New Directive Seeks to Bolster Air, Sea Intelligence

Ambitious new interagency structures that are supposed to provide an improved intelligence response to maritime and air threats to national security are described in a newly-disclosed Intelligence Community Directive.

The directive establishes what it calls Communities of Interest (COI) “to maximize intelligence collection and all-source analytic coordination.”

“IC stakeholders in the maritime and air COIs shall aggressively collaborate and share information to proactively identify and mitigate threats posed within these domains as early and as geographically distant from the U.S. as possible,” the new directive states.

A plan to maximize air domain awareness “directs development and improvement of new capabilities that enable persistent and effective monitoring of all aircraft, cargo, people, and infrastructure in identified areas of interest and at designated times, consistent with protecting civil liberties and privacy,” the directive says.

“Creating a shared common awareness among intelligence, law enforcement and operational communities is a complex task,” the directive notes, “and many associated policy and legal implications must be resolved to achieve success.”

The January 14, 2009 directive, signed by former Director of National Intelligence J. Michael McConnell, has not been approved for public release, but a copy was obtained by Secrecy News.

See “Global Maritime and Air Intelligence Integration,” Intelligence Community Directive 902, effective 14 January 2009.

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