate all the military intelligence of the DoD. During the spring and summer of 1961, as Cold War tensions flared over the Berlin Wall, Air Force Lieutenant General Joseph Carroll (soon to become DIA's first director) took the lead in planning and organizing this new agency. The JCS published DoD Directive 5105.21, "Defense Intelligence Agency" on 1 August, and DIA began operations with a handful of employees in borrowed office space on 1 October 1961.
DIA reported to the Secretary of Defense through the JCS. The new Agency's mission was the continuous task of collecting, processing, evaluating, analyzing, integrating, producing, and disseminating military intelligence for the DoD. Other objectives included more efficiently allocating scarce intelligence resources, more effectively managing all DoD intelligence activities, and eliminating redundancies in facilities, organizations, and tasks.
Following DIA's establishment, the Services transferred intelligence functions and resources to it on a time-phased basis to avoid rapidly degrading the overall effectiveness of defense intelligence. A year after its formation, in October 1962, the Agency faced its first major intelligence test during the superpower confrontation that developed after Soviet missiles were discovered at bases in Cuba by U.S. Air Force spy planes.
In late 1962, DIA established the Defense Intelligence School (now the National Defense Intelligence College), and on 1 January 1963, it activated a new Production Center. Several Service elements were merged to form this production facility, which occupied the "A" and "B" Buildings at Arlington Hall Station, Virginia.
The Agency also added an Automated Data Processing (ADP) Center on 19 February, a Dissemination Center on 31 March, and a Scientific and Technical Intelligence Directorate on 30 April 1963. DIA assumed the staff support functions of the J-2, Joint Staff, on 1 July 1963. Two years later, on 1 July 1965, DIA accepted responsibility for the Defense Attaché System - the last function the Services transferred to DIA.
During these early years of DIA's existence, Agency attempts to establish itself as DoD's central military intelligence organization met with continuing Service opposition. At the same time, the Vietnam War severely tested the fledgling Agency's ability to produce accurate, timely intelligence. In particular, the war increased defense intelligence's involvement in efforts to account for American service members missing or captured in Southeast Asia.
During the 1960s, DIA analysts focused on: China's detonation of an atomic bomb and the launching of its Cultural Revolution; increasing unrest among African nations; fighting in Cyprus and Kashmir; and the missile gap between the US and the Soviets. In the late 1960s, crises that tested intelligence responsiveness included: the Tet Offensive in Vietnam; the Six-Day War between Egypt and Israel; continuing troubles in Africa, particularly Nigeria; North Korea's seizure of the USS Pueblo; and the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.
The early 1970s were transitional years as the Agency shifted its focus from consolidating its functions and establishing itself as a credible producer of national intelligence. This proved difficult at first since sweeping manpower decrements between 1968 and 1975 had reduced Agency manpower by 31 percent and precipitated mission reductions and a broad organizational restructuring. Challenges facing DIA at this time included: the rise of Ostpolitik in Germany; the emergence of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the Mideast; and the U.S. incursion into Cambodia from South Vietnam.
The Agency's reputation grew considerably by the mid-1970s, as decision makers increasingly recognized the value of its products. Agency analysts in 1972 concentrated on Lebanon, President Richard Nixon's visit to China, the formation of Sri Lanka, Salvador Allende's regime in Chile, and the prisoners of war being held in Southeast Asia. Subsequent challenges involved: détente; the development of arms control agreements; the Paris peace talks (Vietnam); the Yom Kippur War; and global energy concerns.
Intense Congressional review during 1975-76 created turbulence within the national Intelligence Community. The Murphy and Rockefeller Commission investigations of charges of intelligence abuse ultimately led to an Executive Order that modified many Intelligence Community functions. At the same time, with American involvement in Vietnam ending, defense intelligence faced a significant decline in resources. During this period, DIA conducted numerous studies on ways of improving its intelligence products. Ultimately, the Agency strengthened its support to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), and the Unified & Specified Commands, and also modernized the National Military Intelligence Center (NMIC). Faced with similar resource challenges, DoD also sought to centralize its activities. Despite these and other Community-wide efforts to improve intelligence support, the loss of resources during the 1970s limited the Community's ability to collect and produce timely intelligence and ultimately contributed to intelligence shortcomings in Iran, Afghanistan, and other strategic areas.
As resources declined, intelligence requirements expanded. By the late 1970s, Agency analysts were focused on Lebanon, China, South Africa, terrorism, and Southeast Asia POW issues. In 1977, a charter revision further clarified DIA's relationship with the JCS and the Secretary of Defense. Specifically, the Secretary assigned staff supervisory responsibility over DIA in the resource area to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence, while giving the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs supervisory responsibility regarding policy matters. Analytical efforts within the Agency at the time centered on the death of Mao Tse-Tung, aircraft hijacking, the Israeli raid on Entebbe Airport, unrest in South Africa, and continuing Middle East tensions.
