Military reworking spy operations
April 24th, 2012
02:02 PM ET

Military reworking spy operations

By Mike Mount

The U.S. military is revamping its spying program to better focus on threats off the battlefield, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.

The revised approach will focus on and improve the practice of human intelligence by U.S. military spies and better integrate that information into the broader intelligence community by sharing its assets with these organizations, according to Pentagon officials.

Officials said Tuesday that the new human intelligence effort will primarily focus on the Asia-Pacifc region, where growing threats from China, North Korea and even Muslim fundamentalist groups in the Philippines are on the rise.

Officials insisted that the new program, called the Defense Clandestine Service, will not be a reorganizing and moving of existing military spying assets. Instead, the move will add unique military capabilities to the bigger intelligence picture in support of both the CIA and the director of national intelligence, according to Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby.

The new effort has been in the works for some time as lessons learned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have taught the military news ways of thinking about intelligence collection, he said.

"It is borne coming out of 10 years of war, what we have learned, what we need to improve, better integration and coordination with the intelligence community and within the inter-agencies as we start to turn our attention to issues outside the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," Kirby said.

Kirby said one of the goals is to rebalance the military's intelligence collection, relying less on high-tech methods of collection while focusing and improving human intelligence collection, the practice of working with people to gather information.

He acknowledged that the practice of human intelligence has been a weak point for the military and said one of the goals is to rebalance the military's intel collection and rely less on high-tech methods of collection and focus and improve on human intelligence collection, the practice of working with people to gather information.

"We are very proficient on the technical side of intelligence collection, and this will help us get better on the human intelligence effort," Kirby said. He would not detail how the military plans to improve that effort.

The military's new intelligence service has several hundred members and is expected to grow with several hundred more over the next several years, but there has been no decision on how big it will end up, according to Kirby. The organization would grow by moving personnel and assignments of those already in the military intelligence community, he said.

Asked whether this is a power-grab attempt by the military at the expense of the CIA and other intelligence agencies, Kirby said it is not.

"I think we are comfortable with the way we set it up," he said. "This is intended to be complementary with efforts, not to be in competition with other intelligence efforts."

soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. win 7

    thanks for you.buy win 7 home.

    February 22, 2013 at 2:02 am | Reply
  2. Alex Povolotski

    China has already surpassed the threat from Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and alike. There was no serious threat from the Middle East in the first place but it always existed from Asia. The Iraq ruse was a wise move to draw the U.S. attention away from real troublemakers - China and allies.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  3. NN

    Wasn't it the Pentagon that did such spectacular job estimating Saddam's WMD arsenal? And aren't these the same brains who thought Chalabi was a viable future President of Iraq? And all that stuff about Iraqis welcoming the US with open arms- sorta like the liberation of Paris? We've heard quite enough from this bunch, maybe time to disband DoD's p a t h e t i c attempt at playing spy.

    April 25, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  4. NN

    "The revised approach will focus on and improve the practice of human intelligence by U.S. military spies..." -right, those U.S. military spies are mercenary locals and double agents who tell them what they want to hear for a price. No real intelligence there.

    April 25, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  5. Ian

    We already have the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), why do we now need the DCS (Defense Clandestine Service), unless that's just a branch of the DIA...which would be about right (same as their civilian counterpart).

    April 24, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Reply
    • Prometheus

      Don't forget the hundreds of private intelligence agencies.....that get paid to spy on the citizenry...

      April 24, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Reply
  6. 2/8

    Going from the Men in Black to the Man Who Knew Too Little......way to keep a secret guys!

    April 24, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  7. Paul

    With in each juciy tidbit of propoganda there are little bits of truths that the media can neither confirm or rule out. First the USA has two regional areas to maintian as peaceful as possible; the far east and middle east. The middle east has numerous possiblities but, most are unlikey to occur because everyone will be negatively affected. There is a threat to humanity in the region if Jordon's water supply is disrupted, contaminated or etc. No commander regionally will attack a neighbor of Jordon with the possible that the weapons will hurt themselves. No other water sources currently exist to satisify the region. The economic threat of toxic crude is well known. The far east. The new human spy for the mil. Most are our friends are flaw free guesses to the whole of possibilties for the pentagon. The other spies are come busy in current events and may not produce the formatted product for the pentagon only.

