American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 12, 2006 – The Defense Department is moving to establish a worldwide group of joint intelligence organizations designed to rapidly gather, interpret and act on information to better meet 21st-century military needs, senior military officials said here today.
On April 3, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld issued a directive to establish a Joint Intelligence Operations Center at DoD’s Defense Intelligence Agency, at each unified combatant command and at U.S. Forces Korea, Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence and warfighting support, told reporters at a news briefing.
“What we’re trying to do is move towards ‘operationalizing’ intelligence,” Boykin explained. This entails transforming military intelligence from being a staff function into “both a staff function, when appropriate, and an operational concept,” he said.
Findings of Capitol Hill and DoD commissions and studies, including the latest Quadrennial Defense Review, conducted since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States recommended the department integrate and improve the processes it uses to more rapidly gather, analyze and act on intelligence information, Boykin said.
One of the first changes DoD made to improve its intelligence structure, Boykin said, was to establish the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence in 2003, headed by Stephen A. Cambone.
Cambone then directed a study titled “Taking Stock of Defense Intelligence,” which sought present and future warfighting requirements feedback from combatant commanders and DoD’s global intelligence community, Boykin said.
DoD also conducted a “Reform of Human Intelligence” study at about the same time, Boykin said.
The two studies were combined into a single program in January 2004, called “Remodeling Defense Intelligence.” The JOIC concept came out of the RDI initiative, Boykin said.
A JOIC that’s now operational in Baghdad will serve as a template for the other new centers, Boykin said.
“We’re getting nothing but positive feedback from Iraq,” Boykin said. That center uses a single-source analytical database system, he said, which saves time during intelligence operations.
Analysts at the Iraq JOIC now accomplish tasks in minutes that would routinely take hours to do at an old-style center, Boykin said.
Boykin said the JOIC system is structured to eliminate traditional chain-of-command logjams to facilitate rapid cross-communications between analysts and intelligence gatherers in the field, known as collectors.
“What we’re trying to do is create a situation where the analyst is talking to the collector, and there’s no filter in the middle,” Boykin said.
Collection managers work with analysts and collectors to maintain information flows, set priorities and allocate resources, Boykin said.
Initiatives like JOIC are part of U.S. efforts “to continuously strive to improve our intelligence system, whether that be in support of the president of the United States, in support of our troops deployed around the world, or those working here to protect the homeland,” said Army Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess Jr., deputy director of national intelligence for customer outcomes at the National Intelligence Directorate.
The key goal is to achieve more integrated and better-focused intelligence activities that are closely linked with actual operations, Burgess said.
“The JOIC concept gets us to that linkage that we need to see,” the general said.
Modern battlefields like Afghanistan and Iraq have highlighted the need for decentralized intelligence activities that can rapidly assess information and then “react to the fleeting opportunities that we have to get a target that is presented to us,” Burgess said.