Defense Intelligence Agency

Defense Intelligence Agency
Seal of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.svg
Seal of the DIA
Agency overview
FormedOctober 1, 1961; 60 years ago (1961-10-01)[1]
HeadquartersDIA Headquarters, Joint Base Anacostia–Bolling, Washington, D.C.[2]
MottoCommitted to Excellence in Defense of the Nation
Annual budgetClassified[3]
Agency executives
Parent departmentDepartment of Defense

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is an intelligence agency of the United States federal government, specializing in defense and military intelligence.

A component of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the United States Intelligence Community (IC), DIA informs national civilian and defense policymakers about the military intentions and capabilities of foreign governments and non-state actors. It also provides intelligence assistance, integration and coordination across uniformed military service intelligence components, which remain structurally separate from DIA.[4] The agency's role encompasses the collection and analysis of military-related foreign political, economic, industrial, geographic, and medical and health intelligence.[5] DIA produces approximately one-quarter of all intelligence content that goes into the President's Daily Brief.[6]

DIA's intelligence operations extend beyond the zones of combat, and approximately half of its employees serve overseas at hundreds of locations and in U.S. embassies in 140 countries.[7] The agency specializes in the collection and analysis of human-source intelligence (HUMINT), both overt and clandestine, while also handling U.S. military-diplomatic relations abroad.[8] DIA concurrently serves as the national manager for the highly technical measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT) and as the Defense Department manager for counterintelligence programs. The agency has no law enforcement authority, contrary to occasional portrayals in American popular culture.

DIA is a national-level intelligence organization that does not belong to a single military element or within the traditional chain of command, instead answering to the Secretary of Defense directly through the USDI. Three-quarters of the agency's 17,000 employees are career civilians who are experts in various fields of defense and military interest or application;[9][10] although no military background is required, 48% of agency employees have some past military service.[11] DIA has a tradition of marking unclassified deaths of its employees on the organization's Memorial Wall.

Established in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, DIA was involved in U.S. intelligence efforts throughout the Cold War and rapidly expanded, both in size and scope, after the September 11 attacks. Because of the sensitive nature of its work, the spy organization has been embroiled in numerous controversies, including those related to its intelligence-gathering activities, to its role in torture, as well as to attempts to expand its activities on U.S. soil.[citation needed]

  1. ^ DIA Public Web Page, "Overview of the Origins of DIA, 1960's"
  2. ^ "Careers". Archived from the original on November 27, 2013. Retrieved September 20, 2010.
  3. ^ a b DIA Public Web Page, " Frequently Asked Questions"
  4. ^ The Defense Clandestine Service. Defense Intelligence Agency Archived May 5, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved: May 5, 2013
  5. ^ Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). AllGov.Com: Everything our Government Really Does. Retrieved: May 5, 2013
  6. ^ Miller, Greg. Pentagon's plans for a spy service to rival the CIA have been pared back, The Washington Post, November 1, 2014
  7. ^ Defense Intelligence Agency. "Get Ready: DIA Is Ready for a Changing World (Video)", September 10, 2013
  8. ^ DIA sending hundreds more spies overseas. The Washington Post, December 1, 2012.
  9. ^ Defense Intel Alumni Association Log. November 2009, page 5.
  10. ^ Knight, Judson. "Defense Intelligence Agency" Encyclopedia of Espionage, Intelligence and Security, Cengage Learning (Gale publishing), 2003
  11. ^ Defense Intelligence Agency Official Facebook Page, Retrieved: March 24, 2016

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