Major expansion in U.S. clandestine national security operations overseas

The Washington Post reports: The Pentagon will send hundreds of additional spies overseas as part of an ambitious plan to assemble an espionage network that rivals the CIA in size, U.S. officials said.

The project is aimed at transforming the Defense Intelligence Agency, which has been dominated for the past decade by the demands of two wars, into a spy service focused on emerging threats and more closely aligned with the CIA and elite military commando units.

When the expansion is complete, the DIA is expected to have as many as 1,600 “collectors” in positions around the world, an unprecedented total for an agency whose presence abroad numbered in the triple digits in recent years.

The total includes military attachés and others who do not work undercover. But U.S. officials said the growth will be driven over a five-year period by the deployment of a new generation of clandestine operatives. They will be trained by the CIA and often work with the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command, but they will get their spying assignments from the Department of Defense.

Among the Pentagon’s top intelligence priorities, officials said, are Islamist militant groups in Africa, weapons transfers by North Korea and Iran, and military modernization underway in China.

“This is not a marginal adjustment for DIA,” the agency’s director, Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, said at a recent conference, during which he outlined the changes but did not describe them in detail. “This is a major adjustment for national security.”

The sharp increase in DIA undercover operatives is part of a far-reaching trend: a convergence of the military and intelligence agencies that has blurred their once-distinct missions, capabilities and even their leadership ranks. [Continue reading…]

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2 thoughts on “Major expansion in U.S. clandestine national security operations overseas

  1. Norman

    Holy Empire Batman, where is this country going? I wonder, will the C.I.A. share their Drug profits that they use for their clandestine operations? All things considered, there seems to be more than enough to go around. I suppose the Pentagon has to do something with all those officer corps members that have been growing, especially the ones who don’t know how to win a war, but do know how to keep the weapons manufactures well oiled. The corruption in the U.S. knows no bounds, the loyalty not with ones country, but with the $$$$ amount in personal gain. The end can’t come soon enough, though what will follow, is anyone’s guess. Hopefully, not more of the same!

  2. DE Teodoru

    Let’s remember the profit motive types our universities create. Expansion of clandestine ops means hucksters and hustlers surely out-numbering the true believers. Our Cold War expansion bespeaks future expansion. We should be great in what we do well– FREEDOM– not CRIME INC. in the name of national security. Clandestine is also what swindlers do and CIA has had so many that to this day only “classification” allows it the temerity to deem itself worthy of expansion. It has a long history of short clerks thinking themselves tall wizards, only to put in peril those ho really put their lives on the line believing that American stands for GOOD. Besides, clandestine ops have been so compromised by sleazy for-profit corpoRATe contractors that more can in no way ever mean better. It’s a leaky boat with a hull that’s very soluble in cash. Before beefing up the Intel Community let’s make the dummies all four-star generals so they won’t screw up the efforts of the few really talent and dedicated. Let our record be viewed rather than pretend that “if the mission succeeds it invariably becomes an operational secret.” Ha, COVER-UP is what the “C” in CIA stands for, especially since Clinton–>Bush–>Obama!

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