The Defense Department is reorganizing its intelligence operations to expand military-focused espionage efforts outside war zones, the Washington Post reports.
The new Defense Clandestine Service will collaborate with the CIA and play a role in the larger intelligence operations reorganization, according to the Post.
A senior defense official indicated to the newspaper that the plans resulted from a national intelligence report last year that suggested the military should focus on major targets beyond tactical considerations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The official told the Post the new service will ensure officers are in the right location to pursue those new focuses.
The new service could grow to several hundred operatives in the coming years.
The official said the new organization will not overtake roles of the CIA, the National Clandestine Service or the Defense Intelligence Agency.
The DIA will shift its focus over the next few years as well.
Nearly 15 percent of the DIA’s case officers will be part of the Defense Clandestine Service, according to the report.
There will also be a more clearly delineated career path, giving DIA officers more opportunities to continue espionage missions aboard.
The Post indicates the organization is exemplary of an increasing convergence of intelligence officials and missions within government.
Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was nominated shortly before the organization announcement to serve as chief of the DIA.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who signed off on the new service last week, previously served as director for the CIA.
That agency focused on military hardware such as armed drones during his tenure there.