Intelligence Percent of Revenue
Rankings (BAE Systems Inc.):
BAE Systems Inc., is the U.S. subsidiary of the British defense giant BAE. It is the sixth-largest U.S. defense contractor and a major player in the U.S. intelligence market. Its rise was fueled by a string of strategic acquisitions of American companies, the largest of which was United Defense Industries (UDI). BAE bought UDI in 2005 for $4.2 billion from the Carlyle Group, the well-connected Washington-based private equity fund. UDI, which makes the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and other weapons systems used by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, was a huge money-maker for Carlyle, and its acquisition helped catapult BAE into third place in the global defense market, just behind Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.
BAE Systems' website explains how its Global Analysis intelligence unit operates: “[It] is a leading provider of skilled, fully cleared, and experienced intelligence and geospatial analysts working directly with Government agencies and U.S. military commands to satisfy regular and surge requirements. Policymakers, intelligence officers, war fighters, and law enforcement officers have come increasingly to rely on the sophisticated intelligence analysis provided by Global Analysis to help them understand the threats, risks, and opportunities generated by today’s rapidly evolving international environment.
“Along with this on-site support, Global Analysis offers outsourced studies and assessments. Through its own group of ‘in-house’ senior analysts, Global Analysis is prepared to provide the intelligence community, the wider U.S. Government, U.S. military commands, and the U.S. private sector with customized strategic assessments and analysis on political, economic, and security issues.
“Our sophisticated, all-source analysis program is led by Dr. John Gannon, vice president of Global Analysis and former deputy director for intelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency. Dr. Gannon is ably supported by a range of seasoned senior analysts and managers from the intelligence community as well as by analytic support specialists. …” The unit provides professional and analytic staffing; workforce development; technical and tradecraft training; advanced analytic tools; strategic studies and assessments; design, construction, and management of analytic facilities.
BAE Systems has extensive operations throughout the Washington, D.C. area and operates numerous Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIF) for intelligence agencies. These facilities have special windows that prevent outside infiltration of electronic spying devices. According to BAE, “Our newest facility in Herndon, Virginia, known as the Information Analysis Center (IAC) is a state-of-the-art workspace, built to stringent…customer security, communications, and analytic requirements. This facility, which was opened in July, 2005, provides over 150,000 square feet of accredited SCIF space accommodating over 700 personnel. In addition to workspace, BAE Systems provides the IAC with a 24 x 7 cleared armed guard force, and an array of security services, including badging, holding and passing clearances, and escorting.” BAE’s contractor staff at the IAC specialize in counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, counter-proliferation, leadership analysis, electronic warfare, infrastructure vulnerabilities analysis, medical intelligence, underground facilities assessments and open-source intelligence analysis training for the private sector.
BAE Systems is one of the prime beneficiaries of an outsourcing agenda under which the U.S. Intelligence Community spent 70 percent of its estimated $60 billion annual budget on contracts with private companies. BAE’s services to U.S. intelligence—including the CIA and the National Counter-Terrorism Center—are provided through its Global Analysis Business Unit, located in McLean, Va., a stone’s throw from the CIA. The unit is headed by Dr. John Gannon, a 25-year veteran of the CIA who reached the agency’s highest analytical ranks as deputy director of intelligence and chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Today, as a private sector contractor for the Intelligence Community, Gannon manages a staff of more than 800 analysts with security clearances.
In 2008 BAE added considerable depth to its intelligence offerings by acquiring MTC Technologies, a Dayton-based supplier of intelligence and technology systems to the NSA and other agencies. It also acquired Detica Group, another British intelligence consulting company that has been making deep inroads into the U.S. defense intelligence market and the CIA.
FOREIGN REQUIREMENTS. As a subsidiary of a foreign corporation, BAE Systems Inc. operates under a Special Security Agreement with the US government that requires the company to appoint outside directors who are American citizens to a Government Security Committee. These board members are responsible for overseeing BAE’s compliance with US national security and export regulations and vouch for the company before US officials. According to BAE, “Our long history of successful compliance with the SSA allows BAE Systems to supply products and services to the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community and Homeland Security on some of the Nation’s most sensitive programs.” BAE Systems’ outside directors all have extensive experience inside the American intelligence and national security communities. They include: Lee H. Hamilton, former Speaker of the House and co-chair of the 9/11 Commission; Richard J. Kerr, former deputy director of Central Intelligence; Gen. Kenneth A. Minihan, former director of the NSA; and Gen. Anthony C. Zinni (USMC, retired), former commander-in-chief U.S. Central Command.
