Pentagon Seeks to Expand Role in Intelligence-Collecting

The Total Infomation Act that was changed to the Terrorist Information Act already did this. Its only about openly admitting it here.



Pentagon Seeks to Expand Role in Intelligence-Collecting


Published: December 19, 2004

ASHINGTON, Dec. 18 - The Pentagon is drawing up a plan that would give the military a more prominent role in intelligence-collection operations that have traditionally been the province of the Central Intelligence Agency, including missions aimed at terrorist groups and those involved in weapons proliferation, Defense Department officials say.

The proposal is being described by some intelligence officials as an effort by the Pentagon to expand its role in intelligence gathering at a time when legislation signed by President Bush on Friday sets in motion sweeping changes in the intelligence community, including the creation of a national intelligence director. The main purpose of that overhaul is to improve coordination among the country's 15 intelligence agencies, including those controlled by the Pentagon.

The details of the plan remain secret and are evolving, but indications of its scope and significance have begun to emerge in recent weeks. One part of the overall proposal is being drafted by a team led by Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, a deputy under secretary of defense.

Among the ideas cited by Defense Department officials is the idea of "fighting for intelligence," or commencing combat operations chiefly to obtain intelligence.

The proposal also calls for a major expansion of human intelligence, which is information gathered by spies rather than by technological means, both within the military services and the Defense Intelligence Agency, including more missions aimed at acquiring specific information sought by policy makers.

The proposal is the latest chapter in the fierce and long-running rivalry between the Pentagon and the C.I.A. for dominance over intelligence collection.

White House officials are monitoring the Pentagon's planning, as is the C.I.A. The proposal has not yet won White House approval, according to administration officials. It is unclear to what extent American military forces have already been given additional authority to carry out intelligence-gathering missions.

Until now, intelligence operations run by the Pentagon have focused primarily on gathering information about enemy forces. But the overarching proposal being drafted in the Pentagon, which encompasses General Boykin's efforts, would focus military intelligence operations increasingly on counterterrorism and counterproliferation, areas in which the C.I.A. has played the leading role.

"Right now, we're looking at providing Special Operations forces some of the flexibility the C.I.A. has had for years," said a Defense Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plan has not yet been approved. "It would be used judiciously, and with all appropriate oversight controls."

General Boykin's proposal would revamp military commands to ensure that senior officers planning and fighting wars work more closely with the intelligence analysts tracking threats like terrorists and insurgency cells. Another part of the Pentagon's plan was articulated in a recent directive by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that instructed regional commanders to expand the military's role in intelligence gathering, particularly in tracking terrorist and insurgent leaders.

While declining to comment directly on the recent directive, a Pentagon spokesman, Bryan Whitman, said, "Regional commanders are looking at ways to maximize the use of their resources to contribute to the overall intelligence picture."

In public allusions to the plan, both General Boykin and Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, have stuck to generalities. It is still unclear how many additional personnel may be assigned to intelligence gathering or when and where such operations may take place. But some intelligence officials say they believe those remarks open the way to more clandestine military operations intended to gather intelligence on terrorists and weapons proliferators.


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Dezember 2004

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