DIA is first in all-source defense intelligence to prevent strategic surprise and deliver a decision advantage to warfighters, defense planners, and policymakers. We deploy globally alongside warfighters and interagency partners to defend America's national security interests.
Learn more about DIA »
2012-2017 Strategic Plan»
CONNECT WITH DIA
Educating Intelligence Leaders for This More Perfect Union
A. Denis Clift
President, Joint Military Intelligence College
World Affairs Council, San Antonio, Texas
29 October, 2002
Thank you for that kind introduction. Thanks to all of you for coming. What a pleasure it is to be with the World Affairs Council of San Antonio tonight.
Several years ago, novelist Kurt Vonnegut accepted an invitation to give a college commencement address. Bedecked in academic robe, he rose, looked out on the sea of expectant faces—the graduates, their families and friends—made a slight adjustment to his microphone, and said: "Things are very, very bad, and they are never going to get better. Thank you," and sat down.
Arthur Levine of Columbia University told me that story. And, there are those across the land who shake their heads and say that that is the fix we find ourselves in today as we work on the one hand to bolster homeland defense and security in this new age of terrorism, at the same time that we safeguard the liberty and individual freedoms at the very heart of our democracy.
Those pessimists, those who would say that, do not have the privilege I do of leading the Joint Military Intelligence College, a center of excellence for the education of military and civilian intelligence professionals, the nation's only accredited institution of higher learning awarding the Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence degree and the Bachelor of Science in Intelligence degree.
Our students, our graduates look on the world where things are very, very bad, and through their words and deeds say, "We are going to live on the cutting edge; we are going to deliver the intelligence, deliver the information advantage to our partners in planning, in operations, to those we serve at the policy and decision-making levels, to address the challenges we face and to keep the nation moving ahead."
The Joint Military Intelligence College was chartered by the Department of Defense in 1962. It traces its roots to decisions taken by Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower immediately after World War II. Nimitz as Chief of Naval Operations and Ike as Chief of the Army Staff recognized the important role played by intelligence in the world war and the need for a steady pipeline of professionals educated in intelligence to meet the nation's post World War II requirements. Separately, they created the Naval Intelligence School and the Army Strategic Intelligence School. Those schools would become the Defense Intelligence School, today in its 40th anniversary year, the Joint Military Intelligence College.
The College teaches up to the highest levels of national security classification – a central, essential strength in dealing with this academic field – and conducts research at the classified and unclassified levels. The College's degrees are authorized by the Congress – the Master's degree in 1980, the Bachelor's degree in 1997. The College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The College is a member of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. Among the nation's federally chartered colleges and universities, the College has the distinction of annually awarding both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
A while ago, Professor Tony Hyder of Notre Dame University said to me, "Denis the difference between your college and my college is that your graduates have jobs." They do, and what jobs they are. Today's alumni providing for the common defense include leaders such as Air Force Lieutenant General Mike Hayden, Director of the National Security Agency and Marine Lieutenant General Mike DeLong, Deputy Commander in Chief, United States Central Command. They include a pyramid of intelligence experts rising through the ranks of the Armed Services, the major combatant commands, and the intelligence and law enforcement communities.
On August 9, this year, in his commencement address at the College, Congressman Porter Goss, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said "I am honored and proud to be associated with the Joint Military Intelligence College. This is a national treasure that we need, and" looking to the members of graduating Class of 2002, "you are the proof that it works."
In 2002, the men and women seeking their Masters and Bachelors degrees at this College – commissioned and non-commissioned officers from each of the Armed Services and civilians from across the intelligence and law enforcement communities – study intelligence in the cyber era, intelligence in the era of coalition warfare, intelligence in the era of the war on terrorism.
As our students enter their studies, they are reminded that the balance struck between individual liberty and the requirement for government fully capable of providing for defense of the homeland is reflected in the Preamble of the Constitution: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America."
Our students examine the issues of intelligence against the background of both the enduring strength of an evolving NATO and of the requirement for new defense structures such as Northern Command. They study the role and application of intelligence at a time both of reductions to strategic nuclear stockpiles and of mounting threats of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists and rogue nations.