BAE SYSTEMS AND THE CIA. BAE’s role in U.S. national security and, in the process, underscores the degree of outsourcing in U.S. intelligence. “The demand for experienced, skilled, and cleared analysts—and for the best systems to manage them—has never been greater across the Intelligence and Defense Communities, in the field and among federal, state and local agencies responsible for national and homeland security,” according to a Global Analysis unit brochure distributed in October at GEOINT 2007, an annual symposium sponsored by the prime contractors for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The mission of the Global Analysis unit “is to provide policymakers, warfighters, and law enforcement officials with analysts to help them understand the complex intelligence threats they face, and work force management programs to improve the skills and expertise of analysts,” the brochure states.
At the bottom of the brochure is a series of photographs illustrating BAE’s broad reach: a group of analysts monitoring a bank of computers; three employees studying a map of Europe, the Middle East and the Horn of Africa; the outlines of two related social networks that have been mapped out to show how their members are linked; a bearded man, apparently from the Middle East and, presumably, a terrorist; the fiery image of a the aftereffects of a car bomb explosion in Iraq; and four white radar domes (known as radomes) of the type used by the National Security Agency to monitor global communications from dozens of bases and facilities around the world.
BAE AND HOMELAND SECURITY. The brochure may look and sound like typical corporate PR. But amidst BAE’s spy talk, strategically placed phrases alert intelligence officials to BAE's active presence inside the United States. The tip-off language was “federal, state and local agencies,” “law enforcement officials” and “homeland security.” By including them, BAE was broadcasting that it is not only a contractor for agencies involved in foreign intelligence, but also for domestic security agencies—a category that includes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the FBI, as well as local and state police forces stretching from Maine to Hawaii.
One of BAE’s newest products is specifically tailored for the homeland security market. “Geospatial Operations for a Secure Homeland – Awareness, Workflow, Knowledge” (GOSHAWK) is designed to provide geospatial intelligence – the computerized mapping and imagery tools managed by the NGA – to help law enforcement and state and local emergency agencies prepare for, and respond to, “natural disasters and terrorist and criminal incidents.” Under the GOSHAWK program, BAE supplies “agencies and corporations” with data providers and information technology specialists “capable of turning geospatial information into the knowledge needed for quick decisions.” A typical operation might involve acquiring data from satellites, aircraft, and sensors in ground vehicles, and integrating those data to support an emergency or security operations center. One of the program’s special attributes, the company says, is its ability to “differentiate levels of classification,” meaning that it can deduce when data are classified and meant only for use by analysts with security clearances.
BAE IN IRAQ. During GEOINT 2007, three BAE Systems employees, newly returned from a three-week tour of Iraq and Afghanistan with the NGA, demonstrated a new software package. SOCET GXP uses Google Earth software as a basis for creating three-dimensional maps that U.S. commanders and soldiers use to conduct intelligence and reconnaissance missions. Eric Bruce, one of the BAE employees back from the Middle East, said in the fall of 2007 that his team trained U.S. forces to use the GXP software “to study routes for known terrorist sites” as well as to locate opium fields.
“Terrorists use opium to fund their war,” he said. Bruce also said Iraqi citizens helped his team locating targets. “Many of the locals can’t read maps, so they tell the analysts, ‘There is a mosque next to a hill,’” he explained. The U.S. Army’s Topographic Engineering Center bought earlier versions of the software and used them to collect data on more than 12,000 square kilometers of Iraq, primarily in urban centers and over supply routes. Bruce said BAE’s new package is designed for defense forces and intelligence agencies, but can also be used for homeland security and by highway departments and airports.
In July 2008, Nicole Suveges, a BAE Systems political scientist working in Iraq as an intelligence contractor for the US 4th Infantry Division, was killed in a bombing in Sadr City, Baghdad. Suveges had a masters degree in political science from George Washington University, where she had written a dissertation on “Markets and Mullahs: Global Networks, Transnational Ideas and the Deep Play of Political Culture.” She was working under a BAE contract to the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command to provide “training, programmatic, and staffing support” to the Army’s Human Terrain System program. (“BAE Systems statement regarding the loss of employee in Iraq,” BAE Systems News Release, June 25, 2008).
Primary sourcing for this profile came from Tim Shorrock, ''Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing'' (Simon & Schuster/2008) and from company press releases.