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Hearing on the 9/11 Commission Recommendations
Vice Admiral Lowell E. Jacoby, U.S. Navy
Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
Statement For the Record
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
18 August 2004
Thank you Mr. Chairman and members of the committee for inviting me today. I would like to briefly address three important issues: first, Defense Intelligence responsibilities; second, the importance of the Commission’s recommendations in helping me fulfill those responsibilities; and third, the Intelligence Community’s future structure.
First, my responsibilities in Defense Intelligence as the Director of DIA are to acquire, analyze and use information from all sources to help our leaders and military commanders achieve our nation’s security objectives, seek opportunities and reduce the risks to the men and women serving our nation and its citizens. Many of the Commission’s recommendations would improve our ability to execute these assigned missions and I wholeheartedly support them. But we need to thoroughly examine the 9-11 Commission language (somewhat at variance with the diagrams concerning Deputy NID’s) to characterize DIA as “defense” rather than “national.” The nation needs defense analysis as part of its national intelligence structure.
There are some real opportunities at hand. The Commission’s recommendations call for a fundamental change in how we manage, exchange, and exploit information. Its recommendations essentially break the current dangerous collectors’ “information ownership” paradigm. Breaking “ownership” and giving all source analysis primacy are necessary precursors to transforming the Intelligence Community. The missions assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency and the GDIP funded centers I oversee are all about getting and using information. Progress toward improving the power and performance of our information and creating the “trusted information network” the Commission calls for in Section 13.3, are essential if we are to fundamentally improve our ability to accomplish our assigned tasks. The recommendations that aim to improve my ability to constitute, apply, sustain and direct real all-source intelligence activities against targets and issues of mission-importance to the Department of Defense or in response to other requirements are good. Additionally, this is a transformation we can pursue without disrupting support to ongoing operations. My bottom line is that we must move from an industrial age model of moving people to data – to one where we move the data to people.
Finally, to the future structure of the Intelligence Community. The Commission recommends a dramatic restructuring of the IC. Other proposals focus on moving boxes around on organizational charts. My experience with organizational and structural issues leads me to conclude that the details are important. I believe that structural perfection is rarely achievable and not a guarantee of success. Dedicated people guided by strong leaders can make an imperfect organization succeed; conversely, lesser individuals in exquisitely structured organizations may still fail. The key component for success is not organization, but leadership and people focused on achieving clearly articulated goals and objectives. The power is in the goals, objectives, and methods to achieve them, not in structure.
We in the intelligence business have an unambiguous, non-negotiable responsibility to discern truth and then to tell truth to power. Thus, the goals and objectives should focus on improving our ability to discover information and develop knowledge, finding and connecting dots, and ensuring expert competitive analysis. Those objectives are dependent upon true all-source analysis and a smart network. The other objective of crucial significance is that we produce a true Intelligence Community. The Defense “jointness” model, if judiciously applied, can enable us to achieve this objective. Structure must follow and support these objectives. Then, it’s a matter of leadership.
I look forward to your questions.
This page was last updated January 25, 2013.