The US Department of Defense is a reflection of the lingering ethics of civilian control of the military. The Defense Secretary comes from the civilian sector and each branch of the military is likewise headed by a civilian. Initially, the DoD merged the Army and Navy and then integrated them with the Air Force. Eventually, however, the structure of the DoD had grown and included such offices as the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (Baker, n. d). Majority of the time, the Department of Defense took up the bulk of tax money intended for the military.
In 2005, the budget of the Department of Defense was over $437 billion. Its total workforce numbered over 3 million consisting of both civilian and armed forces. In 2003, Department of Defense figures reported 487,000 people on active duty coming from the Army, 385,000 from the Navy, 174,000 from the Marine Corps, and about 368,000 from the Marines (Baker, n. d). The Root of the Conflict The failure of the US intelligence community to predict the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center has put to question the intelligence capability of the CIA.
After that forgetful event, people within the community agreed that there is a need to make significant reforms as far as intelligence gathering is concerned. Both the CIA and DoD agreed that perhaps the community must abandon technological intelligence and revert to the old method of intelligence of sending agents to gather information in both friendly and hostile countries (Parajon, 2007). Technological techniques, such as signal interception or satellite surveillance has minimal effects because it cannot detect an enemy who is concealed in caves or rides on horseback.
While the need for human intelligence (HUMIT) is quite obvious, there seems to be a rivalry emerging between the CIA and the Defense Department (Parajon, 2007). Traditionally, human intelligence was the turf of the Central Intelligence Agency, but now Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has invaded this responsibility. Recently, the Pentagon has launched an initiative known as the Strategic Support Branch (SSB), a unit designed to gather intelligence. The SSB is a result of Rumsfeld’s order that there is a need to stop depending on the CIA for human intelligence concerns (Parajon, 2007).