Weekly Intelligence Notes #44-02
WIN 44-02 dtd 18 November 2002
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are produced and edited by Roy Jonkers for non-profit educational uses by AFIO members, ISIS associates and WIN subscribers. RADM (ret) Don Harvey contributes articles to selected WINs.
CONTENTS of this WIN
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DEFENSE DEPARTMENT INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATION -- The Intelligence Authorization bill for 2003 passed recently includes a provision for the establishment of an Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USDI). The establishment of this position has been blown up in the press as a major challenge to DCI George Tenet and to plans for increased centralization of control of the Intelligence Community. It is useful to know that in the real world the Secretary of Defense has consulted all along with the DCI, and that the latter will have a voice in the final selection of the incumbent. The change is seen not as an alteration of Title 50 (organization of intelligence) , but one of Title 10 (organization of the Department of Defense), and thus falls under the jurisdiction of the Senate Armed Service Committee vice the Intelligence Committee.
With this upgrade in position, Intelligence will have a stronger voice at the defense resource and strategy table. In Pentagon politics, various constituencies may make an end-run around an Assistant Secretary, but this is not so easily done with an Under Secretary. Agency directors will be backed up by someone with clout. There is a realization that national strategy won't work without exceptional intelligence to prevent attacks. Prevention requires investment. In turn, investment requires heavyweight representation.
What are some of the immediate tasks? For one, DoD HUMINT, practically dismantled after the disastrous Church Committee proceedings, will be rebuilt.
For another, DoD will seek some of the extra-ordinary acquisition authorities that enables CIA to be so nimble. What stands in the way is not so much the Congress at this time, but legal interpretations within DoD itself. The attitudes at the top will be changed.
And another priority is the improvement in analysis. Investment in analysts has been deficient. Collection must be sharpened, over-compartmentation must be reduced, layers of management "to prevent mistakes" need to be cut, and tools for analysts improved (analysts are slaves to databases, spending their time feeding them instead of using them). This latter priority goes along with what is happening at the National Security Council (NSC) where PDD 35 is currently being revised, with expected major changes in defining who sets requirements, evaluation of satisfaction of requirements, and clarification of procedures for analysis.
After a few years there will be an evaluation. Has the USDI made the SecDef's job easier? Has the USDI improved collaboration with the DCI? How is the position evaluated by the DCI - the President's intelligence officer? What is the evaluation by the major Agency directors (NSA etc) - has it added a layer of bureaucracy or has it made them more effective? Incidentally, the new USDI will work with a small staff, limited to less than one hundred personnel, and will take at least 6 months to become operational. The USDI selection process has started, with the SecDef considering a number of names.
The bottom-line is that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld wants changes, and a "results-oriented" intelligence establishment clearly focused on three areas (1) Warning (a discipline not well understood); (2) Warfighter support , and (3) Counter-Intelligence, Force Protection and Security. The new USDI , whoever he or she will be, will have a full plate and a demanding boss. Defense intelligence is well served by this development. (Jonkers)
DEFENSE SPECIAL OPERATIONS -- SecDef Rumsfeld some time ago ordered a study to redesign the US Special Operations Command to enhance and improve its ability to fight the war against al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. The Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA) , a federally funded research center, has been charged with developing a restructuring plan. They have been under orders to start with a blank sheet - building from the ground up. This seemingly comes on top of a plan produced by General Charles Holland, the Commander of the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) , who requested a five-fold increase in budget over the next five years. Staffers pronounced it as "not innovative enough." Right now USSOCOM is a "supporting" combatant commander, providing troops and weapons to other commands, such as US Central Command (now in charge of Afghan operations). The SecDef is moving to have USSOCOM become a "supported" command in the global war on terrorism, in which the command would plan and direct specific missions independently.
The IDA report is due next week. This is not a trivial issue, and may well evoke considerable controversy. (Jonkers) (WashTimes 21 Nov 02, page A15// R. scarborough)
COUNTERINTELLIGENCE AND THE LAW -- a unanimous ruling of the US Foreign Intelligence Court of Review has firmly overruled a lower intelligence court. The judges said the passage of the USA Patriot Act last year ensured that there is no wall between officials from the intelligence and criminal arms of the Justice Department. In fact, the judges said the 20-year-old practice of keeping the two largely separate was never required and was never intended by Congress. "Effective counterintelligence, as we have learned, requires the wholehearted cooperation of all the government's personnel who can brought to the task," the panel wrote. "A standard which punishes such cooperation could well be thought dangerous to national security."