Our students study with the words of the President, spoken at Ellis Island on September 11, 2002, fresh in their minds "Now and in the future," the President said, "Americans will live as free people, not in fear, and never at the mercy of any foreign plot or power. This nation has defeated tyrants, liberated death camps, and raised this lamp of liberty to every captive land. We have no intention of ignoring or appeasing history's latest gang of fanatics trying to murder their way to power. They are discovering, as others before them, the resolve of a great democracy," the President said. "In the ruins of two towers, under a flag unfurled at the Pentagon, at the funerals of the lost, we have made a sacred promise, to ourselves and to the world: We will not relent until justice is done and our nation is secure. What our enemies have begun, we will finish."1
Our students study aware that the nation's fundamental objective, their fundamental responsibility is the prevention of future attacks on Americans, whether in the homeland or overseas. They examine the underlying challenges to those in the business of intelligence, those charged with divining the intentions of others, charged with strategic warning. Such challenges include denial and deception as practiced by foreign individuals, groups, organizations and nations. They include the need to move beyond individual mind-set to examine what is and is not important to a potential adversary, however we might judge the relative importance of the issue; the risks and the actions that an adversary might take, however we might be inclined to judge the good sense, the probability of success of such an action.
They study, bearing in mind that as we act against treachery – evil today embracing acts of terrorism at home and abroad – and as we act to bring greater protection to all who pledge their allegiance, as we act to bolster homeland and defense security we should bear in mind the experiences of this nation many decades ago, in the first half of the 20th century. Some of that history is worth recalling this evening.
From 1915 through America's entry into World War I, Germany mounted a major espionage and sabotage operation in the United States. More than 40 American factories were sabotaged; cargoes in ships with supplies bound for the allies were destroyed. In July 1916, two million pounds of dynamite were detonated at the major transshipment point of Black Tom Island in New York Harbor, destroying windows across Jersey City and Manhattan, a detonation heard as far as 100 miles away. And, pro-German Americans were organized to oppose U.S. involvement in the conflict. A spy scare swept the nation, fueled by the parallel actions of the Industrial Workers of the World, and the pronouncement of their leader W. D. Haywood "Sabotage – sabotage means to push back; pull out or break off the fangs of capitalism."2
The Congress passed statutes dealing with espionage and sabotage, to include an amendment to the Espionage Act dealing with 'seditious utterances.' The Department of Justice's Bureau of Investigation – predecessor to today's FBI – was only 300 strong. Americans organized volunteer citizens' organizations. The Council for Defense in Henry County, Missouri, issued warnings to anyone speaking or acting in a disloyal way – first a white card, then a blue card, and then a red card. In March 1917, a Chicago advertising executive suggested that a citizens volunteer group, the American Protective League should be organized to assist the Bureau of Investigation. The Department of Justice gave its blessing. In less than a year, 250,000 Americans were holding badges emblazoned ‘American Protective League: Secret Service Division.’ By the time of the League's disbandment in 1919, the nation had learned that there was no place for vigilantism and amateur sleuthing even in times of greatest national emergency.3
The terror continued. On a late evening in June 1919, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor had parked their car in the garage at 2131 R Street in Northwest Washington, and were climbing the steps to the front entrance of their home, when a tremendous explosion tore off the front of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer's residence across the street. Pieces of the suicide bomber landed at the Roosevelts' feet. Leaflets were nearby proclaiming "…class war is on and cannot cease but with a complete victory for the international proletariat…"4
The unsolved Wall Street terrorist bombing came a little more than a year later, September 16, 1920. A driver brought a horse and wagon to a halt opposite the J.P. Morgan building and walked away. "And then the object in the old wagon exploded." Here I am quoting author Don Whitehead. "It was a bomb made of dynamite and cast-iron window weights. The metal rods were hurled like shrapnel through the narrow street. Men and women were mowed down in bloody, screaming heaps. Thirty were killed and three hundred were injured. The House of Morgan was damaged…other financial houses were badly damaged."5
Our students study, bearing in mind that in 1924, a young attorney named J. Edgar Hoover was named Acting Director, then Director of Department of Justice's Bureau of Investigation. The Bureau would be renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935. As war in Europe loomed again in the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt, deeply mindful of the espionage, sabotage and terrorism of 20 years before gave Director Hoover full authority to guard against and to act against fifth columnists, saboteurs, and spies on U.S. soil and throughout the western hemisphere. New laws were passed requiring re-registration of all aliens and further strengthening federal law enforcement.
