An Assessment of the Assignments and Arrangements of the Executive Agent for DoD Biometrics and Status Report on the DoD Biometrics Enterprise

An Assessment of the Assignments and Arrangements of the Executive Agent for DoD Biometrics and Status Report on the DoD Biometrics Enterprise

Douglas Shontz
Martin C. Libicki
Rena Rudavsky
Melissa A. Bradley
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 104
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt3fh0n8
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  • Book Info
    An Assessment of the Assignments and Arrangements of the Executive Agent for DoD Biometrics and Status Report on the DoD Biometrics Enterprise
    Book Description:

    As the need to identify known and suspected combatants has elevated the importance of biometrics in the Department of Defense (DoD), RAND researchers assessed how current activities are supporting end users and how DoD is preparing to focus biometrics on different missions. As overseas contingency operations wind down, DoD’s biometrics program must move in a new direction, and continued funding must be justified in new ways.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-7987-9
    Subjects: Political Science, History, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures and Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Summary
    (pp. xi-xvi)

    In historical combat and in accordance with the Laws of Armed Conflict, soldiers were easily identified because they wore uniforms or bore other easily distinguished markings. However, the United States faced foes in Vietnam, after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and in two subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, who attempted to blend in with the population as much as possible. The need to identify known and suspected combatants and bad actors has elevated the importance of biometrics in the Department of Defense (DoD). Specifically, biometrics provide a potential way to increase the certainty about a person’s identity,...

  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xxii)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    Biometrics have assumed an increasing role in the Department of Defense’s (DoD) operations over the last ten years after being initially deployed in Iraq to help manage detainees. Part of the reason for this increased role lies in the changed nature of today’s wars. In historical combat and in accordance with the Laws of Armed Conflict, soldiers were easily identified because they wore uniforms or bore other easily distinguished markings.¹ Their exact identities were secondary: The uniform said everything about how they could be treated on the battlefield and thereafter. However, the United States faced foes in Vietnam, after the...

  9. CHAPTER TWO Study Methodology and Analytical Framework
    (pp. 9-16)

    Our report is based on information collected from September 2011 through January 2012. Thus, subsequent changes in circumstances may affect minor portions of the facts described, notably a recent decision by the Army to shift some of the EA responsibilities from one part of the Army to another and ongoing work to upgrade the authoritative database and handheld collection devices. Although none of the known potential changes affect our analysis, conclusions, and recommendations, they should be examined in subsequent annual assessments and status reports.

    The biometrics community is large and diverse. It stretches from the providers of biometrics services (mostly...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Assessment of the Assignments and Arrangements of the Executive Agent
    (pp. 17-42)

    This chapter begins with a description of the EA organization, roles, and responsibilities. It then describes the biometric capabilities that fall under the purview of the EA. The third section assesses the assignments and arrangements of the EA and describes issues with each of the eight stages of the biometrics cycle and qualitatively assesses the risk that certain identified issues pose to the cycle.

    The EA is supporting a functioning biometrics cycle that meets some level of warfighter needs and has had significant success identifying bad actors. Aspects of the EA’s assignments and arrangements show some deficiencies in managing biometrics...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Status Report on the Biometrics Program
    (pp. 43-54)

    This chapter discusses the overall status of the DoD biometrics “enterprise.” Biometrics activities in DoD are not an enterprise in the sense of a coherently planned, integrated effort. Instead, enterprise is shorthand for a set of disparate activities that grew from the bottom up. Our analytical approach to this section of the study was to consider gaps in policy, implementation, and related areas, and draw conclusions about the overall status across DoD. The greatest challenge in making statements about the status of the biometrics enterprise is that it lacks clear goals and measurable objectives against which we could judge its...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Conclusions, Options, and Recommendations
    (pp. 55-64)

    DoD’s biometrics systems function, but DoD lacks an agreed-upon set of goals for biometric use and a coherent end-to-end biometrics capability. In part, the EA had to respond to urgent operational needs with QRCs for Iraq and Afghanistan. Our review of existing capabilities and the statements of personnel interviewed led us to believe that OCO funding dulled the incentive and accountability that normally leads to efficient resource management and the development of an integrated system. However, the biometrics enterprise lacked strategic focus, which prevented it from laying a path to a coherent, integrated, and cost-effective system. Most of the progress...

  13. APPENDIX A Biometrics Enterprise Strategic Plan Goals
    (pp. 65-66)
  14. APPENDIX B Interview Protocol
    (pp. 67-68)
  15. APPENDIX C Metrics
    (pp. 69-74)
  16. APPENDIX D Reference List by Document Type
    (pp. 75-78)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 79-82)