IC21: The Intelligence Community in the 21st Century

Staff Study
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
House of Representatives
One Hundred Fourth Congress

XIV. Intelligence Communications

                       Executive Summary


         Since Operation DESERT STORM, there have been increasing calls
for improved and more timely delivery of information products from
the intelligence producers to the end users.  Communications has
often been described as the critical need to, and problem in,
"moving" information in a timely fashion.  Because a significant
amount of Intelligence Community (IC) funding goes into the
delivery of products, the Committee, as part of the IC21 process,
reviewed the IC's role in providing communications as part of its
task to disseminate relevant information to its customer audience. 
Critical to this review was the Committee's narrowly defined
differences between "communications," the focus of the paper, and
"dissemination."  Specifically we defined "communications" as the
conduit(s) for moving data from one point to another.  This
includes the standards necessary to interface hardware and software
to the communications conduits.  Alternately, the term
'dissemination' is defined in this paper as the process of moving
data from one place to another.  It includes the functions of
providing information content, formatting it, securing it,
transmitting it (in whatever form), and when necessary interpreting
it at the receiving end.  Within these definitional boundaries, the
study's conclusions provide three main themes.  

         First, the IC is fully responsible for timely dissemination of
its products.  However, the IC should not be responsible, as a core
competency, for developing, procuring, managing or maintaining the
communications required for those dissemination functions.  These
are core competencies for the communications communities such as
the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), and Diplomatic
Telecommunications Service Program Office (DTSPO) and others. 
Further, the concept of Command, Control, Communications, Computers
and Intelligence (C4I), which was a contributing force for the IC
to be involved with providing communications is an artificial
construct that does not provide a true integrating force.

         Second, the IC should retain some minimal number of
communications professionals to provide the necessary technical
interfaces and requirements to the communications community and to
provide those communications needs, esoteric to the IC, not
provided by the professional communicators.  

         Finally, there is a need for a thorough review of the IC's
communications requirements to determine current and future needs. 
Within the construct of such a review, the IC needs to fully ensure
its equipment can properly interface with the various provided
communications media.  To do this, the IC's equipment must be fully
compliant with current and emerging communications standards and
protocols.  This also includes the need for the IC to ensure its
products are available to the end customers in both the form and
format necessary for the specific user.

         The full study goes into detail on each of the above themes.

                  INTELLIGENCE COMMUNICATIONS

Study Purpose  

         Ever since Operation DESERT STORM there have been increasing
calls for improved and more timely delivery of products 
(particularly of imagery products) from the intelligence producers
to the information users.  Communications (in the form of
"bandwidth") or the lack thereof has often been described as the
critical need to, and problem in, "moving" information (in its
various forms) to the users in a timely fashion.  During the fiscal
year 1996 budget build, the Committee placed a good deal of
emphasis (and money) on the "downstream" processing and
dissemination of intelligence.  Because a significant amount of
Intelligence Community (IC) funding goes into the delivery of
products, this study focused on reviewing the IC's efforts to
disseminate its information.  Specifically this paper attempted to
identify, and make necessary recommendations for, the IC
communications infrastructure, architectures, systems and
capabilities/capacities needed for the 21st century.  

         The IC funds numerous communications media for the delivery of
information to and among producers and users.  These communications
media include both the "bandwidth" (or communications pipes --
whether they are radio links, satellite communications, or
telephone lines) and the equipment (radios, terminals, encryption
devices, etc.) for processing the information at both the
transmitting and receiving ends.  Our goal was to determine if the
current and projected communications efforts are logical for the
21st century.  

Study Approach 

         It should be first noted that this is not a scientific study,
but rather an assessment of intelligence communications management
and structures based on Community expert inputs.  At the outset of
the study, it quickly became obvious that an in-depth level of
detail was not achievable in the time allotted, or even logical for
a study of the IC.  Additionally, the team had no intention to
attempt to predict specific communications spectra, bandwidths,
data throughputs, etc.  Such analysis was beyond the scope of this
effort and would have been merely guesses for needs 10 to 15 years
into the future.  The team interviewed experts and leaders from
both the intelligence and communications communities.  This study,
more than any other IC21 study, was limited in scope and nature --
and nearly terminated as formal study -- specifically by the fact
that the IC does not "own" communications ("pipes") or any specific
portions of the RF spectrum, nor is the function of communications
a core mission for the IC.  The IC requires the support of the
communications community, and is actually better defined as a
customer of communications.  After an adjustment of the original
goal, the study did attempt to qualify this external support and
provide recommendations for any improvements.  For the purposes of
this report, we have generally aggregated the Defense Information
Systems Agency (DISA), the Joint Staff J6, the Diplomatic
Telecommunications Service Program Office (DTSPO), the Military
Communications and Electronics Board, the service and agency
communications directorates, and so forth, under the rubric of
"communications community" (CC).

         Also, it is important to acknowledge a difference between
"communications," the focus of this paper, and "dissemination."  In
the context of this paper, "communications" is defined narrowly as
the conduit(s) for moving data (regardless of data type) from one
point to another.  This definition includes the standards necessary
to interface hardware and software at either end of the
communication conduit.  Alternately, the term "dissemination" is
defined in this paper as the entire process of moving data from one
place to another.  It includes the process of providing the
information content, formatting it, securing it, transmitting it
(in whatever form), and when necessary interpreting it at the
receiving end.  These definition explanations are important in
understanding the thrusts of this paper.
  
General Conclusions 

  A.  The IC is responsible to its customers for timely
  dissemination of its information products in the required forms
  and formats.   However, the communications needed to disseminate
  these products are not, and should not be, a core competency for
  the IC.  This core competency is more justifiably a function for
  the CC.  Within this context, the CC should be the "provider" of
  the IC's communications and communication infrastructures and
  the IC should, as the "customer," state specific and
  well-defined communications requirements.  Despite this general
  position, some intelligence operations, particularly
  clandestine/covert, will continue to require some unique organic
  IC communications capabilities.  

  B.  The concept of Command, Control, Communications, Computers,
  and Intelligence (C4I) is a construct that, ostensibly,
  integrates operations, intelligence and communications into a
  cohesive and seamless entity.  The concept was developed to
  reduce the we (intelligence) and they (operations) mindsets that
  hampered true integration of operations and intelligence. 
  However, C4I is more of an artificial construct that "makes for
  good press," than a true integrating force.  Additionally, the
  current and foreseeable organizational structures and procedures
  do not provide for true C4I.  Regardless, C4I is a good concept
  for moving to an integrated future and it will be more relevant
  in tomorrow's integrated (military) ops/intel and communications
  environment.  

  C.  Timely delivery of intelligence products to users in the
  proper form is a general IC weakness.  The Community
  historically has developed, or added, intelligence product
  delivery (including communications systems) as an afterthought
  in the development of intelligence capabilities. The IC could
  benefit from a more integrated communications architecture and
  process which is thoroughly considered, designed and developed
  at the outset of an intelligence system's (and operational
  user's system's) development.  Additionally, data throughput
  (usually equated to bandwidth) is typically not adequate.

  D.  The IC funds numerous communications systems and associated
  equipments.  Some of this practice should continue.  However, in
  this context, the IC must become the communications "retailer"
  and the communications community must become the "wholesaler." 
  That is, the CC must be involved at the outset with, and have
  coordination authority over, such developments and operations. 
  It should provide specific standards and interface protocols to
  which IC systems should be designed.  While the CC should be the
  communications path provider, the IC should continue to
  develop/purchase its required terminals/end systems. 
  Additionally, for those unique and specialized communications
  requirements, such as for covert operations, the IC should
  continue to fund/provide for the necessary capabilities.

Specific Conclusions/Findings  (It should be noted up front that
several of the findings and associated recommendations below have
some overlap.  This was specifically done to ensure that nuance
differences between related issues was not lost.) 

  A.  The IC is responsible to its customers for timely
  dissemination of its information products in the required forms
  and formats.   However, the communications needed to disseminate
  these products are not, and should not be, a core competency for
  the IC.  This core competency is more justifiably a function for
  the CC.  Within this context, the CC should be the "provider" of
  the IC's communications and communication infrastructures and
  the IC should, as the "customer," state specific and
  well-defined communications requirements.  Despite this general
  position, some intelligence operations, particularly
  clandestine/covert, will continue to require some unique organic
  IC communications capabilities.

    1)  Modern, sophisticated communications technologies are
    generally evolving more rapidly than IC systems and associated
    communications infrastructures can maintain pace.  In fact,
    one respondent remarked that "it is too difficult for any
    (non-communications professional) organization or system to
    stay on top of these technology changes."  However, the IC,
    today, employs communications experts to satisfy many, and
    arguably most, of the IC needs.  Although these experts
    provide an invaluable service to the Community, it is the CC
    professionals working the communications needs for the
    operational, intelligence, logistics, maintenance, and other
    communities who have a better "finger on the pulse" of current
    and evolving technologies.  They are in a better position to
    make the necessary decisions for ensuring proper
    communications are available to all users.  They are also in
    the best position to provide the "integration layer" (the
    technical buffer, if you will) between the rapidly evolving
    communications media and the end users.  

    2)  The technical focus of all modern communications needs is
    driving toward commercial solutions and equipment.  The U.S.
    Government (USG) is no longer in the position, nor does it
    need, to provide the majority of the communications paths for
    its command and control and support (including intelligence)
    needs.  With the exception of satellite communications, the
    USG is behind or rapidly falling behind the commercial market
    in terms of being able to provide cost effective, robust, and
    flexible (flexible bandwidth on-demand, for example)
    communications.  Therefore, proper leveraging of the
    commercial market provides the greatest potential for ensured,
    cost-effective communications support.  Such leverage will
    only be possible by aggregating communications needs and
    having a professional organization (or organizations)
    negotiating with the commercial carriers for the bulk
    "bandwidth," "pipes" and, increasingly, the communications
    services themselves.  The latter will be true as
    communications providers will increasingly be able to provide
    communication network services as well as the communications
    circuits to meet government requirements. 

