learning with professionals - Higgins Counterterrorism Research ...


learning with professionals - Higgins Counterterrorism Research ...

Like its House counterpart, the Senate Armed Services Committee was receptive to

the idea of NIMA. Unlike the Senate Intelligence Committee, the SASC had no jurisdictional

issues because the new agency would fall either completely within SASC jurisdiction

or be shared with the SSCI. The DoD wanted NIMA designated a “Combat Support

Agency’’ and as such, to fall under an amended Title 10 of the National Security Act—

the result of which would place it within SecDef and SASC jurisdiction but outside

SSCI jurisdiction.


Sometime between September and November 1995, it was decided, over DMA’s

objections, that DMA would be included in the envisioned agency. Records reveal that

DMA continued to have reservations about joining throughout 1995; however, DCI

Deutch’s remarks throughout 1995 indicate that he always included DMA in the new

organization. 434 From a strategic point of view, Deutch would have recognized that

DMA’s 7,000 people added great clout to the proposed organization in terms of both budget

and jurisdiction. In addition, as William Allder recalls, “When John Deutch looked at

the potential for shared and complementary technologies that would be driving both the

imagery and mapping businesses in the future, he saw a set of technological opportunities

that could be pursued most effectively through a single set of plans and programs. 435 The

target date for stand-up of the new agency was set for 1 October 1996.

On 27 November 1995, a joint letter of agreement on the “concept’’ to establish the

agency, to be known as NIMA, was sent to House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Senator

Majority Leader Robert Dole and “appropriate Congressional Committees.’’ 436 Signed by

Secretary of Defense Perry, DCI Deutch, and General Shalikashvili, CJCS, the letter


We believe that the consolidation of imagery resources and management in a

single agency within the Department of Defense will improve the overall

effectiveness and efficiency of imagery and mapping support to both national

and military customers. Accordingly, we have agreed in concept to create a

National Imagery and Mapping Agency that would have responsibility for

imagery and mapping similar to what the National Security Agency has for

signals intelligence.

432 SSCI Professional Staffer interview, and a source, SASC Professional Staffer in 1996, who wishes to

remain anonymous, Interview by the author, 26 September 2000.

433 See Appendix I for a diagram of the Intelligence Budget. The NIMA budget (or “NIMAP”) falls entirely

within the NFIP on this briefing slide.

434 According to a “NIMA Decision Brief,” Oct 95, slide presentation (Slide 8) prepared for the Pentagon’s

“Tank,” proponents of DMA’s joining NIMA included the Senior Steering Group, agencies and services, and

some unified commands. Opponents included DMA, EUCOM, PACOM and SOCOM.

435 William Allder, “Creation of NIMA,” 41.

436 William J. Perry, John Deutch and John M. Shalikashvili, Letter to the Honorable Newt Gingrich, 27 Nov

95. Provided as attachment to “Memo to Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition and Technology) et al. Subj:

Background Information for 16 Jan 96 Meeting,” by RADM J.J. Dantone. See Appendix E for copy of letter.


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