DOD exec to thwart cyberspies

DOD's 2001 Annual Report to the President and Congress

The Pentagon wants to create a national counterintelligence executive to help the Defense Department tap the abilities of all national counterintelligence forces and fend off cyberspies.

The Pentagon disclosed its intent to create the new position in its 2001 "Annual Report to the President and Congress," a yearly outline of the department's goals and accomplishments.

The department has worked with the FBI and the CIA to develop a new counterintelligence strategy known as CI 21, which is designed to fend off spies who exploit modern computer technology and the Internet to steal U.S. secrets.

The effort has had trouble attracting interagency approval, but now DOD intends to create a counterintelligence board of directors led by the FBI director and composed of the secretary of Defense, the CIA deputy director and a senior official from the Justice Department.

"The board will appoint a national [counterintelligence] executive who will serve as the nation's leader for CI," the report states.

In addition, DOD will form a new joint counterintelligence center that will provide "strategic focus and unity of effort" to support combatant commands—a concept developed and successfully tested during the Kosovo conflict.

The report also paints a grim picture of the department's intelligence-gathering efforts, saying that DOD must:

Revitalize and reshape its intelligence workforce. Address personnel shortfalls in linguists, source analysts, human intelligence collectors, and cyberspecialists. Transform and streamline its intelligence processes. Address hard technological problems such as increased use of deception and denial, more sophisticated commercial encryption and fiber-optic and cellular communications.

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