    3)  A few words on the Diplomatic Telecommunications Service
    Program Office (DTSPO) can illustrate the thrust of these
    arguments.  DTSPO is a centralized communications
    organization.  Over 40 agencies (including the IC) have their
    requirements aggregated and satisfied by DTSPO.  DTSPO's
    approach allows for the use of a single communications "pipe,"
    commercially provided, into an embassy.  Because DTSPO
    aggregates the requirements, it can acquire the necessary
    bandwidth competitively.  And, since the commercial providers
    have a financial incentive to be the most effective (both in
    terms of cost and capability) provider "on the block," DTSPO
    can negotiate the best product for cost.  Additionally, as the
    commercial technologies change, DTSPO can go to the commercial
    providers to recompete the requirements.  Again, financial
    incentives motivate the commercial providers to provide the
    best possible service.  Under this approach, DTSPO can design
    and optimize the necessary infrastructure(s) to handle all
    requirements -- voice, data, secure voice/data, etc.  Since
    the group of requirements is consolidated, there is no need
    for separate communications infrastructures to satisfy the
    needs.  

    4)  Because of the commercial industry leaps in capabilities,
    the future government communications planner, particularly IC
    communicators, will become less the providers of
    communications, and more the experts who understand the
    commercial providers and know how to best employ/exploit these
    commercial capabilities.  Again, the best use of USG resources
    will be to ensure proper aggregation of communications
    requirements such that a consolidated need, or set of needs,
    can be provided to commercial suppliers for negotiation.  With
    this in mind, (and as stated above) there appears to be a good
    deal of logic to consolidate the communications experts into
    the CC.  Regardless, very likely the most important IC
    communications function will be to ensure the development of
    proper, logical, considered, and technically specific
    statement of requirements.  Such requirements should be
    provided to the CC that, in turn, goes to the commercial
    providers to satisfy the needs based on the CC's architectural
    and standards-based constructs.

    5)  Standards, then, would be the next logic discussion
    point.  Currently, the Defense Information Systems Agency
    (DISA) is developing the standards, and procuring the
    communications "backbone" (both media and bandwidth) for the
    Global Command and Control System (GCCS) and the Defense
    Information Switched Network (DISN).  A brief definition of
    DISN is:

       "DISN is the DoD's consolidated worldwide
       enterprise-level telecommunications infrastructure that
       provides the end-to-end information transfer network for
       supporting military operations.  It is transparent to its
       users, facilitates the management of information
       resources, and is responsive to national security and
       defense needs under all conditions in the most efficient
       manner." 

    This communications infrastructure (which depends on both
    commercial and government carriers) will provide
    sophisticated, flexible (on demand), and robust communications
    for all of DoD (and other) agencies.  This architecture (which
    is also designed to inhibit offensive information attack)
    should be the infrastructure of choice (or of mandate) used by
    the IC.  Again, the IC should allow DISA (as part of CC) to
    become the standardized, and standards'-based "communications
    provider."  The IC needs to focus on its core competencies,
    and more simply be a communications user with specifically
    identified requirements.

    6)  As has been stated, DISA is tasked with, and has to
    ability to procure the best available communications media for
    the best price.  This includes owning organic systems (Defense
    Satellite Communications System (DSCS) for example),
    managing/directing use of tactical radio communications, and
    leasing commercial landlines or other government systems. 
    Also as stated before, the IC does a fair job of satisfying
    some of its it own communications needs, however, it is not as
    well suited/versed as is DISA in this area.  Therefore, some
    of the most important future challenges will be the IC's
    ability to state clear requirements to DISA for, and DISA's
    management ability to provide/allocate, the necessary
    communications paths/bandwidths for the total USG requirement
    while minimizing costs.  

    7)  The individual components of the IC have done a fair, to
    good, job in projecting their stovepiped communications needs. 
    The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), for example, has
    done a good job of identifying its communications capacity
    needs to the year 2000 and beyond.  However, the IC has not
    done a thorough aggregated study of its entire future
    communications needs.  Such a study needs to be accomplished
    and provided to the CC to allow it to provide a
    cost-efficient, total solution.

    Findings/Recommendations

    8)  The IC should focus on its core competencies of
    intelligence collection and processing.  DISA, and like
    organizations, should be the "communications providers" who
    move the resulting information.  The IC should, quite, simply
    be a user with specifically identified requirements.  Such a
    construct may provide less flexibility, but has the potential
    for better, and more effectively, fulfilling the totality of
    USG communications needs of the future.  This recommendation
    fully considers the fact that the IC is responsible for
    dissemination of its products to the identified customers. 
    However, the recommendation focuses on the position that the
    IC should not be in the "communications business."
    
