Florida, US: James R. Clapper, Jr., Director of National Intelligence, delivered the Keynote Address at the Opening Session of the 2012 GeoInt Conference, being held at the Gaylord Palms Hotel in Orlando, Florida, US.
This year’s event, the ninth in a series of annual GeoInt conferences, is organised under the theme of “Creating the Innovation Advantage.”
Director Clapper is credited with bringing modern intelligence into the 21st century, working toward improving the “GeoInt tradecraft.” He noted that geointelligence has rapidly matured from modest beginnings and is focused on bringing together industry, academia and the broadening national intelligence community. Clapper described intelligencer as a combination of “science and art” and said that, as Director, his primary focus is to emphasise intelligence integration. While intelligence will never achieve perfection, Clapper believes that better integration will ultimately lead to “truth” in intelligence operations.
In his Keynote, Director Clapper made five major points. He emphasised the value of allies, noting that a recent trip to Australia reconfirmed the importance of “having friends” around the world to support broad collaboration to meet global threats. He also stated the value of collaboration in solving seemingly intractable problems.
Another major focus is on “Multi-Int,” or the better integration of the various intelligence domains to achieve heightened agility in responding to issues facing the intelligence community as a whole.
Recent egregious security leaks also will remain high on the national security agenda, according to Director Clapper. He mentioned increased security auditing, better polygraph screening for those positions requiring such measures, and pursuing leaks more aggressively as ways to mitigate security breaches, but also noted that security is ultimately based on levels of trust and that violations will likely not be completely eliminated.
Referring to the recent assassination of US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three US personnel in Benghazi, Clapper said that any event like this is “highly emotionally and politically charged” and that simply rehashing the situation is not useful. Noting that “countless other facilities are not attacked,” Director Clapper concluded by observing that “resources are limited, threats are not.”
Significant accomplishments in the intelligence community have been made, but perfect security is a quest, not a reality.
In comments proceeding the Keynote session, K. Stuart Shea, Chairman and CEO of the US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF), welcomed a record number of attendees to this year’s conference. Shea said that a total of 4,300 attendees had registered for the event, with 264 representatives of 23 countries present. Shea said that this represents the growing need for “actionable intelligence” around the world.
Shea described for the attendees how the theme for this year’s event was selected. He said that the tendency is to focus on “things we don’t have” in the current economic climate. Instead, Shea said that the purpose of this year’s event was to focus on things we do have, namely innovation. “Innovation is at the forefront of everyone’s mind,” he said. A ‘relentless collaboration’ forged by USGIF and GeoInt on behalf of the nation’s intelligence community will leverage the community’s energy, dedication and innovation to improve our ability to react to the numerous and serious threats worldwide.
Source: Our Correspondent