The ruling ensures that the Justice Department and criminal prosecutors may take an active role in deciding how to use wiretaps authorized by a special intelligence court, and have greater access to information obtained from them. The appeals court was harsh in its language directed at the lower court for trying to retain a wall and said the lower court judges were improperly trying to tell the Justice Department how to run its operations and that that was a violation of the Constitution's separation of powers between equal branches of government. The Attorney General welcomed the ruling and said he would swiftly increase the number of lawyers both at the FBI and in prosecutors' offices around the country to seek authorization for new wiretaps and surveillance orders to combat terrorism.
Interestingly, the only party addressed in the law was the Justice Department -- the ACLU and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers who had filed briefs, were afforded only friend-of-the-court status, which does not entitle them to appeal to the Supreme Court. It can only be hoped that the now-affirmed version of the law enables really enhanced execution of counterintelligence and counter-terrorist operations against the al Qaeda and other terrorists, for all of us are going to be inundated by alarming predictions of the loss of liberty and freedom. (Harvey) (NYTimes, 18 Nov02 //N. Lewis)
CRUISE MISSILE TESTS-- A prototype Navy cruise missile that has the capability of being re-targeted while in flight was successfully launched from an underwater platform on 10 November. The launch was part of a transformation in capabilities that envisions missiles that will lurk in the sky over a battlefield for several hours until a suitable target is identified. The missile is also equipped with a video camera to provide battlefield surveillance data. The Tactical Tomahawk is scheduled to be introduced in 2004 to be deployed on both submarines and ships. This technology will obviously complement the robot aerial vehicles currently in use for anti-terrorist operations, such as the recent killing of a car full of al Qaeda personnel in Yemen. (Jonkers) (WashTimes 12 Nov 02, p. A8 // H. Anderson)
INTELLIGENCE FEELS STRAIN OF AL QAEDA & IRAQ WARS-- Intelligence, always critically important (as it was in WWII), has become even more central. Said Lt. General Michael Hayden, Director of NSA, "High quality intelligence is the American 21st century version of mass. With it, we have replaced mass on the battlefield with knowledge and precision."
With a second war coming, Iraq on top of the terrorist war, the Intelligence system is undergoing further turbulence. For example, after 9/11 the CIA reportedly pulled some 160 analysts from their jobs watching global political, economic and military trends and moved them to counter-terrorism jobs. Analysts who had been scrutinizing Russian leadership began devoting 16 hours a day to tracking al Qaeda cells. CIA now has some 900 personnel in its counter-terrorism center , and the DCI stated recently that it probably was not yet enough. On top of that the CIA's small paramilitary unit and other covert operators were called upon to spearhead the hunt for bin Laden in Afghanistan (see Section IV below). Now, with the prospective invasion of Iraq, CIA faces an additional challenge of finding more case officers and analysts to devote to a major conventional war.
All agencies, CIA,. NSA, NIMA, DIA, are drawing heavily upon retirees, contractors, and shifts of existing personnel. Relationships with foreign intelligence services have also been strengthened. The challenges are being met. NIMA Director James Clapper (Lt. Gen. ret) summed up. "Will we be stressed? Yes. But ... we'll be able to rise to the occasion." (Jonkers) (WPost 17 Nov 02, p. A26 //D. Priest)
CYBER SECURITY PLAN TO BE READY BY YEAR'S END -- The
White House Office of Cyberspace Security expects to complete work on the
national cyber security strategy and send it to President Bush for his signature
by the end of the year. Marcus Sachs, director of communication and
infrastructure protection at the office, also said on Thursday that the office
received more than 1,000 responses to the draft plan unveiled in September by
the Nov. 18 deadline for comments. (Levine 21 Nov 02) http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/1102/112102td1.htm
HOMELAND SECURITY DEVELOPMENTS --
(1) PRIVACY --The Homeland Security Department will have a privacy officer whose job will be to ensure that activities of the new department do not erode the privacy of ordinary Americans.
MURDER -- Lawyers fear misuse of cyber murder law in Homeland Security bill
just passed. Defense attorneys say the new threat of life imprisonment for
hackers who try to "cause death" by computer will be used to squeeze quick
guilty pleas from even non-lethal cyberpunks. A genuine cyber murder may never
happen outside the pages of tabloid newspapers and Tom Clancy novels, but
defense attorneys say that won't keep federal prosecutors from getting some
mileage out of a provision in the newly-passed Homeland Security bill that
dictates a maximum sentence of life imprisonment without parole for computer
hackers with homicide in their hearts.
CIPHER TRUST WANTS YOUR SPAM -- E-mail security company CipherTrust wants your spam. The company is calling on surfers of all stripes to help it wage a fight against spam by sending their unsolicited mass e-mail to its new Web site, www.Spamarchive.org. The idea is to create a vast public repository of spam, so makers of antispam tools can test their algorithms on the latest mass-messaging trends. http://news.com.com/2100-1023-966768.html
JAPAN MULLS WINDOWS REPLACEMENT -- Vulnerabilities of its Windows operating system may cost Microsoft dearly as the Japanese government is set to evaluate open-source alternatives to beef up computer security. The authorities are contemplating the move for its e-government projects because problems in open platforms such as Linux are thought to be easier to fix, Kyodo News reported. ( Levine 21 Nov 02) http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1104-966700.html
BUSH AT WAR, by Bob Woodward, Simon & Schuster, 2002. The author has had exceptional access to Administration insiders, interviewed President Bush and other key Administration members at length, and was able to peruse the records of some 50 National Security Council (NSC) meetings. An interesting and informative picture emerges of the President's leadership style and the interplay among the key members of his team. The book also includes a significant perspective on the role of Intelligence, and particularly CIA special operations, in Afghanistan. In an earlier WIN this editor predicted, based on readings of history, that if the job was approached in the right way, the Taliban would fold like a house of cards. As we now know, the job WAS done right - a combination of money, guts, knowledge, timely precision bombing and leadership did it. On the ground, a CIA veteran with 32 years of service, thoroughly familiar with the area, a former Chief of Station in Kabul, was the gutsy bagman, along with his small team, carrying millions of dollars with him, buying off tribes, clans, families, and warlords, and bolstering potential allies, such as the 'Northern Alliance.' His nickname was 'Jawbreaker.' He operated with millions of dollars, in out-sequence stacks of $100 bills, placed on the table as needed. His assignment was to help win the ground war, and find and kill al Qaeda. The President had signed an 'intelligence finding,' and the gloves were off.
Money talks. Bombs convince. In one vignette, $50,000 was offered to a commander to defect. Let me think about it, said the commander. So a Special forces A Team directed a J-DAM precision-guided bomb right next to the commander's headquarters. The next day the commander accepted $40,000 to defect.
It was not easy. The Northern Alliance commanders fretted when airpower was diverted to what the field operators considered 'Washington feel-good' bombing around the country. Intercepted radio communications showed that the Taliban were not impressed. But at last the US Special Operations troopers were deployed along the front line, designating precise targets for the precision-guided munitions, and the bombers dedicated to the task. It swiftly broke the backs of the Taliban troops.
Jawbreaker, of course, did not work alone. The CIA's contribution was its knowledge of the area and its flexibility -- it alone could rapidly disburse the funds required to bolster allies and 'turn' Taliban supporters. General Franks, Commander of US Central Command, was in charge of the war. CIA paramilitary teams were working with opposition forces, and by direction from DCI George Tenet, under the command of General Franks. In that spirit the CIA gave General Franks and his Special Operations commanders the identities of all CIA assets in Afghanistan, their capabilities, their locations, and the CIA assessments of them. The military and CIA worked as partners. US military Special Operations forces were used to pinpoint targets, while the indigenous opposition forces did most of the fighting. That was the plan, and that was how it worked. On 9 November, Mazar fell. By 12 November Kabul was taken. And on 7 December the southern stronghold of Kandahar fell, effectively leaving the Northern Alliance, its Pashtun allies, and the US, in charge of the country.
The total US force commitment to overthrow the Taliban was 110 CIA officers and 316 Special Operations personnel, plus massive air power. The CIA spent about $70 million in direct cash outlays, which the President called " a great bargain" (he wondered how much the Soviets had spent in their disastrous war in Afghanistan). The money was free from the traditional cost controls, and had been able to mobilize the tribal commanders. In some cases performance standards were set: Move from A to B, and you get several hundred thousand dollars. A stack of money on the table was a universal language. The paramilitary and case officers had made it possible - a giant return on years of investment in human intelligence. As a bottom line, the job was done by knowledge (intelligence), guts (CIA and Special Operations operators), technology (intelligence and guided munitions) and smart, strong national leadership. Read the book to get more details (Jonkers) (WashPost )
IN MEMORIAM-- The Hon. Richard Helms, former DCI and Ambassador, who died in his sleep on 22 October at the ripe old age of 89, was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery on 20 November. Officials from the top level of every administration since President Nixon attended the memorial service, along with numbers of CIA personnel. Richard Helms was DCI in turbulent times, but was deeply admired by his subordinates and colleagues for his loyalty to them, and for standing up to the pressures of the Church committee to betray secrets that could be damaging to the country, keeping his allegiance to the constitution, as "the man who kept the secrets." He was buried with full honors. We salute a leader who played his role with restraint, exactitude and discretion. He served the Nation well. (Jonkers)
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