    9)  The IC should request all communications support (for
    "bandwidth") through the CC.  Before such a request (or better
    stated, continuing requests) can be made, a thorough study of
    total IC current and future requirements will have to be
    accomplished.  Such a study should be the responsibility of
    the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence for Community
    Management (DDCI/CM) (the concept contained in the IC21
    Intelligence Community Management staff study).  Additionally,
    it will have to be kept up-to-date through continuous review
    as new capabilities and technologies are brought into service. 
    It should be noted that in order to make such a proposal work,
    there will be a corresponding increase in the responsibilities
    and, therefore, personnel requirements on the CC.  A to-be-
    determined number of IC communications professionals will most
    likely have to be reassigned to organizations such as DISA and
    DTSPO.  

    10) The DDCI/CM's Intelligence Support Office (the ISO is a
    construct identified in the Intelligence Community Management
    staff study) should maintain a consolidated core of
    communications professionals whose primary tasks will be to
    act as the "technological knowledge bridge" between the (CC)
    providers and the (IC) users, to define communications (and
    dissemination) standards for the Community, and review current
    capabilities and develop migration plans to meet developed
    architectures and standards.  This will require that IC
    communications professionals be sufficiently technically
    proficient in IC terminals, computers, systems, etc., as well
    as with the communications "pipes" and providers to be able to
    logically identify specific requirements and ensure the CC
    provides the necessary "bandwidths."  Additionally, the ISO's
    organic communications experts need to develop or procure the
    critical "specialized" communications requirements/services
    for those few users not specifically provided for by the CC. 
    This would include the specialized needs of direct down-link
    systems, specific data relay systems, collection system unique
    data links (such as the common data link from the U-2 and
    others), covert communications, etc.  However these should be
    the exception rather than the rule.  In order to coherently
    make this recommendation a reality there is a need to
    consolidate the IC's communications professionals into a
    Community-wide Infrastructure Support Office.  This would
    require that all agencies and services communications
    professionals be assigned within this single organization
    (presumably, then, with a single reporting chain and boss). 
    Such a consolidation will be painful and (likely) bitterly
    opposed.  However, it would provide better Community-wide
    communications continuity, most likely a reduced force
    structure need, and would dove-tail nicely into
    recommendations being discussed in the Intelligence Community
    Management staff study.  

  B.  The concept of Command, Control, Communications,
  Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) is a construct that,
  ostensibly, integrates operations, intelligence and
  communications into a cohesive and seamless entity.  The concept
  was developed to reduce the we (intelligence) and they
  (operations) mindsets that hampered true integration of
  operations and intelligence.  However, C4I is more of an
  artificial construct that "makes for good press," than a true
  integrating force.  Additionally, the current and foreseeable
  organizational structures and procedures do not provide for true
  C4I.  Regardless, C4I is a good concept for moving to an
  integrated future and it will be more relevant in tomorrow's
  integrated (military) ops/intel and communications environment.

    1)  The basic concept of C4I considers communications,
    computers and intelligence  as fully integrated into, and
    coordinated with, command and control of operations.  However,
    most respondents believe today's C4I construct is mainly
    focused on communications and intelligence support to
    operations, rather than "achieving the goal of integrating
    communications into all operational enterprises such that
    mission people can focus on the mission and the infrastructure
    people can focus on the infrastructure."  Today's constructs
    of ASD (C3I) (separate from operations for example) and the
    services' Napoleonic organizational structures of J2
    (intelligence), J3 (operations), and J6 (communications) does
    not well foster this concept.  Therefore, there is a valid
    argument that can be made that C4I is simply a
    well-intentioned term rather than reality.  

    2)  There is a C4I document that states that the concept of
    the C4I "infosphere contains the total combination of
    information sources, fusion centers, and distribution systems
    that represent the C4I resources a warfighter needs to pursue
    his operational objective."  The thrust of this concept is
    that all available information, regardless of source
    (including the IC) must be virtually available any time any
    where to any user (user not being defined).  In today's
    organization and systemic structures, "C4I systems" are
    typically designed and developed to follow the specific "chain
    of command."  Often, this chain of command does not include
    all specific (or varied) end users of information provided by
    disparate sources.  For example, there is little to no ability
    to get imagery from a UAV directly to a soldier in a foxhole
    even though this may be technologically feasible.  Often these
    "chains of command" specifically deny information because of
    the "knowledge is power" paradigm (commanders do not always
    want or need uninhibited "total knowledge" at all echelons). 
    This effectively denies, or at best, inhibits the true concept
    of C4I.  Additional barriers, more esoteric to the IC, also
    need to be overcome.  These  include intelligence data (e.g.,
    source identification) policies and security.  Specifically,
    the IC needs to take a fresh look at intelligence data to see
    what can logically and safely be downgraded to unclassified
    (or at a minimum, collateral SECRET) levels.  Today's
    "infosphere" requirements -- that is information dissemination
    requirements -- can be satisfied, but only by digital
    communications systems developed with, and focused on,
    recognized standards that allow for the totality of integrated
    operations/intelligence/maintenance/logistics/etc.  The IC
    needs to ensure any communications systems it develops or uses
    conforms to the user standards and are available to any user
    at any level and at any necessary security classification
    level.

