A reorganization of the service is underway to target the treats of the country’s national security after over a decade of focusing on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Hundreds of new analysts and case officers of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon are being shifted to a new Defense Clandestine Service.
The service will work hand in hand with the CIA officers that are based in U.S. embassies around the world. They will collect and help distribute intelligence on the terrorist networks, nuclear arms and other targets that present threats.
Last week, the initiative was approved by Leon Panetta the Defense Secretary and is aimed at increasing the Pentagon’s role in finding spies and running them. For decades, that has been the CIA’s mission.
The spy agency will start with several hundred agents and is expected to grow to double its size over the coming years. One official said, “Global coverage is needed.”
New spies will likely receive assignments to intelligence targets of priority. Those include areas of the Middle East and Africa where al Qaeda and similar groups are most active, the missile and nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea and the expanding military of China.
The DIA and the CIA have clashed often over the responsibilities and roles of each. However, intelligence missions and the U.S. military have merged more often of late in counter-terrorism operations since 9/11. Examples of that are the raid on the compound where Osama bin Laden was living and the strikes by drones in Yemen.