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Instead, it combines irregular forces and indirect unconventional methods to exhaust the opponent. Types of operations U. Traditionally, these missions are conducted by special forces. However, if special forces and host-nation HN forces cannot defeat unconventional and irregular threats, conventional Army forces can assume the lead role. In this instance, U. Major combat operations are the operational theme for which doctrine, including the principles of war, was originally developed.

The intelligence analyst provides doctrinal intelligence support to major combat operations in accordance with FM The intelligence warfighting function is the related tasks and systems that facilitate understanding of the operational environment, enemy, terrain, and civil considerations FM Intelligence is more than just collection. It is a continuous process that involves analyzing information from all sources and conducting operations to develop the situation. Intelligence analysis is a process that is focused by the tasks established by the intelligence warfighting function and described in FM Intelligence analysts at all levels must understand the task and purpose of the intelligence warfighting function, be proficient in the subtasks articulated in FM , and know how intelligence analysis relates to military planning and operations.

See FM for a detailed discussion of the intelligence warfighting function. See FM for a detailed discussion of military planning and operations. To effectively execute missions across the full spectrum of military operations, the commander requires intelligence about the enemy and other conditions of the operational environment prior to and during operations. The operational environment is a composite of the conditions, circumstances, and influences that affect the employment of capabilities and bear on the decision of the commander JP The operational environment encompasses physical areas and factors of the air, land, maritime, and space domains.

Analysts need to harness trained intuition: the recognition that one has come to a spontaneous insight. The steps leading there may not be apparent, although it is well to validate the intuition with the facts and tools that are available. Polish cryptanalysts first were reading German Enigma ciphers in , although the commercial version may have been broken by the British cryptanalyst, Dilwyn Knox , in the s.

Poland gave critical information to the French and British in , and production British cryptanalysis was well underway in The Enigma, with German military enhancements, was quite powerful for a mechanical encryption device, and it might not have been broken as easily had the Germans been more careful about operating procedures. Throughout the war, Germany introduced enhancements, but never realized the British were reading the traffic almost as fast as the Germans. US cryptanalysts had broken several Japanese diplomatic ciphers, but, without ever seeing the PURPLE machine until after the war, they deduced the logic.

Purple was actually mechanically simpler than Enigma, but the U. Army team struggled with a mechanical reproduction until Leo Rosen had the unexplained insight that the critical building block in the Purple machine was a telephone-type stepping switch rather than the rotor used in Enigma and in more advanced U.

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Rosen, Frank Rowlett , and others of the team recognized Rosen's insight as based on nothing but a communication engineer's intuition. Experienced analysts, and sometimes less experienced ones, will have an intuition about some improbable event in a target country, and will collect more data, and perhaps send out collection requests within his or her authority. These intuitions are useful just often enough that wise managers of analysts, unless the situation is absolutely critical, allow them a certain amount of freedom to explore.

Astronomers and nuclear physicists, at different ends of the continuum from macroscopic to microscopic, share the method of having to infer behavior, consistent with hypothesis, not by measuring phenomena to which they have no direct access, but by measuring phenomena that can be measured and that hypothesis suggests will be affected by the mechanism of interest.

Other scientists may be able to set up direct experiments, as in chemistry or biology. If the experimental results match the expected outcome, then the hypothesis is validated; if not, then the analyst must develop a new hypothesis and appropriate experimental methods. In intelligence analysis, the analyst rarely has direct access to the observable subject, but gathers information indirectly. Even when the intelligence subject at hand is a technical one, analysts must remain aware that the other side may be presenting deliberately deceptive information.

From these gathered data, the analyst may proceed with the scientific method by generating tentative explanations for a subject event or phenomenon. Next, each hypothesis is examined for plausibility and compared against newly acquired information, in a continual process toward reaching a conclusion. Often the intelligence analyst tests several hypotheses at the same time, whereas the scientist usually focuses on one at a time.

Furthermore, intelligence analysts cannot usually experiment directly upon the subject matter as in science, but must generate fictional scenarios and rigorously test them through methods of analysis suggested below. As opposed to types of reasoning, which are ways the analyst drafts the product, the following methods are ways of validating the analyst's results of reasoning. Structured analytic techniques are used to help challenge judgments, identify mental mindsets, overcome biases, stimulate creativity, and manage uncertainty. Opportunity analysis identifies for policy officials opportunities or vulnerabilities that the customer's organization can exploit to advance a policy, as well as dangers that could undermine a policy.

Lawyers apply the test cui bono who benefits? To make the best use of opportunity analysis, there needs to be a set of objectives for one's own country, preferably with some flexibility to them. The next step is to examine personalities and groups in that target country to see if there are any with a commonality of interest. Even though the different sides might want the same thing, it is entirely possible that one or the other might have deal-breaking conditions.

If that is the case, then ways to smooth that conflict need to be identified, or no more work should be spent on that alternative. Conversely, if there are elements that would be utterly opposed to the objectives of one's side, ways of neutralizing those elements need to be explored. They may have vulnerabilities that could render them impotent, or there may be a reward, not a shared opportunity, that would make them cooperate.

Linchpin analysis proceeds from information that is certain, or with a high probability of being certain. In mathematics and physics, a similar problem formation, which constrains the solution by certain known or impossible conditions, is the boundary value condition. By starting from knowns and impossibilities , the analyst has a powerful technique for showing consumers, peers, and managers that a problem has both been thoroughly studied and constrained to reality. He substituted linchpin analysis for the hypotheses driving key variables.

MacEachin required the hypotheses—or linchpins—needed to be explicit, so policymakers could be aware of coverage, and also aware of changes in assumptions. This method is an "anchoring tool" that seeks to reduce the hazard of self-inflicted intelligence error as well as policymaker misinterpretation. It forces use of the checkpoints listed below, to be used when drafting reports:. Given the difficulties inherent in the human processing of complex information, a prudent management system should. According to Heuer, analysts construct a reality based on objective information, filtered through complex mental processes that determine which information is attended to, how it is organized, and the meaning attributed to it.

What people perceive, how readily they perceive it, and how they process this information after receiving it are all strongly influenced by past experience, education, cultural values, role requirements, and organizational norms, as well as by the specifics of the information received. To understand how the analysis results, one must use good mental models to create the work, and understand the models when evaluating it. Analysts need to be comfortable with challenge, refinement, and challenge. To go back to linchpin analysis, the boundary conditions give places to challenge and test, reducing ambiguity.

More challenge, according to Heuer, is more important than more information. He wanted better analysis to be applied to less information, rather than the reverse. Given the immense volumes of information that modern collection systems produce, the mind is the limiting factor. Mirror-imaging is one of Heuer's favorite example of a cognitive trap , in which the analyst substitutes his own mindset for that of the target.

Too frequently, foreign behavior appears "irrational" or "not in their own best interest. For example, in McNamara's thinking, if the United States did not attack SA-2 anti-aircraft missiles , the enemy would interpret that as "restraint" and not use them against U. In ACH, there is competition among competing hypotheses of the foreign leader's assumptions, which will reduce mirror-imaging even if they do not produce the precise answer. The best use of information, in this context, is to challenge the assumption the analyst likes best.

One of the key motivations for ACH, according to Heuer, is to avoid rejecting deception out of hand, because the situation looks straightforward. Heuer observed that good deception looks real. The possibility of deception should not be rejected until it is disproved or, at least, until a systematic search for evidence has been made and none has been found.

The steps in ACH are: [23].

A systems analysis of tactical intelligence in the US Army

Keith Devlin has been researching the use of mathematics and formal logic in implementing Heuer's ACH paradigm. Analogy is common in technical analysis, but engineering characteristics seeming alike do not necessarily mean that the other side has the same employment doctrine for an otherwise similar thing. Sometimes, the analogy was valid for a time, such as the MiG aircraft being designed as a Soviet counter to the perceived threat of the high-altitude, supersonic B bomber.