    3)  The concept of "C4I for the warrior" is not well
    considered when discussing CIA support to military operations. 
    CIA support to the "national collection requirements" needs to
    remain separate from the military concept of C4I, but not from
    the concept, where possible, of standardized structures that
    provide integrated operations, intelligence,
    logistics/maintenance, and communications to users (again, at
    any level and classification).  

    4)  It should be noted that intelligence support within the
    concept of C4I is becoming more a part of the operational
    users' everyday thinking.  However, this needs to be further
    improved.  LtGen Minihan, Director, DIA, has stated that the
    IC of the 21st century will be a warfighting participant, not
    a warfighting support agent.  This concept of participation
    (vice support) is critical, for if this does not become a
    norm, the concept of C4I will fail to fulfill its potential. 
    Simply stated, intelligence must become a warfighting weapon
    employed by the user just as is a radar or a gunsight.

    5)  As a further thought on the concept of C4I, but more
    specifically focused on the support to military operations
    mission, intelligence operations of the future must be
    thoroughly integrated into the users' operational and support
    mechanisms (read:  hardware systems) to ensure viability and
    utility.  Logically, the future SMO communications environment
    will be completely seamless (and transparent to the user) with
    C2 and intelligence communications riding on the same hardware
    (user terminals and transceivers) with multi-level security
    systems.  Intelligence systems will have to be integrated with
    these operational systems as the tactical consumer should not
    have to tolerate supporting multiple, stand-alone pieces of
    equipment.  

    6)  There is one additional commentary on IC communications
    supporting operational users.  Far too often, intelligence
    support communications are "cobbled together" to satisfy
    operational requirements for a given location or contingency. 
    (The current communications architecture being developed for
    Bosnia is a case in point.)  This is true since much of the
    IC's communications support/architecture is designed for
    in-garrison use and there is usually little to no preplanning
    for the communications architectures of specific (contingency)
    locations.  This is partly due to insufficient planning and
    exercise done within the IC to develop or practice with
    contingency communications systems, architectures, and links. 
    It is also largely in part due to the fact that the IC can not
    possibly prepare for every unknown situation.  However, there
    is still a need for the IC to exercise its communications
    systems, particularly those in the theaters outside the
    continental United States, regularly to validate their
    architectures and designs, and to ensure that stated user
    requirements, in the continuum from peace through war, can be
    met.  

    Findings/Recommendations

    7)  "Intelligence communications" must be better designed to
    provide "deployed" support as well as "in-garrison" support. 
    Such support must be transparent to the user during
    deployments to the operational theater.  This requires a
    "virtual communications infrastructure" that is either
    independent of location (i.e., not bound by physical
    connections) or provided with (and trained on) adequate
    physical communications media for world-wide deployments.  Use
    of such capabilities need to be regularly exercised to ensure
    viability and capability.  

    8)  Based on specific requirements, communications support to
    intelligence dissemination must be fluidly and transparently
    available from the highest (national) to the lowest possible
    user/tactical level.  This should include the ability to
    (simultaneously if needed) provide intelligence information to
    any/all user levels.  As to this issue, the IC needs to
    address dissemination-specific issues such as data
    simultaneity (availability of a piece of information at
    multiple levels at the same time), data fusion and tailored
    products (right information, in the right format, at the right
    time).  This is less a technical communications capability
    limitation than it is an operational intelligence
    dissemination mindset limitation.  A case in point was the
    1995 PREDATOR UAV deployment in support of operations in
    Bosnia.  The dissemination technology involved easily allowed
    for the air vehicle's imagery to be provided to the Secretary
    of Defense (SecDef) and the Director of Central Intelligence
    (DCI) as well as to the intelligence officers at Aviano Air
    Base (or even a reconnaissance platoon -- had there been such
    on the ground in Bosnia) simultaneously.  However, such
    simultaneity is not typically realized.  Two issues must be
    resolved to make this possible.  First, the IC must work
    directly with, not apart from, the operations, communications
    and development communities to ensure that required
    dissemination of IC data is considered at the outset of system
    development and/or employment.  Second, there is a critical
    need to "bring operational thinking up to" the modern-day age
    of available technologies.  This is, users must fully
    understand, appreciate, and allow for the possibilities -- not
    just the drawbacks -- of having information available to all
    participants and users simultaneously.  There is, in fact, a
    tendency by both the intelligence and operational communities
    to limit dissemination for fear of the use of the "seven
    thousand mile long screwdriver"
    (e.g., the ability of decision-makers, "inside the Beltway,"
    to have over-the-shoulder look at, and often second guessing
    of, operational commanders).   

    9)  As briefly stated above, the IC must focus more effort on
    integrating intelligence systems (or, more justifiably, the
    display of intelligence data/products) into users' operational
    systems.  It is not only critically important to minimize the
    number of stand alone systems the operators must learn, use
    and maintain, but it is technically possible to integrate such
    capabilities as the standards for hardware and software become
    better defined and refined.  The IC should take advantage, to
    the extent possible, of the users' equipment already fielded
    rather than providing more "boxes" (this is not to say that
    there will not be some need for unique stand-alone systems to
    ensure needed capabilities).  However, to the extent possible,
    the tactical user must not be forced to operate multiple,
    stand-alone pieces of equipment.  

