The Department of Defense's (DOD) intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems--including manned and unmanned airborne, space-borne, maritime, and terrestrial systems--play critical roles in support of current military operations. Demand for ISR capabilities, including processing, exploitation, and dissemination, has increased dramatically. GAO was asked to (1) describe the challenges, if any, the military services and defense agencies face processing, exploiting, and disseminating the information collected by ISR systems and (2) determine the extent to which the military services and defense agencies have developed the capabilities required to share ISR information. GAO reviewed and analyzed documentation, guidance, and strategies of the military services and defense agencies in regard to processing, exploiting, and disseminating ISR data as well as information sharing capabilities. GAO also visited military units in Iraq and the United States to observe and discuss processing, exploitation, and dissemination conducted in both environments.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||To improve the capabilities of the military services to share ISR information, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, in coordination with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, to develop guidance, such as a concept of operations that provides overarching direction and priorities for sharing intelligence information across the defense intelligence community.|
|Department of Defense||To improve the capabilities of the military services to share ISR information, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force to develop service-specific implementation plans, consistent with the concept of operations, which set timelines and outline the prioritization and types of ISR data they will share with the defense intelligence community through the DIB.|