DIA Releases 2012-17 Strategic Plan


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The Defense Intelligence Agency released its strategic plan for the next five years, focusing on teamwork, integrity, excellence and service. Read the plan in its entirety below.


On the eve of its 50th anniversary, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has evolved into a much different institution than when it was established. Since 1961, DIA contributions have been instrumental in shaping significant events in U.S. history—from the first major challenges it faced during the Cuban Missile Crisis to the current perils presented by rising state challengers, global terrorist movements, insurgencies, and arms proliferation. Today, the Agency’s challenges are further complicated by the convergence of the advanced pace of available technology, a complex and rapidly shifting international political environment, and increasing competition for global resources. To remain in front of these challenges and provide decision confidence to our customers, DIA will strive to continually strengthen our intelligence operations, rely on enhanced intelligence integration, foster greater public-private sector dependencies, and provide unparalleled leadership across the Defense Intelligence Enterprise and the Intelligence Community.

The 2012-2017 DIA Strategy is founded on who we are and what we do best—a national-level combat support agency expert in all-source analysis focused on foreign military and defense-related matters. Further, this strategy is about what we stand for: unwavering service to those fighting our Nation’s wars, effective partnering, innovation, and care for our brave and dedicated workforce, without whom the Agency cannot accomplish its core missions.

Join me in implementing this dynamic and enduring strategy. Together, we will overcome the challenges that lie ahead and succeed in our mission. I am proud and honored to serve as Director during what can only be described as DIA’s finest hour. I salute you all.

Ronald L. Burgess, Jr. Lieutenant General, USA Director


DIA is first in all-source defense intelligence to prevent strategic surprise and deliver a decision advantage to warfighters, defense planners, and policymakers. We deploy globally alongside warfighters and interagency partners to defend America’s national security interests.


One Defense Intelligence Team of highly skilled, agile, and accountable professionals, equipped with leading-edge training and technology, strengthened by partnerships, and able to adapt operationally to provide all-source defense intelligence, whenever and wherever required, in support of the warfighter and the Nation.


We are committed to:

Teamwork: Partnering at all levels and across organizational boundaries for mission accomplishment. Integrity: Adherence to the highest legal and ethical principles in our responsibilities. Excellence: Unrivaled defense intelligence expertise. Service: Putting the welfare of the Nation and commitment to our mission before oneself.

The Strategic Statement

The DIA 2012-2017 Strategy is to strengthen and unite the Agency’s core defense intelligence capabilities to best support warfighters and policymakers in an era of persistent international conflict and enduring U.S. fiscal challenges. The strategy’s theme is One Mission – One Team – One Agency. One Mission, cleanly nested in all-source defense intelligence, is accomplished by One Team, operating as an integrated, agile, and results-oriented force within One Agency, performing as a critical member of the Defense Intelligence Enterprise and committed to excellence in defense of our Nation.

As the Nation’s premier combat support agency within the Defense Intelligence Enterprise, DIA is committed to the vital role it plays in winning today’s wars, preventing strategic surprise, deterring conflict, and preparing to defeat future adversaries. DIA’s critical and unique role in the Enterprise and Intelligence Community (IC) is grounded in its core mission capabilities that collect, process, exploit, and analyze foreign military and defense-related information, and then produce and disseminate timely and relevant all-source analysis. Equally distinctive is DIA’s proven expeditionary competency in confidently providing surge intelligence support to combatant commands and warfighters to meet operational and tactical priority intelligence requirements.

DIA will implement this strategy guided by the following four principles:

  • Work together as one team within an operational environment that fosters trust, unity of effort, diversity, integration and transparency, adaptability and mental agility, and close proximity to the customers of DIA’s output.
  • Focus DIA on its mission-essential capabilities by pursuing efficiencies at every level, including centralized planning with decentralized implementation, aggressive and adaptive restructuring, and redirecting resources to priority mission areas.
  • Grow stronger by leading or joining U.S. whole-of-government efforts to leverage interagency information, expertise, and capabilities, while strengthening and forging stronger partnerships with academia, the private sector, and international partners.
  • Apply performance management to maximize individual, team, and organizational performance to ensure DIA services and products are timely and relevant to customer needs, and hold the workforce accountable for their actions and job performance based on measurable outcomes.

