ABOUT / HISTORY / DIRECTORS / LTG patrick hughes

LTG Patrick Hughes
February 1996 - July 1999

Lt. Gen. Patrick Hughes faced critical challenges in the area of terrorism in his first year as DIA director. In the wake of a terrorist bombing of U.S. barracks at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia on June 25, 1996, that left 24 dead and 500 wounded, DIA reexamined its counterterrorism capability.

In March 1996, Hughes produced "A Primer on the Future Threat, 1996-2010," the first in a series of purple books. This publication was extremely well-received by policymakers, the Intelligence Community, and the military. The book provided DIA’s perspective of future threats, and was designed to stimulate discussion on the challenges facing U.S. interests. It was published in three additional editions in 1997, 1998 and 1999.


"Islamic fundamentalists under the leadership of Osama bin Laden were suspected in the attack. In response, the United States launched cruise missile strikes against terrorist-related bases in Afghanistan and Sudan on August 20, 1998."


To support DIA's primary mission of providing intelligence to the warfighter, the Agency emphasized the use of information technology and the development of military intelligence information systems. To that end, DIA led the initiative for a Joint Intelligence Virtual Architecture, a computer-based operating architecture capable of providing a virtual, collaborative and seamless connection between national, theater and tactical elements. MASINT, defined as technically-derived data other than imagery or SIGINT, also emerged as an important discipline in the area of intelligence collection.

The Defense HUMINT Service became fully operational in September 1996, and proved highly effective while deployed on operations in the Balkans. DIA also supported operations that included Kosovo, Iraq, Liberia, Rwanda and Korea, as well as supporting counternarcotics, counterterrorism and counter-proliferation efforts.

In October 1996, DIA celebrated its 35th anniversary of providing integrated and unified military intelligence to warfighters, policymakers and force planners. DIA also received a fourth Joint Meritorious Unit Award, where Secretary of Defense William Perry proclaimed October 1 as Defense Intelligence Day.

DIA started 1997 with the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Missile and Space Intelligence Command facility at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama. Mission enlargement and operational support defined 1997, as DIA provided analysis and information around the clock to military operations in Albania, Bosnia and Iraq.