What is called “foreknowledge” cannot be elicited from spirits, nor from
gods, nor by analogy with past events, nor from calculations. It must be
obtained from men who know the enemy situation..
—Sun Tzu
Subject Matter Expert
Keshav Mazumdar (CMAS, ATO)
City and State of Publication: Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Author : Keshav Mazumdar , Antiterrorism Officer,
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any
means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information
storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion
of brief quotations in a review.
First Edition, 2013
Dedicated to
This book is dedicated to my Heavenly Father
Capt. Diptendra Narayan Mazumdar
"Cheshire Puss." she began rather timidly..." would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go
from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to." said the cat. Alice in
In this book that is published by the Research Institute for European and American Studies
(RIEAS) office in India, we sought to ask about the state of serious, academic research on
intelligence and counterintelligence applied to asymmetric warfare. The purpose of the book is,
first, to improve understanding and lay out suggestions for where additional research might fill
gaps or enrich understanding.
To that end, Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS ,Advisor –RIEAS has done a splendid job in
bringing forth the concept of EVERY SOLDIER IS A SENSOR ES2 and the need…high need of
HUMINT & Counterintelligence from this perspective.
The outcome is a book that is different from many other recent volumes on intelligence and
counterintelligence. The content is beyond standard doctrinal principles and TTPs.The Author
has recommended solutions to a wide array of intelligence management problems.
I wish to thank Keshav Mazumdar, who did a great job in attempting to build better
understanding in the hope of improving the practice of intelligence and counterintelligence. A
theme that runs through the entire book, and is turned to explicitly in the conclusions, is where
counterintelligence and intelligence stands as a profession.
To be sure, the usual caveat remains to the editors of the book since we are responsible for any
remaining errors or gremlins in what follows.
Prof. John M. Nomikos
Research Institute for European and American Studies (RIEAS)
Athens. Greece.
I have not attempted to cite in the text all the authorities and sources consulted in the preparation
of this manual. To do so would require more space than is available. The list would include
departments of various governments, libraries, industrial institutions, periodicals and many
The Following works and Archives have been accessed for certain information:
O'Connor, T. (2013). "Terrorist Network Detection," MegaLinks in Criminal Justice
Central Intelligence Agency USA Unclassified Documents and Training materials
US Army FMs
Torchbearer National Security Report
I am especially thankful to Admiral Peter Kikareas (NATO) for his guidance throughout the
project and to Keith Flanigan , Chair ATAB for his continued support.
The concept of ES2 and CI is highlighted with information from Field Manuals and US Open
source intelligence papers.The book is a research attempt with the intention to propagate
successful US intelligence concepts in the Global War On Terrorism - GWOT.
I am indebted to my mentor Mrs Pushpita Majumdar for goading me in my pursuits of
intelligence studies.
I am thankful to Ms Deepshikha Bhattacharjee to be of enormous assistance in the proof reading
of the project.
And finally I am indebted to My Mother Mrs. Sumita Majumdar for giving me constant
encouragement in the face of impossible odds.
An efficient intelligence service must conduct planning, deployment and management of
collection assets and platforms, execute, control and evaluate the operations with the primary
mission to retain a decision advantage over the opponent, both in peace time and during
War/LIC.Two main approaches must be embodied: Criminalization Strategy and Prevent disrupt
and counter the enemy’s multidimensional intelligence threat. In the first approach the
apprehended elements are captured and convicted as per court of law whereas in the second
strategy we intend to thwart enemy actions using HUMINT/Counterintelligence. Intelligence
feeds into both strategies in four modes of deployment: to make strategic assessments, including
of the sources, nature and levels of threat, and the need for new resources or security measures;
to feed into criminalisation operations in which individuals may ultimately be dealt with through
the courts; to feed into control operations such as disruption and surveillance; to feed into control
operations which deal with individuals by overt executive measures. These modes are not
exclusive to terrorism, save for the final option.
HUMINT is generally considered ‘’passive’’—assets and platforms in the form of HUMINT
operatives and governmental/commercial (or official cover/unofficial cover) bases. This is an
approach with a fallacy---HUMINT should be proactive, sometimes defensive and not always
reactive. A patrol debrief tells us there is a sudden troop movement in named area of interest
alpha and so we begin intelligence activity.Thats reactive.Had we depoloyed HUMINT agents
well in advance to look beyond the forward areas by intermingling with the local population on a
daily basis, eliciting information, keeping continuous contacts with the sources/informers,liasing
with local police, keeping a tab on political developments and open source intelligence like
publications,newspapers,media,rallies,public meetings, information gleaned from the internet
about enemy govt policies, their arms purchases, their foreign policies with respect to our
nation—all these will definitely give the HUMINT agent a feel of the pulse in the area of
operations and if there is any ‘’imminent’’ change in it (mind you, I didn’t say any ‘’change’’ in
it like the reported deployment) he is bound to catch the new pulse. Before deployment to an area
of operations HUMINT and CI personnel should move in first to secure the ‘’human terrain’’ as
well as the physical terrain from the intelligence perspective. This is what we can term –
‘’intelligence and force projection capability’’ for an area of operations which is unknown to us
in all terms. This is frequently the condition when the tactical commander successfully wraps up
an operation in a defined AO and then is suddenly ordered to move into a new area much
forward and totally unknown and occupied by enemy provocateurs and agents. Had he projected
his force and available intelligence assets(after deploying his main assets for current operation
and earmarking those available for projection tasking , like HUMIT,CI..) in the new AO while he
was conducting his ops in the present AO , he could have been well prepared when the order
came in. Here intelligence preparation of the battlefield will focus on both the local populace and
the physical environment. The intent is to act as a forewarning system for the to-be deployed
troops. This is also a force-protection intiative.Similarly when operations are being conducted in
one Area of operations during a larger campaign commander’s pitch in all platforms of
intelligence collection systems to accomplish a tactical victory. That is fine and is the standard
procedure in the event of a conflict. What the commander doesn’t think is to extend his view
beyond the Area of operations far away in hostile territory which is yet to see our troops in
action and which is in control of the enemy. We need to project a part of our intelligence
collection assets into that area/territory.
Foremost in the analysis of Intelligence tactics/strategies are the following questions: what was
the quality of the intelligence; what were the processes in which the intelligence was used and
did they put the intelligence to a suitable test?
An exercise-specific chapter has been included to show how to set up an intelligence collection
unit comprised of functional cells (staffed with HUMINT personnel)and defining and setting up
the control mechanism comprised of headquarters and technical control/analysis/in-process team
management centers-the entire exercise being driven by the intelligence need of the commander
as specified in the carefully worded mission which will spell out the needed intelligence
requirements in general which will further be broken down into IR and SIRs after observing the
indicators by deploying the HUMINT operatives in accordance to a carefully built up collection
plan. The exercise is not an extensive one but highlights the need of proper definition of the
mission (which implies the commander knows the intelligence gaps) thus enabling the
commander to specify the intelligence requirements accurately.(and this is often not the case
resulting in wastage of collection resources and platforms by focusing on less priority
intelligence needs and overlooking the real requirement—deployment of collection systems in
this manner also affects other operations outside the current area of operation as too little or no
intelligence collection platforms available for intel collection/analysis in those areas).Secondly
the exercise attempts to clearly show how to develop priority intelligence requirements, develop
a strategy to answer those requirements(mission, goals) and creating a mechanism for the
collection assets to answer those requirements. What is also intended here by the exercise that in
any LIC/COIN environment, at the tactical unit level, the commander can create a unit for
collecting intelligence and not depending entirely on other agencies supporting the operation—
for example in Maoist areas of West Bengal ,India, the CRPF can create its own unit without
always resorting to the intelligence departments of the State police,IB.An organic unit sometimes
comes very handy. Training personnel in intelligence operations can be done with the assistance
of agencies who have HUMINT/CI units like the Armed forces. If the Army can help in training
the CRPF for example in jungle warfare and other COIN specific combat, then surely it can also
train soldiers in HUMINT and CI.Apart from intelligence specialists , the soldiers , MP
personnel , civil affairs personnel etc are the Secondary collectors who by virtue of their regular
contact with the local populace at checkposts,roadblocks,during patrolling or even during battle
at forward areas when they encounter and detain civilians , EPWs , come across information
combat information which they can recognize of having intelligence value and quickly forward it
to the intelligence specialists. Just training the soldier on the ground in Tactical Questioning
without making him go through the rigors of intelligence training will sufficiently empower him
to recognize and extract combat information from daily encounters. The concept of Every
Soldier is a Sensor can revolutionize the entire intelligence concept of the Army.
Identify, Define, and Nominate Objectives
Military planning is dependent on clearly defined, achievable, and measurable objectives. There
has to be a strong comprehensive understanding of IDAD strategy by JFC accompanied by an
awareness of the central mission andthe resources available. Intelligence should provide an
understanding of the adversary’s probable intentions, objectives, strengths, weaknesses, critical
vulnerabilities, and human factors. Objectives should be based on adversary critical factors
(capabilities, requirements, and vulnerabilities), COGs, strategic approaches, campaign plans,
and COAs.
Support the Planning and Execution of Operations
After the objectives, nature, and scope of COIN operations are determined, intelligence is
essential to plan, direct, conduct, and assess operations. Intelligence is crucial to identify and
select specific objectives and targets. Intelligence will further enable analysis of desired and
undesired effects, and determine means, operations, and tactics to most efficiently achieve
overall mission objectives.
Counter Adversary Deception and Surprise
Despite the apparent weight of indicators and decision maker predisposition, intelligence
analysts must remain sensitive to the possibility that they are being deceived. Intelligence
analysts should therefore consider all possible adversary capabilities and intentions. For example,
an absence of insurgent attacks or suicide bombings does not necessarily mean that the
insurgency has been defeated. In fact, it may be that the insurgents have moved to another area,
transitioned to an earlier phase of operations, or are preparing to change their focus of activity.
Support Friendly Deception Efforts
Misleading or creating uncertainty in the mind of the adversaryhelps to achieve security and
surprise; however, deception is difficult in COIN due to the need for transparency with the
population. Intelligence also supports effective friendly IO, through human factors analysis of
the adversary leadership. This analysis can assess insurgent leaders’ beliefs, information
environment, and decision-making processes. Intelligence personnel also conduct assessments to
determine how the adversary is reacting to the friendly deception effort. The process of
identifying deception objectives to complement operational objectives should be an interactive
process, with the HN, US, and security commanders in a central role orchestrating the efforts of
operations and intelligence resources.
Assess the Effectiveness of Operations
Intelligence assesses operations’ impact on the population, insurgents, and other relevant aspects
of the OE. Intelligence should assess whether operations are creating positive or negative effects.
It should further assess when objectives have been attained and when unplanned opportunities
can be exploited. It is fundamental for HN representatives to participate in this process. There
must be a balance of indigenous and outside participants to conduct a COIN assessment.
Provide intelligence support to Problem Framing.
Provide intelligence support to Course of Action Development.
Provide intelligence support to Course of Action Wargaming.
Provide intelligence support to Course of Action Comparison and
Provide intelligence support to Orders Development.
Provide intelligence support to Transition.
Provide Intelligence support to Rapid Response Process
Intelligence estimate. The intelligence estimate is derived from the intelligence preparation
of the battlefield (lPB). It is based on all available intelligence and considers everything of
operational significance. It will help point out gaps in the intelligence database. It is from
these gaps that requirements are derived. It will provide information on the mission, AO,
weather, terrain, enemy situation, enemy capabilities, and conclusions. It will cover all of
the standard OB topics
These intelligence feeds by the units upwards which aid finally in the preparation of the
intelligence estimate, is the result of taskings handed down to the collectors/HUMINT personnel
by the Collection Manager. It is here where the intelligence efforts of the HUMINT/collector
agents come into play which is governed by the intelligence cycle.
In the Army at the Division or higher HQ level the intelligence estimate is prepared by the
Intelligence Officer and his is instrumental in devising the COAs by the Commander.
The estimate sums up the intelligence factors affecting the mission. It identifies the enemy’s
probable COAs and the order of their adoption. It takes into account the Terrain and weather
characteristics which might affect both the gauged intentions of the enemy and our mission and
details the area of operations, the enemy situation and the capabilities of the enemy. The estimate
is continually updated so as to keep the Commander abreast of any latest developments or
changes in the intent of the enemy. This intelligence estimate is briefed at the Brigade/Battalion
level. The intelligence estimate is predicated by the Intent of the enemy. Or Intents. The Staff
Running Estimates helps each staff officer recognize and interpret the indicators of enemy
intentions, objectives, combat effectiveness and potential enemy COAs which may counter the
commanders end state. Thus the aim of the commander is to study the intents and devise
appropriate course/s of actions taking into account several factors including order of battle,
intelligence preparation of the battlefield, behavioral indicators, table of organization and
equipment, enemy capabilities and so on.(Order of Battle refers to the compilation of a
systematic and methodical analysis of assets, capabilities, composition, and disposition of an
adversarial organization, whereas TO&E refers to the organization table of units and associated
To prepare this very important document the intelligence officer and his staff draw on the
intelligence reports prepared earlier by the intelligence units detailing the terrain, weather
characteristics and enemy strengths, capabilities and limitations and the intelligence officer's
Direct Evaluation of the threat's capability to Attack, Defend, Reinforce,
or Retrograde (ADRR) .
