As intelligence officers, our most critical asset is our mind. Self-study increases our speed, creativity, and confidence.
Without self-study, our expertise is limited to our direct experiences. Reading vastly multiplies our experiences in life—as parents, as friends, as spouses, and as leaders.
By reading, we can learn from the experiences of an immeasurable number of people. And, hopefully, our reading allows us to learn from the mistakes of others, before we make those mistakes ourselves. Old ideas give us new ideas. History really does teach us something. It inspires, motivates, and elevates us.
Lieutenant General Robert P. Ashley, Jr.
Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
DoDIIS WorldWide Conference 2018
Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley answers a question submitted via social media during the 2018 Department of Defense Intelligence Information System Worldwide Conference August 13, 2018, in Omaha, Nebraska. DoDIIS is the largest intelligence community conference that brings together experts from government, military, industry, and academia in order to tackle the information technology challenges and complexities impacting the mission user.
The 2018 Department of Defense Intelligence Information System Worldwide Conference, hosted by the Defense Intelligence Agency began with keynote speeches by DIA Chief Information Officer Jack Gumtow and DIA Director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, Jr.
In his opening remarks, Gumtow addressed the theme of this year’s conference, Data as a Weapons System, and emphasized the benefits and challenges of big data to the intelligence community.
“Like cyber security, data presents a myriad of challenges as we struggle to make sense of the expanding quantities of information,” Gumtow stated. “In addition to the challenges this presents, data also affords us a unique set of opportunities to discern more precise and timely intelligence about our adversaries that would not have been possible only a few years ago.”
Gumtow challenged conference attendees to explore and develop systems that enhance DIA and the intelligence community’s ability to make data more discoverable by people and machines. He stressed the value of data to allow analysts and senior leaders to make faster decisions and predictive analysis.
Ashley then provided the morning keynote address and further emphasized the importance of technology and harnessing data for future national security and military dominance.
“The competitive military advantage that we have had since World War II is eroding,” said Ashley. “It’s not about building more of what we already have, it’s about building new capability because right now we’re seeing the gap closing in every war fighting domain.”
The nations that best integrate technology into their operational domain will be the ones who dominate the future, Ashley noted. He also underscored the need to share new technology and capabilities with allies before going to war to ensure all nations are able to operate together seamlessly and quickly.
While Ashley acknowledged data and technology in and of itself won’t guarantee victory on the battlefield, he stated they should enable people to react faster and more decisively, ensuring a competitive advantage.
Ashley added, “We’ll never be able to fully penetrate the fog of war, but what we will be able to do is—what we need to be able to do—is see in it faster and more complete than our adversary.”
National Intelligence University President J. Scott Cameron announced former Defense Intelligence Agency Director retired Army Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess will receive an honorary doctorate in strategic intelligence at the university’s July 27th commencement ceremony.
Burgess served as the 17th director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from March 2009 - July 2012. After retiring from the Army following a 38-year military career, Burgess returned to his undergraduate alma mater in December 2012, serving as senior counsel for national security, cyber programs, and military affairs before being appointed Auburn’s chief operating officer in May 2018.
As previously announced, Director of National Intelligence Daniel R. Coats will deliver the commencement address to the graduating class of approximately 250 intelligence and national security professionals who have completed one of the university’s three degree programs: Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence, Master of Science and Technology Intelligence, or Bachelor of Science in Intelligence.
National Intelligence University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education with its main campus located in Bethesda, Maryland. It operates under the Defense Intelligence Agency as the intelligence community’s sole accredited, federal degree-granting institution. NIU faculty consists of subject matter experts from around the intelligence community who bring a wealth of knowledge and practical experience, as well as academic qualifications, to the classroom. In addition to its three-degree programs, NIU offers graduate certificates in intelligence on specialized topics. Its alumni include many notable intelligence and national security leaders.