The year 1989 was an "annus mirabilis," a time of wonders, in which the world geopolitical framework in place since the end of World War II was overturned. As military historian Michael Howard commented, "while the nations of Western Europe celebrated the bicentennial of the French Revolution, the nations of Eastern Europe reenacted it."1 After so many years, the Iron Curtain finally parted, and with it the Berlin Wall and so many of the other symbolic and real barriers that had divided east from west. With tides of democracy sweeping through Eastern Europe, the Warsaw Pact was no longer relevant. The Soviet Union itself appeared in a new light-no longer the Great Bear of international politics, but an ideologically and economically bankrupt society showing ominous signs of fragmentation along ethnic and national lines. For all practical purposes, the looming threat of Soviet power that had gripped the attention of Western policy makers for so many years was suddenly gone.
Since 1989 these developments have dramatically restructured America's defense policy. Ever since the end of the Vietnam War, the U.S. Army had essentially staked its raison d'etre on countering a massive tank-led Warsaw Pact offensive against Western Europe. With this threat no longer viable, the nation's armed forces were slowly downsized and redeployed. The numbers governing the rate, scope, and exact nature of this process shifted with each new indication of communism's decline. In 1990 the Army implemented Project VANGUARD to bring about a controlled reduction of its strength in ways that would leave as much of its fighting forces intact as possible, a task to be accomplished initially through a radical trimming of headquarters elements.
However, just as the Soviet threat receded and pundits began to talk about the pleasant possibilities of a "peace dividend," a new array of international challenges appeared. In December 1989 American forces stormed Panama in Operation JUST CAUSE, overthrowing the regime of its narcotics-linked strong-
man, General Manuel Noriega. Eight months later, crisis flared in the Middle East. An Iraqi invasion of the tiny emirate of Kuwait, threatening both the world's oil supply and the stability of a potential new world order, led to a massive American response. The United States deployed over 500,000 men and women to the Persian Gulf region- the largest buildup of troops since Vietnam- and then committed them to battle in Operation DESERT STORM, a lightning air and ground war that resulted in complete victory
Despite these conflicting crosscurrents of events, planning for retrenchment of the force continued. Nevertheless, it was clear that the post-Cold War world would continue to hold unforeseen and unforeseeable perils. In the unstructured international environment created by the sudden collapse of the bipolar world order imposed by the Cold War, crises could-and didtake place in almost any region of the globe. The prospect of a smaller Army and a more diffused but wider menace would inevitably affect the institutional arrangements of Military Intelligence, since intelligence organizations are necessarily shaped by the threat as well as the force structure in place. In addition to preparing for contingency operations, Army Intelligence now had to monitor arms verification agreements, fight terrorism, maintain a vigilant watch against espionage, and assume a counter-drug mission in support of civilian authorities.
The challenges of JUST CAUSE and DESERT STORM-successive crises occurring half a world apart and in totally unrelated linguistic environments-had already made large demands on Military Intelligence and appeared to serve as a portent for the future. On the whole, the Army had met these demands successfully. INSCOM's 470th Military Intelligence Brigade and its attached 29th Military Intelligence Battalion had been in place in Panama when that crisis broke. INSCOM's 513th Military Intelligence Brigade, with a long-standing contingency mission to support the U.S. Army Central Command, had been at least partially positioned to meet Army intelligence requirements when deployment to the Persian Gulf began. Once brigade elements had moved to Saudi Arabia, the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command augmented the unit from its own assets around the globe. As the situation reached its climax, the brigade's echelon-above-corps intelligence center was expanded to a full operations battalion and placed in support of the G-2 of Central Command's Army component. Two corps CEWI brigades, the 504th and 525th MI brigades, and divisional CEWI units supported the intelligence effort in Southwest Asia with their own resources, and reserve component units and individual mobilization augmentees deployed to assist.
In this intelligence campaign, high technology at last came into its own. A variety of ground terminals received information provided by diverse national and theater intelligence systems, unmanned aerial vehicles-the new Army term for remotely controlled pilotless aircraft-were finally fielded to provide collection and targeting data, and the Army engaged in substantive electronic warfare
operations for the first time since electronic warfare had become an intelligence responsibility.2
In JUST CAUSE and DESERT STORM, however, the Army had been able to draw on the resources it had built up during the height of the Cold War. The future challenge for Army intelligence would be to do more with less. Even as DESERT STORM came to an end, it was already evident that the smaller force structure envisaged for the future would necessarily lead to the inactivation of numerous intelligence battalions and brigades, as the divisions and corps to which they were assigned closed down. By 1995 the Army force structure had been reduced from eighteen divisions to just ten. The shrinkage of tactical assets was accompanied by a pullback of much of the Army from its forward-deployed posture. Presumably, this withdrawal would make INSCOM even more central to the Army's intelligence effort, since tactical intelligence units in the continental United States would not have direct access to their intelligence targets, and INSCOM alone had the necessary linkages to national systems to provide the Army with worldwide intelligence support.
However, the elimination of the Soviet threat and the consequent downsizing of the Army meant that INSCOM itself faced the greatest reorganization since its birth with the possibility of not even surviving as a major Army command. Flux was the order of the day. For a brief time, the command regained Army production functions, assuming command of the Army Intelligence Agency in 1991. The following year, however, AIA was disestablished and its subordinate production centers divided up between DIA and INSCOM, with DCSINT retaining operational control of the Intelligence and Threat Analysis Center and the Foreign Science and Technology Center, the two elements that remained with INSCOM. In turn, these two production elements were merged into a single National Ground Intelligence Center. The Special Security Group that had disseminated sensitive compartmented information since World War II was reorganized and most special security officers resubordinated to the major Army commands they supported, thus creating a much smaller Special Security organization to set policy and deal with private contractors. Eventually, the unit's mission was assumed by one of the battalions of the 902d MI Group.
This did not exhaust the list of changes. INSCOM's major field stations in Europe and Panama were discontinued and Army cryptologic organization radically restructured. INSCOM set up a Regional SIGINT Operations Center at Fort Gordon, Georgia, manned by personnel of the newly organized 702d MI Group. Since its 513th MI Brigade concurrently relocated to Fort Gordon, this allowed strategic and tactical assets to be combined. At the same time, the com
mand assumed host responsibilities for new sites in Europe that would allow the Army to employ the most advanced communications technologies.
Institutional gains were accompanied by institutional losses. INSCOM's U.S. Army Russian Institute was resubordinated to the European Command. A Foreign Intelligence Command was organized at Fort Meade, Maryland, to provide better support to human intelligence (HUMINT) and counterintelligence units there, but this proved to have the life span of a mayfly: it was discontinued in less than a year as a result of the secretary of defense's decision to incorporate Army human intelligence elements into a Defense HUMINT Service.
As the Army itself restructured and pulled back from Europe and Panama, its leaders planned to merge INSCOM's five existing theater support brigades into two force projection brigades. The new units would operate in a split-based configuration and would have the capability to deploy tactically tailored force packages to meet any level of contingency requirement. Additionally, beginning in 1993 INSCOM provided personnel to augment corps-level production centers and (for a time) joint intelligence centers within the unified commands. INSCOM would no longer simply operate at echelons above corps, but would provide the Army with "seamless connectivity" between national-level agencies and the warfighters on the ground.
Finally, in 1994 the Army set up the Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA) within INSCOM, operating under the staff supervision of the Department of the Army's deputy chief of staff for operations. This was inspired by the precedent offered by DESERT STORM, in which the centralized Iraqi command structure had been effectively befuddled by deception operations and decapitated by the electronic and physical destruction of its communications system. Still in the formative stage, the LIWA sought to bring together the techniques of electronic warfare, psychological warfare, deception operations, command and control targeting, and operational security to attack the information resources of the enemy while simultaneously defending those of our own armed forces. Once it became fully operational, the LIWA would offer the larger Army a place for "one-stop shopping" in these areas.3
Conclusion: The Shaping of Army Intelligence
Although the details of the future necessarily lay hidden, Military Intelligence's current trajectory provides clues as to its future organizational and mission directions.4 At least five identifiable trends have helped shape the
post-World War II history of Army Intelligence: a steady devolution of functions to national and joint agencies; a redefinition of the Military Intelligence field to embrace new functions; an enhanced role for technology; a progressive growth both in the number and size of intelligence units and in the diversity of intelligence disciplines they incorporated; and finally, an increasing professionalism.
First of all, continuing pressures for greater service integration has had a major impact on the overall organization of Army Intelligence. As a result of these pressures, and over a period of time, the Army has transferred cryptologic, production, attache collection, and certain counterintelligence and human intelligence functions to national agencies. The creation of the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947 removed the Army from the fields of political and economic intelligence. This preceded the partial breakup of the Army Security Agency in 1949 to form the Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA), the National Security Agency's predecessor. More reforms followed the revision of the National Defense Act in 1958, which removed the Army as an institution from the chain of national command and turned it into a mechanism for training, administering, and supplying land forces for the unified commands acting under the joint Chiefs of Staff. The logic of this inevitably dictated the creation of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 1961. As DIA grew it took over Army production functions as well as certain training and collection functions.
