Intelligence: All You Have To Do Is Ask


January 11, 2010: For decades, the U.S. Special Forces has urged the U.S. Army to handle intelligence, in places like Afghanistan, differently. Instead of trying to identify and analyze "the enemy," it better to analyze, and keep tabs on, the community (usually a tribe or clan) that the enemy fighters and leaders are drawn from. This went against everything soldiers have learned over centuries.

There have long been separate intelligence organizations to collect data on other countries, but the military intel units tend to concentrate on enemy fighting forces. However, in Afghanistan, while the enemy fighters may be from Pakistan, or some other province, once they arrive in Afghanistan, their goal is to persuade, or, more often, terrorize Afghan communities. Those communities, with the right support and motivation, can drive the Taliban away. But before you discuss this with the locals, you have to know who you are dealing with, and what their situation is. Thus the need for a new approach to combat intelligence. If you get tight with the locals, they will supply you with fresh, and excellent, information on the enemy. This is how the Special Forces frequently surprises regular army units with great info on the enemy. It's not just that the Special Forces troops are great intel experts, but that they know who to ask, how to ask them, and in what language.



Article Archive

Intelligence: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close