A Reorganization of Defense Intelligence

07.30.08 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The Department of Defense has embarked on a significant modification of its intelligence apparatus, creating a new human intelligence center within the DIA, abolishing a controversial counterintelligence agency, and reorganizing the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.

A new Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center (DCHC) is being established at the Defense Intelligence Agency to manage, develop and execute DoD counterintelligence and human intelligence activities worldwide.

It will take over many of the functions and authorities of the Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA), which drew criticism for its unauthorized domestic surveillance activities, including the collection of information on U.S. antiwar groups. CIFA will be terminated effective August 3.

Unlike CIFA, the new DCHC “shall NOT be designated as a law enforcement activity and shall not perform any law enforcement functions previously assigned to DoD CIFA,” according to a July 22 memorandum memorializing the new changes (pdf).

However, the DCHC will be responsible for developing an “offensive counterintelligence operations” (OFCO) capability for the Department of Defense, which may entail efforts to penetrate, deceive and disable foreign intelligence activities directed against U.S. forces.

The new organization was described in a July 22 memorandum from the Deputy Secretary of Defense on “Establishment of the Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center (DCHC).”

Meanwhile, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, James R. Clapper, Jr., has moved to reorganize his office to strengthen HUMINT and CI “integration and synchronization” and to structure the office around four functional areas.

That move was first reported last week by Inside the Pentagon, which interviewed defense intelligence officials on the background and motivations for the changes, and obtained an internal memorandum outlining the changes. See “Pentagon Shakes Up Intelligence Directorate’s Organization” by Christopher J. Castelli, July 24.

See the June 18, 2008 memorandum from Under Secretary Clapper on “Reorganization of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence” (pdf), obtained by Inside the Pentagon and marked “for official use only” (not yet “controlled unclassified information”).