Communications and Intelligence: Why Can't We Get Along?   [open pdf - 40KB]

"Despite the historical antagonism between the communications and intelligence communities, shrinking budgets, interoperability issues and a requirement to let intelligence drive operations in the information age will force the two professions to call a truce […]. Intelligence information in national security and on the battlefield has always played a critical role. The unique nature of intelligence information however has created a longtime anathema between it and the communications community. The genesis can be traced to three causes encompassing special handling requirements; vast amounts of data with timely dissemination requirements; and available circuit prioritization. The chasm between the two communities has resulted in stovepipe communications infrastructures supporting unique intelligence requirements. The results of these stovepipes are lack of interoperability and wasted dollars in a declining resource environment. Finally, communicators have born the brunt of the intelligence community's criticism in the area of circuit prioritization when indeed the responsibility lays with the commander. The vogue answer to these problems has been to combine intelligence organizations with communications organizations (e.g. C4I) to ensure adequate support to the intelligence community […]. Organizational changes providing for the combination of intelligence and communication agencies (e.g. HQMC C4I, ASD/C3I etc.) are not the answer to coordination and support of intelligence communications requirements within the C3 community. Communications requirements, regardless of which function supported (e.g. logistics, C2 etc.), should be consolidated under the technical management of communications agencies or staffs (i.e. DISA, J6/G6/N6). Additionally, although the commander is doctrinally responsible for the prioritization of all communications in support of functional areas, reports in various lessons learned indicate we rarely hold him accountable for same."

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Federation of American Scientists (FAS) http://www.fas.org
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