Define the operational Environment/battlespace environment.
Describe environmental effects on Operations/describe the battlespace
Evaluate the threat/adversary.
Determine threat/adversary courses of action.
conclusions about the total effects of the area of operations (AO) on friendly courses of action,
the courses of action most likely to be adopted by the enemy, and the effects of exploitable
enemy vulnerabilities. In other words we’re conducting a CAPABILITIES BRIEF of the ENEMY
Our MISSION is to develop an understanding of the ENEMY through the collection and analysis
of available information, and then create an Intelligence product for dissemination.
Mission Formulation-The Intelligence Element
Mission drives intelligence and intelligence in turn drives tactical operations or battle. Stating the
mission as protecting our forces from enemy attack is not a well defined mission statement. We
need to take into account the threats before they materialize and the attacks before they are
launched by the enemy. Proper Mission Planning and Analysis is required to understand the
Defending our installation, our troops, and our information is a priority. We need to understand
our vulnerabilities, our weaknesses. At the same time we need to know the threat so as to
strengthen those weaknesses. What exactly is the threat aimed at? To properly defend ourselves
we have to both harden ourselves (meaning pose before the enemy a hard target) and at the same
time resort aggressively to enemy activities and multidisciplinary threat.
We need HUMINT/CI to know the enemy and hunt him down. Our primary Defend mission is to
protect our battle space, our Area of operations.
Diminishing the enemy’s resources is our next mission. The enemy’s logistical networks need to
be identified. All facilitators of the enemy, its support systems, its weapons caches, its safe
houses where it stacks communications equipment, weaponry and all supply routes need to be
identified with aggressive application of intelligence. We need to choke off, destroy these
logistical and facilitation networks, thus crippling the enemy’s combat capability.
Denying the enemy a pull-back safe area or safe haven is our next mission. The insurgents resort
to hit and run tactics. When the hit us, attack us they do so with the surety that they have places
to retreatto,back-up places where they are hidden,safe.The stronger this assurance the greater
impunity with which they launch attacks. They also fall back in the human terrain—the
communities of our area of operations where they easily mingle. Using intelligence as well as
counterintelligence we need to identify this physical and human terrain based safe havens. We
must identify the community members who lend them support. We need to strike and strike hard
these safe havens, make them feel very unsafe. It is in these safe havens that planning of
operations is conducted. It is here they are least aware of any impending surprise attack. We can
catch them off-guard and destroy them if and only if with the proper application of intelligence
we are able to locate these safe areas of the enemy. We must make it a point, a very strong point
at that , that if they attack us by encroaching on our area of operations, we attack them with 10
times the might at ‘’their’’ safe havens. We must Deny them the sanctuary of safe havens, fall
back positions—they will have nowhere to escape.
Defend, Diminish and Deny all go into making the enemy very vulnerable to our attacks.We
destroy their sense of safety while hardening their attack objectives and choking off their
supplies. This, if properly executed, that is the 3 mission objectives of Defend, Diminish and
Deny, and then we can be sure of defeating the enemy right to the core. Thus DEFEAT
Conclusion. Thus Intelligence is not only crucial but an ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY
FUNCTION to determine enemy intentions in advance. Without intelligence we are
NOWHERE—it’s like the tiger without its teeth. We may be formidable with advanced
weaponry platforms with accurate delivery capabilities, we might have a formidable manpower
strength but we fail to realize that intelligence, although it is in the information domain and not
Intelligence is the foundation of military operations.
Specific functions include:
Information operations help in shaping the battle space in favor of the Commander and
also prevents the enemy to carry out his operations successfully.IO is enabled by
effective intelligence and counterintelligence support.C2 Attack, C2 Exploit and C2
Protect, the 3 components of information warfare are executed with success provided the
commander leverages his intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and
counterintelligence assets with precision.
Conduct intelligence collection and production. All intelligence disciplines and
associated sensors are included.
Conduct intelligence operations in support of force protection. In support of force
protection, the FP brigade leverages its resources associated with counterintelligence
resident in the collection and exploitation battalion to include host nation liaison teams,
strategic debriefing, and polygraph to support the JFLCC J- 2.
The objective of intelligence in direct support of the war fighter is to collect, analyze,
produce, and disseminate combat information and intelligence to assist the direction and
synchronization of maneuver and support forces. The intelligence functions include the
capability to conduct indications and warnings (I& W), intelligence preparation of the
battlespace (IPB), situation development, targeting, force protection, and battle damage
assessment (BDA). These functions are briefly described in the following paragraphs.
1. Indications and warnings (I& W). I& W involve the continuous development
and refinement of threat activities and possible intentions. This allows joint
operational intelligence staffs to determine changes in the political, military,
economic, and diplomatic behavior of an adversary using all- source intelligence
to avoid surprise.
2. Intelligence preparation of the battlespace (IPB). IPB is the systematic, continuous
process for developing databases for each potential operating area. Data is analyzed to
determine the potential impact of the enemy, weather, and terrain on both enemy and
friendly operations; and presents the results, usually in graphic form. IPB supports
situation development, targeting, force protection, and BDA.
3. Situation Development. Situation development is the continuous process providing the
commander an estimate of the situation and threat intentions. Products include order of
battle (OB) updates; threat intentions and probable courses of action (COA); dynamic,
graphic intelligence summaries with predictive assessments; decision- support, doctrinal,
event, and situation templates; and weather, light, and terrain decision aids.
4. Targeting and Target Development. Targeting is the process providing timely and
accurate targeting data to support effective attack by fire, maneuver, or electronic means.
The targeting process is able to direct and redirect organic and supporting collection
assets as well as detect, locate, identify, and report threat maneuver, fire support, combat
service support, C3 elements, and high payoff/ high value targets (HPTs/ HVTs) such as
nuclear and chemical weapons systems within the area of interest.
5. Force Protection. Force protection includes all active and passive measures designed to
provide security to the friendly force. This includes all operational security (OPSEC)
support, counter- SIGINT (C- SIGINT); counter- reconnaissance, intelligence,
surveillance, and target acquisition (C- RISTA); deception support; and reconnaissance
and surveillance measures taken to identify and counteract threats to the friendly force's
physical and operational security.
6. Battle Damage Assessment (BDA). BDA is the process of assessing the physical
damage done to personnel and equipment in support of order of battle analyses and
predictive estimates of future threat capabilities, activities, and intentions. This includes
an analysis of the threat’s ability to direct, support, and sustain his force.
The success of offensive operations at all levels is predicated by sound
intelligence about the enemy order of battle,intent,enviroinmental factors
including but not limited to the political and human terrain dimensions.In
order to gain a decisive advantage in the competitive battle environment
intelligence seeks to define the battlefield characteristics known as IPB,the
strength,composition,capability and dispositions of the enemy,the intent of the
enemy,the limitations of the enemy and all the possible
courses of actions to be taken by the enemy with the most
probable course of action and most dangerous course of
action in perspective.The intent here is to have a
forewarning system to prevent or minimize surprise and
adversely affect the enemy commanders decision cycle.
In the case of defensive operations intelligence provides
information about our own vulnerabilities as seen by the
enemy,risk/threat assessment by considering the order of battle and intent of
the enemy along with a full picture of the organization and
hierarchy.Intelligence,surveillance and reconnaissance operations are
conducted in a synchronized manner to gain information about the enemy’s
intent,possible courses of actions,strength,disposition,capability so as to
heighten the situational awareness of the commander.Threat and vulnerability
assessments are paramount for successful defensive operations.Post TVA the
critical areas are identified and secured.Intelligence helps the commander to
deploy sufficient combat power at those areas(which were earlier identified
again with intelligence inputs) where the enemy intends to direct its major
efforts.Force protection is achieved with a proper admixture of HUMINT and
CI assets.With all these information and defensive capabilities in his hands the
commander can buy time to plan appropriate courses of actions,secure his
bases and keep the critical areas fully defended.The commander can now
apply the economy-of-force principle more apopropriately,utilize his forces
without wastage in manpower and equipment , hold enemy forces buying time
for reinforcement and counteroffensive,hold key terrain,destroy enemy
combat power and shape the battlespace as per his will—the latter being his
intent to gain full decision advantage over the enemy and prevent a surprise or
thwart an impending attack/attack in progress and perform follow-on
operations.Intelligence helps to identify the critical vulnerable nodes of the
enemy(say the C2 nodes) where the commander can focus his strike forces to
inflict maximum damage.
During a conflict army commanders use a mix of operations,sequentially or
simulataneously to achieve victory.This full spectrum of
operations(decisive,shaping and sustaining) include
offensive,defensive,stability and support operations.Intelligence drives each of
these types of operations.It is inherent in the operations itself.The success of
these operations is determined by accurate,timely intelligence input to the
operations planners and commanders at all levels.
• Offensive operations,as the name implies,are intended to attack and
defeat the enemy. • Defensive operations are conducted to stop an
enemy attack from progressing,defeat the attack,hold the attack while
reinforcements are built up and also give sufficient time to the
commander to shape the battlespace and render conditions favourable
for a counteroffensive.Thus regaining the initiative is made possible.
• Stability operations are conducted in peacetime and are intended to
influence and configure in a positive manner compatible with national
interests the political, threat and information aspects of the operational
environment and developmental, collaborative, or even pressure tactics
are used to effect this objective. The overall intention is to promote
regional stability after a crisis.
Threat and the battlefield environment is always associated with uncertainty during the very first
perception.This uncertainty must be identified,refined ,quantified if possible and prioritized.This
uncertainty prioritized is an intelligence requirement of the commander.There may be more than
one intelligence requirement.The Commander and Staff conduct wargaming.During wargaming
certain critical decisions are taken and information requirements which are needed to execute
them are determined.Intelligence Requirements are required information about the
enemy,weather, terrain.Intelligence Requirements direct collection efforts.Situational
understanding is extremely important for the Commander. It is very important to gauge
accurately the threat characteristics and the operating environment.Requirements are conceived
at higher echelons and as the Commanders intent and are passed down to a central control
element which tasks the collectors with collecting information which answers these intelligence
Intelligence Requirements
We keep looking for information about the enemy.The commander visualizes the battlefield or
the AO through intelligence acquisition.The intelligence preparation of the battlefield aids in this
respect.To heighten situational awareness the commander needs complete information if
possible.But that is not always the case.There arises a necessity to know something about the
enemy which he doesn’t know yet.Information gaps can be something which we needed to know
yesterday—and something we need to know in the future.The former is Critical Intelligence
Requirement whereas the latter is something the enemy is planning to do after a certain time
period, does not warrant immediate action which must supersede any action necessitated after
the knowledge of CIR.The commander , through certain information inputs may sense an
imminent threat or he may need to know on an urgent basis why has the identified HQ of the
enemy moved.These are intelligence requirements,gaps in his information repository which
needs to be known.
Intelligence requirements must meet four criteria:
Necessity is a factor which must be borne in mind always.We must carefully define our
requirements.Or else we waste time and resources…and resources are limited and sometimes
time is too limited.The commander may have inadequate collection assets or the number may not
be able to satisfy collection/surveillance operations for a number of intelligence requirements.If
we decide upon an requirement which is not that necessary then we are wasting time and
resources collecting information to satisfy it.Hence it is paramount to know whether the
requirement figures high on the ‘’necessity’’ scale.
Feasibility: We must determine if we can feasibly collect the information.We have collection
assets but it is possible that they may not feasibly collect the information.Say for example
technically we know that in an urban insurgency environment the terrorists or insurgents are
holed up in certain safe houses—that is technically—but we have aerial surveillance assets and
the line of sight of these assets get blocked due to the building density of the urban terrain.We
need to resort to HUMINT teams to locate the safehouses.Thus it may be technically possible but
not feasible to satisfy an intelligence requirement.We must be sure the collection platforms we
are equipped with can feasibly satisfy an intelligence requirement , given that the information in
our hands being technically possible.
Timeliness: This is a very very important factor.Intelligence can be perishable,particularly in
case of ‘’actionable intelligence’’—actionable intelligence is intelligence about the enemy
(disposition,strength,composition,occupied terrain profile)which is disseminated to the , say ,
fire-team at the right time for perfect targeting.In a tactical situation if intelligence comes in late
then it is of no use.To this end our intelligence requirement which gives us this perishable
intelligence must be timely.If we can identify the need to know the intelligence gap on time
then we can devote our resources with full dedication and acquire the information,process it on
time and pass it on to the commander in time.The commander must always be kept abreast of
pertinent intelligence requirements in his AO.
Specificity. Is our intelligence requirement specific? Yes, our requirement is specific because
it’s limited to our AO. Aksing When will the enemy attack and where? offers two very vague
questions and isn’t an ideal intelligence requirement. It’s not very specific, and much harder to
answer. We want our requirements to be answered with satisfactory information, so we must
make them easier to answer.
Intelligence requirements should continually be reviewed in the context of our criteria. If the
requirement doesn’t meet our criteria, then it needs to be updated, refined, or removed
All the above boils down to one fact. We need intelligence and counterintelligence to be always
in the lead. Intelligence is the most important prerequisite for any mission to be successful.
Without intelligence, however well armed we may be, however qualified officers we have,
however strong our support and ancillary units may be, we can never be sure of defeating the
Hence we should formulate our mission by taking into account these 4 basic mission variables.
