Combat Commanders Gain Control Of Counterintelligence Ops

Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Mike Vickers

From Carlo Munoz, AOL Defense:  The Pentagon is offering field commanders control of counterintelligence operations to cope with the never-ceasing efforts by countries such as China, Iran and Israel to gain access to classified information and technology.

Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Mike Vickers approved the plan in an Oct. 5 memorandum. Groups such as Central Command and Special Operations Command can now choose to do their own CI work within their organizations, according to the memo. Formal investigations are still handled by the services.

"We gave the [combat commands] an option to develop an organic CI capability . . . or to rely on [the Defense Department]," Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. James Gregory said. "We did not want to legislate either way but instead wanted to give [them] an option. . . ."

In the past, combat commanders were forced to depend on Army, Navy and Air Force units — known as Military Defense Counterintelligence Organizations — to handle their counterintel work.  (photo: