Military HUMINT



Materials presented chronologically.

Halpin, Bill. "Where Is Defense HUMINT in America's New War?" Defense Intelligence Journal 11, no. 1 (2003): 81-89.

Jehl, Douglas, and Eric Schmitt. "Pentagon Seeks to Expand Role in Intelligence-Collecting." New York Times, 19 Dec. 2004. []

According to DoD officials, a team led by Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, a deputy under secretary of defense, "is drawing up a plan that would give the military a more prominent role in intelligence-collection operations..., including missions aimed at terrorist groups and those involved in weapons proliferation." The proposal "calls for a major expansion of human intelligence," both within the military services and the DIA, "including more missions aimed at acquiring specific information sought by policy makers. The proposal is the latest chapter in the fierce and long-running rivalry between the Pentagon and the C.I.A. for dominance over intelligence collection."

Halpin, Bill. "Defense HUMINT: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow." Defense Intelligence Journal 14, no. 1 (2005): 63-77.

This is a stringent critique of Defense Humint. While "the requirements for tactical, actionable HUMINT to support warfighter requirements have increased exponentially[,]... the capacity to satisfy these requirements is significantly diminished." The author discusses changes that could improve the quality of Defense Humint (and, he suggests gingerly, the quality of all U.S. Humint). He covers such matters as personnel, organization, training, language skills, and technology.

Gellman, Barton.

1. "Secret Unit Expands Rumsfeld's Domain: New Espionage Branch Delving Into CIA Territory." Washington Post, 23 Jan. 2005, A1. []

According to "interviews with participants and documents obtained" by the Washington Post, the U.S. Defense Department "has created a new espionage arm and is reinterpreting U.S. law to give Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld broad authority over clandestine operations abroad.... Designed to operate without detection and under the defense secretary's direct control, the Strategic Support Branch deploys small teams of case officers, linguists, interrogators and technical specialists alongside newly empowered special operations forces."

2. "Some Question Background of Unit's Leader: Inexperienced Personnel Cited As a Risk to Espionage Work." Washington Post, 23 Jan. 2005, A10. []

According to "skeptics of the Pentagon's intelligence initiatives," the Army reserve officer who commands the DIA's Strategic Support Branch, Col. George Waldroup, "is controversial. His ascent to a top espionage post from a civilian career at the Immigration and Naturalization Service is a cautionary tale, according to them, about the risks of rapid expansion in the staffing and mission of clandestine units....

"The Strategic Support Branch's human intelligence 'augmentation teams' have deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq with a commando unit ... that drew the most demanding intelligence missions.... Task force members, in interviews, complained that some of Waldroup's personnel were unprepared for the assignment."

See also, Eric Schmitt, "Pentagon Sends Own Spy Units into Battlefield: Role May Encroach on Territory of CIA," New York Times, 24 Jan. 2005, A1.

U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs). "DoD Background Briefing on Strategic Support Teams." News Transcript, 24 Jan. 2005. [Available at:]

Senior Defense Official: "The teams that we're talking about..., the Strategic Support Teams, are funded within the general Defense Intelligence Program, which itself is inside the National Foreign Intelligence Program, which is under the aegis of the DCI.  So the package that ... we submitted in the [FY] '05 [budget] bill, was drawn up in coordination with the DCI staff.  So this has been a product that was jointly agreed between, broadly, the secretary and the DCI and then applied between the two organizations for the express purpose of improving the human intelligence capability both within CIA and within DIA."

Jehl, Douglas, and Eric Schmtt. "Reports on Pentagon's New Spy Units Set Off Questions in Congress." New York Times, 25 Jan. 2005. []

On 24 January 2005, "[s]enior members of Congress said ... that they would seek to determine whether the Pentagon had overstepped its bounds by creating new secret battlefield intelligence units" within DIA. Stephen A. Cambone, under secretary of defense for intelligence, and Vice Adm. Lowell Jacoby, the head of the DIA, "said the teams had been formally established in the fiscal year 2005 defense budget using existing authority to replace ad hoc defense intelligence units that had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan for more than two years."