Targeting is the process of identifying areas of instability or networks/elements of insurgency
including criminal elements supporting the insurgency.
There are two approaches in targeting, productive and destructive. The former takes into
consideration environmental/demographic factors and attempts to influence the target/s whereas
the latter is the physical destruction of the target/s. The Commanders intent, guidance, priorities,
vision and operational objectives should not adhere only to the often resorted to campaign plan
of physical destruction--Reducing or limiting the use of violence as “the means to an end”
prevents the regeneration of a systemic problem …the insurgents .Targeting begins in the
early phases of intelligence preparation of the battlefield.IPB takes into account the terrain,
weather and infrastructure and assesses the impact of these on the security forces as well as the
enemy. After careful examination of all the variables involved the decisive points in the area of
operations as well as the larger area of influence are determined. This further leads to the
prediction of the enemy’s COA’s and corresponding to each COA we develop our COA to
counter it.IPB thus assists in determining the enemy’s intention, objectives, combat effectiveness
and possible courses of action. Here is where it is very important to underscore the fact that
assessment of these enemy attributes must be made with the analysis of the local
population/communities, the insurgent movement, the political environment and the
counterinsurgency line of effort in the background. Solely focusing on the enemy with the intent
to use kinetic/lethal techniques to annihilate him is the wrong decision. This will only embolden
the enemy, make him more determined and give rise to the birth of more insurgents.
Target Selection Standards
Targeting is a process wherein the detection platforms successfully acquire the target and
transmit the required information to the delivery platform to service the target.
Target selection standards depend a great deal on intelligence about the enemy.
TSS depends on the enemy activity determined by intelligence collection and the availability of
attack platforms capable of accurately destroying the target.This depends on perfect intelligence
input about target location.If there is error in locating the target accurately Target Location Error
results.We must have intelligence about the size of the enemy,whether point or area,as the size is
proportional to the attack system which will be used to destroy the target.Proper detection about
the status of the target and its activity and timeliness of the information transmittal greatly
impacts the Commanders decision to service the target with the attack platforms at his disposal.
The Targeting Process
The overall campaign has as its objectives strategic gains. To enable this are required operations
which shape the battle space in such a way so as to achieve the strategic objectives. These
shaping operations are interdicted by insurgents and allies and also sympathizers from among the
administration and populace. These elements are vetted properly and a Target listing compiled.
During vetting by the Targeting Officer it is very important that the target meet set down
selection criteria and after engagement the results should satisfactorily contribute to the overall
objectives. At the end of the targeting process the Commander approves the Target list and it is
sent over to the various subordinate units for execution of the approved targets. Thereafter
combat assessments are conducted from the bottom echelons wherein lies the fire support system
and these assessments outline the successes or failures as the case may be. Throughout the
Targeting Officer tasking involve selection, vetting and approval of all targets that hamper the
shaping operations.
The targeting process is a very involved process. From the intelligence standpoint, the
Targeting officer assumes a very critical position in the process. He assists in deciding what,
where, when and how to detect the target in question (it can be a personality like a High Value
Individual Target or it can be a network) and what, how, when and where to deliver or attack that
target in question. At this juncture it is important to point out that both physical and behavioral
targeting should be incorporated in the process, that is to say the targeting officer must assess the
consequences of kill or capture of the target on the local populace, religious groups and the other
insurgent groups (this intelligence assessment can also point out the sympathizers of the target in
the community ).It should be noted here that it is a fact that resorting to outright kill at the very
first emboldens the threats rather than defeating their morale or forcing them into submission.
The offensive nature of targeting often leads to community discontentment and swift
repercussions from the insurgents thus now the commander has to deal with new situations as a
result of the kill operation. It is very important that in the event of a kill or capture the village
leaders or the provincial leaders communicate to their communities the reason behind the
removal of the element
and justify the causes.
Targeting should not and
never be a combat patrol
operation with the
objective to kill. The kill
equation goes like this.1
kill=10 new insurgents.
The removal of one HVT
may send shock waves in
the brethren or the
insurgent group with
the former usually
vowing to avenge the
death even if they are not
in the insurgency
movement with the result
10 more join the ranks,
not to mention the
repercussions being
planned by the insurgent
group itself. We must permanently bind behavioral and physical targeting venues under one
Targeting Process at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. Simply put, we must place
emphasis on influencing targeted areas consistently throughout; before, during and after every
combat patrol which is resourced and designed as a last resort to kill or capture an HVT.
Conduct intelligence functions and operations which support
targeting by identifying target systems, critical nodes, high-
(includes high value individuals) targets and providing intelligence
required to most effectively engage targets in sUpport of unit mission,
commander and staff.
1. Identify applicable target methodology for a given situation.
2. Develop a list of targets.
3. Conduct target development.
4. Conduct target value analysis.
5. Conduct target system analysis.
6. Develop target nomination list.
7. Contribute to the development/maintenance of a no strike/restricted target
8. Develop high-payoff target (HPT)/high-value target (HVT) matrix.
9. Develop an Attack Guidance Matrix (AGM).
10. Develop Battlespace Shaping Matrix (BSM).
11. Develop a target folder.
12. Develop Target Intelligence Collection Requirements.
13. Coordinate combat assessment collection.
14. Perform combat assessment.
15. Recommend re-attacks as required.
The need for ground level analysis
Strategic Intelligence in military terms means the intelligence which goes into formulation of
military policy and strategies. Operational intelligence on the other hand focuses on support to
planning operations at the theater or regional level while Tactical intelligence is at the local
level—intelligence that goes into driving operations locally.
Traditional intelligence doctrine does not take into account the asymmetric enemy which does
not have an Order of Battle from the conventional enemy point of view—rather is dispersed, of
loose cellular structure with all command identities unknown to cell members and is
transnational..all in all near invisible with no military uniform that can identify him as in
conventional battle , which does not resort to standard TTPs and other combat techniques, whose
logistical, supplies and other support services are totally unlike the support arms of the
conventional enemy and out of view, nearly invisible, hidden among sympathizers and
communities resources. Thus if we consider COIN operations in a region, whether urban or
jungle or hilly, the operational intelligence doctrine must be adaptive to include these factors.
Further the intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance platforms applied to conventional
Table 1-1. Primary Intelligence Tasks
Intelligence Tasks
Commander's Focus
Commander's Decisions
Support situational understanding.
Conduct intelligence preparation of
• Situation development
Force protection
Secondary collectors intelligence operations ,
Military Police Intel Ops.
Define mission , Prepare
intelligence assessments ,
Prioritize intelligence
requirements , plan , execute
mission , See to it that the force
is secured so as to contain its
lethality and efficiency to the
maximum and no degradation
by the enemy
Decide on the COA out of all
the possible COAs arrayed
against expected enemy COAs.
Support strategic responsiveness.
• Correctly gauge Indications and Warning
• Keep intelligence capability to the maximum
• Assessment of neighbouring countries policies
Intelligence assessment of neighbouring
countries and foreign area studies
Define national intelligence
priorities and support
government policies by
intelligence feeds , thus
focusing on contingencies.
What readiness on our part is
dictated by intelligence
reports?Do we increase or
maintain as it is?Should our
forces take readiness steps?Do
we go ahead with our plans to
offset the expected enemy
action?What can be the fallout
if expectations go awry
Conduct ISR.
• Synchronize ISR
• Integrate ISR.
• Tactical Reconnaissance Ops
• Surveillance
Plan, prepare, execute, and
assess the mission.
Are priority intelligence
requirements defined
exactly.Do we have enough
assets for conducting ISR
ops?Do the necessary
requirements match available
ISR capabilities?Are the assets
free from adjacent units
usage?Can the assets be
deployed suitably to collect
information on HVTs , HPTs
and can they be positioned
accurately on these?Finally
which deciusion points , HVTs
and HPTs need to be put under
ISR scanner?DPs are points
along the enemy decision cycle
which are critical and
detyerminative of enemy
Provide intelligence support to effects.
• Targeting
Battle damage assessments and other post
combat assessment
Kinetic/non-kinetic destruction
of targets to include
neutralization, exploitation and
suppression. Strike and destroy
intelligence assets. and Assess
post-battle damage Consider
restrike options
Do we execute lethal or non-
lethal attacks?Or as in COIN do
we go for attack the network
plan?What about restrike
options?Are they necessary to
completely destroy the
target?Or is it neutralized so
well that it retains no future
wartime and peacetime situations may not be as effective in situations involving, say COIN in an
urban environment.
Hence we cannot just stay limited to traditional approaches to operational intelligence. We can
adapt by say endeavoring to create new indigenous HUMINT sources, capturing indigenous
insurgent technology conducting source operations by using sources from the local community
by bridging the gap between them and us soldiers (developing close relationships, respecting
their customs and abiding by it, being more of a civilian than a soldier by wearing civil attire and
sharing tea/coffee with them, respect for their religion, etc all contributing to a conducive
environment suitable for elicitation and oblique tactical prodding without raising any doubts )
and conducting security reviews with such as the modern day IED in perspective..information
from all these being aligned with the intelligence requirements of the commander thus increasing
the depth of his situational awareness.
Tactical intelligence is required to answer intelligence requirements at the tactical level in
response to enemy TTPs.Military operations are conducted to locate the enemy, determine its
strength and aligning all these information with the efforts to apply proper tactics and use
suitable weaponry to cause defeat. Thus tactical intelligence is a significant force multiplier if
collected and applied properly.
One change that must be effected is that the time period between collection, analysis and
dissemination to the commander and then routed to the targeting team/fire team...this should be
reduced as much as possible. To do this the tactical analyst should be at ground level along with
the collectors or in close proximity. Take for example one of the most commonly and
increasingly modified weapon of the insurgent...the IED. Now if the tactical analyst is at ground
level he can directly access the IED without wasting time, study its nature, composition and the
source and its type,whether ir is roadside bomb or body-borne or vehicle-borne
explosive.Therafter the analyst reports to the commander with the details and suitable attack and
surveillance platforms are used to detonate the IED remotely or detect the planting of the
explosive or even kill the bearer of the explosive. The analyst’s information may trigger further
surveillance using video to track the bomb storage and factories.
Combat Information is that data that arises of time sensitive information , such as ‘’target
acquisition’’ where a HVT emerges from the information collected and we have very short time
to effect a kill thus forcing the tactical analyst to utilize the ISR assets most effectively so as to
get the ‘’most timely and accurate information’’.Thus the analyst coordinates with those assets
that can provide target acquisition information rapidly and to this end the analyst must have good
access to these ISR platforms. This is Combat Information and can be shared with commanders
before further analysis if immediate action is required or if there is any other urgent need.
The targeting officer must be aware of the COA development exercise, how many intelligence
platforms he has to detect the targets and the status of the attack delivery platforms. substantial
organic and complementary intelligence platforms and capabilities to be successful. Often times,
these platforms are employed beyond their carrying capacity. Intelligence sourcing capacity is
linear not cyclic so these platforms and capacity must be carefully managed. If these
platforms/capabilities are focused on everything, then they are not focused on anything’’.
The targeting officer deploys HUMINT personnel and other appropriate intelligence platforms to
assess the following:
1. Listing of HPT (personality/network targeting)-HPTL
2. What is the intelligence value, operational value and tactical value of the target?
3. Implications of the targeting on the local populace, tribes, province, religious groups
Thereafter he should decide on the fire delivery mode and for every High Payoff Target in the
list he should associate one fire task. Then he should decide on the what, where, how and when
to deliver the attack on the HPT.
Thereafter he should decide whether to kill/capture the target or continue with the existing
intelligence gathering process or counterintelligence processes. He must also weigh the pros/cons
of the targeting operation, the payoffs or what we lose in the bargain. To this end his HUMINT
agents must give him sufficient and accurate intelligence on the behavioral aspect of the
targeting, as alluded above and on the impact on the insurgent movement by direct elimination of
the HVT.
The Intelligence Cycle
There are seven battlefield operating systems that build quality
combat power. These include: intelligence, maneuver, fire
support, air defense, mobility counter-mobility survivability,
combat service support and command and control. Intelligence
battlefield operating system (BOS) includes HUMINT, which
allows for timely, quality, actionable, information to reach the
necessary individual(s). The intelligence BOS is essential to help
depict the enemy’s schedules, tactics, environment, and resources.
Intelligence BOS follows a particular process: plan, prepare,
collect, process, and produce.
Intelligence Operations follow a five-phase intelligence process known as the intelligence cycle.
They are:
* Plan and Direct the collection effort.
* Collecting the information.
* Processing the collected information.
* Producing the intelligence information.
* Disseminating and using the collected information.
The intelligence cycle is focused on the commander’s mission and concept of operation. The
overreaching principle of the cycle is intelligence synchronization. Each step within the cycle
must be synchronized with the commander’s decision-making and operational requirements to
successfully influence the outcome of the operation.
The planning step adheres to setting the vision. The commander must gather, analyze, address,
and decide what the pertinent information is. The commander must determine how to use the
information given for synchronization of the ISR operation. The commander utilizes the
commander’s critical information requirements (CCIRs), priority information requirements
(PIRs), friendly force information requirements (FFIRs), to plan the intelligence operations. All
of these activities are essential to assess the situation and environment to optimize the likelihood
of obtaining the desired outcome. Planning is not a static process, but revolving and interactive
to obtain and maintain intelligence expectations. Through planning and direction by both
collection and production managers, the process converts acquired information into intelligence
and make it available to policymakers and consumers.