The Soviets could have canceled the MiG program when the US changed doctrines to low altitude penetration and canceled the B program, but they continued building the MiG The SR, however, could make repeated flights with the same engines. The dissimilarity of engine life was not only expensive, but meant that the MiGRB could operate only from bases with the capability to change engines.


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The United States had applied "reverse engineering" to the MiG, essentially saying "if we had an aircraft with such capabilities, what would we do with it? For the U. Policy makers will have questions based on their intelligence requirements. Sometimes questions are clear and can easily be addressed by the analyst.

Sometimes however, clarification is required due to vagueness, multiple layers of bureaucracy between customer and analyst, or due to time constraints. Just as analysts need to try to understand the thinking of the adversary, analysts need to know the thinking of their customers and allies. Once the problem is defined, the analyst is able to generate reasonable hypotheses based on the question.

For example, a business may want to know whether a competitor will lower their prices in the next quarter. From this problem, two obvious hypotheses are:. However, with a little brainstorming, additional hypotheses may become apparent. Perhaps the competitor will offer discounts to long term customers, or perhaps they may even raise prices.

At this point, no hypothesis should be discarded. In intelligence, collection usually refers to the step in the formal intelligence cycle process. In many cases, the information needed by the analyst is either already available or is already being sought by collection assets such as spies, imagery satellites. If not, the analyst may request collection on the subject, or if this is not possible identify this information gap in their final product. The analyst will generally also research other sources of info, such as open source public record, press reporting , historical records, and various databases.

Information used for military, commercial, state, and other forms of intelligence analysis has often been obtained from individuals or organizations that are actively seeking to keep it secret, or may provide misleading information. Adversaries do not want to be analyzed correctly by competitors. This withholding of information is known as counterintelligence , and is very different from similar fields of research, such as science and history where information may be misleading, incomplete or wrong, but rarely does the subject of investigation actively deny the researcher access.

So, the analyst must evaluate incoming information for reliability has the source reported accurate information in the past? Has the source lied in the past? All hypotheses must be rigorously tested. Methods such as Analysis of Competing Hypotheses or link charts are key. Be especially alert to cognitive and cultural biases in and out of the organization.

Recent scholarship on theories of the sociology of knowledge raise important caveats. As Jones and Silberzahn documented in the volume Constructing Cassandra: Reframing Intelligence Failure at the CIA, — , while hypotheses are essential to sorting "signals" from "noise" in raw intelligence data, the variety, types and boundaries of the types of hypotheses an intelligence organization entertains are a function of the collective culture and identity of the intelligence producer.

Intelligence Analyst (35F)

Often, these hypotheses are shaped not merely by the cognitive biases of individual analysts, but by complex social mechanism both inside and outside that analytic unit. After many strategic surprises, "Cassandras" — analysts or outsiders who offered warnings, but whose hypotheses were ignored or sidelined — are discovered. Therefore, careful analysts should recognize the key role that their own and their organization's identity and culture play in accepting or rejecting hypotheses at each step in their analysis.

Once hypotheses have been evaluated, the intelligence product must be created for the consumer. Three key features of the intelligence product are:. Government intelligence products are typically packaged as highly structured written and oral presentations, including electrical messages, hardcopy reports, and briefings. Many organizations also generate video intelligence products, especially in the form of live daily "newscasts", or canned documentary presentations.

Analysts should understand the relationship between the analyst's and the consumer's organization. There may be times that while the ultimate consumer and originating analyst simply want to pass information, a manager in either chain of command may insist on a polished format. Peer review is essential to assess and confirm accuracy. If you think you are right, and the coordinator disagrees, let the assessment reflect that difference of opinion and use a footnote, called a reclama , [27] inside the U.

But never water down your assessment to a lowest common denominator just to obtain coordination. When everyone agrees on an issue, something probably is wrong. She has covered defense in the Washington area for eight years. She won the National Press Club's best analytical reporting award in and was named the Defense Media Awards' best young defense journalist in For more newsletters click here.

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