Military Transformation: Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance [Updated January 17, 2003]   [open pdf - 156KB]

From the Summary: "The Department of Defense (DOD) indicates it is undertaking a major alteration in its capabilities, from a force designed to fight the Soviet Union to one tailored to 21st century adversaries including terrorism. This shift has been prompted by the perception of a changing threat and improved technology, especially information technology. As the military services attempt to increase the agility and versatility of their weapon systems, they also see a need to increase the capabilities of military intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) to support the new weapon systems and operating methods against these new threats. [...] In addition, ISR activities should, in the aggregate, provide a world-wide perspective of the threat, 'fuse' all types of intelligence into one picture, access extensive details about the enemy, and monitor specific targets for long periods of time. [...] Many observers believe military ISR has already achieved some transformation, as shown in the war in Afghanistan by the military's ability to detect a target and destroy it within minutes. Proposals to make revolutionary changes in analysis include using contractors to produce competing unclassified analyses, developing artificial intelligence capabilities for database work, and establishing more operations analysis centers. The military intelligence community is supported by the national intelligence community, which even before the September 11 attacks was under intense scrutiny. Therefore, the aspects of the national intelligence community's operations in which Congress has expressed interest directly affect the quality of military intelligence."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL31425
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