    April 24, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  8. gregory21

    Another way to increase the DOD budget.

    April 24, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  9. gingersrule1

    I agree with Gideon on most things except Obama. I believe Obama will stand behind Israel when the SHTF. Iran government needs to be taken out and North Korea needs to be knocked down a few pegs. Americans need to understand that we have enemies who will stop at nothing to see us destroyed instead of waiting for it to happen first. We don't live in a peaceful world. To assume so is suicide.

    April 24, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Reply
    • jake

      Indeed.

      It would be better for everybody, to have Israel to lead.

      It would then be possible to destroy the Arab, and the Persian races.

      After the third temple is built, blood sacrafice will resume, with goy children paying for the crimes of their fathers.

      Goy are meant to serve israel.

      April 24, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  10. Big_D

    Maybe they will acquire enough brain power to figure out that Murdoch has a Chinese wife and controls the GOP.

    April 24, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  11. microsoftie

    They finally decided to upgrade from Windows 2000, huh? Calling it a "Military rework of the Spy Network" sure sounds a lot sexier though.

    April 24, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  12. Kevin H

    They are using lessons learned from Iraq and Afghanistan to help them.

    What lessons if it were up to the Pentagon we would be borrowing from China to stay there forever.

    April 24, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  13. Gideon

    I'm sure mossad would help you silly Americans out of your trouble..

    For a nominal fee....

    April 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Reply
    • jason

      and just think i am taking the pages out of the jewish bible and wiping my azz with it. not to bad

      April 24, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
      • Ian

        "The Jewish Bible"
        That's funny. It shows how ignorant you truly are.

        April 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • jake

      I used to like Israel.

      Thanks for changing my mind.

      April 24, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Reply
  14. Center-Right

    This is how the dems win every election-

    "if you font vote for us, the republicans will-

    Take away women's rights
    Take away medicare and push grandma off a mountain
    Take away retirement
    Dehumanize[even more so under the current admin] Gays

    Have the Democrats offered any good piece of legislation? No, just to scare us alongside their propaganda machine the DMSNBC.

    April 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • Gideon

      As long as the candidate puts Israel first, all is well.

      Never again.

      April 24, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Reply
    • zaximus42

      Did you read the article you commented on? Just wondering because it's not about Dem vs Repub. You sure you are in the right place? You seem lost.

      April 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  15. Jigga Whaaaat

    I think they should just have Michael Western from Burn Notice be in the spy agency... He could kick some ass.

    April 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  16. Gideon

    Israel needs to be the focus here.

    We are facing destruction from Iran, but you still stuff burgers in your fat American faces...

    PUT BOOTS IN IRAN!!

    Have you forgotten what happened to us in WW2???

    If you Americans withdraw support, I'm quite sure my nation will take you down with us. The Jews are sick of taking shittt.

    Read the bible, the Jews are Chosen. You owe us your support.

    April 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • Spelling Error

      LOL...what a tool.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply
      • Gideon

        Yea, the Hebrew Hammer.....

        April 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
      • Gideon

        Ya, a Hebrew hammer....

        April 24, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
      • Pedro

        The jeews still want us to feel guilty regarding the Holocaust.

        America had NOTHING TO DO WITH THE HOLOCAUST.

        Europe needs to be israel's supplier not US.
        Zionists- quit making the American's feel guilty.
        Iran has the best name for you folks , the "Zionist Entity".
        The iranian Supreme leader, pres, and Majlis are no good as well themselves, so don't think I'm a Muslim for one second.

        April 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
      • Gideon

        Is fine Pedro, mossad will deal with people like you.

        Israel comes first.

        April 24, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • John

      You sir, are an idiot. You couldn't take down anyone if you tried. WW2.. seriously? Get with the times.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Reply
      • Gideon

        Pretty sure your the idiot goy....

        Know what a goy is???

        A fucckking cattle, for sacrafice at the Temple.

        About all you Americans are good for.

        April 24, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • jason

      Are you serious. we owe you. your funny. if it wasnt the united states protecting you all the time you would of been roast by now. sounds like to me we should of let hitler finish your people off and save tax payers money

      April 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Reply
      • Tom

        Are you guys nuts? Giddeon is a tool for the muslims trying to incite us to NOT be supportive of Israel.