As the Army drew down during the last stages of the Vietnam conflict, there was another wave of consolidation. The Defense Mapping Agency absorbed Army topographic elements, the Central Security Service took over certain headquarters functions of the Army's cryptologic agency, and the Defense Investigative Service assumed the personnel background investigation function previously performed by Army counterintelligence. The first two integrations were done ostensibly to promote economy and efficiency, while the last eased the Army out of the domestic intelligence field that had left it open to charges of "spying on civilians."
As the Army once more planned to contract in the 1990s, these kinds of pressures on its Military Intelligence organization continued. If anything, the Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 had placed a premium on joint operations. However, despite the steady trend toward integration, Army Intelligence has in fact shown a remarkable resiliency over the years. This is wholly consistent with laws of institutional behavior. Motivated recruits join the Army because they wish to wear green suits, not "purple" ones.5 The Army most readily surrendered those intelligence functions peripheral to its central mission of warfighting.
Before the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency the Army had engaged in collection of political and economic intelligence for want of a better alternative. The high-level cryptologic mission turned over to the Armed Forces Security Agency had implications that went beyond the Army. It was also both exotic (most of the personnel who transferred to AFSA were highly specialized civilians) and a mission which naturally lent itself to a joint approach. Moreover, although the impetus behind the creation of AFSA had been to replace three service cryptologic organizations with one, the end result was the creation of four cryptologic organizations. The Army's determination to provide cryptologic support to its own commanders ensured that the Army Security Agency grew larger and more important after 1949 than it had been before. The National Security Agency later attempted unsuccessfully to integrate service management structures into a central security service.
The creation of the Defense Intelligence Agency presented Army intelligence with a more formidable institutional challenge. Here, the Army and the other services pursued a strategy of more straightforward resistance, refusing to allow their intelligence components to be completely subsumed into the new organization. During the agency's formative period, Army officers posted to DIA found their assignments less than career enhancing. DIA was initially allowed to control only a single collection element, the attache system, and the Army reentered the field of intelligence production almost immediately. Even after thirty years, DIA had not achieved the dominant position in the general intelligence field that NSA had achieved in the cryptologic area.
In 1972 the Army gave up the bulk of its counterintelligence operations in the continental United States to the Defense Intelligence Service, when the latter agency was formed to execute the mission of conducting personnel background investigations for security clearances. This was a forced move, brought about by the fact that the Army had been brought deeply into the field of domestic intelligence during the troubled times of the Vietnam War. However, the transfer of functions, again, did not impact on the Army's wartime mission. Moreover, it could be looked upon as a blessing, since it removed the Army from an area which had been a political land mine since the earliest days of its own counterintelligence operations. The Army had been forcibly extracted from domestic intelligence operations twice before-in 1920, at the end of the Red Scare, and in 1943, following political displeasure at investigations of subversives that had touched upon the president's family. Three experiences of this kind were perhaps enough.
Finally, in 1995 DIA set up the Defense HUMINT Service (DHS), which absorbed all the strategic and theater-level human intelligence collection assets of the armed services. This forced merger was brought about by a post-Cold War drive for economy and efficiency that in many ways paralleled the Department of Defense-level realignments of the Vietnam drawdown. However, once more we could argue that the Army surrendered elements not central to its perceived main mission of warfighting.
A second trend evident during this period was the redefinition and expansion of the intelligence field. Over the years, Military Intelligence organizations absorbed various "special informational services." This process had begun immediately after World War II, when the Military Intelligence Division assumed administrative as well as operational control of the Army Security Agency. In turn, the logic of this realignment eventually made electronic warfare an intelligence responsibility "Jamming" and collection operations were intimately related, and could not be conducted independently of one another. As a result, the Army Security Agency gained responsibility for communications electronic countermeasures in 1955. Simultaneously, it assumed the electronic intelligence (FLINT) mission from the Signal Corps. This too followed a certain logic: the agency now collected against the whole of the electronic spectrum instead of just a part. Continuing in the same pattern, ASA acquired the noncommunications electronic countermeasures mission from the Signal Corps in 1962.
The formation of combat electronic warfare and intelligence units as a result of the intelligence Organization and Stationing Study brought additional collection services under the Military intelligence umbrella. Intelligence units assimilated ground sensors and ground surveillance radars. Meanwhile, Army Intelligence had already taken to the sky Army aviation had developed specialized reconnaissance aircraft in the late 1950s, and the Army Security Agency had developed its own air arm during the 1960s. In the late 1970s, both types of assets became part of an integrated Military Intelligence battalion, aerial exploitation.
