Military intelligence

Last updated
A platoon commander of the 1st Marine Logistics Group, with the battalion interpreter, gather intelligence from local Afghans during a combat logistics patrol to the area, May 9, 2010 Marines gather intelligence from Afghans (4618090367) (cropped).jpg
A platoon commander of the 1st Marine Logistics Group, with the battalion interpreter, gather intelligence from local Afghans during a combat logistics patrol to the area, May 9, 2010

Military intelligence is a military discipline that uses information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to assist commanders in their decisions. [1] This aim is achieved by providing an assessment of data from a range of sources, directed towards the commanders' mission requirements or responding to questions as part of operational or campaign planning. To provide an analysis, the commander's information requirements are first identified, which are then incorporated into intelligence collection, analysis, and dissemination.

Contents

Areas of study may include the operational environment, hostile, friendly and neutral forces, the civilian population in an area of combat operations, and other broader areas of interest. [2] Intelligence activities are conducted at all levels, from tactical to strategic, in peacetime, the period of transition to war, and during a war itself.

Most governments maintain a military intelligence capability to provide analytical and information collection personnel in both specialist units and from other arms and services. The military and civilian intelligence capabilities collaborate to inform the spectrum of political and military activities.

Personnel performing intelligence duties may be selected for their analytical abilities and personal intelligence before receiving formal training.

Levels

Military intelligence diagram of defense positions during the Battle of Okinawa, 1945 Ie defence positions.png
Military intelligence diagram of defense positions during the Battle of Okinawa, 1945

Intelligence operations are carried out throughout the hierarchy of political and military activity.

Strategic

Strategic intelligence is concerned with broad issues such as economics, political assessments, military capabilities and intentions of foreign nations (and, increasingly, non-state actors). [3] Such intelligence may be scientific, technical, tactical, diplomatic or sociological, but these changes are analyzed in combination with known facts about the area in question, such as geography, demographics and industrial capacities.

Strategic Intelligence is formally defined as "intelligence required for the formation of policy and military plans at national and international levels", and corresponds to the Strategic Level of Warfare, which is formally defined as "the level of warfare at which a nation, often as a member of a group of nations, determines national or multinational (alliance or coalition) strategic security objectives and guidance, then develops and uses national resources to achieve those objectives."

Operational

Operational intelligence is focused on support or denial of intelligence at operational tiers. The operational tier is below the strategic level of leadership and refers to the design of practical manifestation. Formally defined as "Intelligence that is required for planning and conducting campaigns and major operations to accomplish strategic objectives within theaters or operational areas." [4] It aligns with the Operational Level of Warfare, defined as "The level of warfare at which campaigns and major operations are planned, conducted, and sustained to achieve strategic objectives within theaters or other operational areas." [4]

The term operation intelligence is used within law enforcement to refer to intelligence that supports long-term investigations into multiple, similar targets. Operational intelligence, in the discipline of law enforcement intelligence, is concerned primarily with identifying, targeting, detecting and intervening in criminal activity. The use within law enforcement and law enforcement intelligence is not scaled to its use in general intelligence or military/naval intelligence, being more narrowed in scope.

Tactical

Tactical intelligence is focused on support to operations at the tactical level and would be attached to the battlegroup. At the tactical level, briefings are delivered to patrols on current threats and collection priorities. These patrols are then debriefed to elicit information for analysis and communication through the reporting chain.[ citation needed ]

Tactical Intelligence is formally defined as "intelligence required for the planning and conduct of tactical operations", and corresponds with the Tactical Level of Warfare, itself defined as "the level of warfare at which battles and engagements are planned and executed to achieve military objectives assigned to tactical units or task forces".

Tasking

Intelligence should respond to the needs of leadership, based on the military objective and operational plans. The military objective provides a focus for the estimate process, from which a number of information requirements are derived. Information requirements may be related to terrain and impact on vehicle or personnel movement, disposition of hostile forces, sentiments of the local population and capabilities of the hostile order of battle.

In response to the information requirements, analysts examine existing information, identifying gaps in the available knowledge. Where gaps in knowledge exist, the staff may be able to task collection assets to target the requirement.

Analysis reports draw on all available sources of information, whether drawn from existing material or collected in response to the requirement. The analysis reports are used to inform the remaining planning staff, influencing planning and seeking to predict adversary intent.

This process is described as Collection Co-ordination and Intelligence Requirement Management (CCIRM).

Process

The process of intelligence has four phases: collection, analysis, processing and dissemination.

In the United Kingdom these are known as direction, collection, processing and dissemination.

