Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan

This paper, written by the senior intelligence officer in Afghanistan and by a company-grade officer and a senior executive with the Defense Intelligence Agency, critically examines the relevance of the U.S. intelligence community to the counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan. Based on discussions with hundreds of people inside and outside the intelligence community, it recommends sweeping changes to the way the intelligence community thinks about itself – from a focus on the enemy to a focus on the people of Afghanistan. The paper argues that because the United States has focused the overwhelming majority of collection efforts and analytical brainpower on insurgent groups, our intelligence apparatus still finds itself unable to answer fundamental questions about the environment in which we operate and the people we are trying to protect and persuade.

This problem or its consequences exist at every level of the U.S. intelligence hierarchy, and pivotal information is not making it to those who need it. To quote General Stanley McChrystal in a recent meeting, “Our senior leaders – the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, Congress, the President of the United States – are not getting the right information to make decisions with ... The media is driving the issues. We need to build a process from the sensor all the way to the political decision makers.” This is a need that spans the 44 nations involved with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
This paper is the blueprint for that process. It describes the problem, details the changes and illuminates examples of units that are “getting it right.” It is aimed at commanders as well as intelligence professionals, in Afghanistan and in the United States and Europe.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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