Intelligence Update for November 2016 – News from around the world: events, activities, publications, conferences, new CIA director, National Intelligence University, UK buying Predators, “enhanced interrogation”, papers and more. Background checks in the future, drones, SIGINT and modern intelligence collection, and more.
Background Check System Coming. The director of a new agency that manages the security clearance process says that a new computer system could be completed in 18 months. The next generation computer system will be used by the newly established National Background Investigation Bureau. Read more in “The Pentagon’s New Background Check System Won’t Be Ready for Nearly Two More Years”, Defense One, November 12, 2016.
Advanced Technology and CyberIntel. The cyberization of intelligence is providing significant benefits but also poses unique challenges. Read more in “Tinker, tailor, hacker, spy”, The Economist, November 12, 2016.
The Future of Drones. The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is rapidly growing. Recent news reports indicate that the Islamic State and the Taliban are now using drones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Drones are used for intelligence gathering and for interdiction. Many observers are proclaiming a revolution in military warfare due to the rapidly expanding use of drones. But others say “Not So Much”. Read “Separating Fact from Fiction in the Debate over Drone Proliferation”, International Security, volume 1, issue 2, page 7-12.
National Intelligence University. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) runs a center for the academic study of intelligence that offers Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in intelligence studies. You must be a government employee or member of the military to apply. There are also various certificate programs in the intelligence field. http://ni-u.edu/wp/
New CIA Director? It appears that Representative Mike Pompeo (Kansas – R) will be the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He is a West Point grad, Harvard Univeristy alumni, and a member of the House Intelligence Committee. Read more in a NBC News report (Nov 18, 2016).
Libya Intel Situation. Mark Pomerleau writes about Operation Odeyssy Lightning – the U.S. campaign against ISIS in Libya. U.S. Special Forces are on the ground working with ‘proxy forces’ and air strikes are conducted by drones and naval aviation. But what is the intelligence apparatus that the U.S. is relying on to identify targets for SOF and aviators? Read an informative article that reveals the intel support to the counter-ISIS effort in Libya in “What is the U.S. intelligence picture in Libya?”, C4ISRNET, November 14, 2016.
Bring Back “Enhanced” Interrogation? One backer of Trump – a former CIA officer – says the next president should go further than waterboarding terrorist suspects. Read “Trump Backer Pushes for New CIA “Enhanced Interrogation”, The Daily Beast, November 14, 2016.
Intel Agencies Struggle with New Missions and New Technology. “Intelligence services on both sides of the Atlantic have struggled to come to terms with new missions and new technology.” In the Cold War espionage against the Soviet Union and its allied nations (communist bloc) was the primary threat. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall and “Iron Curtain” counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency have attracted the most attention of the many U.S. spy agencies. The rapid advancement of computers technology and growth of the Internet has brought new opportunities and challenges to the intelligence community. Read “Shaken and Stirred”, The Economist, November 12, 2016.
UK Purchasing Drones. It appears that the United Kingdom will soon be buying up to 26 Predator drones and associated equipment. View a news release by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, November 16, 2016.