In the U.S. military, Joint Publication 2-0 (JP 2-0) states: "The six categories of intelligence operations are: planning and direction; collection; processing and exploitation; analysis and production; dissemination and integration; and evaluation and feedback."

Collection

Many of the most important facts are well known or may be gathered from public sources. This form of information collection is known as open-source intelligence. For example, the population, ethnic make-up and main industries of a region are extremely important to military commanders, and this information is usually public. It is however imperative that the collector of information understands that what is collected is "information", and does not become intelligence until after an analyst has evaluated and verified this information. Collection of read materials, composition of units or elements, disposition of strength, training, tactics, personalities (leaders) of these units and elements contribute to the overall intelligence value after careful analysis.

The tonnage and basic weaponry of most capital ships and aircraft are also public, and their speeds and ranges can often be reasonably estimated by experts, often just from photographs. Ordinary facts like the lunar phase on particular days or the ballistic range of common military weapons are also very valuable to planning, and are habitually collected in an intelligence library.

A great deal of useful intelligence can be gathered from photointerpretation of detailed high-altitude pictures of a country. Photointerpreters generally maintain catalogs of munitions factories, military bases and crate designs in order to interpret munition shipments and inventories.

Most intelligence services maintain or support groups whose only purpose is to keep maps. Since maps also have valuable civilian uses, these agencies are often publicly associated or identified as other parts of the government. Some historic counterintelligence services, especially in Russia and China, have intentionally banned or placed disinformation in public maps; good intelligence can identify this disinformation.

It is commonplace for the intelligence services of large countries to read every published journal of the nations in which it is interested, and the main newspapers and journals of every nation. This is a basic source of intelligence.

It is also common for diplomatic and journalistic personnel to have a secondary goal of collecting military intelligence. For western democracies, it is extremely rare for journalists to be paid by an official intelligence service, but they may still patriotically pass on tidbits of information they gather as they carry on their legitimate business. Also, much public information in a nation may be unavailable from outside the country. This is why most intelligence services attach members to foreign service offices.

Some industrialized nations also eavesdrop continuously on the entire radio spectrum, interpreting it in real time. This includes not only broadcasts of national and local radio and television, but also local military traffic, radar emissions and even microwaved telephone and telegraph traffic, including satellite traffic.

The U.S. in particular is known to maintain satellites that can intercept cell-phone and pager traffic, usually referred to as the ECHELON system. Analysis of bulk traffic is normally performed by complex computer programs that parse natural language and phone numbers looking for threatening conversations and correspondents. In some extraordinary cases, undersea or land-based cables have been tapped as well.

More exotic secret information, such as encryption keys, diplomatic message traffic, policy and orders of battle are usually restricted to analysts on a need-to-know basis in order to protect the sources and methods from foreign traffic analysis.

Analysis

Analysis consists of assessment of an adversary's capabilities and vulnerabilities. In a real sense, these are threats and opportunities. Analysts generally look for the least defended or most fragile resource that is necessary for important military capabilities. These are then flagged as critical vulnerabilities. For example, in modern mechanized warfare, the logistics chain for a military unit's fuel supply is often the most vulnerable part of a nation's order of battle.

Human intelligence, gathered by spies, is usually carefully tested against unrelated sources. It is notoriously prone to inaccuracy. In some cases, sources will just make up imaginative stories for pay, or they may try to settle grudges by identifying personal enemies as enemies of the state that is paying for the intelligence. However, human intelligence is often the only form of intelligence that provides information about an opponent's intentions and rationales, and it is therefore often uniquely valuable to successful negotiation of diplomatic solutions.

In some intelligence organizations, analysis follows a procedure. First, general media and sources are screened to locate items or groups of interest, and then their location, capabilities, inputs and environment are systematically assessed for vulnerabilities using a continuously-updated list of typical vulnerabilities.

Filing

Critical vulnerabilities are then indexed in a way that makes them easily available to advisors and line intelligence personnel who package this information for policy-makers and war-fighters. Vulnerabilities are usually indexed by the nation and military unit with a list of possible attack methods.

Critical threats are usually maintained in a prioritized file, with important enemy capabilities analyzed on a schedule set by an estimate of the enemy's preparation time. For example, nuclear threats between the USSR and the U.S. were analyzed in real time by continuously on-duty staffs. In contrast, analysis of tank or army deployments are usually triggered by accumulations of fuel and munitions, which are monitored every few days. In some cases, automated analysis is performed in real time on automated data traffic.