In tangible ways, DIA will fundamentally shift its intelligence operations mindset and business practices from focusing on the last war to preparing for the highly complex and uncertain future. In doing this, DIA Officers will represent themselves throughout the Enterprise and IC as trusted leaders who are determined to strengthen our Nation’s defense and contribute to overall national security.

DIA’s core mission resides in four intelligence competencies: all-source analysis; counterintelligence (CI); human intelligence (HUMINT), and measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT). Primarily focused on foreign military and defense-related matters, DIA will:

  1. Provide strategic warning and integrated risk assessment.
  2. Plan and direct defense intelligence activities for all-source analysis; collection management; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; HUMINT; CI; open source intelligence (OSINT); MASINT; technical collection; and international engagement.
  3. Collect information through HUMINT, CI, OSINT, MASINT, and technical means.
  4. Process and exploit information collected through HUMINT, CI, OSINT, MASINT, and technical means.
  5. Produce all-source intelligence analysis from all available collection means.
  6. Integrate and disseminate defense intelligence products and data.

Aggressive collection and precise analysis provide a decision advantage to warfighters and policymakers. Equally aggressive CI, when integrated with collection and analysis, provides warfighters and policymakers the confidence that the right decision was made at the right time for the desired results.

Acknowledging that current and future adversaries will constantly adapt and seek new ways to challenge U.S. national security interests, this strategy calls for a more flexible, adaptive, and agile operational culture immersed in critical thinking. It further requires that DIA Officers thrive in an integrated and decentralized structure, embrace civilian-military integration and information sharing, be willing to accept risk, and foster proficiency to adapt operations based on a continuous assessment of the situation.

The Strategic Environment

DIA’s expeditionary charter to deploy its workforce to conflict zones, areas of emerging threats, combatant commands, U.S. embassies, and our allies’ military headquarters, to name a few, will be vigorously exercised over the next five years and likely beyond. Globalization is lowering barriers for an ever-wider range of actors to increasingly acquire sophisticated technology that may represent unprecedented threats to the United States. DIA will be resolute in its focus on nation-states that have the ability to challenge U.S. interests and influence regional dynamics by using conventional military weaponry, weapons of mass destruction, ballistic missiles, and emerging asymmetric capabilities, including cyber warfare. DIA will focus on state, state-sponsored, and non-state actors that challenge the United States by forming shifting, interest-driven coalitions based on diplomatic, military, and economic power, and will closely monitor emerging international social, economic, and political conditions that may spark conflict.

The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review asserts the international system is being reshaped by rising powers, continued proliferation, uneven development rates, rising demands for declining resources, rapid urbanization, social networking, and other trends that spark conflict in ungoverned and under-governed spaces or lead to state failure. Among DIA’s enduring challenges are:

  • Transnational terrorism will remain a persistent threat to domestic and international U.S. security interests. Terrorists’ global application of low-tech weaponry combined with commercially available, high-tech, sophisticated applications and approaches will pose greater challenges for the United States to identify and prevent terrorist operations.
  • Cyber attacks against the United States will continue to increase with more sophisticated methods. Cyber attackers intending to cause major damage and disruption to U.S. and global systems will have opportunities and widely available technological capabilities at their disposal.
  • Iran will continue to actively oppose U.S. national security goals and be a destabilizing force. Its regional military strength, support of terrorism, lethal aid to U.S. adversaries, and nuclear and missile programs will prompt regional states to seek new and greater security cooperation with the United States.
  • North Korea will continue to attempt to counter U.S. and South Korean conventional arms superiority by improving its strategic deterrence and conducting coercive military activities to achieve diplomatic leverage. Further, Pyongyang’s nuclear program and possibly unstable transition of power pose risks to non-proliferation efforts and regional stability.
  • China will continue to foster economic development and specific security policies centered on securing its borders, modernizing and enhancing its military capabilities, increasing its sphere of influence, and counterbalancing U.S. global influence and the influence of growing regional Asian powers.
  • Russia is pursuing a more cooperative approach to relations with the United States and the West and is seeking access to foreign investments, technology, and markets. Moscow has concerns about how long the positive trend in U.S.-Russian relations will last, and sees the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty agreement as a key element of the evolving bilateral relationship.

Sustaining U.S. military superiority and influence in an era of persistent conflict and enduring fiscal constraints will challenge DIA intelligence capabilities and capacities more than any period in its previous 50 years of service. The Agency’s evolution from primarily supporting senior policymakers during the Cold War to globally supporting warfighters, defense planners, as well as policymakers in a post-9/11 world illustrates the extent to which DIA has been groomed for what lies ahead.

Goals and Objectives

Four strategic goals strengthen and unite the six core mission capabilities under One Team to accomplish DIA’s One Mission. The objectives supporting each goal outline vital and measurable success factors that form the foundation for validated performance assessments. The goals and objectives apply to each DIA directorate and special office.

Goal 1: Prevent Strategic Surprise and Support Contingency Operations

The ability to consistently provide accurate, precise, and timely defense intelligence is mastered by fielding a highly skilled, diverse, appropriately resourced, and integrated team of DIA Officers who aggressively collect, process, exploit, and analyze information using established and proven tradecraft. Leaders and subordinates must be empowered to adapt operations swiftly, avoiding practices that needlessly impede mission capabilities and degrade the relevance of Agency expertise. To accomplish its One Mission, DIA collection and analytical capabilities will be united under One Team to prevent strategic surprise, deter conflict, identify opportunities, and rapidly respond to support multiple, concurrent military contingency operations.

Objective 1.1: Provide Strategic Warning

Develop and implement an integrated defense intelligence warning capability to prevent strategic surprise, deter conflict, and identify opportunities.

Effective warning relies on close collaboration among collectors, collection managers, analysts, planners, and policymakers, together focused on identifying potential events and conditions that may pose a threat to the United States and its vital interests. Considering the myriad challenges posed by the strategic environment, DIA will continue enhancing its ability to perform long-term strategic analysis, including analysis of current and potential adversaries’ scientific, technological, and weapons capabilities, and improve the integration of all intelligence capabilities to better anticipate, monitor, and convey warning intelligence and policy-related opportunities. To provide strategic warning, DIA will:

Develop and implement an integrated intelligence warning capability leveraging necessary collection and forward-looking analytic methods and techniques, interagency capabilities, proximity to customers, and mission partnerships to ensure warning is conveyed accurately and in a timely manner.

  • Advance all-source analysis through the physical and/or virtual integration of collectors and analysts with access to all collected information at the earliest point of availability.
  • Enhance the operational environment in which collectors and analysts use structured and unstructured data and apply advanced analytic techniques to foster critical thinking and improve the quality of defense intelligence.
  • Strengthen analysis of current and potential adversaries’ scientific, technological, and weapons capabilities.

Objective 1.2: Operate as One Team

Integrate collection, analysis, counterintelligence, science and technology, and resources to operate as one defense intelligence team.

Operating as an integrated and networked defense intelligence team will focus broad expertise, foster comprehensive understanding, and enhance intra- and interagency collaboration and information sharing in all U.S.-only and coalition environments. An agency-wide, integrated mission management approach will be used to leverage and focus all DIA capabilities to support military and national intelligence integration, collection strategies, and adaptive planning, as well as contribute to mission-related resource decisions. To forge one team, DIA will:

  • Support cross-directorate initiatives to integrate cross-functional competencies and capabilities to reinforce priority mission areas.
  • Designate Defense Intelligence Officers (DIOs) to be responsible for the development, implementation, and refinement of joint and interagency collection and analysis strategies focused on prioritized geographic and transnational areas and functions. Directorates and select special offices will assign senior representatives and experts to the DIOs’ working groups and develop unifying intelligence strategies.
  • Enhance and establish new DIA representation to national security plans and policy organizations for integrating defense intelligence reporting and analysis.
  • Develop common processes, collaborative tools, and innovative approaches to improve horizontal and vertical information sharing and timely access to data.

