Photograph by David Burnett/Newsmakers.
After a decade of focusing its attention on Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon says it plans to revamp its spy operations to target global threats off the traditional battlefield, namely in Iran and China.
The overhaul comes with its own new agency: the Defense Clandestine Service, which the New York Times explains will work closely with the CIA at a time when the nation's military and intelligence goals increasingly overlap.
An unnamed senior Defense Department official outlined the plan for the Times, the Washington Post, and other outlets on Monday.
The official didn't detail exactly what the new agency's top priorities would be, but the Post connected the dots, explaining that the "nation’s most pressing intelligence priorities in recent years have included counterterrorism, nonproliferation and ascendant powers such as China."
While the Defense Intelligence Agency already handles many of those issues for the Department of Defense, a classified report last year from the the director of national intelligence found that the DIA needed to focus more on gathering intelligence on global threats and sharing it with other agencies. The new agency would strive to make sure that "officers are in the right locations to pursue those requirements," according to the Defense official who briefed reporters.
The official also said that the new agency would grow "from several hundred to several more hundred" officers in the coming years through shifting assignments, but would seek no additional personnel, authorities, or money.