The main goal of collection is to acquire data about the enemy’s environment, resources, and
activities. This is summarized as follows:
We need to know the current activity of the enemy, its objectives/goals, whether these goals are
directed against us—the intent, whether it has the capabilities to achieve these goals and taken
for granted it succeeds in its attempts—that is it succeeds in achieving its intent , then what will
be the consequences for us—the damage.
Intelligence here is crucial. We must determine the intent of the enemy. But like we are always
striving to secure our installations, all related information systems and movements from enemy
prying eyes so does the enemy who takes pain to cloak its behavioral indicators which might
give out its intent. Now if there are no behavioral indicators, however we may suspect the enemy
of possessing an intent to cause harm, we are nowhere when it comes to determining it
accurately. We need to go for deep intelligence collection and access a myriad of sources so that
slowly the behavioral characteristics are discerned.
Here lets touch on Indicators and Warning concept. So vital to security. This is also known as
Early Warning. If the enemy has intent it will decide on a course of action/actions—COA/sewer
have to design a thorough collection system so that we can target the indicators (on a continual
basis so as to confirm the enemy’s COAs or negate our assessments of its COAs until finally we
confirm accurately)and hence get an idea about the intent. And then lay down the potential
COAs in parallel(parallel mind you) and after matching with the capabilities(yes, that too needs
to be determined first) we choose the most probable COA of the enemy. The Early Warning
system is more of a proactive-intelligence approach rather than a reactive-intelligence one.
For each intent they can take a course of action ( or we zero down to a course of actions from a
list of probable course of actions corresponding to the intent by considering more factors such as
information gleaned from open sources, attack mode types or weapon types/delivery mode as per
prevailking security hardening of target/security environment around/proximity of target etc)
which we determine as most probable by considering factors like capability,behavior or other
indicators. We can have a Most Likely Course of Action or in the extreme the Most Dangerous
Course of Action.It all depends how successfully we ascertain their intent,capabilities,behavior
and how far accurately we can infer their other characteristics and past criminal/terrorist/military
offensive activity from past records/database past threat assessments, past activity records ,
personality profiles , weapons/combat capability-strength,social networks (all these can be
ascertained from open source,government records,criminal database,and detailed past
activity reports.For example a military unit,while assessing the threat can pull intelligence
(ofcourse on request and need to know basis) from higher headquarters,from adjacent units,from
its own sources and from whatever ISR tools they have.Adjacent units or other units who share
the same
communication network or who is acessble by the unit can supply intelligence on the threats past
behavior—say an engagement with the other unit.From that the unit can , within a good
confidence level , dcetermine the enemys tactics,techniques and procedures.Inputs like this can
help in determining the probable course of actions.We can list out possible consequences for
each course of action.
First the Intent/s , then ascertaining the Capabilities—not exactly ‘’then’’..the collectors tasked
by the CMO generally busy themselves with sourcing information on both and by pulling on
information from R&S teams.Therafter the Commander brainstorms with his staff the possible
COAs by backwards iteration to the Intent/s and evaluating the COAs in the light of the
Capabilities and also the possible consequences for the enemy/effects as battle damage or simply
damage for us.A terrorist attack may more be directed at the Parliament House than a Mall
because of the Symbolic and Political-Seat flavor).Again it can equally be likely that one enemy
COA generates a crippling counterattack by our forces whereas another COA is less obvious and
also causes less damage or less repercussion.The enemy too wargames and may decide to forego
the first COA and go for the second one.Another example could be the enemys COA is simply
intelligence activities directed against us with a timeframe to determine what they intend to
determine , knowing very well that our CI teams will move in and take tentatively that time
frame to expose their intent—hence their COA could be go on with the intelligence activities
before the deadline—that is before they are exposed.There are several course of actions , each in
context of different scenarios.That is why it is immensely important to gain a perfect or near
perfect situational understanding. Thus during this evaluation the Commander and Staff narrow
down to the most possible Course of Action or the Most Dangerous Course of action for each
Intent. Whatever every COA the enemy takes we must look for observable INDICATORS.This
is the task of the Collection teams.Once these indicators are identified we look for patterns.Once
we discern them we begin exploitation.
In other words, we need to judge the Intent of the adversary. Our intelligence collection teams
should look for indicators , indicators which will tell us what he is doing today. Supported by
more information about the capabilities of the adversary, , past threat assessments, past activity
records , personality profiles , weapons/combat capability-strength, social networks (all these can
be ascertained from open source,government records,criminal database,and detailed past activity
we make an educated guess of the intent or a list of intents with confidence level/s and then list
out the corresponding course of actions with possible consequences for each course of action.
Continuing the iteration further we select the most likely course of action and the most
dangerous course of action by studying the consequences along with the capabilities and intent/s.
Provide Intel Update.
Support red cell.
Refine Threat COAs.
Provide input into relative combat power assessment.
Provide an initial estimate of supportability.
Update center of gravity analysis as required.
The following grossly sums up the steps in the intelligence cycle.
1. Develop intelligence requirements.
2. Collect information to answer intelligence requirements.
3. Triage information for accuracy and consistency, analyze collected information, deconflict
inconsistent information (if necessary), and identify other intelligence requirements (re-task
collection, if necessary).
4. Compile analyzed information (timely, accurate, specific, and predictive!), and produce a
finished intelligence product for dissemination and community consumption.
This all goes back to collection. What are the goals of the adversary? What’s he trying to
accomplish; what’s his intent? What is the Order of Battle of the enemy? In other words what are
the strengths, dispositions and capabilities of the enemy? What is the inventory and type of their
equipment/weapons? How will the terrain affect enemy’s movements, possible courses of actions
(this applies to us also),what are the possible concealment areas offered by high ground or
foliage, how does the terrain afford ambush points and where they can possibly be, how does the
current and future weather predictions act as enabler or otherwise for the enemy and us, what is
the present enemy situation , if the enemy is an asymmetrical one like the terrorist/insurgent then
does it have the capability to attack hard targets, what was the modus operandi in the past of the
asymmetrical enemy, target history and who were/are its leaders/sympathizers, what were the
safe houses then and possible locations at present, what ideology the terrorist group pursues and
what are its aims as demonstrated by its propaganda or by website declarations and so on. This
will allow us to identify indicators. We identify indicators, then patterns, and then we exploit
Tracking adversary capabilities is a continual process, and should be updated per changing
conditions in their strength, disposition, equipment, or tactics, techniques and procedures
Requirements Determination –The Collectors
To properly collect information during war or any situation involving ground troops and the
enemy, be it a tactical operation or stability operation we need individuals who can interrogate
or EPWs or detainees in an efficient manner without invoking unnecessary delays .
To this end we need persons with good interrogation skills, ability to conduct tactical questioning
and good debriefing skills. Soldiers on the ground need to be trained in HUMINT capabilities,
apart from HUMINT specialists, so that when the soldier encounters the EPW right at the front
or in areas other than the rear, he can quickly interrogate and extract HUMINT/CI relevant
information and then pass on the prisoner to the interrogation facility. If the soldiers manage to
extract information this way, it could very well be that the said information can be of immediate
tactical use to the unit the soldier belongs. The chances of detaining an individual with no
information or intelligence of target value is also lessened considerably.On the other hand
involving soldiers this way helps the commander and upper echelons get a first hand good
situation assessment.
Besides this we need trained HUMINT specialists to act as enablers for the commander while
assessing the situation. They will conduct source operations to throw light on the enemy order of
battle, his capabilities, plans and intentions. The collection manager with all the inputs from the
HUMINT specialists can then assist the Commander with updating his intelligence requirements
and with the capabilities and intent of the enemy in perspective now, he can devise appropriate
As for the intelligence component CI we need to realize the full import of the latter. Thus we
need CI specialists/soldiers with the skill to identify, detrect, counter, neutralize or exploit the
enemy’s intelligence approaches to gain information about our plans, capabilities and other
factors. The CI soldier must be well versed in polygraph and technical countermeasures as there
can be cases of treason and subversion and he will have to identify ,detect such individuals and
also establish their complicity in the crime and report to the executrive.A foreign language
ability will be an asset.CI soldiers need to exploit documents seized and these may be in a
foreign language.CI teams can be augmented with an interpreter in case the soldiers lack the
ability to converse in a foreign language.
Finally we need soldiers/specialists trained to coordinate collection activities,deconflict and
synchronize all HUMINT/CI activities and interact effectively with higher and lower echelons.
Collection comprises 5 main components:Command and control,collection
platforms,sensors,processing and exploitation and data exfiltration.As the intelligence units
collection manager you should devise a collection strategy using these five components in a
most optimum fashion so as to gather accurate,specific and timely information about the
Proper Intelligence management offers decision-advantage capability. Intelligence only
provides an advantage if the information isdelivered to the appropriate decision maker in a
timely, relevant manner, giving that decision maker an edge over an adversary with inferior
Intelligence is technically speaking composed of four attributes,
collection,anticipation,transmission and efforts to degrade an enemy’s efforts to execute the first
three. In cases where maueuver is priority such as counterterrorism collection is more important
than the other attributes. In counterterrorism or tactical maneuvers sometimes intelligence is
required urgently by the combat units to achieve a tactical decision advantage over the opponent
and to this end there is no room for all-source fusion (collection of intelligence using various
collection platforms and fusing this intelligence)and analysis and then dissemination—what is
required is HUMINT collection..a single source collection to deliver timely intelligence. One
intelligence collection system may be suited to collection operations against a conventional
foreign army units activities but may not at all be suitable for collection of intelligence about a
terrorist group.
What is most important to realize is there exists a competitive environment if we view the
intelligence architecture of both parties from a third-person perspective.That is to say our
intelligence system and the enemy’s intelligence system are both involved in a competitive-
enterprise , each seeking to gain a decision-advantage over the other,to remain one step ahead of
the other in order to maintain this decision advantage.Hence we should model our collection
system exactly with this guiding principle in mind.Target selection for example is very important
while devising collection strategys.The nature of target influences intelligence collection.As
pointed out above one collection system may collect more optimally but another might
not.HUMINT is totally suitable in urban COIN operations but not aerial imagery as the building-
density will block straight-line view and also there are many other factors.When immediate
intelligence is required IMINT has less value as time is required to interpret the images.If we
shift the target from the insurgent in urban area to the mobile intercepts of terrorists in Kandahar
then SIGINT and satellelite based targeting is more appropriate.Again the dense foliage of a
jungle where Maoists have taken refuge will preclude any idea of employing aerial assets for ISR
To maintain the decision advantage we need to build such an intelligence collection system so
that is flexible enough to accommodate various targets as situations demand or unfold.
Following are the intelligence disciplines that aid in collection of information:
1. Signals intelligence (SIG1NT) includes information derived from intercepted
communications, radar, and telemetry. The National Security Agency (NSA), a component of the
Department of Defense, is responsible for collecting, processing, and reporting communications
intelligence (COMINT), electronic intelligence (ELINT), and foreign instrumentation signals
intelligence (FISINT). The National SIGINT Committee within NSA advises the Director, NSA,
and the DCI on SIGINT policy issues and manages the SIGINT requirements system.
2. Imagery intelligence (IMINT) includes both overhead and ground imagery. The National
Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), another Department of Defense component, is the
functional manager for all imagery intelligence activities, both classified and unclassified, within
the government including requirements, collection, processing, exploitation, dissemination,
archiving, and retrieval.
3. Measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT) is technically derived intelligence data
other than imagery and SIGINT. The data result in intelligence that locates, identifies, or
describes distinctive characteristics of targets. It employs a broad group of disciplines including
nuclear, optical, radio frequency, acoustics, seismic, and materials sciences. Examples of this
might be the distinctive radar signatures of specific aircraft systems or the chemical composition
of air and water samples. The Central MASINT Organization, a component of DIA, is the focus
for all national and DoD MASINT matters.
4. Human-source intelligence (HUMINT) involves clandestine and overt collection techniques.
The following are some of the principal types of collection associated with HUMINT:
Clandestine source acquisition of information (including photography, documents, and other
material) of intelligence value.
Overt data collection by civilian and military personnel assigned to US diplomatic and
consular posts.
Debriefing of foreign nationals and US citizens who travel abroad or have access to foreign
Official contacts with foreign governments, including liaison with their intelligence and
security services.
5. Open-source information is publicly available information appearing in print or electronic
form. It may include radio, television, newspapers, journals, the Internet, commercial databases,
and videos, graphics, and drawings.
Preparation is allowed to begin once the operations order (OPORD) or warning order (WARNO)
is received by the commander. The commander can also improve the unit’s performance and
survivability by conducting activities to generate additional quality intelligence for the ISR
The main goal of collection is to acquire data about the enemy’s environment, resources, and
Processing the data gathered is essential for commanders to make decisions. The data needs to be
manageable, concise, and thorough in order for immediate decisions to be made that may affect
the OPLAN. Conversion of large amounts of data to a form suitable for the production of
finished intelligence" includes translations, decryption, and interpretation of information stored
on film and magnetic media through the use of highly refined photographic and electronic
processes. Processing this information involves sifting through the essential and non-essential
information such as intelligence information collected by HUMINT, GEOINT, IMINT,
Special reconnaissance (SR) is conducted by small units of highly trained military personnel, usually
from special forces units or military intelligence organizations, who operate behind enemy lines, avoiding
direct combat and detection by the enemy. As a role, SR is distinct from commando operations, although
both are often carried out by the same units. The SR role frequently includes: covert direction of air and
missile attacks, in areas deep behind enemy lines, placement of remotely monitored sensors and
preparations for other special forces. Like other special forces, SR units may also carry out direct
action (DA) and unconventional warfare (UW), including guerrilla operations.
