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Military intelligence is a military discipline that exploits a number of information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions. This is achieved by providing an assessment of available data from a wide range of sources, directed towards the commanders' mission requirements or responding to focused questions as part of the operational or campaign planning activity. In order to provide an informed analysis, the commander's information requirements are first identified. These information requirements are then incorporated into a process of intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination.

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.[1] 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 intelligence capabilities will interact with civilian intelligence capabilities to inform the spectrum of political and military activities.

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

Levels of intelligenceEdit

Ie defence positions

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 intelligenceEdit

Strategic intelligence is concerned with broad issues such as economics, political assessments, military capabilities and intentions of foreign nations (and, increasingly, non-state actors).[2] 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.

Operational intelligenceEdit

Operational intelligence is focused on support to an expeditionary force commander and will be attached to the formation headquarters.

Tactical intelligenceEdit

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.

Intelligence taskingEdit

Intelligence should respond to the needs of the commander, based on the military objective and the outline plans for the operation. 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 the analysis staff will trawl existing information identifying gaps in the available knowledge. Where gaps in knowledge exist the staff may be able to task collection assets to collect against 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 intelligence processEdit

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

In the United Kingdom these are known as:

  • Direction
  • Collection
  • Processing
  • Dissemination.

CollectionEdit

CSI timeline

Center for the Study of Intelligence (CSI) Timeline CIA Factbook on Intelligence[3] key:
1. German Enigma Enciphering Machine WWII
2. Special Forces' Wings WWII
3. Virginia Hall's Distinguished Service Cross WWII (Courtesy of Lorna Catling)
4. OSS/Early CIA Time Stamp, ca.1945
5. On the Front Lines of the Cold War: Documents on the Intelligence War in Berlin, 1946 to 1961
6. The CIA Under Truman
7. Venona: Soviet Espionage and the American Response, 1939–1959
8. Selected Estimates on the Soviet Union 1950–1959
9. Sign, North Building, Original CIA Headquarters, 2430 E Street, Washington, D.C. ca. 1950
10. Corona: America's First Satellite Program 1960
11. Air America Cap, ca. 1960
12. Pneumatic Tube System, Original Headquarters Building ca. 1963
13. The CIA and the U-2 Program, 1954–1974
14. Winter Hat, Soviet Military ca. 1980
15. Minox ‘Model B' Camera 1948–1972
16. Soviet Infrared Night Vision Device, ca. 1970s
17. Intentions and Capabilities: Estimates on Soviet Strategic Forces, 1950–1983
18. At Cold War's End: US Intelligence on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, 1989–1991
19. Canteen, Iraqi Military ca. 1991
20. Helmet, Iraqi Military ca. 1991
21. Caltrop (tire spike) 1991
22. The Day the Wall Came Down, ©1991 by Veryl Goodnight, Berlin, Germany
23. Studies in Intelligence
24. Psychology of Intelligence Analysis by Richards J. Heuer, Jr. 1999
25. In June 2002, the CIA commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Office of Strategic Services with a special publication of Studies in Intelligence and a new legacy exhibit on the OSS in the CIA Museum.

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 he 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, dipostion of the same, 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 counter-intelligence 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 able to 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.

AnalysisEdit

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 logistic train 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 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, screening general media and sources to locate items or groups of interest, and then systematically assessing their location, capabilities, inputs and environment for vulnerabilities, using a continuously-updated list of typical vulnerabilities.

PackagingEdit

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 on slower, every-few-days cycles. 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 ask a fairly large number of questions in order to help anticipate needs, perhaps even to the point of annoying the principal. 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.

DisseminationEdit

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

It can also be leaked for political purposes by the Executive Branch or by whistleblowers such as Daniel Ellsberg.[4][5]

See alsoEdit

National
US specific

FootnotesEdit

  1. "University Catalog 2011/2012, Master Courses: pp.99, size: 17MB". US National Intelligence University. http://www.ni-u.edu/pdf/NIU_Catalog_2011.pdf. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  2. Alfred Rolington. Strategic Intelligence for the 21st Century: The Mosaic Method. Oxford University Press, 2013.
  3. https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/facttell/timeline_key.html
  4. Burn Before Reading, Stansfield Turner, Hyperion, 2006. ISBN 0-7868-6782-5
  5. The Secret Sharer, Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, May 23, 2011

ReferencesEdit

  • N.J.E. Austin and N.B. Rankov, Exploratio: Military and Political Intelligence in the Roman World From the Second Punic War to the Battle of Adrianople. London: Routledge, 1995.
  • Julius Caesar, The Civil War. Translated by Jane F. Mitchell. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.
  • Cassius Dio, Dio's Roman History. Translated by Earnest Cary. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1916.
  • Francis Dvornik, Origins of Intelligence Services. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1974.
  • J.F.C. Fuller, A Military History of the Western World, Vol. 1: From the Earliest Times to the Battle of Lepanto. New York: Da Capo Press, 1987.
  • Richard A. Gabriel and Karen S. Metz, From Summer to Rome; The Military Capabilities of Ancient Armies. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991.
  • John Keegan, Intelligence in War. New York: Knopf, 2003.
  • Charles H. Harris & Louis R. Sadler. The Border and the Revolution: Clandestine Activities of the Mexican Revolution 1910-1920. HighLonesome Books, 1988.
  • Ishmael Jones, The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture, New York: Encounter Books, 2010 (ISBN 978-1594032233).
  • Henry Landau, The Enemy Within: The Inside Story of German Sabotage in America. G.P. Putnam Sons, 1937.
  • Sidney F. Mashbir. I Was An American Spy. Vantage, 1953.
  • Nathan Miller. Spying for America: The Hidden History of U.S. Intelligence. Dell Publishing, 1989.
  • Ian Sayer & Douglas Botting. America's Secret Army, The Untold Story of the Counter Intelligence Corps. Franklin Watts Publishers, 1989.
  • Barbara W. Tuchman, The Zimmerman Telegram. Ballantine Books, 1958.
  • "Coast Guard Intelligence Looking For a Few Good Men and Women." Commandant's Bulletin (Jun 10 1983), p. 34.
  • "Coast Guard Investigative Service." Coast Guard (Dec 1996), pp. 24–25.
  • The Coast Guard at War: Volume XII: Intelligence. Washington, DC: Historical Section, Public Information Division, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, January 1, 1949.
  • Hinsley, Francis F. "British Intelligence in the Second World War: Its Influence on Strategy and Operations". Cambridge University Press, 1990.
  • Ruiz, Victor H., 2010. "A Knowledge Taxonomy for Army Intelligence Training: An Assessment of the Military Intelligence Basic Officer Leaders Course Using Lundvall’s Knowledge Taxonomy". Applied Research Projects. Texas State University Paper 331. http://ecommons.txstate.edu/arp/331
  • Alfred Rolington. Strategic Intelligence for the 21st Century: The Mosaic Method. Oxford University Press, 2013.

External linksEdit

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