Friday, December 27, 2013

Defense Clandestine Service Worries Congress

The Defense Clandestine Service (DCS) was created in April 2012 by the Pentagon. It will see its two-year anniversary in April 2014. The purpose of the service is to recruit and manage sources (usually called HUMINT for Human Intelligence) around the world to support Department of Defense intelligence requirements. Some in Congress believe this is a duplication of effort; mirroring the HUMINT efforts of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). As a result of this line of questioning by Congress the new National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is withholding 50% of the operating funds the DCS needs to do its job until DoD Secretary Hagel can justify the DCS. Unfortunately, what many in Congress do not recognize is that the DCS is a relatively new organization going through some growing pains, that it takes time to train up HUMINT operators and then put them into an environment where they can recruit sources, and it takes time to train up and develop sources so they can be effective. In addition, Congress probably does not recognize the original reason the DCS was created - to provide a robust HUMINT capability that was lacking at the start of the Afghan and Iraq wars and with the evolution of the War on Terror into a world-wide global threat. The CIA simply does not collect HUMINT in the areas needed by the Defense Department. "Congress skeptical of new Pentagon spy agency", Los Angeles Times, December 23, 2013.

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