In one area, however, the responsibilities of Military Intelligence contracted after World War II. This was the field of communications security. The Army Security Agency, as first set up, had responsibility for all aspects of military cryptology, including creating and distributing the Army's codes and cipher devices and monitoring the security of Army communications. The 1955 reorganization of the Army Security Agency resulted in the transfer of the first two of these functions to the Signal Corps. As the years went on, a tendency for Army Intelligence to edge away from security monitoring became pronounced; many saw the task as intrusive, unpopular, and not particularly effective. In the long run, as far as the Army was concerned, encryption of all message traffic could render security monitoring obsolete. Meanwhile, some aspects of communications security could now be passed back to the communicators. In 1988 INSCOM, which had inherited from ASA the mission of preparing the Army's Communications-Electronics Operating Instructions, decided that the function would more appropriately belong to the Army's new Directorate of Information Systems for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers. A little later, INSCOM transferred mission responsibility for the inspection of cryptofacilities and the tracking of communications violations to the Army's communicators.
Third, partially as a result of Intelligence's increasing dependence on the technical services, the advance of technology affected almost every intelligence discipline. The combined impact of the communications revolution and the
growth of automation had a profound effect upon intelligence collection, processing, and dissemination. To use only select examples, the development of infrared and radar imaging techniques revolutionized photographic intelligence and resulted in that discipline's transformation into imagery intelligence. The synergistic use of a variety of techniques to measure the distinct profiles displayed by an assortment of target "shooters, movers, and emitters" created the new intelligence discipline, measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT). Technology even promised-or threatened-to reverse the nature of the entire Army intelligence process. Traditionally, information had passed from lower levels of command, in direct confrontation with the enemy, to higher levels for evaluation. In the Persian Gulf conflict of 1991, however, Army production elements based in the continental United States had used national intelligence acquisition systems to generate tactical intelligence that went down to the field.
Counterintelligence was also confronted with fresh challenges as a result of this trend. The Army faced a wider security threat as technological development created new vulnerabilities. Not only were the activities of hostile human agents now supplemented by electronic listening devices, but the radiations emitted by electronic media were vulnerable to detection, while the computers that supplied the masses of data on which the Army now relied could be infiltrated by "hackers" and menaced by computer "viruses."
Fourth, intelligence units in the field tended to grow both larger and more integrated. The Army emerged from World War II with a melange of singlediscipline intelligence elements organized in no common pattern. They included counterintelligence detachments, ASA's signal service companies and detachments, and an assortment of teams and detachments that carried out various combat intelligence functions. Additionally, the Signal Corps had its own units conducting electronic intelligence and electronic warfare. The Korean War partially revolutionized this structure, as the Army fielded groups and battalions to collect combat intelligence and ASA created units of similar size to carry out military cryptologic functions in support of the tactical Army. In the latter part of the 1950s, counterintelligence and collection personnel were integrated into combat intelligence formations under the Military Intelligence Organization concept, although most counterintelligence personnel continued to serve in separate CIC groups. Roughly around the same time, various Signal Corps intelligence and electronic warfare units were folded into the Army Security Agency.
Following the Intelligence Organization and Stationing Study of 1975, the Army integrated all intelligence disciplines at both the tactical and strategic levels, creating CEWI units and the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command. For the first time, most Army Intelligence assets were contained in TOE units rather than under tables of distribution and allowances. By 1990 multidiscipline intelligence brigades had been fielded to support both corps and higher echelons of command.195
The development of large intelligence units, combined with institutional pressures to reduce the operational role of the Army's intelligence staff, helped to move the center of gravity of intelligence work in the Army from the staff to the line. It also was one of the factors that helped make Army Intelligence more professional. One could argue logically that just as ordnance officers should command an ordnance unit, intelligence officers should command an intelligence unit. At first the Army Intelligence and Security Branch, as its title indicated, was something of an uneasy compromise, lumping together officers of diverse backgrounds and allegiances. The branch had no common training program, and the Army Security Agency, with its vertical command structure and its roots in the Signal Corps, remained a large, unassimilated segment of the Army Intelligence community. However, the Army made greater steps toward integration in 1967, when the Army Intelligence and Security Branch was redesignated as the Military Intelligence Branch and upgraded in status. The change was more than just a shift in nomenclature, since the common advanced schooling that went into effect at this time imposed a new homogeneity on the Military Intelligence field. Implementation of the IOSS recommendations brought the institutional structure of Army Intelligence into line with the single branch concept.
