from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2009, Issue No. 9
January 28, 2009

Secrecy News Blog:

Support Secrecy News:


Ambitious new interagency structures that are supposed to provide an improved intelligence response to maritime and air threats to national security are described in a newly-disclosed Intelligence Community Directive.

The directive establishes what it calls Communities of Interest (COI) "to maximize intelligence collection and all-source analytic coordination."

"IC stakeholders in the maritime and air COIs shall aggressively collaborate and share information to proactively identify and mitigate threats posed within these domains as early and as geographically distant from the U.S. as possible," the new directive states.

A plan to maximize air domain awareness "directs development and improvement of new capabilities that enable persistent and effective monitoring of all aircraft, cargo, people, and infrastructure in identified areas of interest and at designated times, consistent with protecting civil liberties and privacy," the directive says.

"Creating a shared common awareness among intelligence, law enforcement and operational communities is a complex task," the directive notes, "and many associated policy and legal implications must be resolved to achieve success."

The January 14, 2009 directive, signed by former Director of National Intelligence J. Michael McConnell, has not been approved for public release, but a copy was obtained by Secrecy News.

See "Global Maritime and Air Intelligence Integration," Intelligence Community Directive 902, effective 14 January 2009.


The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff have issued updated military doctrine on space operations that includes new material on "offensive space control" and "proximity operations."

Offensive space control "entails the negation of enemy space capabilities through denial, deception, disruption, degradation, or destruction."

"Adversaries -- both state and non-state actors -- will exploit increased access to space-based capabilities. Hence, it is incumbent on the US military to negate the adversaries' use of those space capabilities that affect the safety and well-being of US, allied, and coalition forces," the new publication says.

Another new section of the document addresses "rendezvous and proximity operations," in which "two resident space objects are intentionally brought operationally close together."

In addition to assembly and servicing missions, proximity operations "include the potential to support a wide range of future US space capabilities," which are not further specified.

See Joint Publication 3-14, "Space Operations," January 6, 2009.

The Pentagon acknowledged using two micro-satellites to approach and inspect a third, disabled satellite, New Scientist reported last week. See "Spy satellites turn their gaze onto each other," January 24.

The U.S. Army defined its own mission in space in "Department of the Army Space Policy," U.S. Army Regulation 900-1, January 23, 2009.


Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

The Secrecy News blog is at:

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, go to:


OR email your request to

Secrecy News is archived at:

SUPPORT Secrecy News with a donation here: