Pentagon’s Intel chief has some advice for the next president: ‘Integration’

(NationalSecurity.news) The Pentagon’s top intelligence chief isn’t waiting for November to inform the next president about what needs to happen within his division in order to better protect the nation moving forward.

As reported by Defense One, as Congress begins to reexamine how Pentagon units share authority under the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act – the most sweeping reorganization of the Defense Department since the National Security Act of 1947 – intelligence agencies under the next administration should also review their unity of effort in order to become more agile and able to integrate, Marcel Lettre, undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, said at a recent event in Washington, D.C.

“The integration of intelligence of the past 15 years is a journey that is not finished,” said Lettre

at a banquet for agency and industry professionals in the nonprofit Intelligence and National Security Alliance. “I hope the new administration finds clear progress from the last 15 years and takes it on with a mantle of seriousness, or even sees an opportunity to redouble the effort.”

Sworn in last December and charged with presiding over a $17 billion budget, eight components and 110,000 employees, Lettre also said he hopes that the next president will “institutionalize and make irreversible” the intelligence community’s digital data-sharing modernization effort which is called the Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise (ICITE – pronounced “eyesight”).

“Key critical data sets are the coin of the realm for the intel community,” he said. “ICITE drives some efficiency but it’s mostly the effectiveness” that gives it value.

The project should be in place by the end of President Obama’s term, Lettre noted, adding that it started with six intelligence agencies but now is extending to the other military services themselves, “which raises questions of cost-sharing.”

The project, which should be in place at the end of President Obama’s term, he said, began with six intel agencies but is only now extending to the military services themselves, “which raises questions of cost sharing.”

In recent months his travels have “underscored how critically important intelligence has been in the last two decades to driving military operations” from the Near East to the South China Sea, Lettre continued.

“On my plate the most important contribution is supporting current operations countering ISIL,” not just in the Middle East, but elsewhere where the terrorist group has “metastasized” to execute external plots in Western Europe, he said. “It’s thrilling when we put resources into these real-world challenges,” though more can be done.

Following the 9/11 attacks Congress and the Bush administration passed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which called for, in part, more integration of data by the country’s 17 intelligence agencies. While information-sharing has improved, experts still say there is too much “stovepiping” of information and not enough sharing.

More:

NationalSecurity.news is part of the USA Features Media network. Check out our daily headlines here.