Objective 1.3: Rapidly Respond to Support

Develop and implement a unified contingency response to facilitate rapid transition to support multiple, concurrent military contingency operations.

Speed matters in getting actionable intelligence to DIA customers when crisis or conflict occurs. The Agency will improve its ability to rapidly build a comprehensive and integrated defense intelligence team that supports the designated crisis management authority(ies). To support contingency area operations, DIA will train, equip, deploy, and embed DIA Officers forward to operate alongside warfighters or within operational settings at combatant commands and other U.S. Government entities. To build a unified contingency response, DIA will:

  • Develop, implement, and lead an integrated contingency response that rapidly transitions DIA capabilities to support military contingency operations.
  • Achieve common goals with other contingency response approaches throughout the Enterprise, the IC, the Joint Staff, and coalition partners.
  • Provide expert teams from identified directorates and special offices that are integrated within an operational setting on a temporary or permanent basis to focus DIA capabilities on planned or ongoing contingency operations.
  • Empower deployed DIA Senior Officers with contingency area authorities to represent the Director, DIA, to the supported warfighting commander, ensuring unity of mission for all DIA actions to enable the Agency’s defense intelligence support.

Goal 2: Strengthen Core Mission Capabilities

DIA’s One Team will strengthen its core mission capabilities to achieve maximum versatility in addressing defense intelligence requirements across the full spectrum of possible U.S. military contingency operations. To do so, DIA will focus on its core mission priorities and redirect resources as appropriate from non-core, lesser performing, and redundant operations. Further, core mission capacity will be improved by training and shaping the workforce to ensure critical competencies are either in place or available for augmentation. Additionally, DIA will target recruitment, training, and retention approaches to achieve optimal performance from multiple workforce generations, with diverse backgrounds, possessing various levels of technological and social networking skills.

Objective 2.1: Reinforce Core Mission Capacity

Resource DIA core mission capabilities for maximum versatility by continually pursuing efficiencies to improve intelligence operations and business processes.

To reinforce core mission capacity, DIA will:

  • Evaluate cross-directorate efficiencies to reduce or eliminate wasteful redundancy and increase shared effectiveness.
  • Evaluate directorate-level organizational constructs and manning to streamline operations and business processes, promote integration, and implement efficiencies.
  • Reinforce core mission capabilities by redirecting resource savings from non-core, lesser performing, and redundant programs.

Objective 2.2: Shape the Workforce

Recruit, train, and shape an agile workforce that strengthens DIA core capabilities.

DIA’s workforce must perform in an increasingly complex, dynamic, and highly integrated team-driven environment. To achieve this, the Agency will hire highly qualified, intellectually diverse candidates with a range of backgrounds and skills, including proven proficiency in hard target languages. DIA will strive to ensure successful placement of new hires by accurately matching employee skills, competencies, and career desires to the appropriate position. To shape the workforce composition, DIA will:

  • Recruit a highly qualified and diverse workforce with varied backgrounds and life experiences to enhance the range and depth of DIA capabilities.
  • Promote and lead interagency rotational assignments to deepen “jointness” across the IC and build understanding of leadership attributes, business methods, requirements, and capabilities.
  • Enhance innovative learning strategies and performance-improving services to increase agility and integration in the workforce.

Objective 2.3: Chart the Course for the Workforce

Firmly embed career management practices within the culture, systems, and processes by developing a comprehensive, Agency-wide career development program coupled with training, education, and rotational opportunities to improve workforce performance, agility, and retention.

