The Defense Departments Intelligence shop has experienced a major case of ‘mission creep’…..
The Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency is in the cross hairs of the House Intelligence Committee, which is aiming for a radical overhaul of the military’s spy arm.
The committee sees it as bloated and ineffective. But how far such an effort would go remains to be seen as several other congressional oversight panels that would have a say are waiting for a fuller assessment to emerge before they sign off on major changes.
The House Intelligence Committee’s report accompanying the fiscal 2018 intelligence authorization bill takes aim at the DIA by calling for the elimination of a handful of missions that are “tangential to the DIA’s core missions and responsibilities” or are “duplicative of functions conducted elsewhere.”
The report lists a handful of offices and missions targeted for elimination, including the Information Review Task Force, the Identity Intelligence Project Office, the Watchlisting Branch, the Counter Threat Finance Branch and the National Intelligence University. Many of those functions would be transferred to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other federal agencies such as the Treasury Department, according to the report.
This year’s recommendations are only the first step in a much broader change being contemplated, said a congressional official familiar with the panel’s work.
The committee is undertaking a comprehensive assessment, asking the DIA and the consumers of its intelligence to conduct self-evaluations and reviews, the official said. Based on those evaluations, the committee expects by next year to overhaul the DIA along the lines of what the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act did to reorganize the Pentagon, said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the proposals are still under discussion among the various congressional committees.
The DIA has been assigned missions, both by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, as well as the Pentagon’s undersecretary for intelligence, “that don’t necessarily fit anywhere else,” the official said. On its website, the agency says it has 87 distinctive missions…..