Special DIA task forces were set up to monitor crises such as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the overthrow of Iranian monarchy, and the taking of U.S. hostages in the American embassy in Teheran in 1979. Also, of serious concern were the Vietnamese takeover in Phnom Penh, the China-Vietnam border war, the overthrow of Idi Amin in Uganda, the North-South Yemen dispute, troubles in Pakistan, border clashes between Libya and Egypt, the Sandinista takeover in Nicaragua, and the Soviet movement of combat troops to Cuba during the signing of the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty II.
Following the promulgation in 1979 of Executive Order 12036, which restructured the Intelligence Community and better outlined DIA's national and departmental responsibilities, the Agency was reorganized around five major directorates: production, operations, resources, external affairs, and J-2 support.
DIA came of age in the 1980s by focusing heavily on the intelligence needs of both field commanders and national-level decision makers. DIA's publication in 1981 of the first in a series of whitepapers on the strengths and capabilities of Soviet military forces titled Soviet Military Power met with wide acclaim. Ten such booklets were published subsequently over roughly the next decade. World crises continued to flare and included the downing of two Libyan Su-22s by American F-14s over the Gulf of Sidra, an Israeli F-16 raid to destroy an Iraqi nuclear reactor, two Iranian hijackings, Iranian air raids on Kuwait, and the release of American hostages in Iran.
Other analysis at this time was focused on the war over the Falkland Islands, Israel's invasion of Lebanon, and Operation URGENT FURY in Grenada. Other DIA analytical efforts during the mid-1980s centered on the attack on the Marine barracks in Lebanon, the Iran–Iraq War, the conflict in Afghanistan, the Soviet downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007, the civil war in Chad, and unrest in the Philippines. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger presented DIA with the Agency's first Joint Meritorious Unit Award in 1986 for outstanding intelligence support over the previous year during a series of crises—the hijacking of TWA Flight 847 and the cruise ship Achille Lauro, unrest in the Philippines, and counter-terrorist operations against Libya.
Also at this time, the Agency concentrated on the rapidly shifting national security environment, characterized by key issues such as changes within the Soviet Union, counter-narcotics, war fighting capabilities and sustainability, and low-intensity conflict. DoD moved decisively to improve its automated data bases and apply additional resources to the monitoring of terrorist groups, illegal arms shipments, and narcotics trafficking. Arms control monitoring also increased the demand for intelligence support from DIA.
In 1983, in order to research the flow of technology to the Soviet Union, the Reagan Administration created Project Socrates within the Defense Intelligence Agency. Over the following years Project Socrates's scope broadened to include monitoring of foreign advanced technology as a whole. Project Socrates ended in 1990 with Michael Sekora, the project's director, leaving in protest when the Bush Administration reduced funding.
Designated a combat support agency under the Goldwater-Nicholas Defense Reorganization Act, DIA moved quickly to increase cooperation with the Unified & Specified Commands and to begin developing a body of joint intelligence doctrine. Intelligence support to U.S. allies in the Middle East intensified as the Iran–Iraq War spilled into the Persian Gulf. DIA provided significant intelligence support to Operation Earnest Will while closely monitoring incidents such as the Iraqi rocket attack on the USS Stark, the destruction of Iranian oil platforms, and Iranian attacks on Kuwaiti oil tankers. The "Toyota War" between Libya and Chad and the turmoil in Haiti added to DIA's heavy production workload, as did unrest in other parts of Latin America, Somalia, Ethiopia, Burma, Pakistan, and the Philippines.
Subsequently, the Agency provided threat data on "hot spots" throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, while assessing the impact of changes in the USSR, Eastern Europe, and, to a lesser degree, Asia. In addition, DIA supported decision makers with intelligence concerning the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, events surrounding the downing of several Libyan jets, the civil war in Liberia, and the investigation of the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Weapons acquisition issues, counter-narcotics, and counter-terrorism, likewise, remained high priority issues.
With the end of the Cold War, defense intelligence began a period of reevaluation following the fall of Communism in many of the East European countries, the reunification of Germany, and ongoing economic reforms in the region. During this phase, DIA emphasized improved management of intelligence production, DoD-wide, as resource reductions once again threatened to negatively impact Agency objectives and manpower. Organizationally, DIA adopted the concept of functional management to better address unified & specified command intelligence issues.
