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House bill would require sweeping reviews of military intel programs

Apr. 29, 2014 - 02:30PM   |  
Special Forces training
US Army Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group, conduct a training jump from a C-130 Hercules in Bavaria, Germany. (Markus Rauchenberger/US Army)
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WASHINGTON — A House Armed Services subcommittee on Tuesday released legislation that would require Pentagon officials to conduct several sweeping reviews of military intelligence programs.

HASC’s Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee’s version of the lower chamber’s 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) contains no dollar figure for how much it would authorize the military to spend on things like intel, special operations forces and cyber.

Those funding levels will be decided next week by the full Armed Services Committee. But a review of the subcommittee’s bill shows it largely supports the Pentagon’s 2015 request in each area.

The legislation, to be voted on by the panel Wednesday morning, contains a slew of provisions raising concerns about the Pentagon’s intelligence, special operations and cyber activities. Those typically are accompanied by requirements for reports and data on those matters.

The legislation “fully” supports the Pentagon’s requested cyber plans. But it calls for the department “to develop an assessment of cyber Command functions,” according to a HASC summary of the legislation. It also would “direct the secretary of defense to establish an executive agent to coordinate and oversee cyber training and test ranges, critical to operationalizing and improving our DoD cyber forces.”

According to the summary, it calls for a number of reports on intel and special operations programs and activities. The bill would:

■ “Direct DoD to review and assess intelligence activities by U.S. Special Operations Forces and U.S. Special Operations Command as part of the committee’s robust oversight of intelligence activities.”

■ “Direct the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence to provide more information on how defense intelligence priorities are addressed in resource decisions for the Military Intelligence Program (MIP) or National Intelligence Program (NIP).”

■ “Direct the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency to provide more information on DIA’s efforts to address both national intelligence priorities and defense intelligence priorities.”

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