        April 24, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • zaximus42

      You should probably not be typing.

      April 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
    • Olaf

      Juden Schwein!

      April 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Reply
    • Tyler

      Wow some sissy talking about Americans and eating. Sooooo new and funny. All this jealousy is making me crave some Arbys. I'm glad I live in a country where I can do and get whatever I want.

      April 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Reply
    • down with this kike

      Put ur own damn boots on the ground. It is not our war nor our problem.

      April 24, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Reply
    • Ian

      Pretty obvious that this guy, Gideon, is not Jewish or Israeli. He's just stirring the pot to heat up the anti-semitic sentiment here. A troll. Nothing more. Nothing less.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  17. Hahahahahaha

    It looks like the Washington monument is flipping the bird to the pentagon. Hahahahahahaha

    April 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • mordechai the chosen one

      as it should....

      April 24, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • pinkey

      Its a free for all you can bet their life snakes r high an so r they Its in the air tonight. lol

      April 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Reply
      • Snoot

        ??????????????????????????????

        April 25, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  18. JJS

    I do not understand why on earth this information is released to the public. Has the meaning of the word "spy" changed? Why are we endangering those already in place? This is just so wrong on so many levels that it freezes the brain to even begin.

    April 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • Gideon

      As long as Israel is safe, I could give a fucccck less about goy spooks...

      Read the bible, Jews are Chosen.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply
    • Thomas

      The media miss-uses the word "spy" all the time.

      April 24, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Reply
    • pinkey

      yapthey tell it all an then wonder why we get attacked . what school did the come from lol

      April 24, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  19. iceback777

    Nothing will ever get accomplished with all the alphabet soup intelligence agencies competing with one another. Nuff said.

    April 24, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • Gideon

      Mossad is much superior to your pathetic excuses for intelligence agencies....

      Vote for pro-zionist candidates, Israel must come first.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  20. Skipper

    Okay..... thanks for advising the world of the spy changes. Good thinkin'.

    April 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Reply
    • Nancy

      Romney-Rubio 2012 will stop the spread of communism within our borders. God Bless America.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Reply
      • mfx3

        There are only 2 people who are bigger losers than you: Romney and Rubio. Congrats.

        April 24, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
      • Carl V.

        Hey mfx3, why is it that women like you always post stupid comments? You must be from Russia or Cuba maybe?

        April 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
      • Ajooj majoj

        Romney and Rubio aren't divisive as our President and JB are. So many folks' don't remember what a proud American feeling is like .
        Whether the left and and the m S m like it or not, Romney and Rubio will be humble and not arrogant and ego-centric.
        They aren't perfect, but it's a better alternative.
        Im anticipating Romney asking the president during the debates , "are we better off than we were 4 yrs ago?"
        He will have to eat those words and swallow them like a potato chip sideways.

        Ok folks, lets get ready for the blame Bush bots replying with only emotion, fear mongering , and bumper sticker comments. The left have no substance. You can compare the left to those in Iran at Friday prayers shouting" dethh to Amrika! "

        April 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
      • Panties

        Aw, GeezUs H. Crappies.

        April 24, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • wtf

      I know right?!?! This article is basically eliminating any secrecy for the "new spy program" that they are planning to implement... Lets just tell the whole continent of Asia, "hey, we're going to spy on you, hope you don't mind!".... Military intelligence... More like military ignorance! But look at who the Commander in Chief is, not suprising at all...

      April 24, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Reply
      • Gideon

        Your right, Obama has voiced discontent with Israeli policy. He has to go....

        Never again!!

        April 24, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • pinkey

      yap wonder what school they came from lol

      they all tell to much .TO MUCH INFO

      April 24, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Reply
  21. rad666

    So there will be no more issues with paying "the ladies of the night," those expenses will be covered by a new payroll deduction from everyone's paycheck. Let's keep spreading American democracy, one lay at a time.

    April 24, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  22. David

    Is there not a contradiction in this article? Please compare first sentence of third paragraph with last sentence of eigth paragraph......Compare: There will not be a moving of existing assets with the organization would grow by moving personnel and assignments of those already in military intelligence. Either disinformation, confusion or stupidity. By whom I do not know.

