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Military intelligence is a military discipline that uses information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to assist commanders in their decisions. 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.
Intelligence analysis is the application of individual and collective cognitive methods to weigh data and test hypotheses within a secret socio-cultural context. The descriptions are drawn from what may only be available in the form of deliberately deceptive information; the analyst must correlate the similarities among deceptions and extract a common truth. Although its practice is found in its purest form inside national intelligence agencies, its methods are also applicable in fields such as business intelligence or competitive intelligence.
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.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.
Intelligence operations are carried out throughout the hierarchy of political and military activity.
Strategic intelligence is concerned with broad issues such as economics, political assessments, military capabilities and intentions of foreign nations (and, increasingly, non-state actors).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 (STRATINT) pertains to the collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence that is required for forming policy and military plans at the national and international level. Much of the information needed for strategic reflections comes from Open Source Intelligence. Other sources include traditional HUMINT, Signals intelligence including ELINT, MASINT which overlaps with SIGINT/ELINT to some degree, and 'National technical means of verification'.
In international relations, non-state actors (NSAs) are individuals or groups that hold influence and which are wholly or partly independent of a sovereign state or state.
Sociological intelligence is military or competitive intelligence concerning the social stratification, value systems, and group dynamics of a population.
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 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."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."
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 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".
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.
Leadership is both a research area and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual or organization to "lead" or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations. Specialist literature debates various viewpoints, contrasting Eastern and Western approaches to leadership, and also United States versus European approaches. U.S. academic environments define leadership as "a process of social influence in which a person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task".
In modern use, the order of battle of an armed force participating in a military operation or campaign shows the hierarchical organization, command structure, strength, disposition of personnel, and equipment of units and formations of the armed force. Various abbreviations are in use, including OOB, O/B, or OB, while ORBAT remains the most common in the United Kingdom. An order of battle should be distinguished from a table of organisation, which is the intended composition of a given unit or formation according to the military doctrine of its armed force. As combat operations develop during a campaign, orders of battle may be revised and altered in response to the military needs and challenges. Also the known details of an order of battle may change during the course of executing the commanders' after action reports and/or other accounting methods as combat assessment is conducted.
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).
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."
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 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.
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.
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.
The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial and space warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven American 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 youngest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the fourth in order of precedence. The USAF is the largest and most technologically advanced air force in the world. The Air Force articulates its core missions as air and space superiority, global integrated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control.
Military science is the study of military processes, institutions, and behavior, along with the study of warfare, and the theory and application of organized coercive force. It is mainly focused on theory, method, and practice of producing military capability in a manner consistent with national defense policy. Military science serves to identify the strategic, political, economic, psychological, social, operational, technological, and tactical elements necessary to sustain relative advantage of military force; and to increase the likelihood and favorable outcomes of victory in peace or during a war. Military scientists include theorists, researchers, experimental scientists, applied scientists, designers, engineers, test technicians, and other military personnel.
A military is a heavily-armed, highly organised force primarily intended for warfare, also known collectively as armed forces. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct military uniform. It may consist of one or more military branches such as an Army, Navy, Air Force and in certain countries, Marines and Coast Guard. The main task of the military is usually defined as defence of the state and its interests against external armed threats.
United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) is one of the eleven unified combatant commands in the United States Department of Defense. Headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, USSTRATCOM is responsible for strategic deterrence, global strike, and operating the Defense Department's Global Information Grid. It also provides a host of capabilities to support the other combatant commands, including strategic warning; integrated missile defense; and global command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR). This dynamic command gives national leadership a unified resource for greater understanding of specific threats around the world and the means to respond to those threats rapidly.
In the field of military theory, the operational level of war represents the level of command that connects the details of tactics with the goals of strategy.
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.
The Space Innovation & Development Center (SIDC), formerly the Space Warfare Center (SWC), was a military unit of the United States Air Force. It was directly under Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) and resided at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. In 2013, AFSPC and ACC restructured the SIDC. Effective 1 April 2013, the SIDC transitioned into several Operating Locations at Schriever AFB under ACC's United States Air Force Warfare Center, headquartered at Nellis Air Force Base, NV.
The 607th Air Intelligence Squadron is located at Osan Air Base, home of the 51st Fighter Wing, roughly 40 miles (64 km) south of Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea. The squadron comprises six flights of approximately 180 officer and enlisted personnel. United States military personnel serve in the Republic of Korea (ROK), shoulder to shoulder with the ROK military, in order to ensure the continuation of the country's democratic government.
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.
The Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence or USD(I) 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 and Deputy Secretary of Defense on matters relating to military intelligence. The Under Secretary is appointed from civilian life by the President and confirmed by the Senate to serve at the pleasure of the President.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Special reconnaissance (SR) is conducted by small units of highly trained military personnel, usually from special forces units or military intelligence organizations, who operate behind enemy lines, avoiding direct combat and detection by the enemy. As a role, SR is distinct from commando operations, but both are often carried out by the same units. The SR role frequently includes covert direction of air and missile attacks, in areas deep behind enemy lines, placement of remotely monitored sensors and preparations for other special forces. Like other special forces, SR units may also carry out direct action (DA) and unconventional warfare (UW), including guerrilla operations.
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.
The Air Warfare Centre (AWC) 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.
Strategically, cyber defence refers to operations that are conducted in the cyber domain in support of mission objectives. To help understand the practical difference between cyber security and cyber defence, is to recognize that cyber defence requires a shift from network assurance (security) to mission assurance where cyber defence is fully integrated into operational planning across the Joint Functions. Cyber defence focuses on sensing, detecting, orienting, and engaging adversaries in order to assure mission success and to out-manoeuver that adversary. This shift from security to defence requires a strong emphasis on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and the integration of staff activities to include intelligence, operations, communications, and planning. Defensive cyber operations refer to activities on or through the global information infrastructure to help protect and institutions’ electronic information and information infrastructures as a matter of mission assurance. Does not normally involve direct engagement with the adversary.
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 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 System.
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