Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, today introduced a Senate Resolution honoring the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary.
Following are Senator Feinstein’s remarks:
Mr. President, I rise today to introduce a resolution honoring the Defense Intelligence Agency on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary this year.
I am joined by Senators Chambliss, Warner, Mikulski, Rubio, Burr, Snowe, Bill Nelson, Rockefeller, Blunt, Risch, Levin, McCain, and Shelby on this resolution and I would like to thank them for their support.
Created in 1961, the Defense Intelligence Agency, known as “DIA,” provides intelligence on important national security questions such as foreign military intentions and capabilities. The agency supports military commanders and policymakers throughout the U.S. government.
In fact, as Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I regularly review DIA intelligence products. The DIA produces a daily set of classified intelligence products, called the Defense Intelligence Digest, which is provided to our Committee each morning. The agency also produces longer reports on foreign military capabilities, strategic reviews, and other issues of interest to defense and other policymakers.
But producing finished intelligence analysis is only one of DIA's missions. Employing a diverse workforce of military and civilian intelligence professionals, DIA conducts all-source analysis, intelligence collection, and information technology infrastructure support worldwide.
DIA’s responsibilities inside the Department of Defense and across the Intelligence Community have grown significantly over the years. The agency today is responsible for the Defense Attaché System, the Defense Counterintelligence and HUMINT Center, the National Defense Intelligence College, the National Media Exploitation Center, the National Center for Credibility Assessment and four specialized centers: (1) the Underground Facility Analysis Center, (2) the National Center for Medical Intelligence, (3) the Joint Intelligence Task Force-Combating Terrorism and (4) the Missile and Space Intelligence Center.
DIA also oversees intelligence analysis throughout the Department of Defense, including analytic work performed at the Army National Ground Intelligence Center, the Office of Naval Intelligence, the Air Force National Air and the Space Intelligence Center, the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity, and ten U.S. combatant command intelligence operations centers.
Over the last fifty years, the intelligence collected and analyzed by the men and women of DIA has informed the Nation’s civilian and military leaders during crises and conflicts – from the Cold War to the current struggle against international terrorism. DIA has played a vital role in collecting, analyzing, and producing intelligence required to defend the Nation while also supporting U.S. military operations worldwide.
During the past five decades, DIA has transformed in response to evolving national security threats. From the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam conflict, to the first Gulf War, DIA’s efforts have focused on understanding and, if necessary, defeating state-sponsored militaries while also providing strategic warning and preventing strategic surprise.
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington almost ten years ago, DIA has responded to the asymmetric threat posed by transnational terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda by pushing more analytic and collection capabilities forward in direct support of our military forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Today the agency is more forward deployed with soldiers on the battlefield than at any time in its history.
As Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I receive frequent briefings from DIA personnel. Their depth of knowledge and expertise on foreign military intentions and capabilities has been impressive.
I've met twice within the past few weeks with the current DIA Director, Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess. He, like his predecessors, presents the facts like he sees them and manages to serve the Intelligence Community and the Department of Defense with skill and integrity.
I am keenly aware of the many sacrifices our intelligence professionals make to help defend our Nation and I am pleased that this resolution pays tribute to the DIA workforce and the DIA employees who have given their lives, or have been wounded or injured, in the line of service.
Mr. President, because of the nature of intelligence and the need for secrecy, we in Congress often are understandably reluctant to draw unnecessary attention to our intelligence services and the vital and sometimes dangerous work they do to protect our Nation. However, at this important 50th anniversary, it is appropriate to reflect on DIA’s history of important contributions while also honoring its professionals, past and present.
I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating the men and women of DIA as they celebrate their legacy and forge their future.
Thank you very much Mr. President. I yield the floor.