Major transformation in the Intelligence Community had been in progress since the 1990s, but the new millennium brought even more trials to the Intelligence Community.
The largest of these was the unprecedented challenge of the global war on terror, which began with the 9/11 terrorist attacks, ushering in a new era of integration and cooperation in military intelligence. Prior to the September 11 attacks, DIA had taken steps to ramp up its counterterrorism efforts.
After al-Qaida suicide bombers attacked the USS Cole in October 2000, DIA reorganized its counterterrorism office into the Joint Terrorism Analysis Center.
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the JTAC mission was expanded and sharpened, and the organization was christened the Joint Intelligence Task Force-Combating Terrorism.
JITF-CT remains at the center of DIA’s anti-terrorism efforts today. In the months after the attacks, the U.S. and its coalition partners embarked on Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, toppling the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
In the months after the attacks, the United States and its Coalition partners embarked on Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, toppling the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
Anti-terrorist initiatives took place in other parts of the world as well, including in the Philippines and the Horn of Africa.
In March 2003, the United States and coalition forces launched Operation IRAQI FREEDOM to remove Saddam Hussein from power and install a new democratic government in Iraq.
In all of these operations, DIA provided intelligence on enemy troop dispositions, weaponry and damage assessments. The Agency also assisted with locating high value targets and offering assessments of insurgent capabilities, intentions and potential.
DIA produced fine-grain tactical and operational intelligence for combat forces, as well as strategic estimative products for policymakers and decision makers.
The Agency also established and supported the Iraq Survey Group, an interagency body tasked with searching Iraq for weapons of mass destruction.
In the 2000s, DIA deployed thousands of personnel to support warfighting operations with a variety of tasks, including collection, analysis, processing and communications.
The Agency also incorporated the intelligence staffs of the combatant commands, further breaking down the barriers between national-level and theater-level intelligence, and making it possible to cooperate even more closely to produce intelligence that responds to the needs of individual warfighting units.
DIA’s work was not limited to just counterterrorism and counterinsurgency, however.
In addition to its protracted commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, the Agency monitored North Korean missile launches and tracked the development of Iran’s nuclear program.
It was also heavily engaged in supporting efforts to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, interdict narcotics trafficking, conduct global information operations, and assess foreign military capabilities in space and cyberspace.
In 2004 and 2005, DIA also provided an unprecedented level of support to foreign and domestic humanitarian missions.
Operation UNIFIED ASSISTANCE, the response to the Asian tsunami disaster in December 2004, utilized DIA assets to located hospitals and efficiently direct humanitarian assistance to the hardest-hit locations.
DIA also participated in Joint Task Force Katrina, which mobilized to assist recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Louisiana, in September 2005.
The Agency also assisted Federal law enforcement organizations with homeland security operations.
For example, the Agency lent sensors to border protection personnel, who used it to seize millions of dollars in narcotics and detect thousands of illegal entry attempts.
DIA also worked with homeland security agencies to conduct underwater surveys in an effort to improve port and harbor security, and install sensors that could detect threats on land or sea.
The Agency’s experiences past experiences, as well as the organization improvements made to cope with the direct threat posed by transnational terrorist groups such as al-Qaida, enabled the Agency to provide enhanced tactical, operational and strategic intelligence support to initiatives around the world.