New Defense Clandestine Service Blends Civilian and Military Operations
by Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
Friday, 22 February 2013
The federal government is expanding the spy network, this time by adding an intelligence agency at the Department of Defense. The Defense Clandestine Service (DCS) is now active and operating under the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). According to the organization’s website, DCS’s mission will be to conduct:
human intelligence (HUMINT) operations to answer national-level defense objectives for the President, the Secretary of Defense, and senior policymakers. The civilian and military workforce of the DCS conducts clandestine and overt intelligence operations in concert with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and our Military Services to accomplish their mission in defense of the Nation.
The basic idea is that the new spies will work in conjunction with their counterparts at the CIA’s National Clandestine Service to expand the scope of the federal intelligence community’s surveillance operations.
Re-tasking the DIA to a more CIA-like reliance on human intelligence gathering is part of this mission.
To successfully carry out this new covert program, the Pentagon has provided the DCS with plenty of staff. As noted by the Washington Post in December, “When the expansion is complete, the DIA is expected to have as many as 1,600 “collectors” in positions around the world, an unprecedented total for an agency whose presence abroad numbered in the triple digits in recent years.”