Today's student studies, bearing in mind that we are, at present, a nation that is, in the vernacular, wide open. "Over $8.8 billion worth of goods, over 1.3 million people, over 340,000 vehicles, and over 58,000 shipments are processed daily at entry points and … Customs can inspect one to two percent of all inbound shipments."6 The United States is dependent on international shipping for the vast majority of our commerce. More than 165 million containers are on the move across the world's oceans annually, millions coming to our seaports and from our seaports to our trains, trucks and inland destinations. And, we are with a sense of urgency examining security at our ports, working hard on the challenge of determining that there is no devastating harm awaiting the nation in even one of those millions of containers.
It is instructive to read news accounts of the use of the Internet by those implicated in the September 11 attacks, from the booking of airline tickets, to the researching of flight training schools, to dipping the vast array of information available to anyone – friend or foe – with access to a computer, from the most humble personal laptop to a public library terminal anywhere in the land. The Internet era has also become the era of cyber terrorism, cyber security, and network infrastructure protection. The amount of detailed information on seemingly the most sensitive of subjects that one can gain from skilled searching of the web is extraordinary. The amount of havoc that one can wreak from skilled attacks on unprotected networks has not yet been fathomed.
If information of use to a foe abounds on the internet, the ingredients of weapons of mass destruction are just a mail order away. In an article entitled "Better Killing through Chemistry" in the December 2001 Scientific American, the author describes how a chemist at Rice University a little more than a year before ordered all of the chemicals needed to make the nerve agent sarin – the poison gas used by a cult in the mid-90s Tokyo subway attacks. In went his order and back the chemicals came the next day in a customer-friendly overnight delivery box. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the staff of Scientific American placed another order for the sarin precursors and the chemicals arrived a few days later.7
Over the past year, the President and the Congress have acted and continue to act to bolster our security and defense. An Office of Homeland Security has been created, and work now proceeds on the creation of a cabinet-level department. The Congress has acted to give law enforcement and intelligence agencies enhanced authority to act more effectively against terrorists at home and abroad. To look at one part of this, in the years preceding the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, there had been a great deal of reluctance on the part of some in the nation to having intelligence officials deal with foreigners considered unsavory, considered criminal, considered unfit for U.S. contact. This is changing. The world of terrorism can be an unsavory criminal world, and that is where the most important information may be found.
Here the voice of the late Dame Rebecca West as expressed in her remarkable work The Meaning of Treason provides sage advice. "Not till the Earthly Paradise is established," she wrote, "and man regains his innocence, can a power which has ever been at war be blamed if it accepts information regarding the military strength of another power, however this may be obtained; and of course it can be blamed least of all if the information comes to it from traitors, for then it is likely to touch on the truly secret."8
The men and women studying at the Joint Military Intelligence College are aware that the Internet era is a dynamic with an on-rush of changes both revolutionary and far more subtle to the work of intelligence: changes in the doctrine and practice of collection, analysis, and dissemination; and changes in the relationship and the mindset between intelligence and law enforcement, intelligence and the policy-maker, and intelligence and the military commander.
New goals are being set for U.S. intelligence with this on-rushing development and implementation of information technology. For the Director of Central Intelligence, it is the goal of an Intelligence Community providing a decisive information advantage to the President, the nation's Armed Forces, diplomats, law enforcement and the Congress.
For the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as first stated in Joint Vision 2010, it is, in parallel, the emerging importance of information superiority, "the capability to collect, process and disseminate an uninterrupted flow of information while exploiting or denying an adversary's ability to do the same."
The need for information advantage, information superiority is in many instances causing U.S. intelligence to pursue dramatically new ways. The Internet era has become the Intelligence Community's new strength and its new challenge. The 46-year Cold War assumptions driving intelligence doctrine and practice – collection and analysis against closed society targets and subject matter in the superpower rivalry with the Soviet Union – are assumptions of the past.
The Director of National Security Agency, General Hayden, has placed this challenge in the following context: "Forty years ago, there were 5,000 stand-alone computers, no fax machines and not one cellular phone. Today, there are over 180 million computers – most of them networked. There are roughly 14 million fax machines and 40 million cell phones and those numbers continue to grow. The telecommunications industry is making a $1 trillion investment to encircle the world in millions of miles of high bandwidth fiber-optic cable."9 At the same time, General Hayden reminds, the new information technologies are an enhancement and an enabler, as NSA seeks outs and exploits the current era's targets.
In this new era, the military commander has, since the time of the late 1990s operations in the Balkans, been expecting the information superiority envisioned in Joint Vision 2010. The requirement, from mission planning through mission execution is for intelligence to be able to locate and to surveil targets either stationary or mobile, either exposed or hidden – to be able to obtain and provide to the commander a continuing picture of his entire field of operations in all its dimensions.
Today's students study the sharing of intelligence with other nations in developing and using the intelligence product. They are taught to bear in mind that intelligence organizations are not trusting by nature. They are inherently doubtful about any sharing relationship whether temporary or long-term. In intelligence sharing, you are telling someone else what you know and, inferentially – at least to the initiated – what you do not know. That is, you are revealing your strengths and your weaknesses.
If sharing is working the way you want it to work it is uniquely important information and a knowledge multiplier. You are taking appropriate steps to safeguard those sources of information that must be protected. You are safeguarding those methods of intelligence collection that you wish to remain yours alone. At the same time, you are acquiring information not available to you from your sources and methods – or information that will allow you to validate or open to question intelligence already in your possession.
Since the mid-1980s, the global reach of U.S. intelligence has been strengthened by Intelink, the Intelligence Community's classified internet counterpart, by the accessibility of growing amounts of information in cyber databases, and by the near-real-time links of communications satellites. These capabilities have helped bring into being the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS) and the companion desktop analyst's Joint Deployable Intelligence Support System. The JWICS system allows video teleconferencing, imagery transfer, electronic data transfer, publishing, and video broadcasting – all up to the highest levels of classification. The system, first tested in 1991, is now installed at well over 100 defense intelligence locations worldwide.
National Intelligence Support Teams, NIST teams, were born as a lesson learned from the U.S. participation in the DESERT STORM coalition that expelled Iraq from Kuwait. The teams belong to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's Director of Intelligence. When they deploy they are attached to the commander in the field. The idea is to provide the Joint Task Force commander with the ability to reach back swiftly, efficiently, and expertly to the national-level agencies for answers to questions unanswerable in the field, and to receive warnings of threats that otherwise could not be received.
Today's student knows that warning is at the heart of the intelligence business. Our challenge in this era of terrorism is to operate effectively in a world of predictive intelligence. We cannot place ourselves in a reactive mode, allowing the terrorist to maintain the initiative. Each act of terrorism directed against the United States challenges the Intelligence Community to probe more deeply into the structures, methods, and motives of our terrorist foes.
As our students approach this work in 2002, we work with them in the analysis of terrorism to have the entire background of terrorism in recent decades on the tips of their tongues, as part of basic knowledge. When we collect against and analyze the world of terrorism, the world lying ahead tomorrow and beyond, when we look at cells, organizations, their audiences, their targets the intelligence professional should know, for example, that:
- the Red Army Faction sought to persuade the German worker to work for the overthrow of the capitalist system;
- that the Weathermen and the Simbionese Liberation Army sought to have their vision of overthrowing the existing American system in favor of some vague, anarchic alternative adopted by the American people;
- that the ETA is not speaking so much to Spain and the Spanish people as it is speaking to the Basque people;
- that the Irish Republican Army addresses its actions to the Irish Catholic community and secondarily to the Protestants and the British government;
- that through Usama bin Laden's declarations of intent he spoke first to the Islamic community, with his secondary dialogue addressed to various Arab regimes and the United States government.
Long-term, effective counterterrorism requires an emphasis not only on short-term capabilities and plans but also on the motivating philosophies guiding the longer-range intentions of the terrorist foe. It requires the professional expertise drawing on the spectrum of intelligence capabilities to dig deeper into the perspectives of the terrorists themselves, to look through their eyes at the world as they see it as the stage for their actions. It requires the skill and the dogged determination to develop the essential elements of information allowing a shift to pre-emptive analysis and action designed to keep the attacks from happening. It demands a greater emphasis on our ability to conduct strategic predictive intelligence.
President Harry S. Truman once told an interviewer, "The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know."10 And here again, in examining the challenges of terrorism our students learn through using case studies.
