On Monday April 18th, retired general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Harry E. Soyster, presented on his experiences over a career spent in the fields of military service and intelligence work. The title of his lecture, “Strategic Intelligence During Times of Accelerated Global Changes,” represented the two core themes of his lecture: namely, that change arises from within an institution or from outside it, and that the two processes often operate in tandem, producing effects that can be both variable, dangerous, and, at the same time, potentially helpful.
The acceleration of global change over the period of the late 20th century into the 21st century (an outside change) placed pressures on the architecture of the DIA during General Soyster’s tenure as director. He highlighted that his work to reform the DIA could best be seen as being prompted both by his own momentum (an internal change) and as events around him unfolded. For example, as director, General Soyster was the first American to utilize drones for surveillance missions-the manifestation of an organization updating its mission to the times. On the personnel level, General Soyster made it his mission to reorganize units on the basis of functionality, rather than beaurcratic division.
General Soyster graduated from the US Military Academy. His military education includes the Command and General Staff College and the National War College His assignments as a general officer were Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Dept. of the Army; Commanding General, US Army Intelligence and Security Command for an unprecedented 41/2 years and Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency during Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Storm as the senior military intelligence officer for the nation.
The video of this lecture can be found, here.