By CNN Sr. National Security Producer Charley Keyes
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, himself a symbol of close links between the military and intelligence agencies, Thursday praised the new collaboration as vital to national security in an very uncertain and dangerous world.
"History will look back on this moment and recognize that we have come together not only as an intelligence team but the military community and the intelligence community have now formed a strong partnership that is helping to protect this country in every way," Panetta said. He was visiting the Defense Intelligence Agency, celebrating its 50 years of service. Panetta jumped from CIA director to the Pentagon and General David Petraeus now holds the top CIA post.
"Your vital work, the work of DIA, makes our military vastly more effective and lethal," Panetta said at DIA headquarters.