Military Intelligence (MI), Organization of


Military Intelligence (MI), Organization of
   The organizational structure of Military Intelligence was established during the Burma Socialist Programme Party period (1962-1988), with some modifications after the State Law and Order Restoration Council came to power in September 1988. Stated briefly, the modifications restored much of the autonomy enjoyed by Military Intelligence agencies before the purge of "MI" Tin Oo in 1983. Before the purge of MI commander Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt in October 2004, the National Intelligence Bureau, which was directly responsible to the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), oversaw all intelligence activities, including not only the Directorate of Defense Services Intelligence (DDSI, also known as the Military Intelligence Service, MIS), which was under the authority of the Ministry of Defence, but also intelligence agencies attached to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs, National Planning and Economic Development, and Immigration and Population. However, the DDSI was the most powerful intelligence organ, carrying out the SPDC's most important information-gathering activities and exercising control over the civilian intelligence agencies. Its director, Khin Nyunt, was concurrently director general of the National Intelligence Bureau and (until 2003) Secretary-1 of the SPDC. Following his 2004 ouster, the National Intelligence Bureau was abolished. All intelligence units attached to the three services of the Tatmadaw were subordinate to the DDSI, which also commanded its own hierarchy of special units (Military Intelligence companies) on the regional level. The number of these special units increased from 14 in 1989 to approximately 40 by 2000. They were concentrated in urban areas and in border regions adjacent to China, India, and Bangladesh. After 1992, they reported directly to the DDSI headquarters, rather than through the regular Tatmadaw chain of command. Some DDSI personnel were responsible for surveillance of the Tatmadaw rank and file, which, along with its independence from the regular chain of command, made the DDSI a focus of strong resentment on the part of the regular military.
   In the mid-1990s, the Office of Strategic Studies (OSS) was established as a "think tank," with Khin Nyunt as its head. Although the DDSI's headquarters had been located in the heavily guarded Defence Services Compound in central Rangoon (Yangon), it reportedly moved to a new location at Eight Mile Junction north of Inya Lake. DDSI had working relations with the governments of a number of SPDC-friendly countries, including China, Singapore, and possibly Israel. Since Khin Nyunt's purge, however, the MI apparatus has been in disarray, and it is unclear what will replace it as the "eyes and ears" of the SPDC.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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