    April 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • WHAT

      you said it all when you said in your last few words , ,,,, you do not know , i don't either , but the sad part is they might not know either.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  23. steve

    What a propaganda piece. Increased border security on the Mexican border is there to prevent terrorists from coming across, and from bring arms INTO the usa? Try dealing with some FACTS CNN – this report was rife with pure BS.

    FACT – more illegals are crossing from the USA into Mexico than the other way around.

    FACT – the gun traffic runs from the USA into Mexico and most of the arms used by the drug lords are purchased at gun shows in the USA from front men buyers and sold at huge profit to the drug lords for smuggling back into Mexico

    FACT there has not been a single terrorist that we know of that has ever gained entry into the USA by crossing illegally over the Mexican USA border. Several HAVE been intercepted crossing from CANADA (and are we beefing up security on that border/) NO. (nor should we)

    What we really have is a racist policy of border enforcement fueled largely by right wing politics driven by the TeaParty and the NRA in the USA that has all our politicians cowed (including our current President – who has found it necessary to tout his increased level of border security that has greatly exceeded that under his Republican predecessor.

    And when our Justice department engaged in a program to attempt to follow the illegal gun traffic by allowing gunrunners to make purchases so they could be followed and tracked to the Drug Lords of Mexico, The NRA and right wing raised a huge stink trying to gain political advantage when a us border agent was killed by one of the low level gun runners. But the policy in place was the correct one, the casualty was most unfortunate but should not have led to the termination of that program.

    April 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Reply
    • JB

      Say hello to Mickey and Donald while you're there in Fantasyland.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
    • Gary Dee, Portland, Oregon

      Several terrorists have crossed from Canada, you say? Well, there was Ahmed Ressam (whose handler was already in the US under refugee status, turned state's witness on him). Any others? Please don't repeat the myth about any 9/11 terrorists.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
    • Gideon

      If Israel suffers because of your weak borders, goyim blood will flow.

      Israel comes first.

      April 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  24. politicallyinsurrect

    Yay more agencies to record every porn site I visit!

    April 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Reply
    • helomoto12354

      Actually, it's more agencies to make sure our military is well informed and can actually protect us. Who's looking at what porn sites you visit are marketing companies.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Reply
      • politicallyinsurrect

        Right, because the military needs to be more well informed, even though we've had stealth bombers for half a century, and have been developing secret technologies that haven't seen the light of day ever since. Pretty sure we already have the technology to just eliminate any potential military threat with little to no effort. Controlling free speech and free thought, however, is a little more difficult.

        April 30, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  25. fog is the product of twist and turns

    with obama leaning into russian front man in south korea and asking putin for favours should be the first concern of defence.
    RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY IS AIDED BY OBAMA .

    April 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Reply
    • helomoto12354

      It's facilitated by Obama, you have to be politically correct here. ;)

      April 24, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Reply
    • Jeremy

      Russia is selling arms, ammunition, and natural gas to China and China is all too willing to buy from them...Its not in the U.S best interest to have two of the biggest powers in Eurasia as allies..Putin may be a dictator in a crack pot democracy but we need their assistance in containing a rising China.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
      • WHAT

        you are clearly saying we must kiss russian china but !

        the future of our nation in the hands of a mindset like yours is alarming.

        April 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  26. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    As president and commander-in-chief, who would take the 3am call for Mitt on the Sabbath? Hehehe!

    April 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • Oprah's Mooseknuckle

      Maybe Rev. Jeremiah Wright can take the call.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • Jkhur

      I would imagine a person in the same position as whomever takes those calls now for the observant Christian President Obama. The prohibition on working on the Sabbath which you allude to is not limited to the Mormon faith. Nor would it prove any more an obstacle to Mitt Romney than it does to Presdient Obama.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  27. LoboSolo

    The following quote has been on my office wall for years:
    "Intelligence is the second oldest profession in the world;
    but it is more immoral and has many more amateurs than the first"
    Undisclosed Author

    April 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  28. nik green

    For the biggest threats to our nation, they only need to look in the mirror.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • FedFraud

      At least someone knows the truth, but don't say it too loud though. We have infiltrated within the ranks of the military and intelligence areas. When the crap hits the fan, it will be the biggest blunder of all time by their so-called Intelligence.
      Our intelligence is this: every action creates a reaction.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
      • Gideon

        Half your assets are working for Israel....