    10) In order to ensure that the necessary communications
    support for the dissemination of intelligence products is
    continuously available (particularly for contingency
    operations), IC communications requirements must be well
    thought out and capabilities planned prior to any operation. 
    Additionally, to ensure the compatibly of intelligence systems
    with supporting communications systems, the IC needs to
    specifically identify (or be provided) all interoperability
    requirements at the outset of an intelligence system's
    development.  

    11) The Office of the Department of Defense should reassess
    the current organizational structure of Assistant Secretary of
    Defense (Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence). 
    This organization is based on the concept of integrating
    communications and intelligence which, as stated above, is a
    logical operational imperative.  However, also as stated
    above, intelligence is a unique (not communications) function
    that relies on communications support, just as does the
    operations, logistics and maintenance functions.  The ASD(C3I)
    organizational structure supports this argument by
    disassociating the intelligence and communications functions
    into two separate Deputy Assistant Secretaries -- one for
    Intelligence and Security and one for Communications.  DoD
    should relook this organizational structure to more logically
    and appropriately focus intelligence functional core
    competencies and the communications support core competencies.

  C.  Timely delivery of intelligence products to users in the
  proper form is a general IC weakness.  The Community
  historically has developed, or added, intelligence product
  delivery (including communications systems) as an afterthought
  in the development of intelligence capabilities. The IC could
  benefit from a more integrated communications architecture and
  process which is thoroughly considered, designed and developed
  at the outset of an intelligence system's (and operational
  user's system's) development.  Additionally, data throughput
 (usually equated to bandwidth) is typically not adequate.

    1)  Although the IC suffers from several communications
    delivery shortfalls, two primary issues boil down to limited
    bandwidth and system incompatibility.  The first of these is
    typically result from the development and use of stovepiped
    systems designed for single purposes (i.e., movement of
    imagery).  Communications bandwidth is expensive.  And when
    communications are developed or purchased for stand-alone
    capabilities, typically they are (minimally) sized for the
    specific, single purpose.  This can result in inefficient use
    of the bandwidth (the communications media are not used full
    time), and the need to buy duplicative communications (for the
    other stand-alone capabilities).  Also, as stated above, the
    IC's communications systems are often not compatible
    (particularly in terms of security devices) with the users'
    communications systems.  Far too often the IC employs systems
    with security devices designed for classification levels
    higher than what the users can, or want to, employ.  This
    forces system incompatibility, and therefore the need for
    additional equipment (to translate one for the other).

    2)  Because of their more limited flexibility (access to
    multiple communications paths),  the IC's "stovepiped"
    communications systems may be more susceptible to Information
    Warfare (IW) attacks than is the more flexible DISN system of
    systems.  This is not to say that DISN is not susceptible to
    such attacks, but it is to say that a coordinated,
    centrally-managed communications architecture may provide more
    robust flexibility, and therefore, survivability, than what
    the more stand-alone IC systems can provide today.  It should
    also be noted, that some respondents stated the IC's systems
    may be less vulnerable to such attacks because of their
    increased security.  This may be true, but, again, the
    robustness (communications path flexibility) must be a
    consideration in such discussions.

    3)  The IC's communications capabilities have often been too
    highly classified for users to receive directly.  This has
    forced analysis or fusion centers to review and selectively
    downgrade information before it can be provided to users.
    Fortunately, systems such as the Tactical Information
    Broadcast Service (TIBS) provide automatic security
    downgrading such that the information can be provided directly
    from the producers to the tactical (and other) consumers. 
    This sort of automatic downgrading needs to be expanded where
    possible.  Additionally, there is a need to review security
    practices at all levels to determine downgrade potentials of
    any/all data.  As stated before, a goal should be that no IC
    data provided to the user is classified higher than collateral
    SECRET. 

    4)  A finally word on DISA.  In addition to the DISN, DISA
    has also developed the Defense Messaging System (DMS).  DMS
    will provide the Community with standardized message handling. 
    This program, and particularly its cryptographic components,
    have the potential to greatly increase the ability of the IC
    (and others) to use common platforms (user terminals, etc.)
    and common communications infrastructures while maintaining
    (electronic) separation for security purposes.

    Findings/Recommendations

    5)  The IC should not maintain separate communications
    systems (the communications media or hardware), particularly
    after DISN is fully implemented.  The IC should specifically
    and thoroughly state data rate and capacity requirements to
    the applicable providers and user within the CC.  The
    communities (user, intelligence, and communications) should
    then decide on the standardized formats, hardware, etc, to
    ensure logical, coordinated, and seamless communications can
    occur.

    6)  To ensure required data movement, the IC should be fully
    compliant with the emerging standards of the GCCS and the DISN
    whenever and wherever possible.  Compliance should not be
    selective.  However, there may be specific and unique
    requirements of the clandestine or special forces operations,
    for example, that must be considered and satisfied.  These,
    may not be satisfied by the standardized communications
    structures and capabilities.  

    7)  Although more a function of the dissemination process
    rather than specifically communications, the IC should review
    security practices for current applicability.  The IC has
    historically (at least from the users' perspectives) remained
    behind the "green door" of security.  This has allowed, and in
    fact at times, forced the IC to take separate paths (apart
    from the user community) relative to communications.  This
    cannot be allowed to continue.  The IC needs to review its
    security practices to ensure that only those elements which
    need protecting are, in fact, protected, while providing the
    user the most amount of useful data possible and necessary. 
    Often, for example, the IC needs only to highly protect the
    source of information, but not so much so the information
    itself.  The IC needs to relook its security requirements to
    ensure only that which needs protecting, is.  This should
    include a review of what data elements can be automatically
    downgraded via machine such that the sources of the data can
    not be discerned.

  D. The IC funds numerous communications systems and
  associated equipments.  Some of this practice should continue. 
  However, in this context, the IC must become the communications
  "retailer" and the communications community must become the
  "wholesaler."  That is, the CC must be involved at the outset
  with, and have coordination authority over, such developments
  and operations.  It should provide specific standards and
  interface protocols to which IC systems should be designed. 
  While the CC should be the communications path provider, the IC
  should continue to develop/purchase its required terminals/end
  systems.  Additionally, for those unique and specialized
  communications requirements, such as for covert operations, the
  IC should continue to fund/provide for the necessary
  capabilities.

    1)  The IC "owns" a number of its own communications systems
    and, in fact, communications "pipes" such as CRITICOM, TIBS,
    DSSCS, etc.  However, these communications pipes were
    developed to satisfy specific IC needs that could not or were
    not satisfied by the communications infrastructure of the
    past.  Although some of these systems "ride" on communications
    paths provided by the communications community, they do not
    necessarily conform to the communications
    infrastructures/standards of today's modern capabilities. 
    Such systems could be amalgamated under the centralized
    organization of the DISN.  This would ensure compatibility is
    a USG-wide reality.  

    2)  In the past, the IC developed and "owned" a number of
    unique communications capabilities primarily based on the
    needs for specific/unique data throughput rates (imagery, for
    example), high security, and assured receipt of data. 
    However, in the future, the IC should not be in the business
    of providing stand alone, unique or organic communications
    systems, infrastructures or communications "pipes."  The
    extraordinarily rapid evolution of communications standards,
    capabilities, capacities, flexibility and security obviate,
    and in fact, mandate, the IC to be a subscriber to the larger
    communications community.

    3)  To ensure timely delivery of intelligence information to
    users, the use of broadcast technologies (such as TIBS) needs
    to be continued and improved.  The ASD (C3I) has recently
    approved the "Integrated Broadcast Service (IBS) Plan." This
    plan provides for the integration of the Tactical Information
    Broadcast Service (TIBS), the Tactical Related Applications
    (TRAP) Data Dissemination System (TDDS), the Tactical
    Reconnaissance Intelligence eXchange System (TRIXS), TADIXS-B,
    and the BINOCULAR efforts into a standardized protocols with
    compatible hardware and software.  This effort was directed by
    the 1996 House Intelligence Bill, and needs to be fully
    supported by Congress in the future.

    4)  The IC funds for a number of tactical information
    dissemination systems (the "end terminals" on IC funded
    platforms) that conform to established CC standards.  These
    include JTIDS, TADIL-A, TADIL-B, etc. compliant radios,
    terminals, etc.  Although such systems are not the primary
    focus of this paper, funding for employment and use of these
    systems will need to continue.  Additionally, the IC funds for
    unique collection data links, including the Common Data Link
    (CDL) for use by the U-2 and its ground stations, the RC-12
    and its ground stations, etc.  Because these links are
    integral parts of the collection systems, and not expressly
    designed for end product dissemination, this funding support
    will need to continue as a function of the IC.

    5)  The CC is focusing some efforts into the
    development/exploitation of direct broadcast service
    (DBS)/global broadcast service (GBS) technology developed by
    the commercial industry.  Such services have the potential for
    very high bandwidth and data rates necessary for IC needs. 
    The IC is reviewing the possible applications of this
    technology to move large amounts of data around the world, and
    should continue to play a positive role (including funding
    where necessary) in these efforts.

    6)  For those systems and communications paths the IC must
    procure, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) products and
    commercial communications paths must become the normal
    acquisition goal.

    7)  The IC buys and pays for some communications bandwidth on
    various satellites, land lines, etc.  However, as stated
    previously, the CC is in the best position to negotiate for
    the necessary bandwidth for the best price.  By allowing the
    CC to provide the IC with the necessary capabilities, the CC
    will inherently have the flexibility in bandwidth
    allocation/procurement that will allows it to provide the best
    possible support to a wide range of customers.  This must be
    the bottom line goal.  

