U.S. Army operations increasingly depend on intelligence to help confront adversaries who are themselves highly competent, the Army said this week in a newly updated publication on military intelligence.
Future operations “will occur in complex operational environments against capable peer threats, who most likely will start from positions of relative advantage. U.S. forces will require effective intelligence to prevail during these operations.” See Intelligence, Army Doctrine Publication 2-0, September 4, 2018.
The quality of U.S. military intelligence is not something that can be taken for granted, the Army document said.
“Despite a thorough understanding of intelligence fundamentals and a proficient staff, an effective intelligence effort is not assured. Large-scale combat operations are characterized by complexity, chaos, fear, violence, fatigue, and uncertainty. The fluid and chaotic nature of large-scale combat operations causes the greatest degree of fog, friction, and stress on the intelligence warfighting function,” the document said.
“Intelligence is never perfect, information collection is never easy, and a single collection capability is never persistent and accurate enough to provide all of the answers.”
The Army document provides a conceptual framework for integrating intelligence into Army operations. It updates a prior version from 2012 which did not admit the existence of “peer” adversaries and did not mention the word “cyberspace.”
In the Joint Environment, ground operations (Marines and Army) are now being supported by Air Force and Navy personnel…they don’t use maps and they don’t understand ground operations….intelligence is completely not connected to requirements. People are more interested in gaining kudos for their work than providing useful intelligence….
During 1969 in Vietnam, the 101st Airborne Division had a G2 by the name of Sidney Weinstein. To see what his abilities were please watch or review the events that became known as Hamburger Hill.
Sidney fancied himself as an intelligence pro and ran his own agents outside of normal channels. These were mostly South Vietnamese who were much better at categorizing individuals than Sidney could ever hope to be. His instructions always started the same way…. “I think that………”
And so all the information he was provided by his agents always confirmed his thinking. Often at odds of his own intelligence staff. He was decidedly against the SIGINT community because he did not have access to our information (he never applied for the correct clearance) and he detested the CI folks because they continually told him that “his agents” were incompetent. I arrived in country just after he left, but the shambles that he left behind because of his view of his self importance remained. (He was an O6 and therefore knew all, but lacked basic intelligence skills as do most Army Intelligence Officers).
When he became the Army G2 his first mandate was to bring those three renegade groups (imagery, CI, and SIGINT) under his command. At the time, we all had our own chain that answered outside the G2 to the Chief of Staff of the Army…..this was primarily because Army intelligence operated at the Secret level to support its operational components and we three had compartmented programs that required special access. They got our sanitized data, but never source info…..Sidney claimed that intell staff should determine intelligence value and thus everyone should work for the organizational G2.
That became the end of the era for us, and our capabilities were reduced as we were folded into the Army G2. The introduction of an All Volunteer Force furthered our decline as we had to reduce the ASVAB scores to remove the potential of discrimination. So skills became eroded, officers became embolden to make decisions on what is provided in intelligence reports and thus began the process of tailoring information. The value of intelligence became suspect, as it should have, and the profession became neutered. Enter joint training where we have the Navy and Air Force providing training for the Army without a clue on how Army the works….We have seniors who are only interested in their career and will never, never, never provide intelligence that might cause waves.
A final nail in the coffin is the civilian staff that actually runs the organizations. Far removed from the actual process of intelligence, they are only concerned with their careers.
ROBERT STEELE: Tactical intelligence was also destroyed by Marty Hurwitz, then the SES head of the General Defense Intelligence Program )GDIP) until he was fired by Jim Clapper, who took DoD further down the techno-waste rabbit hole. The delusion that theater intelligence could replace tactical intelligence while ignoring the reality that national intelligence has never been useful to tactical commanders (we chose precision point satellite imagery over wide area surveillance imagery when we could afford only one system) combined with the deep corruption of US Army and US Marine Corps flag officers unwilling to fight for reliable intelligence capabilities. Intelligence was dead in Viet-Nam in because integrity was dead in Viet-Nam. Our intelligence leaders today are completely lacking in integrity and incoherent to boot. Every single one of them is about keeping the money moving, not about providing decision-support to all possible customers for decision-support. Amy Zegard got it right in Flawed by Design — this is a “fix big or don’t fix at all” problem and until the President of the United States is personally committed to making evidence-based decisions that include holistic analytics, true cost economics, and open source everything engineering opportunity avenues, US intelligence will continue to be shit — very very expensive shit.
Steele, Robert, “Intelligence at a Cross Roads: To Be Or Not To Be (Review of Principled Spying by David Omand and Mark Phythian),” American Herald Tribune, 25 June 2018. PBI BackUp
Steele, Robert, “Grand Theft, Mass Murder and Legalized Lies – Book Review as Epitaph,” American Herald Tribune, 19 June 2018. PBI BackUp
Steele, Robert, “The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies – Book Review,” American Herald Tribune, 5 June 2018. PBI BackUp