The professionalization of Army Intelligence, combined with the shift to an All-Volunteer Force in the early 1970s, led in turn to a greater emphasis on military values within the field. As long as intelligence organizations had been dominated by reserve officers, and depended on the stimulus of the draft for their manning, intelligence personnel had tended to identify with their specialties, rather than with the Army as a whole. The fact that so many of them were involved in specialized tasks with no immediate combat relationship only facilitated this ethos. While the mainstream of the peacetime Army focused on a training and readiness mission, Intelligence had (and continues to have) a viable peacetime mission. The bulk of ASA personnel, for example, carried out a strategic cryptologic mission at fixed installations, and most counterintelligence personnel operated in civilian clothes and lined on the civilian economy at a time when the rest of the Army was still in barracks and bachelor officers' quarters. When an applicant for the Counter Intelligence Corps asked his recruiters whether life in the CIC was anything like the Army, they replied, "Not very much." This approach has changed markedly.6
In short, we can argue that by 1990 Military Intelligence had become distinctly more military. Intelligence personnel-men and women, officer and enlisted-were soldiers first, specialists second. They trained regularly at Army skills and were held to Army standards of physical fitness. Separate management structures that tended to foster the idea that various groups of intelligence personnel were an elite corps apart from the larger Army had been dissolved:
the Intelligence Corps was discontinued in 1966, and the Army Security Agency broke up ten years later. The grade structure of intelligence units mirrored that of the rest of the Army, unlike the situation in an earlier period, when 40 percent of a counterintelligence detachment's strength might consist of officers. The danger, of course, was that the process could be carried too far, and that the thrust to make everyone a potential warfighter might unduly divert energies from the proper performance of what remained a demanding real-world mission. 7
Among other things, the new professionalism meant that Military Intelligence personnel could publicly identify with the traditions of the Army in ways that were not originally thought possible when intelligence work itself was identified, sometimes by its practitioners, as something appropriate only to the shadows. To give only one example, uniformed enlisted personnel assigned to Army Counter Intelligence Corps units during the 1950s wore a simple "U.S." as their collar insignia, officers bore the insignia of their carrier branch, and CIC units in the continental United States presented themselves to the public as "Army Research Groups." During the 1960s, however, Army Intelligence units boasted their own distinguishing unit insignia and their assigned personnel wore Military Intelligence brass. In the 1980s the MI groups of a previous period were redesignated as MI brigades, receiving their own shoulder sleeve insignia. This change would enhance troop esprit and morale by providing the units with more traditional military designations. Certain of INSCOM's TDA field stations and other TDA elements were also given new numerical unit designations. In part, the Army made the change to distinguish troop formations from the geographical locations at which they worked, but it also had the desirable side effect of assigning to these units designations that were more intelligible to the rest of the Army. In short, Military Intelligence identified itself with Army green, abandoning the cloak-and-dagger image of an earlier era. In more ways than one, the motto of the Military Intelligence Corps, "Always Out Front," reflected the new reality.
In 1987 the chief of Military Intelligence declared, "Army Intelligence has truly arrived," and in one sense he was correct. In another sense, however, Military Intelligence was still in transit, progressively redefining itself as the Army, the nation, and the international situation changed. Still, wherever the journey might lead it in the future, clearly Military Intelligence has come a long way from its modest beginning in 1885 as the Division of Military Information.
1 Michael Howard, "The Springtime of Nations," Foreign Affairs 69, no. 1, p. 17.
2 Details of Army Intelligence operations conducted during the DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM mission can be found in Brig. Gen. (P) John F. Stewart, Jr.'s pamphlet, operation DESERT STORM: The Military Intelligence Story: A View From the G-2, 3d U.S. Army, April 1991.
3 The "information warfare" concept reflected- or at least paralleled- the ideas of the influential futurologists Alvin and Heidi Toffler. See War and Anti-War (Boston: Little Brown, 1994), ch. 10, "The Knowledge Warriors."
4 Of course, clues can be misleading. Distinguished military historian Russell F. Weigley has commented, "Almost all of the hints of prophecy into which the author was rashly drawn . . . proved wrong." History of the United States Army. Enlarged Edition (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984), pp. 557-58.
5 For an interesting discussion of the differing "personalities," identities, and behaviors of the different armed services, see Carl H. Builder, The Masks of War: American Military Styles in Strategy and Analysis (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989), p. 39. Builder notes that "the unique service identities . . . are likely to persist for a very long time."
6 Author's recollection.
7 As a visitor to an INSCOM counterintelligence element reported in 1989, "the six military personnel assigned . . . spend an inordinate amount of time detailed away from the office for charge of quarters details, training, physical training, and alerts, none of which is optional." He estimated that "the military personnel spend an average of 67% of their time away from the office." Memo, HQ INSCOM, IAOPS-CIOC, 10 Oct 89, sub: Summary Report of Temporary Duty Travel to USAREUR.
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