Special Reconnaissance is the conduct of environmental reconnaissance, target acquisition,
area assessment, post-strike assessment, emplacement and recovery of sensors, or support of
Human Intelligence (HUMINT) and Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) operations.
In intelligence terms, SR is a human intelligence (HUMINT) collection discipline. Its operational control is
likely to be inside a compartmented cell of the HUMINT, or possibly the operations, staff functions. Since
such personnel are trained for intelligence collection as well as other missions, they will usually maintain
clandestine communications to the HUMINT organization, and will be systematically prepared for debriefing.
They operate significantly farther than the furthest forward friendly scouting and surveillance units; they may
be tens to hundreds of kilometers deeper.
MASINT, OSINT, SIGINT, TECHINT, MEDINT, and FININT. This culmination of data may
appear as a puzzle pieces and it is the processing individual’s job to analyze all the data to help
create actionable intelligence.
The production process essentially packages the final intelligence product(s). These manageable
groups are divided by priority and are synchronized with the OPLAN essentials. . Integration,
evaluation, and analysis of all available data and the preparation of a variety of intelligence
products, including timely,single-source, event-oriented reports and longer term finished
intelligence studies. Most intelligence organizations assign analysts to a particular geographic or
functional specialty. Analysts obtain information from all sources pertinent to their areas of
responsibility through the collection, forwarding, and processing systems. Analysts absorb
incoming information, evaluate it, produce an assessment of the current state of affairs within an
assigned field or substantive area, and then forecast future trends or outcomes. Analysts are
encouraged to include alternative futures in their assessments and to look for opportunities to
warn about possible developments abroad that could either threaten or provide opportunities for
US security and policy interests. The analyst also develops requirements for collection of new
information. Counterintelligence and counterterrorism analyses provide strategic assessments of
foreign intelligence and terrorist groups and prepare tactical options for ongoing operations and
investigations. Longer range, more intractable intelligence challenges are addressed by grouping
analytic and operational personnel from concerned agencies into closely knit functional
units.When information has been reviewed and correlated with information available from other
sources, it is called "finished intelligence."
Categories of Finished Intelligence
Five categories of finished intelligence are available to the consumer:
1. Current intelligence addresses day-to-day events, seeking to apprise consumers of new
developments and related background, to assess their significance, to warn of their near-
term consequences, and to signal potentially dangerous situations in the near future.
Current intelligence is presented in daily, weekly, and some monthly publications, and
frequently in ad hoc written memorandums and oral briefings to senior officials.
2. Estimative intelligence deals with what might be or what might happen. Like all kinds of
intelligence, estimative intelligence starts with the available facts, but then it migrates
into the unknown, even the unknowable. The main roles of estimative intelligence are to
help policymakers navigate the gaps between available facts by suggesting alternative
patterns into which those facts might fit and to provide informed assessments of the range
and likelihood of possible outcomes.
3. Warning intelligence sounds an alarm or gives notice to policymakers. It connotes
urgency and implies the potential need for policy action in response. Warning includes
identifying or forecasting events that could cause the engagement of US military forces,
or those that would have a sudden and deleterious effect on US foreign policy concerns
(for example, coups, third-party wars, refugee situations). Warning analysis involves
exploring alternative futures and low probability/ high impact scenarios. The National
Intelligence Officer (NIO) for Warning serves as the DCI's and the IC's principal adviser
on warning. All agencies and intelligence staffs have designated warning components,
and some have specific warning responsibilities.
4. Research intelligence is presented in monographs and in-depth studies by virtually all
agencies. Research underpins both current and estimative intelligence; there are also two
specialized subcategories of research intelligence: Basic intelligence consists primarily
of the structured compilation of geographic, demographic, social, military, and political
data on foreign countries. This material is presented in the form of maps, atlases, force
summaries, handbooks, and, on occasion, sandtable models of terrain. The Directorate of
Intelligence in CIA, NIMA, and the Directorate for Intelligence Production in DIA are
major producers of this kind of material. Intelligence for operational support
incorporates all types of intelligence production—current, estimative, warning, research,
scientific and technical; it is tailored, focused, and rapidly produced for planners and
operators. The top priority of DIA is to satisfy the intelligence needs of operational forces
and their commanders. DIA also provides near-real-time intelligence to military forces in
peacetime, crisis, contingency, and combat operations. To accomplish this, it operates the
Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communication System (JWICS) and deploys National
Intelligence Support Teams (NISTs) as needed, - worldwide. The Associate Director of
Central Intelligence for Military Support, via CIA's Office of Military Affairs, Oversees
deployment of CIA components of NISTs.
5. Scientific and technical intelligence includes information on technical developments
and characteristics, performance, and capabilities of foreign technologies including
weapon systems or subsystems. This information is derived from analysis of all-source
data, including technical measurements. Generally, such technical analysis and reporting
responds to specific national requirements derived from the weapons acquisition process,
arms control negotiations, or military operations. It covers the entire spectrum of sciences,
technologies, weapon systems, and integrated operations. This type of intelligence is
provided to consumers via in-depth studies, detailed system handbooks, executive
summaries, focused assessments and briefs, and automated databases.
Dissemination. Delivering the products to consumers who request and need them.
Feedback. Interaction between consumers of finished intelligence and the producers to help
intelligence managers evaluate the effectiveness of support, identify intelligence gaps, and focus
more precisely on consumer needs. Feedback takes many forms and channels; it may be direct or
through liaison contacts and consumer surveys.
Other Categories of Intelligence further explained
Each intelligence collecting method is most effective during particular scenarios and timeframes.
Each of the nine main areas of intelligence gathering allow for obtaining actionable intelligence
that may be used by the higher echelons to synchronize and analyze data in order to meet the
vision during the intelligence process.
HUMINT uses people as the main medium with which to collect information. The information
may be gathered, analyzed, and exploited for the ideal outcome. Since humans are such diverse
beings, there are a variety of methods which are adapted for every situation, environment, and
battlefield operations. There are a multitude of sources that can lead up to HUMINT collection
from diplomatic relations to travelers to local and military personnel. Most of these encounters
do not require a cost, thus illustrating how HUMINT is flexible, diverse, and cost effective.
Depending on the available training and education of the HUMINT collector, intelligence can be
obtained with speed and allow actionable intelligence decisions to be made quickly.
Geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) provides feedback to the appropriate individual(s),
commanders and soldiers regarding the current geographical situation of the desired area on
earth. This would assist in the unit in obtaining relevant information about an area they may have
never seen before. Unfortunately, the intelligence method requires very expensive equipment
and qualified personnel to run it.
Imagery intelligence (IMINT) is the intelligence of space and earth. High tech equipment is used
to extract information on certain geographical areas. Space equipment, aircrafts (manned and
unmanned), and high definition aerial photography is used to obtain analyze and record this data.
Usually, this data requires time and resources and significant cost exhausted in the collection of
this data.
Measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT) requires the use of mathematics, physics,
chemistry, biology, and other scientific disciplines to obtain intelligence. These analysts search
for consistencies, inconsistencies, and a variety of measurements to identify the source of each
measurement. This method requires time and highly specialized personnel to interpret and
produce actionable information which may or may not be of immediate use to the soldiers on the
Open source intelligence uses information gained through unclassified material and other
outlets. Intelligence gained through this method comes from sources such as television, radio,
newspapers, magazines, the internet, etc. Analysts view, read and study these sources and link
seemingly harmless bits of information together to obtain legitimate intelligence.
Signals intelligence is a form of collecting intelligence by intercepting signals between
entities. Those entities can be human to human, machine to machine or a combination. Since
these signals are often encrypted, analysts require equipment that not only intercepts the
transmission, but can also “break the code” on the encryption, or the analyst has to take the
intercepted transmission and feed it through a system that can read the encrypted message(s).
There are several subcategories of SIGINT. These categories include communications
intelligence, electronic intelligence, foreign instrumentation signals intelligence, and telemetry
intelligence. Signals intelligence is very diverse and effective.
Technical intelligence is the branch of intelligence that provides our armed forces an
advantage when going into a conflict. It informs us of the enemy’s weapons systems,
capabilities, limitations, strengths, weaknesses, etc.
Medical intelligence is another branch of intelligence that ensures our armed forces are
informed and able to prepare for matters they may encounter in a conflict. Medical intelligence
focuses on the medical, environmental, and bio-scientific information that is of interest and may
affect strategic planning. MEDINT also feeds into military medical planning and operations
allowing friendly forces to prepare for conditions in a specific geographic location and obtain
necessary immunizations before entering an area.
Financial intelligence is a complex matter. In financial intelligence the financial
transactions or patterns of individuals, groups, countries, etc. are scrutinized. Money transferred
to or from monitored accounts is followed electronically. Information gained through this
method is shared with other intelligence services.The other methods of intelligence collection are
used to validate the information and target the suspect or suspects.
Advantages and disadvantages of Other Categories of Intelligence
Although all of the intelligence gathering methods are important and effective they each
have advantages and disadvantages. For example, most of the intelligence gathering methods
such as GEOINT, IMINT, MASINT, SIGINT, TECHINT, and FININT require very expensive
equipment, highly trained,and highly paid personnel to operate the equipment. Additional
personnel are required to decipher the information gained from that particular equipment. This
equipment is not only expensive to acquire, but it’s also expensive to maintain, operate, keep up
to date with the latest software, and other upgrades. Another disadvantage of these methods is
the time commitment. Frequently, by the time the information gained is translated into
intelligence and relayed to the person or agency that needs it most or who is in the best position
to act on the intelligence, it is too late to obtain the desired results. This emphasizes the need for
a change in our military intelligence culture to reflect the growing demand for faster accurate
The advantage to all of the above mentioned intelligence gathering methods and
including MEDINT and OSINT is that they do not require humans to be on the ground and in
danger to acquire the information. This reduces risk to our most valuable resource…humans.
Advantages and Disadvantages of HUMINT
The reverse is true when referring to human intelligence. Most HUMINT methods do not require
expensive equipment. Instead a moderately trained individual can gain a tremendous amount of
information and intelligence through such seemingly simple methods as talking to a patrol after
they complete a mission, having a conversation with a detainee, refugee, a non-governmental
organization (NGO), or watching the activities in or around a specific area. The disadvantage to
HUMINT is that in most cases it requires a human being to go into dangerous areas and
situations to gain information or intelligence. This risk can be remedied and reduced through the
education and training of Soldiers and commanders on the HUMINT methods.
Strategic,Operational and Tactical Intelligence:
Strategic Intelligence in military terms means the intelligence which goes into formulation of
military policy and strategies. Operational intelligence on the other hand focuses on support to
planning operations at the theater or regional level while Tactical intelligence is at the local
level—intelligence that goes into driving operations locally.
Traditional intelligence doctrine does not take into account the asymmetric enemy which does
not have an Order of Battle from the conventional enemy point of view—rather is dispersed, of
loose cellular structure with all command identities unknown to cell members and is
transnational..all in all near invisible with no military uniform that can identify him as in
conventional battle , which does not resort to standard TTPs and other combat techniques, whose
logistical, supplies and other support services are totally unlike the support arms of the
conventional enemy and out of view, nearly invisible, hidden among sympathizers and
communities resources. Thus if we consider COIN operations in a region, whether urban or
jungle or hilly, the operational intelligence doctrine must be adaptive to include these factors.
Further the intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance platforms applied to conventional
wartime and peacetime situations may not be as effective in situations involving, say COIN in an
urban environment.
Hence we cannot just stay limited to traditional approaches to operational intelligence. We can
adapt by say endeavoring to create new indigenous HUMINT sources, capturing indigenous
insurgent technology conducting source operations by using sources from the local community
by bridging the gap between them and us soldiers (developing close relationships, respecting
their customs and abiding by it, being more of a civilian than a soldier by wearing civil attire and
sharing tea/coffee with them, respect for their religion, etc all contributing to a conducive
environment suitable for elicitation and oblique tactical prodding without raising any doubts )
and conducting security reviews with such as the modern day IED in perspective..information
from all these being aligned with the intelligence requirements of the commander thus increasing
the depth of his situational awareness.
Tactical intelligence is required to answer intelligence requirements at the tactical level in
response to enemy TTPs.Military operations are conducted to locate the enemy, determine its
strength and aligning all these information with the efforts to apply proper tactics and use
suitable weaponry to cause defeat. Thus tactical intelligence is a significant force multiplier if
collected and applied properly.
One change that must be effected is that the time period between collection, analysis and
dissemination to the commander and then routed to the targeting team/fire team...this should be
reduced as much as possible. To do this the tactical analyst should be at ground level along with
the collectors or in close proximity. Take for example one of the most commonly and
increasingly modified weapon of the insurgent...the IED. Now if the tactical analyst is at ground
level he can directly access the IED without wasting time, study its nature, composition and the
source and its type ,whether ir is roadside bomb or body-borne or vehicle-borne
explosive.Therafter the analyst reports to the commander with the details and suitable attack and
surveillance platforms are used to detonate the IED remotely or detect the planting of the
explosive or even kill the bearer of the explosive. The analyst’s information may trigger further
surveillance using video to track the bomb storage and factories.
