Journal: Multinational Operations 101

04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 10 Security, Methods & Process, Military

Full Story Online
Full Story Online

Italian Troops Denied Access To Intelligence Reports, Minister Says

Richard Owen  TimesOnline (UK) October 20, 2009

Italy is denied full access to intelligence assessments in Afghanistan, a restriction that affects its troops' ability to operate safely and hampers allied co-ordination, the Italian Foreign Minister said yesterday.

The lack of co-ordination and pooled intelligence between Nato forces was a widespread problem, Franco Frattini said. “We have repeatedly raised this issue,” he added.  …

Mr Frattini said the problem was that intelligence was “the only resource not put at the disposal of everyone”. He said that in Herat, which is under Italian and Spanish command, there was excellent co-ordination with Spanish forces, “but if I want to leave Herat to go to Kandahar it is another matter”.

Phi Beta Iota: This story of failure to do multinational intelligence sharing is important at multiple levels.  It confirms that we still do not share what we do know with allies whose lives are in harms way as a result of their supporting our national policy.  It implies that we do not have much to share because if we did, the well-intentioned officers on the ground would find a way to share.  Finally, it confirms that the US Government generally, and the US Department of Defense specifically, still cannot do for intelligence what the Coalition Coordination Center (CCC) in Tampa did for logistics–we desperately need to create a Multinational Decision Support Center (MDSC) that is rooted in Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) but able to handle Secret, Top Secret, and Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) off-shoots on a case by case basis.  This is not rocket science–it just takes two words from the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA):  “Do It!”

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