Washington, D.C., June 9, 2017 —
Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart discussed DIA, innovation and the future of intelligence at the 2017 GEOINT Conference June 7 in San Antonio, Tx.
Stewart began his address praising the work of DIA officers around the world. “Who is DIA?” he asked. “We are analysts, scientists, collectors, soldiers, accountants, programmers and more. Our men and women are the best and brightest, which is good because our mission requires no less. We are a global agency of 16,500 who provide intelligence on foreign militaries and operating environments ... to prevent and decisively win wars.”
From there Stewart talked about the speed of change in the digital world and how it’s affecting the intelligence community as a whole. “We are collecting more data today that we can effectively consume. There is simply so much information that we struggle to make sense of it. What we are able to collect, we can't process. And what we can process, we can't effectively disseminate across a global enterprise to ensure it gets to the decision-maker who needs it most. We aren't just struggling to keep up; we are actively resistant to changing the way we do business in the intelligence community. And history shows us that those who fail to adapt to change are often left behind,” he said
He also compared the way intelligence was analyzed before and after the digital age. “When I was a young man, we analyzed information based on 50 to 100 documents received through old school technical or human collection. Is that effectively still how we are collecting and analyzing information? Sometimes, I'm afraid the answer is yes. The old days - the old analytic processes when we have 50, 100, 200 documents – we’d work our way through that; we’d try to make sense of it. How do we design tools and techniques to sort through this new information environment? How do we render the data we do collect? How do humans interact with that data? How do we design an architecture that can deliver that data instantly, globally, and securely?”
Finally, Stewart asked industry partners to become just as innovative as DIA, “Doing this effectively will require the ingenuity and commitment all of us; all of us including industry partners. And we need these solutions sooner rather than later, because we are faced with a rapidly change security environment.”
The talk was broadcast live on DIA’s facebook page.
The next major intelligence community conference is DODIIS 2017, hosted by DIA in St. Louis Aug 13-16. The focus of this year’s DODIIS conference is cyberspace and cybersecurity.
DIA's mission is to provide intelligence on foreign militaries and operating environments that delivers decision advantage to prevent and decisively win wars. Nearly 50% of DIA's 16,500 employees are stationed outside Washington, DC at national intelligence centers, combatant commands, combat zones, and defense attaché offices worldwide in more than 140 countries.