In response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, DIA set up an extensive, 24-hour, crisis management cell designed to tailor national-level intelligence support to the coalition forces assembled to expel Iraq from Kuwait. By the time Operation Desert Storm began, some 2,000 Agency personnel were involved in the intelligence support effort. Most of them associated in some way with the national-level Joint Intelligence Center (JIC), which DIA established in The Pentagon to integrate the intelligence being produced throughout the Community. DIA sent more than 100 employees into the Kuwaiti Theater of Operations to provide intelligence support. This DIA-led effort remains one of the greatest examples of intelligence support to operational forces in modern times.
The Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center (AFMIC), and the Missile and Space Intelligence Center (MSIC), associated with the Army for over 20 and 50 years respectively, became part of DIA in January 1992. This was part of the continuing effort to consolidate intelligence production and make it more efficient.
Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, DIA has been active in nuclear proliferation intelligence collection and analysis with particular interests in North Korea and Iran as well as counter-terrorism. DIA was also involved with the intelligence build-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and was a subject in the Senate Report of Pre-war Intelligence on Iraq. The Defense Intelligence Agency has conflicted with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in collection and analysis on the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and has often represented the Pentagon in the CIA-DoD intelligence rivalry due to DIA's alleged clandestine HUMINT collection and often overlapping analysis products. Operational military intelligence has also been a focus, particularly in Iraq with insurgency threats and asymmetric warfare. The DIA is responsible for assessing the current and projected national security threats to the United States as well as presenting these assessments to the Senate Armed Services Committee. The DIA still actively maintains its responsibility for conventional strategic and operational military intelligence.
DIA is led by a Director, typically a three-star military officer. The current director is Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess, USA, who assumed command in March 2009. David Shedd was appointed deputy director in September 2010, and Sharon Houy has served as chief of staff since June 2010.
DIA is organized into these primary operational directorates and centers:
Defense Counterintelligence and HUMINT Center (DX): This center manages DIA's and the DoD's human source intelligence collection, including the Defense Attache System, and is the primary interface between the Department of Defense and the National Clandestine Service. DX conducts worldwide strategic HUMINT collection operations in support of DoD, national intelligence requirements, and military operations. It deploys teams of linguists, field analysts, case officers, interrogation experts, technical specialists, and special forces. DX also absorbed the personnel and capabilities of the Counterintelligence Field Activity in 2008.
Directorate for Information Management and Chief Information Officer (DS): This directorate provides a secure, standardized and integrated global Information Technology enterprise that is continuously improved and maintained in response to intelligence customer needs and enables collaborative discovery, synthesis, and delivery of critical intelligence to warfighters, defense planners, national-security policy makers, and international partners.
Directorate for MASINT and Technical Collection (DT): Collects Measurement and Signature Intelligence which is technical intelligence that – when collected, processed, and analyzed by dedicated MASINT systems – results in intelligence that detects, tracks, identifies, or describes the signatures (distinctive characteristics) of fixed or dynamic target sources. This often includes radar intelligence, acoustic intelligence, nuclear intelligence, and chemical and biological intelligence. DIA is the central agency for MASINT collection within the US Intelligence Community.
Directorate for Analysis (DI): Analyzes and disseminates finalized intelligence products for the DIA from all sources as well as from partner Intelligence Community agencies. Analysts focus on the military issues that may arise from political or economic events in foreign countries and also analyze foreign military capabilities, transportation systems, weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), terrorism, and missile systems and contribute to National Intelligence Estimates and to the President's Daily Brief. The Directorate of Analysis also manages the National Center for Medical Intelligence, the Missile and Space Intelligence Center, and the Joint Intelligence Task Force for Combating Terrorism. Analysts serve DIA in all of the agency's facilities as well as in the field.
Directorate for Intelligence, Joint Staff (J2): Advises and supports the Joint Chiefs of Staff with foreign military intelligence for defense policy and war planning.
DIA also runs the National Intelligence University and houses the John T. Hughes Library in the DIAC.
- Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center
- Coast Guard Intelligence Center
- Defense Attaché System
- Defense Intelligence Analysis Center
- Defense Intelligence Operations Coordination Center
- Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency
- Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (US Strategic Command)
- Marine Corps Intelligence Activity
- Missile and Space Intelligence Center
- National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
- National Defense Intelligence College
- National Security Agency
- Non-commissioned officer
- Office of Naval Intelligence
- Strategic Support Branch
- United States Director of National Intelligence
- US Intelligence Community
- US Intelligence Community A-Space
- Official DIA Public Web Page
- Missile and Space Intelligence Center
- National Ground Intelligence Center
- National Air and Space Intelligence Center
- Office of Naval Intelligence
- Marine Corps Intelligence Activity
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