    8)  Modern cryptography is evolving to a point where forced
    human intervention is becoming obsolete.  Earlier systems
    typically required a communications center (with associated
    personnel) to encrypt and send, and receive and decrypt
    classified materials.  Often the IC requirements for this sort
    of operation included having IC employees (rather than CC
    employees) handle the materials throughout the process. 
    However, this need to draft a message, send it to an
    individual to have it encoded, then send the coded message to
    the communications center is giving way to automated message
    preparation, encryption, and transmission -- from an
    individual's desktop.  An IC goal for this type of technology
    should be to put encryption/decryption as close to the user as
    possible.  This will have a direct and positive effect on the
    IC specifically with respect to those operations where IC
    communications personnel had to be employed, often along-side
    (and often in duplication) of their CC counterparts.

    Findings/Recommendations

    9)  The IC should not directly contract for communications
    "bandwidth."  Rather, communications requirements for
    bandwidth or satellite time, etc. should be provided to, DISA,
    for example, and funded in the standardized Service/Agency
    budget line items. The IC should determine its yearly (or
    more) requirements, state these in terms of time, data
    throughput, timeliness, format (in some cases), and location
    (where is information needs to be).  These requirements are
    then the responsibility of the CC to satisfy.  This concept
    may require the IC to budget and provide funding to the CC for
    its communications services.  The study does not recommend the
    CC budget for the IC's communications requirements.  

    10)  The IC should only budget and pay for those unique
    communications hardware and software capabilities necessary
    for IC systems to develop and "ship" their data/information,
    receive others data/information or for which such unique
    requirements exist (e.g., clandestine communications) that
    would preclude the CC from satisfying requirements.  This
    would mean that the IC would pay for the ability of its
    systems to collection, analyze, prepare, and ship to a
    communications point for dissemination.  It also would mean
    that the IC pays for radios, transmitters, etc. necessary as
    part of an overall weapon system's (i.e., a UAV, a field site,
    or a reconnaissance aircraft) development.

    11)  The IC, through the CC and user communities, should
    vigorously pursue advanced broadcast technologies including,
    IBS and GBS, to satisfy dissemination requirements.  

    12)  Despite the recommendations for the CC to be the
    communications provider, and the IC to be the "user," the IC
    must retain a sufficient number of organic communications
    experts to provide analysis for stating requirements and for
    developing the required architectures.  This includes those
    experts necessary to ensure the organic communications for
    those few unique efforts better left to the IC.  Additionally,
    these experts should be integrated from the various services
    and agencies into a centralized IC infrastructure
    organization.  This will provide the necessary capabilities,
    while reducing the disparate support organizations within the
    various services and agencies.  While it may be true that the
    (to-be-determined) number of communications experts within the
    IC can probably be reduced as the CC assumes the IC's
    communications responsibilities, these same resource (people)
    may well be required within the CC to ensure proper
    requirements satisfaction.  This recommendation requires
    significant additional and careful study.  

    13)  Finally, for those systems and communications paths the
    IC must procure, and in some cases, own; commercial
    off-the-shelf (COTS) systems and, if possible, communications
    paths must become the normal acquisition goal.  Accomplishment
    of this goal will serve two primary functions.  First, the
    cost of the equipment (particularly within the developmental
    side) will decrease.  And, second, the standards-based
    commercial systems will allow the IC to better coordinate and
    integrate its systems and programs in with those of the user
    and communications communities.

Conclusions  

  A.  The very obvious thrust of this assessment is to get the
  IC out of the communications business.  This is not to say the
  IC cannot be a builder, but it is to say the IC should not be the
  architect.  As the IC "backs away" from organically satisfying
  its own communications requirements, two specific paradigm shifts
  will have to occur.  First, the trust factor between the IC and
  the CC will have to improve.  That is, the IC will have to
  understand, and believe, that its requirements are not,
  generally, so unique, that they can not be satisfied by the
  communicators.  Secondly, the IC will have to be held accountable
  for identifying its real communications needs, and the CC will
  have to be held accountable for satisfying those requirements. 
  Communications cannot be taken for granted.  They are the basis
  for making information available to the right user, at the right
  time.  However, the IC should focus not on those issues, but
  rather on the core mission of ensuring the proper collection,
  evaluation, production and presentation of information.  

  B.  All of the above observations and recommendations (even
  if adopted) do not ensure communication.  That is, we can build
  compatible communications infrastructures and still not be able
  to move information because of the ways we display, store, or
  intend to make knowledge of that information.  Specifically, we
  can, and do, have data bases that are not accessible due to their
  unique designs, or message/display formats that are not
  comprehensible to the intended user.  Therefore, it needs to be
  understood that the standards discussion provided above are for
  the communications paths and pipes themselves.  Remembering that
  communication only occurs when an intended message is sent, is
  received by the intended recipient, and the intentions are
  understood.  Therefore, it must be understood that the
  discussions above extend only to the communications means, not
  to the "message" conveyed through those means.  This later
  subject could easily be the issue of another (full length) study.