A New Directive for the National Reconnaissance Office
Last month, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates issued a new DoD Directive (pdf) on the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the agency that builds, launches and operates U.S. intelligence satellites. The new directive, which is unclassified, cancels and replaces an earlier directive (pdf) from 1964, which was originally classified Top Secret.
The new directive generally describes the mission, organization and management of the NRO, and does so with a fair amount of detail. It makes explicit, for example, the fact that the NRO is funded through both the National Intelligence Program (NIP) and the Military Intelligence Program (MIP), reflecting the agency’s dual role in supporting national policymakers and providing support to military operations.
The directive also makes reference to the normally sensitive subject of intelligence liaison relationships, stating, for example, that the NRO Director should “leverage overhead reconnaissance capabilities of foreign partners with whom NRO has an established relationship….”
See DoD Directive 5105.23, “National Reconnaissance Office (NRO),” June 28, 2011.
The very existence of the NRO itself was considered a national security secret until September 1992, when it was declassified by then-NRO Director Martin Faga. Some of his erstwhile colleagues “still haven’t forgiven me,” Mr. Faga said recently.
BRIDG is not-for-profit public-private partnership located in Osceola County, Florida providing semiconductor R&D and production capabilities to industry and government. Here’s how their region innovates.
The United States should take the diplomatic lead in developing multilateral protocols to resolve conflicts and facilitate the peaceful development of a space mining sector.
Inconsistent data collection makes disaster resilience more challenging than it needs to be. By opening up and making this data consistent, the Biden-Harris Administration can change the way we prepare and mitigate disaster for the better.
The Federation of American Scientists is excited to welcome three new additions to organizational leadership.