Intelligence Implications of the Military Technical Revolution [May 1, 1995]   [open pdf - 1MB]

"The availability of precision guided munitions (PGMs) and precise intelligence transmitted in 'real time' lies at the center of a military technical revolution that is changing the ways in which future military operations are likely to be planned and conducted. This revolution requires changes in the functions and organization of the U.S. Intelligence Community. During the decades of the Cold War, intelligence agencies were organized around collection disciplines, e.g., signals intelligence, photographic intelligence, and human intelligence. Collection efforts were managed by Washington-based agencies, principally, the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Central Intelligence Agency. Their efforts were largely (but by not means exclusively) directed towards supporting senior policymakers in dealing with the threat from the Soviet Union. Support to military operations was provided by service intelligence organizations using information that became available from national-level agencies. [...] The Intelligence Community, with congressional support and encouragement, is being restructured to ensure that support to military commanders assigned regional and peacekeeping missions has a high priority. Relationships between national and tactical systems are being rationalized. New surveillance equipment and communications links are being procured. Personnel are being trained to draw upon all the resources of the Intelligence Community to provide real-time support to military operations. There are major challenges remaining, however, to ensure that this process of intelligence 'tacticalization' goes smoothly, that interoperability among equipment used by different services and intelligence agencies is achieved, and that a reasonable relationship between force structure, intelligence and communications 'architectures,' and likely operational missions in the uncertain post-Cold War world is maintained.Some observers have also expressed concern that national intelligence not be neglected as necessary adaptations to the military technical revolution are implemented."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, 95-560
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