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Introduction To Intelligence Essay

2664 words - 11 pages


Maurice E. Simmons

INTL 303: Introduction to Intelligence

28 December 2014

American Military University

Many of the intelligence community’s (IC) greatest triumphs can be traced back to the use of multiple intelligence methods. As Clark so eloquently stated, “The game of intelligence collection is a multidisciplinary endeavor.” Employment of multiple platforms, sensors, and techniques provides advantages for the analyst to produce valuable strategic intelligence. Collaborative intelligence not only creates accurate and timely information, collaborative intelligence can also reduce wasteful endeavors. For example, a Congressional directed staff ...view middle of the document...

According to the Army, “strategic intelligence is vital in order to provide strategic warning to senior leaders.” Strategic level intelligence is the link for decision superiority assisting in establishing strategy, policy, and military plans at the national level. The information collected from national agencies, such as CIA and NSA, allow analysts to consider civil-military relations, political, economic, and military capabilities. Employing various collections, and methods focusing on producing strategic intelligence, can include analyzed geographic regions and climate considerations. At this level, intelligence collected can be used in the research and development of new capabilities that can help mitigate the strength of the enemy.
Interestingly enough, strategic intelligence pushed the creation of courses-of-action or otherwise known as COA. The formulation of national strategy calls on COAs to consider the entire range of resources available to other nations, terrorist, or insurgent groups. Effective strategic planning is created from information collected, and builds a detailed understanding of adversarial intent and future strategy. Information derived from strategic intelligence will also help develop strategic centers of gravity (COG). The development of COGs defines the source of power that gives the adversary the will to fight. Strategic COGs can evaluate alliances, political, military leaders, and government ideologies. Once identified, the decision maker can make a determination whether to employ capabilities that can range from economic sanctions to kinetic actions. According to Dinu “the strategist decision-makers must have a rigorous picture of the international strategic environment and of the risks, threats and opportunities, as well as the costs involved by selecting a certain course of action.” In other words, the lack of strategic intelligence would cripple the ability for policy makers to form long term plans for the accomplishment of national objectives.
There is a great deal of value in strategic intelligence; however, it is also necessary to understand the value of the five basic intelligence components. By incorporating information from all intelligence disciplines such as Human Intelligence (HUMINT), Imagery Intelligence (IMINT), Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT), Signal Intelligence (SIGINT), and Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) the analyst can produce consolidated intelligence products of great importance to policymakers. To better understand the importance of integrating each type of intelligence, let us start with a description. HUMINT is the oldest of the intelligence disciplines and is gathered from human sources through direct contact. HUMINT information can be valuable if the source is credible and validated. For example, military attaches are considered one of the best HUMINT sources based on their access to foreign military counterparts. Military attaches can provide insight into the development of new...

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