White, Josh, and Barton Gellman. "Defense Espionage Unit to Work With CIA." Washington Post, 25 Jan. 2005, A3. []

On 24 January 2005, DoD officials "acknowledged ... that the Pentagon has created new clandestine teams to gain better human intelligence for military commanders but emphasized that the program was developed with the cooperation" of the CIA, "not to bypass it.... [T]wo defense officials who briefed reporters on the condition that their names not be used ... said that the ... organization has been running in its current form since October under funding authorized for this fiscal year."

Jehl, Douglas, and Thom Shanker. "Congress Is Reviewing Pentagon on Intelligence Activities." New York Times, 4 Feb. 2005. []

According to Congressional officials, "[t]he House and Senate Intelligence Committees have begun to review whether the Pentagon has met legal requirements to keep them fully informed of its intelligence activities.... The reviews focus on what Pentagon officials acknowledged in recent weeks was the Defense Department's widening role in intelligence gathering.... [T]he committees are seeking to exert the same extent of intelligence oversight to the Pentagon that they have long applied to the C.I.A."

Gellman, Barton. "Controversial Pentagon Espionage Unit Loses Its Leader: Rumsfeld Reportedly Moving Ahead With Plans to Expand Team's Intelligence Work Worldwide." Washington Post, 13 Feb. 2005, A8. []

Reserve Army Col. George Waldroup, leader of the Pentagon's new espionage unit, the Strategic Support Branch, "has resigned his position." A DIA spokesman said "Waldroup, an Army reservist, returned to civilian life last weekend after an initial period of active duty expired. He acknowledged that Waldroup's status was renewable."

Hart, Jon-Paul. "Killer Spooks." Marine Corps Gazette 89 (Apr. 2005): 16-18.

The author argues for increasing the human intelligence collection capability of forces in the field by assigning collectors to tactical-level units. HUMINT collectors should become an organic element of reconnaissance organizations throughout the military.

Pincus, Walter. "GOP Senators Look to Shift Spy Management From CIA." Washington Post, 1 Oct. 2005, A9. []

The Defense Department "has created a Defense Humint Management Office to coordinate increased spying activities by the Defense Intelligence Agency's human intelligence section, as well as clandestine operations by the separate services, area commanders and counterintelligence arms." The office "will be run under the supervision of Undersecretary for Intelligence Stephen A. Cambone."

Costa, Christopher. "Phoenix Rises Again: HUMINT Lessons for Counterinsurgency Operations." Defense Intelligence Journal 15, no. 1 (2006): 135-154.

"[M]ilitary HUMINT must be far more nuanced and tied in with indigenous human networks to balance the long-term goals of winning insurgencies.... What remains to be developed is a doctrinal foundation for addressing the operational-level requirements for leveraging indigenous human networks."

Wilson, Samuel V. [LTGEN/USA (Ret.) and President Emeritus, Hampton-Sydney College] "Wanted: An 'Intelligent' Use of the Human Spirit." American Intelligence Journal 24 (2006): 4-7.

The former star military attaché (and many other things) argues the importance of HUMINT in the broadest sense. "Useful human intelligence requires a substantial investment of time and resources. We must nurture and reward those motivated professionals willing to devote years to refining the uncommon ability to cross the barriers that divide the world's cultures."

Carter, Sara A. "U.S. Hones Intelligence Skills." Washington Times, 28 Apr. 2008. []

Report on the Defense Department's Human Intelligence Training-Joint Center of Excellence (HIT-JCOE) at Fort Huachuca. Includes comments from intervews with Steve Norton, chief of the DIA's Defense Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Management Office; John Antonitis, "an intelligence professional and a staff member of the now-defunct" WMD Commission; and Maj. Gen. John M. Custer III, commander of the Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca.

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