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News | Jan. 8, 2015

Eisenhower’s Joint Study Group leads to creation of DIA

By DIA Public Affairs

During his final year in office, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed an ad hoc interagency task force, known as the Joint Study Group, to concentrate on revamping the existing organizational and management structure of U.S. foreign intelligence. One of the key subjects under review was the management and coordination of military intelligence.


At a Jan. 5, 1961, meeting of the National Security Council, Eisenhower noted the confused state of military intelligence saying it "made little sense in managerial terms" and that his inability to fix the mess would leave a "legacy of ashes" for the incoming administration of President-elect John F. Kennedy. That same day the National Security Council endorsed the findings of the Joint Study Group.


The first of the report’s 43 recommendations suggested the establishment of a new intelligence organization with broad powers over the intelligence programs and activities of Defense components. Eighteen other recommendations pertained to the Department of Defense, to include improving resource management and budgeting procedures for intelligence operations, implementing a more rigorous selection and training process for intelligence personnel, re-examining the existing allocation of electronic intelligence resources, improving career management for intelligence personnel, recommending consultations between the Secretary of Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence prior to the writing of a new National Security Council Intelligence Directive, establishing authorities and responsibilities for a National Photographic Intelligence Center and improving coordination of all military requirements at the national level to prevent duplication.


Later that year, new Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara acted upon the first of the Joint Study Group's recommendations by directing the establishment of the Defense Intelligence Agency. McNamara then charged DIA’s first director, Air Force Lieutenant General Joseph F. Carroll, with implementing the remaining Defense-related recommendations.


Today, DIA uses all-source defense intelligence to prevent strategic surprise and deliver a decision advantage to war fighters, defense planners and policymakers. The agency collects and analyzes key data using a variety of tools, and deploys its personnel globally, alongside war fighters and interagency partners, to defend America’s national security interests.