Template:Infobox Government agency The Defense Clandestine Service is an intelligence agency of the Department of Defense staffed by primarily military personnel. It was announced on 23 April 2012 by the Pentagon 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.[1][2]

The new service would work closely with the CIA in an effort to bolster espionage operations overseas. 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 the Defense Intelligence Agency (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.[3]

The realignment is expected to affect several hundred military 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 several more hundred operatives in the coming years.

About 15% of the DIA’s case officers will be part of the Defense Clandestine Service. New, more clearly delineated career paths will give DIA case officers better opportunities to continue their espionage assignments abroad.

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