Packaging threats and vulnerabilities for decision-makers is a crucial part of military intelligence. A good intelligence officer will stay very close to the policy-maker or war fighter to anticipate their information requirements and tailor the information needed. A good intelligence officer will also ask a fairly large number of questions in order to help anticipate needs. For an important policy-maker, the intelligence officer will have a staff to which research projects can be assigned.

Developing a plan of attack is not the responsibility of intelligence, though it helps an analyst to know the capabilities of common types of military units. Generally, policy-makers are presented with a list of threats and opportunities. They approve some basic action, and then professional military personnel plan the detailed act and carry it out. Once hostilities begin, target selection often moves into the upper end of the military chain of command. Once ready stocks of weapons and fuel are depleted, logistic concerns are often exported to civilian policy-makers.

Dissemination

The processed intelligence information is disseminated through database systems, intel bulletins and briefings to the different decision-makers. The bulletins may also include consequently resulting information requirements and thus conclude the intelligence cycle.

See also

Intelligence gathering disciplines
National

Footnotes

  1. "HTTPS, Secure HTTPS", SpringerReference, Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, 2011, doi:10.1007/springerreference_292
  2. "University Catalog 2011/2012, Master Courses: pp.99, size: 17MB" (PDF). US National Intelligence University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 January 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  3. Alfred Rolington. Strategic Intelligence for the 21st Century: The Mosaic Method. Oxford University Press, 2013.
  4. 1 2 "DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms" (PDF). US Joints Chief of Staff. pp. 162–163. Retrieved 10 August 2019.

Related Research Articles

United States Air Force Air service branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Air Force (USAF) is the air service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the eight U.S. uniformed services. Initially formed as a part of the United States Army on 1 August 1907, the USAF was established as a separate branch of the U.S. Armed Forces on 18 September 1947 with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947. It is the second youngest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and the fourth in order of precedence. The U.S. Air Force articulates its core missions as air superiority, global integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control.

Counterintelligence Offensive measures using enemy information

Counterintelligence is an activity aimed at protecting an agency's intelligence program from an opposition's intelligence service. It includes gathering information and conducting activities to prevent espionage, sabotage, assassinations or other intelligence activities conducted by, for, or on behalf of foreign powers, organizations or persons.

Office of Naval Intelligence United States Navy agency

The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) is the military intelligence agency of the United States Navy. Established in 1882 primarily to advance the Navy's modernization efforts, ONI is the oldest member of the United States Intelligence Community and serves as the nation's premier source of maritime intelligence. Since the First World War, its mission has broadened to include real-time reporting on the developments and activities of foreign navies; protecting maritime resources and interests; monitoring and countering transnational maritime threats; providing technical, operational, and tactical support to the U.S. Navy and its partners; and surveying the global maritime environment. ONI employs over 3,000 military and civilian personnel worldwide and is headquartered at the National Maritime Intelligence Center in Suitland, Maryland.

James A. Williams

James Arthur Williams was a United States Army lieutenant general. Williams served as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in the 1980s. He was a 1987 inductee of the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame and was the chairman of the board of directors for the National Military Intelligence Association.

NetOps

NetOps is defined as the operational framework consisting of three essential tasks, Situational Awareness (SA), and Command & Control (C2) that the Commander (CDR) of US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), in coordination with DoD and Global NetOps Community, employs to operate, manage and defend the Global Information Grid (GIG) to ensure information superiority for the United States.

Critical infrastructure protection

Critical infrastructure protection (CIP) is a concept that relates to the preparedness and response to serious incidents that involve the critical infrastructure of a region or nation.

Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence

The under secretary of defense for intelligence & security or USD(I&S) is a high-ranking civilian position in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) within the U.S. Department of Defense that acts as the principal civilian advisor and deputy to the secretary of defense and deputy secretary of defense on matters relating to military intelligence & security. The under secretary is appointed as a civilian by the president and confirmed by the Senate to serve at the pleasure of the president.

Psychological operations (United States) Military unit

Psychological operations (PSYOP) are operations to convey selected information and indicators to audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.

1st Information Operations Command (Land) Military unit

The 1st Information Operations Command (Land), formerly the Land Information Warfare Activity Information Dominance Center (LIWA/IDC), is an information operations unit under the operational control of U.S. Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) and headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

LandWarNet (LWN) is the United States Army’s contribution to the Global Information Grid (GIG) that consists of all globally interconnected, end-to-end set of Army information capabilities, associated processes, and personnel for collecting, processing, storing, disseminating, and managing information on demand supporting warfighters, policy makers, and support personnel. It includes all Army and leveraged Department of Defense (DOD)/Joint communications and computing systems and services, software, data security services, and other associated services. LandWarNet exists to enable the warfighter through Mission Command, previously described as Battle Command. Other U.S. service equivalent efforts to LandWarNet include the Navy's "FORCEnet" and the Air Force's "C2 Constellation."

Signals intelligence operational platforms by nation

Signals intelligence operational platforms are employed by nations to collect signals intelligence, which is intelligence-gathering by interception of signals, whether between people or between machines, or mixtures of the two. As sensitive information is often encrypted, signals intelligence often involves the use of cryptanalysis. However, traffic analysis—the study of who is signalling whom and in what quantity—can often produce valuable information, even when the messages themselves cannot be decrypted.

Intelligence cycle management refers to the overall activity of guiding the intelligence cycle, which is a set of processes used to provide decision-useful information (intelligence) to leaders. The cycle consists of several processes, including planning and direction, collection, processing and exploitation, analysis and production, and dissemination and integration. The related field of counterintelligence is tasked with impeding the intelligence efforts of others. Intelligence organizations are not infallible but, when properly managed and tasked, can be among the most valuable tools of management and government.

Intelligence Analysis Management is the process of managing and organizing the analytical processing of raw intelligence information. The terms "analysis", "production", and "processing" denote the organization and evaluation of raw information used in a phase informally called "connecting the dots", thus creating an "intelligence mosaic". The information may result in multiple analytic products, each with different security classifications, time scales, and levels of detail. Intelligence analysis goes back to the beginning of history. Sherman Kent is often considered the father of modern intelligence analysis. His writings include a 1947 book, Strategic Intelligence for American World Policy.

It is a maxim of intelligence that intelligence agencies do not make policy, but advise policymakers. Nevertheless, with an increasingly fast pace of operations, intelligence analysts may suggest choices of actions, with some projection of consequences from each. Intelligence consumers and providers still struggle with the balance of what drives information flow. Dissemination is the part of the intelligence cycle that delivers products to consumers, and Intelligence Dissemination Management refers to the process that encompasses organizing the dissemination of the finished intelligence.

Failure in the intelligence cycle or intelligence failure, is the outcome of the inadequacies within the intelligence cycle. The intelligence cycle itself consists of six steps that are constantly in motion. The six steps are: requirements, collection, processing and exploitation, analysis and production, dissemination and consumption, and feedback.

In United States military doctrine, unconventional warfare is one of the core activities of irregular warfare. Unconventional warfare is essentially support provided by the military to a foreign insurgency or resistance. The legal definition of UW is:

Unconventional Warfare consists of activities conducted to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt or overthrow an occupying power or government by operating through or with an underground, auxiliary or guerrilla force in a denied area.

Air and Space Warfare Centre Air Space Warfare Centre at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, England

The Air and Space Warfare Centre (AWSC) is a Royal Air Force research and testing organisation based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. It has a training branch nearby as a lodger unit of RAF Cranwell and other branches elsewhere, including at RAF High Wycombe, RAF Brize Norton, MOD Boscombe Down, and RAF Odiham.

Document Exploitation United States Armed Forces procedures to use documents seized in combat

Document Exploitation (DOCEX) is the set of procedures used by the United States Armed Forces to discover, categorize, and use documents seized in combat operations. In the course of performing its missions in the War on Terrorism, members of the United States Armed Forces discover vast amounts of documents in many formats and languages. When documents are suspected of containing information of potential intelligence value, rapid and accurate interpretation of the information identifies targets, bolsters success in subsequent operations, and enhances tactical and strategic all-source intelligence efforts. The sheer volume of documents acquired in the course of military operations can overwhelm a unit's capability to extract meaningful information in a timely manner.

Military operations is a concept and application of military science that involves planning the operations for the projected maneuvering forces' provisions, services, training, and administrative functions—to allow them to commence, insert, then egress from combat. The operations staff plays a major role in the projection of military forces in any wide spectrum of conflict; terrestrial, aerial, or naval warfare needed to achieve operational objectives in a theater of war.

Counter-IED efforts

Counter-IED efforts are done primarily by military and law enforcement with the assistance of the diplomatic and financial communities. It involves a comprehensive approach of countering the threat networks that employ improvised explosive devices (IEDs), defeating the devices themselves, and training others. Counter-IED, or C-IED, is usually part of a broader counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, or law enforcement effort. Because IEDs are a subset of a number of forms of asymmetric warfare used by insurgents and terrorists, C-IED activities are principally against adversaries and not only against IEDs. C-IED treats the IED as a systemic problem and aims to defeat the IED threat networks themselves.

References