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News | Nov. 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday: DNI Clapper as DIA director

By DIA’s Office of Corporate Communications

Then-Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper was sworn in as the Defense Intelligence Agency’s 11th director Nov. 18, 1991. He served in that role until August 1995.

Clapper came to DIA following the collapse of the Soviet Union and in the aftermath of Operation DESERT STORM. Originally focused on a potential conflict with the Soviet Union, DIA needed to adapt to a post-Cold War world characterized by new threats and declining resources. In particular, DIA needed to review its roles and organization to meet the challenges of a new era of regional conflicts and, at the same time, a dramatic reduction in its resources. Clapper restructured DIA to improve flexibility and cooperation with service intelligence organizations, reduced management overhead, and shifted agency analysis from a regional to a functional organizational construct.

During Clapper’s tenure, DIA focused on improving its crisis management as well as its support to national decision-makers and the warfighter based on experience gained during the Gulf War. It was also during his tenure that the Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center (now the National Center for Medical Intelligence) and the Missile and Space Intelligence Center became elements of DIA; the National Military Intelligence Center was replaced by the National Military Joint Intelligence Center; and agency support to the Joint Chiefs of Staff was significantly expanded.

Under his leadership and with his reforms in place, DIA provided intelligence support to U.S. forces in Somalia, Haiti, the former Yugoslavia, Iraq and Korea. In 1994 DIA received its third Joint Meritorious Unit Award for its support for these operations.

Today Clapper is the director of national intelligence and continues to press for reforms across the intelligence community and to support such reforms at DIA. DIA is currently led by Acting Director David Shedd, the 19th man to lead the agency.