Effective career management involves planning and shaping the progression or movement of employees by aligning mission requirements and employees’ skills and preferences. DIA will offer a comprehensive career development program in response to a critical need identified by the workforce in order to build the Agency’s core mission and mission support capabilities. The program will assist all DIA Officers in developing the competencies, skills, and experience needed to satisfy job requirements, achieve professional goals, and broaden career opportunities. To embed career management practices, DIA will:

  • Consolidate existing career management programs into a single Agency-wide program by incorporating occupation-specific career learning roadmaps, career mobility and developmental opportunities, and career management tools.
  • Develop a comprehensive training module addressing DIA’s consolidated career management program and field it in new employee orientation programs, supervisory training courses, and the Joint Intelligence Virtual University.
  • Pursue career development approaches, including experience and work-based learning, leadership programs, mentoring/coaching, job shadowing, advanced schooling, and assessments to retain and promote top DIA talent.

Goal 3: Partner and Innovate to Gain Advantage

DIA’s One Team will improve information dissemination and access to interagency capabilities by leading or joining U.S. whole-of-government networks while strengthening and establishing new mission partnerships with other elements of the U.S. Government, academia, the private sector, and foreign partners. Long-term, interagency collaboration with agencies whose missions have significant global components is particularly vital. Given the expansive, open-source environment—combined with social media, rapidly developing new technologies, and growing mission partnerships in an era of diminishing resources—DIA will become increasingly dependent on outside sources of knowledge to succeed in its mission.

Objective 3.1: Combine Forces

Lead or join whole-of-government initiatives to leverage interagency capabilities supporting civilian-military integration, and share experience and information.

Appreciating the increasing scope and complexity of future intelligence requirements to support military contingency operations, DIA will foster partnerships with fellow Department of Defense (DoD) and other national agencies to understand methods, requirements, and processes, and to access information and capabilities which complement its defense intelligence mission. To leverage whole-of-government opportunities, DIA will:

  • Enhance existing and build new interagency mission partnerships to benefit from available experience, expertise, and capabilities associated with shared requirements and business practices.
  • Solicit active participation by interagency mission partners in the DIO’s working groups and other substantive forums.
  • Foster information integration and sharing efforts with interagency partners to capture relevant information at the earliest point of collection.
  • Encourage and enable DIA Officers to participate in academic, private sector, and international forums related to their competencies and positions.

Objective 3.2: Empower Partnerships

Strengthen existing and build new relationships with foreign partners to prevent strategic surprise and improve collection and analytical opportunities.

DIA will build and strengthen mutually beneficial relationships with knowledgeable foreign partners to enhance access to information and perspectives otherwise unavailable to DIA Officers on matters of common concern. To empower partnerships, DIA will:

  • Strengthen existing links with foreign partners and identify new partners with the potential to provide otherwise unavailable information and analytical insights.
  • Provide timely foreign exchange and disclosure policy guidance to improve information sharing with foreign partners and coalition members.
  • Serve as the critical link and DoD focal point for foreign defense intelligence exchanges and U.S. defense and national intelligence communities to leverage resources and limit intelligence shortfalls.

Objective 3.3: Mission and Process Drive Technology

Exploit Science and Technology/Research and Development (S&T/R&D) advances to improve Agency operations.

Future S&T solutions and services will enable access to necessary levels of information and improve timeliness, quality, agility, and sharing of information required for current and future DIA missions. DIA will gain awareness of leading-edge S&T/R&D advances and transition strategies through interagency, industry, and international partnerships, as well as opportunities to leverage IC-wide development efforts. Regarding intelligence operations, DIA must rapidly implement new and innovative approaches in order to outpace the application of low technology advances by our Nation’s adversaries. To exploit the right technology and development, DIA will:

  • Expand outreach and partnerships with U.S. and partner-nation agencies, the scientific community, and industry to learn of S&T/R&D advances that significantly benefit defense intelligence operations.
  • Decide on acquisition and long-term investments of new S&T/R&D advances based on comprehensive assessments of Agency-wide requirements and performance gains.
  • Identify and transition new technologies in a timely manner to strengthen DIA capabilities.

Goal 4: Optimize Performance Relevance

DIA’s performance management program will conduct end-to-end performance assessments to raise product and service standards. Performance management will be used to institutionalize a culture that encourages workforce behavior to improve products and delivery of services, increase transparency and accountability at all levels, and establish methods that use hard data and other criteria for meaningful assessment.

