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.
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Page #IC21014 June 5, 1996