Increasingly under attack from outside powers looking to compromise classified databases and make off with state secrets, the Pentagon is fighting back.David Cloud at the Tribune Washington Bureau reports the Pentagon is sending several hundred spies to “overseas hotspots” to steal whatever they can in the way of others national secrets.
Cloud points out the Pentagon’s spy agency, the defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), has come under fire after its 10 year myopic focus on Iraq and Afghanistan and repeatedly criticised for not working more closely with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The newly formed defence Clandestine Service (DCS) is its response, and will make up about 15 per cent of the DIA’s total workforce.
From Stars and Stripes:
[The DCS] will focus on gathering intelligence on terrorist networks, nuclear proliferators and other highly sensitive threats around the world, rather than just gleaning tactical information to assist military commanders on the battlefield, [one] official said. “You have to do global coverage.”
Some of the new spies thus are likely to be assigned to targets that now are intelligence priorities, including parts of Africa and the Middle East where al-Qaida and its affiliates are active, the nuclear and missile programs in North Korea and Iran, and China’s expanding military.
Apparently there has been a morale problem within the DIA and many former agents, fed up with the lack of promotions and reward, have left to join the CIA.
That has just added to the squabbling between the two agencies that each see their roles as similar and overlapping.
defence Secretary Leon Panetta is backing the move that will dampen the CIA’s leading role in foreign intelligence gathering, which it has enjoyed for most of its history.
The expanded pool of DIA spies came at the suggestion of a 2011 study by the director of National Intelligence.
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