CIFA is no more

Counterintelligence Field Activity, which I've written about a few times here, has been eliminated. Its functions are now folded in to the Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center (DCHC) inside the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which makes a lot of sense. There is a lot of cynicism about the folding of CIFA, saying that it will just reappear under a different name, but here I'll outline why I think this is a good move.

First off, the law enforcement portions of CIFA have not transfered to the DCHC. This is good because we already have one semi-functional national agency trying to enforce our laws, we don't need the Defense Department clumsily stepping in. Having a secretive DoD agency have lawn enforcement powers over Americans just made me queasy.

Second, according to the memo, the DCHC integrates all DoD-wide counterintelligence with all DoD-wide human intelligence:
The DCHC shall centrally manage the DoD-wide CI and human intelligence (HMINT) enterprises, develop programs that support DoD Component CI and HUMINT functions, and execute assigned CI and HUMINT activities worldwide.
Counterintelligence (CI), simply put, is the art of degrading your opponents intelligence. The best way to do this is by penetrating your opponents' organizations to figure out what they know, etc. While you can do this via technical means (tapping phone, reading email), the best way to do it is by having a human source inside. That's why from an organizational standpoint it's logical to have your CI people and your people working with human sources all working together. Also this way it gives your CI people information to work with, so they don't sit in dark rooms brooding over an imaginary Master Plan or spying on Quakers.

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