James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence

WASHINGTON: Positing the future of intelligence — even for one year – poses unique challenges. First, there’s so much those of on the outside don’t know. Then there’s the simple truth that our enemies and competitors drive so much of intelligence. Since we can’t know with certainty what will happen, it’s difficult to predict what the intelligence… Keep reading →


The latest victim of the federal government shutdown is a crucial player in the space and intelligence world, the Aerospace Corporation, which has had to cut back the work of 60 percent of its 3,500 employees. “The Aerospace Corporation started implementing a partial work shutdown on Oct. 3, after the Air Force’s Space and Missile… Keep reading →


AFA Conference: A bipartisan group of House lawmakers have presented a new bill designed to increase congressional oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and its main client, the National Security Agency. Obviously, the bill was sparked by the flood of classified information released by the international fugitive and former intelliegnce contractor Edward Snowden. The… Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: They could have a decent career singing the sequestration lament in 4/4 time. Three of the top men in American intelligence brought it home yesterday, wailing the sequestration blues. OK, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s speech sometimes lacked rhythmn. But Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, hit… Keep reading →

rep.mikerogers hspci

  WASHINGTON: America faces a new intelligence “gap” because an Al Qaeda affiliate has exploited information leaked by fugitive Edward Snowden so that the United States can no longer monitor the terrorists, Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said today. “And, by the way, we have already seen one Al Qaeda affiliate has… Keep reading →


  UPDATES WITH OBAMA WHITE HOUSE COMMENTS, HASC REACT TO KERRY REMARKS WASHINGTON: One hour before House Armed Services Committee members were to receive a White House briefing on last week’s Syrian massacre of more than 1,400 civilians, the White House released an unclassified summary of intelligence about the attack concluding with “high confidence” that… Keep reading →


UPDATED: NGA RESPONDS WASHINGTON: It’s not a lot of money in the Pentagon’s scheme of things, but the Defense Department’s Inspector General has found that the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) wasted millions because it did not close a rented building and made improvements to a building when it was supposed to leave the facility.… Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace just released what a spokesman calls the “the first and only unclassified strategic net assessment of the future security dynamic between China, Japan, and the United States-including relative military capabilities and domestic and external variables.”

For those who don’t wallow deeply in the Pentagon’s unique world, a net assessment is a pretty rare bird. A net assessment is not based on a war game or derived from operations research. It includes those elements and more. One expert described it this way: “Scenarios, war games, trend analysis, and considered judgment are the methods most widely used in net assessment studies and analyses.” Keep reading →

Military Intelligence Program budget for FY14 is $14.9 billion, DoD says. Does not include OCO money for DoD intel, department says. @colinclarkaol

At 1:03 pm today, the US Air Force launched a robotic space plane that can stay in orbit for over a year. That’s good news for the nation’s troubled space program. The X-37B, as it’s called, is pretty cool — and highly classified. But beyond the veil of secrecy, what’s it really good for? The answer is intriguing but hardly obvious.

First of all, despite some overheated speculation, the Boeing-built X-37B is probably not a space fighter, a space bomber or some kind of satellite-killer to take on the burgeoning Chinese space program. For long-range strikes on ground targets, the Air Force has a much more modest — and affordable — program for a Next-Generation Bomber, basically a souped-up B-2 that won’t even break the speed of sound, let alone reach orbit. And the military has had working anti-satellite weapons since the 1980s: The current satellite-killer is the Standard Missile SM-3, which launches off the Navy’s Aegis ships. You don’t need a robot space plane to do either job. Keep reading →

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