Managing Intelligence Contractors
For better or worse, contractors are now an indispensable part of the U.S. intelligence workforce, and greater attention is needed to manage them effectively, argues a recent study by a military intelligence analyst (pdf).
The author presents criteria for evaluating contractor support to various intelligence functions, and applies them in a series of case studies.
“This study assesses the value of current commercial activities used within DoD elements of the Intelligence Community, particularly dealing with operational functions such as analysis, collection management, document exploitation, interrogation, production, and linguistic support.”
In the best case, interactions with contractors can serve as a spur towards modernization of the intelligence bureaucracy itself, suggests the author, Glenn R. Voelz, a U.S. Army Major.
“Collaborative effort with nongovernmental entities offers a powerful mechanism to diversify and strengthen the IC’s collection and analytical capabilities, but to fully realize the benefit of these resources the management and oversight of commercial providers must become a core competency for all intelligence organizations.”
A copy of the study, published by the Joint Military Intelligence College, was obtained by Secrecy News.
See “Managing the Private Spies: The Use of Commercial Augmentation for Intelligence Operations” by Maj. Glenn J. Voelz, Joint Military Intelligence College, June 2006.
Also on the general subject of contractors, there is a January 2003 U.S. Army Field Manual entitled “Contractors on the Battlefield” (pdf), FM 3-100.21.
Among the more or less successful intelligence collaborations with industry that were examined by Maj. Voelz, there is nothing quite like the Bush Administration’s use of telephone companies to support the warrantless interception of domestic communications, a probable violation of the law for which the Administration is now urgently seeking retroactive immunity.
The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons, and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987.. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]
On 14 April 2023, the Belarusian Ministry of Defence released a short video of a Su-25 pilot explaining his new role in delivering “special [nuclear] munitions” following his training in Russia. The features seen in the video, as well as several other open-source clues, suggest that Lida Air Base––located only 40 kilometers from the Lithuanian border and the […]
A photo in a Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) student briefing from 2022 shows four people inspecting what appears to be a damaged B61 nuclear bomb.
In early-February 2023, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) had informed Congress that China now has more launchers for Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) than the United States. The report is the latest in a serious of revelations over the past four years about China’s growing nuclear weapons arsenal and the deepening […]