Objective 4.1: Sustain Strategy Discipline

Instill a culture of performance accountability by establishing specific performance measures that improve mission performance, reduce redundancies, and drive change as necessary.

Decisions at all levels regarding operations, recruiting, training, programming, budgeting, policy, and acquisition will reflect DIA strategic goals and objectives. The Agency will create and manage performance measures to organize information, coordinate activities, and support resource-related decision making. DIA will develop systems, design processes, and furnish resources to measure performance, develop action plans, and ultimately improve performance. To instill a culture of performance accountability, DIA will:

  • Institutionalize the strategy and corresponding annual implementation plans by reflecting them in directorate-level plans, performance assessments, and communications.
  • As necessary, refine the strategic planning cycle to adapt to the dynamic requirements of customers informed by DIA fiscal realities.
  • Align performance management efforts and timelines to develop consistent and reliable results.
  • Eliminate needless duplication of effort by enforcing existing standards, identifying best practices through lessons learned, and sharing information across the workforce.
  • Integrate rigorous feedback mechanisms from performance measures to foster the continuous improvement needed to address current and future challenges.

Objective 4.2: Streamline Business Processes

Transform business management practices to support key strategic priorities at the lowest cost while improving oversight and accountability at all levels.

As an effective steward of public resources, DIA recognizes strong stewardship and business management require transparency and accuracy in financial data, manpower authorizations, and acquisition for monitoring and assessing resource decisions. Disciplined and routinely-updated policies, procedures, and systems will ensure the reliability of management information, support regulatory compliance, demonstrate strategic alignment, and measure program effectiveness. To strengthen business management, DIA will:

  • Demonstrate accountability to overseers and facilitate data-driven resource management decisions by establishing and sustaining processes, controls, and financial systems capable of achieving an unqualified financial statement audit opinion.
  • Consolidate all business management within the business reference model to ensure improvements are efficiently designed and executed, and business systems and applications investments are based on strategic needs and customer requirements.
  • Maintain proper management control of DIA operational results and integrity by sustaining management of the Internal Control Program.
  • Communicate timely and sound acquisition guidance to DIA leadership, managers, and the workforce to ensure only relevant, appropriate, and cost-effective technologies and capabilities are acquired to support strategic initiatives.
  • Integrate security practices into business processes to protect national intelligence and intelligence sources and methods.

Objective 4.3: Reward Effectiveness

Implement resource-performance integration by linking DIA resource allocations and performance measures to strategic objectives.

DIA must mitigate adverse impact from U.S. fiscal constraints on core mission capabilities; security of the work environment; physical infrastructure; and performance, certainty, and satisfaction across the workforce. DIA will use all relevant data to evaluate and invest in programs that yield output tied to strategic objectives. To link resources and performance to strategic objectives, DIA will:

  • Establish a planning process to align program submissions to strategic objectives and mission needs.
  • Strengthen linkages among strategic objectives, business capabilities, supporting services, and performance measures to determine future investments.
  • Evaluate directorate-level performance outcomes against the accomplishment of strategic objectives.
  • Identify and eliminate programs without strategic relevance, such as non-core and lesser performing programs, reward high performance programs, and redirect savings and other resources to existing and emerging strategic priorities.


The second decade of the 21st Century is emerging as one of the most challenging periods in our Nation’s history. DIA will provide premium defense intelligence support to win today’s conventional and unconventional wars, prevent strategic surprise, and deter conflict, while continually preparing to support the full spectrum of military contingency operations that may be necessary to protect America’s national security interests in the coming years.

The 2012-2017 strategy focuses DIA on accomplishing its One Mission of defense intelligence, the breadth and depth of One Team’s capacity to adapt to ongoing and emerging operations, and One Agency’s commitment to defense, partnerships, innovation, and effective performance. In support of this strategy, each of the 12 objectives will be incorporated into an implementation plan for execution by the entire DIA workforce, with the goal of creating a workforce known for its Teamwork, Integrity, Excellence, and Service.

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