Defense Clandestine Service
|Defense Clandestine Service|
|Preceding Agency||Defense Human Intelligence Service|
|Jurisdiction||Federal government of the United States|
|Headquarters||Defense Intelligence Analysis Center|
|Agency executive||Michael T. Flynn, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency|
The Defense Clandestine Service (DCS) is the clandestine arm the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which conducts espionage activities around the world to answer national-level defense objectives for the President, the Secretary of Defense, and senior U.S. policymakers. Staffed by civilian and military personnel, the DCS is a consolidation of the former Defense Human Intelligence Service of the DIA. The DCS works in conjunction with the Central Intelligence Agency's National Clandestine Service and the United States Special Operations Command's Joint Special Operations Command.
In 2012 the Pentagon announced its intention to ramp up spying operations against high-priority targets such as Iran and China under an intelligence reorganization aimed at expanding on the military’s espionage efforts beyond war zones. To this end, the DIA consolidated its existing human intelligence capabilities into the Defense Clandestine Service, which will work closely with the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command.
Similar to how the National Clandestine Service subsumed the former Director of Operations at the CIA in 2005, DCS absorbed the former Defense HUMINT Service, the Defense Attache System, and the former Defense Human Intelligence and Counterterrorism Center (and the therefore the Counterintelligence Field Activity) to create an integrated Department of Defense espionage service. Further, DCS' more clearly delineated career paths will give the DIA case officers better opportunities to continue their espionage assignments abroad.
The plan was developed in response to a classified study completed in 2011 by the Director of National Intelligence that concluded that the military’s espionage efforts needed to be more focused on major targets beyond the tactical considerations of Iraq and Afghanistan. While in the past DIA was effectively conducting its traditional, and much larger, mission of providing intelligence to troops and commanders in war zones, it needed to focus more attention outside the battlefields on what is called “national intelligence” - gathering and distributing information on global issues and sharing that intelligence with other agencies.
The realignment is expected to affect several hundred operatives who already work in spying assignments abroad, mostly as case officers for the DIA, which serves as the Pentagon’s main source of human intelligence and analysis. The new service is expected to grow from several hundred to and estimated 1,600 operatives and is intended to rival the espionage network of the CIA.
See also 
- Pellerin, Cheryl (15 August 2012). "Flynn: Integrated Intelligence System Provides Advantage". United States Department of Defense.
- Miller, Greg (23 April 2012). "Pentagon establishes Defense Clandestine Service, new espionage unit". The Washington Post.
- Entous, Adam (23 April 2012). "Pentagon Creates New Spy Service in Revamp". Wall Street Journal.
- Schmitt, Eric (23 April 2012). "Defense Department Plans New Intelligence Gathering Service". The New York Times.
- Miller, Greg (2 December 2012). "DIA sending hundreds more spies overseas". The Washington Post.