Combat Information is that data that arises of time sensitive information , such as ‘’target
acquisition’’ where a HVT emerges from the information collected and we have very short time
to effect a kill thus forcing the tactical analyst to utilize the ISR assets most effectively so as to
get the ‘’most timely and accurate information’’.Thus the analyst coordinates with those assets
that can provide target acquisition information rapidly and to this end the analyst must have good
access to these ISR platforms. This is Combat Information and can be shared with commanders
before further analysis if immediate action is required or if there is any other urgent need.
What is HUMINT?
Human Intelligence (HUMINT) has been in
existence since the first time one individual
spied on another. Over the centuries, it has
become more intriguing as it spans the gambit
from personal observation reports to covert
operations. Since the HUMINT discipline is so
large in breadth, this book will address only
those elements applicable to actionable
counterinsurgency doctrine is impoverished with respect to the role of HUMINT. Paradigmatic
works pay lip service to the importance of HUMINT in general but offer few concrete lessons for
commanders or collectors in particular. In this essay I aim to fill this gap.
while all counterinsurgents collect operational reporting as they perform their daily functions—
what is frequently termed “passive” collection—HUMINT requires “active” collectors who are
specially trained to conduct military source operations and interrogations.
“Most of the time, however, intelligence provides indications that an opponent is undertaking
some sort of initiative before that initiative is fully underway and begins to generate observable
activities. Espionage allows intelligence managers to focus collection efforts on the suspected
Yet counterinsurgency doctrine is impoverished with respect to the role of HUMINT.
Paradigmatic works pay lip service to the importance of HUMINT in general but offer few
concrete lessons for commanders or collectors in particular.
While all counterinsurgents collect operational reporting as they perform their daily functions—
what is frequently termed “passive” collection—HUMINT requires “active” collectors who are
specially trained to conduct military source operations and interrogations
The HUMINT collector represents a low-density, high-demand asset, one that should be
carefully and selectively employed to collect against intelligence requirements that cannot
be answered by passive collectors. If this is not clearly understood, HUMINT will suffer
from “errant, opportunistic tasking.”HUMINT collection is the sine qua non of
counterinsurgency success. Its value is clear and inarguable.
“The collection of information by a trained human intelligence collector from people and their
associated documents and media sources to identify elements, intentions, composition, strength,
dispositions, tactics, equipment, personnel, and capabilities.”
More broadly, counterinsurgency may shift or blur the line between operational information
and intelligence information, but the threshold between the two still exists and necessitates
dedicated professional collection. This is particularly true in an information environment
saturated with un-vetted information, where professional HUMINT collectors are critical to
ensuring that information quantity does not supplant information quality.
More broadly, counterinsurgency may shift or blur the line between operational information
and intelligence information, but the threshold between the two still exists and necessitates
dedicated professional collection. This is particularly true in an information environment
saturated with un-vetted information, where professional HUMINT collectors are critical to
ensuring that information quantity does not supplant information quality.
HUMINT is the collection of foreign information to identify elements, intentions, composition,
strength, dispositions, tactics, equipment, personnel, and capabilities. This collection is done by
trained HUMINT collectors that obtain a plethora of information from mediums such as people
and multimedia. HUMINT actively and passively uses human intelligence sources to obtain
viable information to cross-cue other intelligence disciplines and provide the commander with
sufficient data to make decisions.
HUMINT was the first intelligence discipline and continues to be the most effective for long-
term development against asymmetric warfare targets. Nothing provides better actionable
intelligence then knowing who, what, when, where, why, and how an enemy plans to operate by
gathering information from within the targeted organization. However, these types of covert
HUMINT operations often take years, if not decades, to establish sources high enough within an
organization to provide actionable intelligence and vice corroborative intelligence. The overt
HUMINT activities are an excellent source of actionable intelligence against asymmetric targets.
The debriefing of patrols, interrogation of detainees, liaison with a host nation,interaction with
non-government organizations, document exploitation, and the development of sources through
HUMINT contact operations all capably support actionable intelligence needs of Army
Human intelligence (HUMINT) is defined as a category of intelligence derived from information collected and
provided by human sources [INSCOM, 2001]. It is a Foreign Intelligence Activity focused on the penetration of
an adversary’s decision making architecture to obtain information regarding capabilities, vulnerabilities,
disposition, plans and intentions [INSCOM, 2001]. Its components are categorized by directed conventional
activity, military intelligence liaison, and field HUMINT (military intelligence reconnaissance, screening,
debriefing, interrogation, contact handling, agent handling, covert passive surveillance and specialist technical
support) [JWP, 2000].
HUMINT is one of the most versatile and powerful information sources available for situation awareness and
decision-making. Its low cost and ready availability could make it the silver bullet of intelligence.
HUMINT, SIGINT, and History
The two disciplines of most use in obtaining actionable intelligence against asymmetric
warfare targets are HUMINT and SIGINT. Although IMINT, especially the use of UAVs, is an
integral part of asymmetric warfare operations, it is normally tasked only after other intelligence
indicators have already been identified in HUMINT or SIGINT to justify the sustained use of
assets against probable targets. MASINT tends to be used for longer-term intelligence analysis
against asymmetric warfare targets such as examination of post blast sites to help identify origins
of enemy support material. This does produce actionable intelligence, but not necessarily for the
immediate combat commander.
The French Army used HUMINT almost extensively for actionable intelligence during
the Battle for Algiers in their asymmetric warfare confrontation with Islamic Liberation Front
(FLN) extremists during Algerian independence efforts in the 1950’s and 60’s. While SIGINT
did play a small part in their efforts, the majority of the actionable intelligence came from their
use of torture and other HUMINT interrogation, document evaluation, debriefings, and tactical
questioning techniques to disassemble the structure of the terrorist cells operating in the capital
city. The use of torture was primarily implemented because the insurgent forces relied on
their compartmentalized cells as a method for ensuring operational security and reduced
their communications between cells to specific human-to-human contacts. This type of
coercive HUMINT collection provides actionable intelligence in a timely manner, but is only
sustainable in the short-term; it lacks production over the long-term. In other words, it can
produce effective actionable intelligence against the immediate asymmetric targets being
countered by local forces, but creates long-term problems involving “hearts and minds” that
detrimentally affect other over HUMINT collection efforts. Again, HUMINT, even overt
HUMINT collection takes time to develop sources, but provides excellent actionable intelligence
against asymmetric adversaries.
Special Forces efforts to stop the Taliban in Afghanistan at the beginning of OEF in late
2001 received some extremely timely actionable information from SIGINT sources. This
intelligence allowed the Special Forces units not only to quickly identify which Northern
Alliance factions were most supportive of United States efforts, but also the who and when
questions for various high priority Taliban targets. As the battlefield quickly changed in
Afghanistan, SIGINT continued to play an active role in locating and eliminating asymmetric
threats and preempting adversary activities. As the operation developed beyond the one year
mark enemy countermeasures to SIGINT collection had an effect, but one that was outweighed
by the growing HUMINT capability in the country. Whether HUMINT or SIGINT take a lead
against the asymmetric warfare threat, they both eventually complement efforts to product a
more complete picture of enemy capabilities and intentions to provide the combatant
commander with actionable intelligence.
Human Intelligence (HUMINT) has been in existence since the first time one individual spied on
another. Over the centuries, it has become more intriguing as it spans the gambit from personal
observation reports to covert operations. The HUMINT discipline is so large in breadth; this
essay will address only those elements applicable to actionable intelligence.
HUMINT is the collection by a trained HUMINT Collector of foreign information from people
and multimedia to identify elements, intentions, composition, strength, dispositions, tactics,
equipment, personnel, and capabilities. It uses human sources as a tool and a variety of collection
methods, both passively and actively, to gather information to satisfy the commander’s
intelligence requirements and cross-cue other intelligence disciplines. HUMINT was the first
intelligence discipline and continues to be the most effective for long-term development against
asymmetric warfare targets. Nothing provides better actionable intelligence then knowing who,
what, when, where, why, and how an enemy plans to operate by gathering information from
within the targeted organization. However, these types of covert HUMINT operations often take
years, if not decades, to establish sources high enough within an organization to provide
actionable intelligence vice corroborative intelligence. The overt HUMINT activities are an
excellent source of actionable intelligence against asymmetric targets. The debriefing of patrols,
interrogation of detainees, liaison with host nation and non government organization, document
exploitation, and development of sources through HUMINT contact operations all capably
support actionable intelligence needs of Army commanders.
The two disciplines of most use in obtaining actionable intelligence against asymmetric warfare
targets are HUMINT and SIGINT. Although IMINT, especially the use of UAVs, is an integral
part of asymmetric warfare operations, it is normally tasked only after other intelligence
indicators have already been identified in HUMINT or SIGINT to justify the sustained use of
assets against probable targets. MASINT tends to be used for longer-term intelligence analysis
against asymmetric warfare targets such as examination of post blast sites to help identify origins
of enemy support material. This does produce actionable intelligence, but not necessarily for the
immediate combat commander. The French Army used HUMINT almost extensively for
actionable intelligence during the Battle for Algiers in their asymmetric warfare confrontation
with Islamic Liberation Front (FLN) extremists during Algerian independence efforts in the
1950’s and 60’s. While SIGINT did play a small part in their efforts, the majority of the
actionable intelligence came from their use of torture and other HUMINT interrogation,
document evaluation, debriefings, and tactical questioning techniques to disassemble the
structure of the insurgent cells operating in the capital city. The use of torture was primarily
implemented because the insurgent forces relied on their compartmentalized cells as a method
for ensuring operational security and reduced their communications between cells to specific
human-to-human contacts. This type of coercive HUMINT collection provides actionable
intelligence in a timely manner, but is only sustainable in the short-term, it lacks production over
the long-term. In other words, it can be produce effective actionable intelligence against the
immediate asymmetric targets being countered by local forces, but creates long-term problems
involving “hearts and minds” that detrimentally affect other over HUMINT collection efforts.
Again HUMINT, even overt HUMINT collection takes time to develop sources, but provides
excellent actionable intelligence against asymmetric adversaries.
Special Forces efforts to stop the Taliban in Afghanistan at the beginning of OEF in late 2001
received some extremely timely actionable information from SIGINT sources. This intelligence
allowed the Special Forces units not only to quickly identify which Northern Alliance factions
were most supportive of United States efforts, but also the who and when questions for various
high priority Taliban targets. As the battlefield quickly changed in Afghanistan, SIGINT
continued to play an active role in locating and eliminating asymmetric threats and preempting
adversary activities. As the operation developed beyond the one year mark enemy
countermeasures to SIGINT collection had an effect, but one that was outweighed by the
growing HUMINT capability in the country. Whether HUMINT or SIGINT take a lead against
the asymmetric warfare threat, they both eventually complement efforts to product a more
complete picture of enemy capabilities and intentions to provide the combatant commander
with actionable intelligence.
HUMINT Source, Collector, and Questioning
A HUMINT source is an individual who provides actionable intelligence to the HUMINT
collector. The source can provide information about environment, resources, personnel, tactics,
etc. through first or second hand knowledge. Typically, the HUMINT collector analyzes the sight
or sound information that the source provides. The source may individuals or organizations such
as an NGO, civilians, friendly military or non-military forces, and detainees.
Placement,access and motivation are the criteria while choosing the source for HUMINT source
operations.A source’s proximity to the adversary’s decision making architecture or personnel in
general is a crucial factor.If the source has inside access then we have reliable inside
information—different than information supplied by sources who are on the periphery of the
targets transactional profile.
The source can be self-motivated or the HUMINT operator can motivate him—in the latter case
he should be susceptible to motivation,monetary or ideological.
The source may be witting(he is aware that his information is of good intelligence value and this
also purports he is aware of the domain/field of activity in which the HUMINTer is interested) or
may be un-witting.In either case the source must be responsive to tasking—here tasking means
the utilization of the source to meet the needs of the HUMINT operative in order to satisfy the
intelligence requirements.
The HUMINT collector has special training, certification, and education that allows for the
optimal extraction of information to respond to the intelligence information demands.
HUMINT questioning encompasses a variety of methods that the collector must be familiar and
flexible. The five basic phases of all HUMINT questioning includes planning and preparation,
approach, questioning, termination, and reporting that may or may not be chronological in order.
The HUMINT Process
There are four components within HUMINT operations: Plan, Prepare, Execute, and
HUMINT planing refers to the collection plan.What are the objectives,when to task the
collection activities and which resources are to be allocated the collection taskings.The
Commander of those units who have HUMINT collection assets at their disposals allocate
proper resources based on the intelligence requirements that arise during ISR planning. The
Commander makes a judicious choice of the collection operatives based on their placement and
access.The Commander SHOULD take into consideration the technical control aspect of the
collection activities.They should adhere to the proper TTPs,existing policies and regulations and
the Commander should provide technical information and relevant guidance.Technical control is
the optimal management of source databases,sensitive information databases,contingency and
incentive finances related to intelligence,deconfliction of operations and liaison with other
agencies in the domain of HUMINT.Technical control provides HCTs with specific requirements
and data that they need to conduct operations and, in certain circumstances, specific instructions
on how to execute missions.
