Defense Department Plans New Spy Service
The Pentagon is revamping its spy operations to focus on high-priority targets like Iran and China in a reorganization that reflects a shift away from the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan that have dominated America’s security landscape for the past decade.
Under the plan approved last week by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, case officers from the new Defense Clandestine Service would work more closely with counterparts from the Central Intelligence Agency at a time when the military and spy agency are increasingly focused on similar threats.
“It will thicken our coverage across the board,” said a senior Defense Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss with a small group of reporters on Monday what he called a “realignment” of the military’s human espionage efforts.
Case officers from the Defense Intelligence Agency already secretly gather intelligence on a range of global issues — including terrorism and weapons proliferation — typically working out of C.I.A. stations in American embassies and undercover like their C.I.A. counterparts.
But a classified study completed last year by the director of national intelligence found that while the D.I.A. was effectively conducting its traditional, and much larger, mission of providing intelligence to troops and commanders in war zones, it needed to focus more attention outside the battlefields on what is called “national intelligence” — gathering and distributing information on global issues and sharing that intelligence with other agencies.