        As it should be.

        April 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  29. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Too bad our horny secret service agents didn't try to solicit some female suicide bombers! Idiots!

    April 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  30. Chief Empty Pockets

    A few more layers of management and liasions will really shorten the kill chain right? or maybe just add a few more positions for GOs and civillian equivalents.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  31. Burm

    yeah, more bureaucrats. What a improvement

    April 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • Chief Empty Pockets

      great minds think alike!

      April 24, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  32. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Military intelligence? Then what ever happened to the WMD's in Iraqi? So it was all a hoax by the GWB administration to drag us into an illegitimate war? Then if so, why isn't GWB and cabinet detained at the Hague? Following the killing of OBL, Dick Cheyney was quick to claim it was his former administration's intelligence that got the job done! Then if they had such intelligence of OBL's whereabouts at their disposal, why did they harbor him in Pakistan? Let's face it, our military intelligence is as effective or ineffective as the a-h/o/l/e/s at the helms of using it!

    April 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Reply
    • CM

      You obviously have no idea about Intel or politics. Keep your day job!

      April 24, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  33. Hasai

    We had something like this during the Vietnam War; it was called the Army Security Agency (ASA). Although ostensibly an Army asset, it was in actually under the control of, and answered solely to, the National Security Council. This created a "stovepipe" infrastructure, in which intelligence could not be disseminated to people in the field until it had propagated all the way up to D.C. and then all the way back down. The result was stale, incomplete intel delivered far too late for field personnel to make use of.
    This is known history in the Intelligence community, and the fact that it's being trotted-out again in spite of that history smacks of little more than a bare-faced power grab on the part of some bureaucrat at the CIA.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
    • Pat

      ASA was broken into 2 entities, US Army Intelligence Security Command (INSCOM) and the National Security Agency (NSA).

      April 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • rad666

      Isn't a stovepipe structure the main reason 9/11 was able to happen? FBI field agents were sending intel up the chain of command and it never got desseminated?

      April 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply
      • Pat

        Able Danger

        April 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • AgrippaMT

      Wrong. ASA existed for many years before the Viet Nam war. It was subordinate to the National Security Agency (NSA), not the National Security Council. ASA played a vital role in tracking Soviet and Chinese strategic warfare capabilities. It was a great place to serve.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Reply
    • RadioResearch

      The ASA came about in 1945 after the OSS was dismantled. It had its place mostly in electronic warfare (intercept) operations and was finally broken apart in 1976 (many suggest we got too big for our britches) and became Army INSCOM (the Intelligence and Security Command). The Air Force has the ESS (Electronic Security Squadron) and the Navy the NSG. My old MOS, 05K, was eventually swallowed up into another series (the 98 series) after teleype and HF began to fall by the wayside. We were the top 10% of the Army. We few, we happy few!

      April 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  34. rad666

    Bring back Napoleon Solo, Illya Kuryakin, Kelly Robinson and Alexander Scott. They will save the world.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
    • xirume

      Amen that

      April 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • Thomas

      April Dancer. She was cuter. :)

      April 24, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  35. duh

    yes let us post our plans for spy operations on cnn
    totally gnar

    April 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
    • pinkey

      yap tell the world what an when we do it. then wonder why we get attacked .

      April 24, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  36. USA401

    Huh? Intelligence is an oxymoron.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Reply
    • Mister Jones

      Yours appears to be.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  37. DC Observer

    Each secret CIA cell will set up a Facebook page entitled (as an example) – Iranian CIA Secret Cell Operating in Damascus - and will use Twitter to announce Black Ops and special agent meetings to be held at local Pizza Huts (the CIA is switching from Dominoes to Pizza Hut in light of the Iranian incident earlier this year).

    April 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Reply
    • martin

      you're an idiot!

      April 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
      • DC Observer

        And you have no sense of humor

        April 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
      • DC Observer

        Fort Holabird Baltimore MD 1966

        April 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Pat

      When did you get access to a computer PFC Manning?

      April 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Reply
      • DC Observer

        They put one in my cell

        April 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  38. Huh?

    Military Intelligence is an oxymoron.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply

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