In the PREPARE phase the Commander and his staff as well as the various HUMINT
control sections conduct a review and assessment so as to assure themselves that all areas in the
mission are properly covered and included in the rehearsals.HCT usually accompany other units
like tactical combat units on a mission , for example, and good rehearsal is necessary not only for
collection activities,but also in regard to emergency in cases of casualties (like
evacuation),communications and fire support.Coordination in an optimal manner is paramount
with regard to the supported unit..They should be familiar with the security plan.Mission
duration must be carefully understood with all allowances for p[possible emergencies and the
unexpected.The HUMINT collector conducts a thorough review of the collection plan ,
understands the requirements and proceeds to prepare the questioning plan.The HCTs coordinate
with the OMT in all plans.
(Summary - In the planning and preparation phase, the collector uses relevant research and
operational planning to create questions andexplore potential tactics to question the source in
addition to other specific collection inquiries. The approach phase encompasses the ability of the
HUMINT collector to obtain rapport with the source to gain confidence for optimal extraction of
intelligence information. )
This is the actual collection activity phase where information is collected according to
the ISR plan.In this phase the HCT leader determines , after careful study of the requirements
placed before him , who in his team are best suitable to carry out the collection tasks which will
answer these requirements in the most satisfactory manner and then tasks these personnel.The
requirements become specific team tasks.Mission execution consists of the collection of
information in accordance with the integrated ISR plan. The requirements manager validates the
requirements based on command guidance. The G3 tasks the requirements to the units and the
individual asset managers (that is, OMT) to identify the assets best capable to answer the
requirement. When requirements are levied against a specific HCT, the HCT leader decides
which of his team's contacts can best answer the requirements. He then turns the requirement
into specific team tasks.
Assessment is the continuous monitoring-throughout planning, preparation, and
execution-of the current situation and progress of an operation, and the evaluation of it against
criteria of success to make decisions and adjustments.
Throughout the questioning phase the collector uses a variety of methods to interrogate the
source. Questions may range from applicableOPLAN to be thorough in extracting relevant
information from the source. Termination requires that the collector completes all questioning
with the source. The collector may establish the understanding with the source that further
contact may be required in regards to the operation. The reporting phase may not fall
chronologically within the phase due to any pertinent information that is reveled to the collector,
during interrogation. The HUMINT collector writes, summarizes, and sends any applicable
documents to the relevant individuals requiring the information.
There are eight main HUMINT collection categories: tactical questioning, screening,
interrogation, debriefing, liaison, human source contact operations (SCOs), document
exploitation (DOCEX), and captured enemy equipment (CEE) operations. While HUMINT
collection supports DOCEX and CEE operations, they are usually analyzed by a collector when a
source is available to be questioned. Tactical questioning can be performed by members of any
DOD personnel. The general purpose of screening is to identify whether or not a source is able
and willing to participate in the questioning. The collector can also identify if the source has any
relevant information to answer requirements. This screening process saves time and helps
identify the level of knowledge, the level of cooperation, and the placement and access of a given
source. Screening operations may include the local employees, checkpoints, and refugees. \
Interrogation is an essential part of the intelligence process. It requires authorized personnel to be
able to ask direct or indirect questions to a source keeping in mind the objective- to answer all
requirements. Interrogation is performed by all types of military organizations and personnel.
HUMINT collectors understand the importance of following the Laws of War when interrogating
a source regardless of the situation or environment. HUMINT collectors are efficient and
qualified to extract as much information as possible. Soldiers on the front may also be able to
interrogate using HUMINT methods, but require that they treat all information as actionable
intelligence. The source may cooperate or be extremely difficult, but either way a variety of
techniques must be used based on the source. Certain facilities may be more or less available or
prepared to receive sources for interrogation. Interrogation requires a high level of planning, tact,
the knowledge and experience to know the optimal time to use a given technique.
Source information may also be extracted and evaluated through cooperating sources during
debriefing. Debriefing includes refugee émigré operations, local and civilian debriefing
operations, and friendly force debriefing operations. All of these areas contain sections in which
intelligence must be relayed from individuals to US forces or unites to satisfy and answer
requirements. Typically refugee sources do not require immediate extraction of intelligence.
Later on, these sources may be willing to contribute information. This may be due to the personal
situation which may include being in custody or detained. All debriefing areas must comply with
the appropriate law, including US law and Laws of War. For friendly forces, debriefing process
must occur with US units only. Local and civilian debriefing operations may or may not have
sources in custody; similar to the refugee émigré operations.
Once all the debriefing has occurred there are activities available for commanders, Soldiers, and
other US personnel to coordinate with allied forces. This may include exchanging additional
information with NGOs, planning for future activities, targets, reconnaissance, etc. Civilian
agencies may also be involved in the liaison operations.
Human source contact operations (SCO) are essentially organized, formal, and planned meetings
between US forces and sources that intend on providing essential information. This ranges from
potential threats to actual dangers, to warnings. HUMINT sources may be one-time contacts or
constant sources of information. They may strengthen or provide tactical, environmental and
resource information. HUMINT sources are great to obtain accurate and subjective information
such as attitudes and intentions based on actions. Human SCO requires trained, educated, and
certified personnel to bring together the source and collector in a formal setting. Collectors may
then analyze information appropriately. All of the HUMINT collection methods lead to the
successful and effective contributions to the military decision-making process (MDMP) and
therefore, should be utilized by Soldiers to assist on the battlefield.
Another HUMINT collection method, DOCEX, is not strictly part of HUMINT collection, but
may be used by other agencies and intelligence categories. DOCEX operations are the systematic
extraction of information from open, closed, published, and electronic source
documents.Computers,telephones,GPS,Personal Digital Assistants yield a lot of information
stored in them which is of intelligence value and may match collection requirementsThe
HUMINT collector will assess the importance and relevancy of the information,if need be cross-
cue it with other intelligence disciplines and then forward it to the intelligence cell.
DOCEX is of particular importance to HUMINT collection due to the tangible results.
Essentially, DOCEX views all types of documents from different physical and electronic sources
as actionable intelligence. When enemy documents are acquired, the documents are usually
truthful due to the fact that the enemy writes them for their own use. HUMINT collectors exploit
these documents and screen each one based on the information that may be best suited for
another department or source collecting agency. Many captured documents provide insight into
the enemy and provides information to multiple operations. These documents may also be time-
sensitive. It is appropriate for the collector to screen these documents quickly since the
intelligence may be a part of a bigger picture. DOCEX may be used as an intelligence attack
method to deceive the enemy. This method may proceed with false information falling into the
hands of the enemy. Once this occurs, enemy decisions may be to our advantage.
All of the DOCEX methods need to be verified, preferably, by multiple sources. Although it is a
fact that as a deceptive measure the captured documents with typed/written matter on it may
yield misleading information , in DOCEX most documents yield accurate and true information
and has high intelligence value.Linguistics support is called for if the captured document has
content of foreign language.To prevent from being trapped in deception the HUMINT collector
should adopt a policy of not relying on single-source information.These captured documents
often contain critical and sensitive information and hence should be assessed and exploited as
soon as possible.They sometimes,in addition to tactical intelligence,also yield political and
important technical information.
HUMINT collectors can be effective gatherers of information from multiple sources and
able to provide timely analyses to whichever agency needs it. Tactical intelligence, political
waves, and technical data contribute to forming the details on actionable intelligence. Currently,
soldiers have access to these methods on a day to day basis. Being able to hone in on the most
useful data by using HUMINT collection methods can provide superior actionable intelligence
on the battlefield and during operations.
CEE OPERATIONS : CEE includes all captured material from detainess/EPW.They are
examined thoroughly to see if they reveal anything of intelligence value.Whether they satisfy any
collection requirement or do they have any military application.
Items that may have intelligence value include:
All electronic communications equipment with a memory card, including computers,
telephones, PDAs, and GPS terminals
All video or photographic equipment
Items that may have technical intelligence (TECHINT) value include
New weapons
All communications equipment not immediately exploitable for HUMINT value
Track vehicles
Equipment manuals
All CEE known or believed to be of TECHINT interest
Weapons and equipment/material found with the detainee should be confiscated , tagged and
evacuated immediately.
CEE operations are also part of the HUMINT collection process. CEE operations gather
all data, physical possessions, and environmental queues from the battlefield and captured
enemies. Manuals and equipment are just a couple of the tangible HUMINT collection
intelligences. These physical possessions may lead to actionable intelligence; however this may
not be the case. Although the information may not be immediately useful for HUMINT resources,
it may be of use to the other methods of intelligence collection such as TECHINT. CEE
operations tract and tag all confiscated equipment and data from the geographical locations of
battlefields and personnel.
Commanders that conduct HUMINT operations take responsibility for :
Constituting task organizations
Assigning missions
Execution of the mission
Mission accomplishment
Designating the AO for each mission tasking.
Commanders must ensure mission accomplishment by optimally allocating resources and
logistics to support HUMINT operations,keeping in mind the constraints and time.The
Commander should make adequate arrangements of training of his MI unit personnel.There
should also be cross training of HUMINT operators and HUMINT applications personnel.Each
should know the others method of operation.Thus he can ensure the operational readiness of his
personnel.The Commander analyses higher headquarters intelligence requirement,requests for
information from adjacent and subordinate units,tasks his organization,states the mission,tasks
the HUMINT collectors,executes the mission,accomplishes it and conducts a post operation
review,manages any discrepancies or gaps in intelligence(maybe again tasking his men).He is
accountable to and responsible for all HUMINT activities and should see that they confirm to
doctrinal guidelines.At this juncture he should fully liaise with the technical control team and
OMT. He issues mission orders to subordinate unit commanders, being as deatailed as possible
and giving as much time as can be allowed.
Commanders must:
Must understand and know the enemy,his organization,his ISR capability,his
counter-ISR capabilities,his threat platforms,the terrain over which it exercises
control and how the terrain can be an enabler for his HUMINT/C-HUMINT
As regarding his own HUMINT units he should understand the
constraints,technical and operational,under which they function
Should ensure synchronization of operations with intelligence
Should ensure the best training of all personnel in his units
Optimum reconnaissance and surveillance in close co-ordination with higher HQ ,
adjacent units,subordinate units and staff is very important--he should implement
Should keep higher HQ informed of manpower,equipment ,logistical and
operational updates,any shortcomings,requirements or any enhancements
required.Advises higher HQ of capabilities and limitations of his HUMINT assets.
Should continually supervise each and every operation,create a feedback system
and use the feeds to ensure high quality and technical control of both the
operations and HUMINT products.
Ensures personnel are working within legal, regulatory, and policy guidelines.
ACE - Analysis & Control Element: An Intelligence mission management and analytical hub at
the division, corps, or theater level, wherein analytical tasks are conducted over intelligence
fused from all sources and interpretations/assessments made to give the commander a total
picture and situational understanding.It is here that gaps or critical missing information are
identified and passed on to the collection manager who in turn tasks the collection assets with the
ACT - Analysis Control Team: This is a tactical version of the ACE and aids in analysis and
management of acquired intelligence at the tactical level.
OMT –Caters to CI/HUMINT requirements and in modular form can be plugged into an ACE or
ACT.Composed of HUMINT and CI elements and manages 2-3 subordinate Operational
Teams.It is an operation,technical control and analysis entity.
OT - Operational Team: Manned with a mix of CI/HUMINT soldiers it performs CI/HUMINT
operations, investigations, and collection functions.
TEB - Tactical Exploitation Battalion: The TEB contains the CI, IPW, and LRS assets.
The HUMINT Analysis Cell (HAC)
HUMINT reports and other operational feeds need to be worked upon , processed , and
derivations made.Cross cueing with reports from other sensors sometimes becomes
necessary.HUMINT validates IMINT , SIGINT.What we need is a cell where all these feeds
are fused together,processed and timely actionable intelligence derived.Extrapolation is also
done to impact operational and strategic considerations with the available intelligence products
plugging into the overall intelligence system.The HUMINT analysis cell also indicates gaps in
The HAC:Produces HUMINT reports and feeds for intelligence summaries.Conducts
Maintains database of all HUMINT activities in the AO and this database is directly
accessible to all HUMINT teams and lends very good support to their collection operations.
HAC plugs in ACE so as to use analysis tools for immediate and long term analysis and
collection plans.It analyses the trends and patterns discerned after collection or during
collection.Analyses source reliability and credibility by various comparative tools and
assists the collector to know his sources better and assign tasks accordingly or stop all
source-handler operations with sources of negative attributes.
HAC helps in compiling target folders.Now future collection efforts can be effected based
on the information in these target folders.The target folders are updated time to time and a
repository maintained.
HAC supports CI entities by supplying information of CI interest and provides feeds to
Provides collection requirements input to the HOC.
Supports RM through the development of HUMINT SIRs based on command PIRs.
Answers HUMINT-related RFIs.
HUMINT Operations Cell (HOC)
Coordination and synchronization of all HUMINT activities is of utmost importance.Proper
technical control and deconfliction among adjacent and higher/lower HUMINT elements is the
job of the Operations cell.The HUMINT Operations Cell HOC.The HOC keeps a track of all
activities conducted by all HUMINT and operational teams(which are a mix of CI and
HUMINT operators) and coordinates them.