Recall, for example that on June 25, 1979, Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Alexander Haig was en route to his headquarters when a bomb blew off the rear end of his armored command car as it swept over a bridge in the Belgian countryside. Initial information on those responsible for the attack was fragmentary and contradictory. The Director of Central Intelligence, according to Haig, would advise that it had been a group of Belgian nihilists; one of Haig's contacts in West German intelligence said that it had the footprint of a German terrorist gang.
In 1990, a freshly arrested member of the Red Army Faction, Susanne Albrecht, testified that she and nine other RAF members devised the plot to kill the SACEUR in 1978, while training in a terrorist camp in Aden run by the PLO. They completed the plan while living in apartments first in Yugoslavia and then in Brussels. The terrorists had tracked General Haig's movements for days, "following his convoy on motorcycle, stopwatch in hand because the detonation of the bomb required split-second timing."11
With this testimony, Albrecht and the leader of the actual attack provided the essential elements of information on this act of terrorism – the terrorist organization involved, its broader international terrorist support system, the number of participants, the planning, the training, the modus operandi, the preparations at specific locations from Southwest Asia, to the Balkans, to Europe and the bridge in the Belgian countryside.
Our students' challenge in the war on terrorism is to develop these essential elements of information at least 11 years – plus as many hours, days, and months faster – than their predecessors did in the attack on the Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
What I would say to the World Affairs Council is that the Joint Military Intelligence College is in the vanguard of research, both classified and unclassified, on these challenges, through the Master's thesis research of our active-duty and civilian graduate students, through the research of our faculty, and – as soon of this month – through the research at the College's new Center for Strategic Intelligence Research.
To cite one recent example of such research, Marine Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Doman McArthur's thesis addressed "Intelligence and Policy: Venturing a Structured Analysis of Iraq: Weapons of Mass Destruction." McArthur examined the critical nodes of the Iraqi challenge, the issues, the time, the ways of addressing each aspect of the challenge. His research and findings on the non-proliferation and acquisition node would move from approved Master's thesis to the law of the land as part of the Proliferation Prevention Enhancement Act of 1999.
That work has been published by the College with a Foreword by Senator Arlen Specter in which he writes that the law "requires anyone who exports an item on the United States Munitions List or the Commerce Control List to report the shipment in electronic format using a new, Internet-based filing system that is being developed for this purpose. Having the data available in a consolidated database that can be searched and analyzed by computers will enable export control officials to more easily detect purchasing patterns which may indicate that terrorists or rogue nations are trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction by evading or violating U.S. export control laws."12 This is a work truly embracing predictive strategic intelligence.
In this, the College's 40th anniversary year, our graduate and undergraduate students study, and once they graduate, contribute to the nation's security aware that information superiority, intelligence, and actionable information are the air we breathe in this new age of terrorism. They study the role of intelligence in the nation's need to know what is going on outside our borders, what is going on inside our borders, and how most effectively to link the two so as to provide for the defense, the security, and the wellbeing of the United States of America.
- Address by President George W. Bush, Ellis Island, New York, September 11, 2002.
- The FBI Story, Don Whitehead, Random House, New York, 1956, pp 27-32.
- Ibid, pp 33-39.
- Roosevelt’s Secret War, Joseph E. Persico, Random House, New York, 2001, p. 32.
- Whitehead, op cit, pp 46-47.
- Road Map for National Security: Imperative for Change, The United States Commission on National Security/21st Century, Washington, D.C., 2001, p. 15.
- "Better Killing through Chemistry," George Musser, Scientific American, December 2001, Vol. 285, Issue 6, p. 16.
- The Meaning of Treason, Rebecca West, Phoenix Press, London, 2000, p. 192.
- LtGen Michael V. Hayden, Address to Kennedy Political Union of American University, February 17, 2000, p.2.
- Truman, David McCullough, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1992.
- Inner Circles, Alexander M. Haig, Jr., Warner Books, New York, 1992, pp 541-542.
- Lieutenant Colonel Doman O. McArthur, USMCR, "Intelligence and Policy: Venturing A Structured Analysis of Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction," Discussion Paper Number Eleven, Joint Military Intelligence College Press, Washington, D.C., 2001, p. v.
This page was last updated January 25, 2013.