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The National Security Archive at George Washington University

CONSORTIUM NEWS - Edited by Robert Parry


May 29, 2003

Pentagon Claims Office of Special Plans Not Intended to Bypass CIA

'New Pentagon Intelligence Office Not a Run at CIA' (5/20/03 - Reuters)

Pentagon officials tell Reuters that the Office of Special Plans was supposedly only meant to "relay Defense Department needs to the spy agencies," not bypass them or skew their findings. Whatever.

[Read the source...]

New Pentagon Intelligence Office Not a Run at CIA
Tue May 20, 2003 04:47 PM ET
By Tabassum Zakaria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. defense officials said on Tuesday that a new intelligence office at the Pentagon was not intended to challenge the authority of the CIA director but rather to relay Defense Department needs to the spy agencies.

When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld created the position of defense undersecretary for intelligence, filled in March by Stephen Cambone, there was speculation that the Pentagon wanted to extend its already powerful position in the administration to grab more authority over intelligence issues.

Rumsfeld told a media briefing on Tuesday, "That's just not the case. Otherwise, why would (CIA Director) George Tenet be an enthusiastic supporter of it, which he has been?"

Cambone will eventually have about 100 people working in his section and will also have a role in overseeing the Iraq Survey Group, which is adding about 2,000 experts and staff to the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq under the command of Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton.

A senior defense official said Cambone will try to improve the flow of intelligence from those who collect and analyze it to those who use it. The largest segment of his operation will be expediting intelligence to commanders on the battlefield.

"I think of it as a very small office at a very senior level which will help pull together these agencies in the department so that they can interact with the Central Intelligence Agency and the other intelligence entities in the United States government in a more professional and coordinated way," Rumsfeld said.

Cambone's office will not collect or analyze intelligence, said the senior defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity. "This is not to replace the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), it's not to replace the CIA."

The characteristics of warfare are changing, so defense strategy is changing, which means the type of intelligence required by combat commanders will change, the official said.


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