Ensures technical control and deconfliction of all HUMINT activities.
Maintains the HUMINT source database.Updates it.
Manages the collection requirements for HUMINT
Expedites intelligence products preparation and dissemination.
Counterintelligence Coordinating Authority
The CICA coordinates all CI activities for a deployed force.
Operational Management Team
The OMT is mannede by 3-4 persons and provide technical control,operation coverage and
guidance,collection and operational advise and focus to 2-4 HUMINT teams who are engaged
in the actual collection and other HUMINT activities.The OMT can have an analysis element
(to help in quick dissemination of actionable intelligence) to assist in boot-level analysis and
mission analysis.It reports teams equipment status and other variables which may effect the
HUMINT teams capability to the HOC and unit headquarters.It works in close tandem with the
ACE to develop current threat assesments and answer the commanders intelligence
requirements· Provide the collection and operational focus for HUMINT teams.Integrates the
HUMINT teams directly into the commander's ISR planning.Keeps the commander abreat of
all activities,capabilities and limitations of the deployed HUMINT teams.
The HUMINT team consists of 4-5 persons who carry out the actual HUMINT functions and
are trained in the entire spectrum of the latter, and they may be deployed to execute mission-
focussed activities of interrogation, debriefing, contact operations, tactical questioning or
HUMINT products
HUMINT products consist of, but are not limited to, target nomination, input to threat
and vulnerability assessments, intelligence estimates, and intelligence information reports.
Finalized intelligence derived from HUMINT activities is incorporated into joint and national
intelligence databases, assessments, and analysis products. HUMINT products are also
incorporated into the COP to support situational awareness. HUMINT production takes place at
all levels.
· Operational and tactical production includes tactical alerts, spot reports, and current
intelligence; input to threat and/or vulnerability assessments tailored to specific activities, units,
installations, programs or geographic areas, and target studies to support contingency planning
and major exercises; studies of military activities and capabilities.
· Strategic products include assessments supporting national and Army information
requirements on foreign technology development; worldwide assessments of the organization,
location, funding, training, operations capabilities and intentions of terrorist organizations;
analyses of the capabilities of international narcotics trafficking organizations.
Small units contribute to HUMINT collection through a number of different ways.
Tactical Questioning
Every soldier is a Sensor—this statement is a major transformation in Intelligence Doctrine.It
should be strongly emphasized that dedicating/deploying only multidisciplinary intelligence
collection assets is NOT enough.The soldier on the ground,who is in direct contact with the
local environment,be it at times of small scale operations,patrolling missions,handling
EPWs/detainees or captured documents HE IS THE EYES AND EARS OF THE
Hence a culture of intelligence collection , or in other words a natural tendency to probe
and collect information—should be inculcated in each and every soldier,irrespective of
trade or speciality.This is Tactical Questioning which is guided by the units
SOP,ROE,and the order for that mission. Tactical questioning aids in proper
visualization of the existing situation (Situational Understanding of the Commander) by
enabling the soldier to conduct expedient enquiries in order to extract critical mission-
specific information of immediate tactical value.
Soldiers can conduct TQ when they are:
1. Manning a check post/roadblock
2. Executing traditional offensive/defensive operations
3. Handling detainees/EPWs during the very initial stages of apprehending them
4. Handling captured documents
5. Occupying an OP
6. On a patrolling mission
7. In conversation with the local populace after an operation and securing the area
8. Conducting questioning as MP personnel
9. Passing through an area in a convoy
10. Involved in any operation whatsoever where they get the opportunity to observe and
report on environmental factors – factors pertaining to the mission/Area of operations
(See Appendix for more)
ISR Operations
The soldier conduct Tactical Questioning which needs to be passed up the chain of
command.In tactical operations the soldier conducts TQ which offer critical information which
are of immediate tactical value and may affect mission success positively by enabling the
Commander and staff to plan the ongoing operation more efficiently.Careful and expedient
handling of EPWs/detainees and captured documents lends good support to the overall ISR
For tactical operations, there are four levels of reporting which assists the Unit
intelligence section to factor in all useful tactical information gained during the small units
activities in the overall planning of the mission (and also update ISR planning):
Reporting immediately any information the soldier considers of critical tactical
value.The soldier may resort to his commonsense/experience or any predetermined criteria to
arrive at his judgement.•
Normal reporting
Information during normal debriefing sessions by the intelligence officer.
Follow-up reporting, after debriefing by the intelligence officer is over.
IPB, all-source, and single-source analysis are conducted to understand enemy order of
battle.Analysis aids the commander to get a complete picture (situational understanding0 which
gives him a decision advantage over the enemy.HUMINT elements study and analyse
operational taskings carefully to tailor the intelligence requirements(prioritized) to available
collection assets.Analysis is a continuous process.As information is analysed they are fed into
other collection platforms and
fused with intelligence from other sources ,interpreted and translated into intelligence
products.The analysed information is also fed back to the HUMINT collectors to refocus
collection efforts.Raw information,open source and finished intelligence are analysed by the
analysis team.Analysis occurs at the tactical,operational and strategic levels.
HUMINT collection is a fine-tuned science and a delicate work of art. Although many
HUMINT collection skills may be taught, the development of a skilled HUMINT collector
requires experience in dealing with people in all conditions and under all circumstances.
What makes a good HUMINT collector?
The Commander specifies the Intelligence Requirements. This is also known as the Commanders
Intent. The GS(Int) then operates on this intent and formulates several requirements satisfying
questions based on the intent. Thereafter the process continues down to the collector who is
tasked to gather information that satisfies an intelligence requirement. It is the collector on the
ground who plays ultimately the most important function in the military decision making process
leading to generating course of actions to offset enemy course of actions. The collector should be
proactive, not just be content with gathering and passing information just satisfying the
intelligence requirement. He should ask more questions, should explore further to collect more
information.Three prerequisites for an intelligence collector are curiosity, the ability to problem
solve, and the ability to operate independently.
The collector interacts with one or more sources that provide him information. For the collector
source management and tasking is a daunting task, sometimes even posing a threat to his
physical self. Sources usually are motivated by a variety of factors to deliver information to the
collector. Some of the motivations are inducements generated by the collector while some are
more self centered with respect to the source.A source may be reluctant to provide further
information as he may perceive a danger to himself from the elements on whom he is providing
information. A source may demand more money or he may say about his perception of lax in
security for self and family. A source may intentionally provide erroneous information with the
intent to settle personal scores with personal enemies.Still further the source can be acting as a
double agent after being exploited by enemy intelligence.This could be hazardous for the
collector.These are problems the collector can face and hence the collector should have excellent
problem solving ability.The enemy is always on the lookout for its enemy’s intelligence
agents,one of them the collector himself.The collector should be aware of enemy
counterintelligence agents.His source can get identified by the enemy CI agent.Thereafter the
source can be exploited by the CI agent.
In conventional conflict,whether be it a tactical operation or on a larger scale involving a greater
battlespace we have dedicated ISR platforms to connect the collector (in most cases the soldier
on the ground himself as the sensor) with the control element higher up in the intelligence
apparatus through encrypted communication systems,delivering real time information so as to
assist in targeting.But this is not the case in asymmetrical warfare or low-intensity conflicts in
urban areas.Here it might take days for the information to reach the higher echelons.The
collector has no or very less direct contact with the control elements in the intelligence
apparatus.He has to be in the field for days working with the sources independently.Hence he
should have tenacity,ability to weigh risks,ability to survive against all odds and much more
important ability to avoid surveillance.
Effective HUMINT collectors have certain personal skills that are well-developed. These
individuals have adequate education in regards to being able to extract actionable intelligence. In
order to create rapport and trust with the source, an experienced collector has patience, is alert,
credible, objective, has self-control, adaptable, perseveres, has initiative, and proper demeanor.
When a collector attempts to extract information he does so with the understanding that he has
certain requirements to answer. One of the first things a source looks at is the collector’s
appearance. Ensuring that the collector has a professional demeanor is very important. This
would directly affect the way the source interacts with the collector. If the collector appears very
professional and prompt, this portrays control and power. Other types of attire may come across
to the source as nonchalant and therefore uncaring of the information they may provide. After the
initial meet, there are a variety of personality types that the collector must be familiar with and
be able to exploit for the most information possible. In order to do this, the collector must be
adaptable and alert. The source may provide certain physical or auditoryqueues that would allow
the collector to change his tactics. He may change the type of questioning from indirect to direct
or try a different method all together. There may be frustrating or uncomfortable situations or
comments that would arise during intelligence collection, but the collector must keep composure
and self-control. H must not let the source obtain the power and control over the conversations;
after all, the collector’s job is to obtain answers for his requirements, not to become emotional.
In order to be most effective, a collector may at times, attempt to provide compensation for
information. Being credible and objective allows for trust to develop between the source and
collector. Once trust is established, it becomes easier to extract information and the source may
be more willing to provide additional information. Establishing trust is difficult, but saves time,
energy, and cost in the long run. All these situations may only be done if the collector is alert and
perseveres. Skills of an experienced HUMINT collector may be learned and developed. Many
Soldiers can value and be effective sensors with appropriate education and training. The art of
intelligence collection is dynamic, so having a variety of solders and commanders acting as
intelligence collectors would help directly on the battlefield. Soldiers would not only be
empowered to protect themselves with equipment and weapons, but be empoweredto protect the
unit in their minds- one of the greatest assets to the unit.
Although there are many imperceptible qualities in the definition of a “good” HUMINT
collector, certain character traits are invaluable:
Alertness. The HUMINT collector must be alert on several levels while conducting
HUMINT collection. He must focus on the information being provided by the source and be
constantly evaluating the information for both value and veracity based on collection
requirements, current known information, and other information obtained from the source.
Simultaneously, he must be attentive to not only what the source says but also to how it is
said and the accompanying body language to assess the source’s truthfulness, cooperation,
and current mood. He needs to know when to allow the source to rest and when to press the
source harder. His safety and the safety of his source must also be in his constant thoughts.
Patience and Tact. The HUMINT collector must have patience and tact in creating and
maintaining rapport between him and the source as this would greatly improve the chances of
success during questioning. Displaying impatience may harden the resolve of a difficult
source to remain unresponsive for a little longer sensing that the HUMINT collector may
stop questioning. The lack of tact may cause the source to lose respect for the HUMINT
collector hence affecting the process negatively.
Credibility. The HUMINT collector must present a clear and professional image and exude
confidence in his capabilities. He must be able to articulate complex situations and concepts.
The HUMINT collector must also maintain credibility with his source. He must present
himself in a believable and consistent manner, and follow through on any promises made as
well as never to promise what cannot be delivered.
Objectivity and Self-control. The HUMINT collector must also be totally objective in
evaluating the information obtained. Without objectivity, he may unconsciously distort the
information acquired and may also be unable to vary his questioning techniques effectively.
He must not lose the initiative during questioning by displaying anger,irritation,sympathy or
weariness. His self-control must also allow him to fake any of these emotions as necessary.
Adaptability. A HUMINT collector must adapt to the many and varied personalities he will
encounter. He must also acclimatise to all types of locations, operational rhythms and
environments.He should try to imagine himself in the source's position. By being so flexible,
he can smoothly vary his questioning techniques according to the operational environment
and the personality of the source.
Perseverance. A tenacity of purpose can be the difference between a HUMINT collector
who is merely good and one who is superior. A HUMINT collector who becomes easily
discouraged by opposition, non-cooperation, or other difficulties will not aggressively pursue
the objective to a successful conclusion or exploit leads to other valuable information.
Appearance and Demeanor. The HUMINT collector's personal appearance may greatly
influence the conduct of any HUMINT collection operation and attitude of the source toward
the HUMINT collector. Usually an organized and professional appearance will favourably
influence the source. If the HUMINT collector's manner reflects fairness, strength and
efficiency, the source may prove more cooperative and more receptive to questioning.
Initiative. Achieving and maintaining the advantage are essential to a successful questioning
session just as the offensive is the key to success in combat operations. The HUMINT
collector must grasp the initiative and maintain it throughout all questioning phases. He does
not have to dominate the source physically; but knows his requirements and take the lead that
would make him achieve his target.
REQUIRED AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE. The HUMINT collector must be knowledgeable in
a variety of areas in order to question sources effectively. The collector must prepare himself for
operations in a particular theatre or area of intelligence responsibility (AOIR) by conducting
The G2 can be a valuable source of information for this preparatory research. The HUMINT
collector should consult with order of battle (OB) technicians and analysts and collect
information from open sources and from the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNET)
to enhance his knowledge of the AOIR.
Some of these areas of required knowledge are
The area of operations (AO) including the social, political, and economic institutions. The
geography, history, language and culture of the target area must be given serious
consideration. Collectors must be aware of all ethnic, social, religious, political, criminal,
tribal, and economic groups and the interrelationships between these groups.
All current and potential threat forces within the AOIR. Information of the insurgents’
organization,motivation, technical capabilities, limitations and normal operational
methodology would be of great advantage. HUMINT collectors must abide by the applicable
laws, including the Geneva Conventions where applicable, and relevant international law.
Additionally, local agreements and the applicable execute orders and rules of engagement
(ROE) may further restrict HUMINT collection activities. However, these documents do not
allow interrogation actions that would be illegal applicable laws.
The collection requirements, including all specific information requirements (SIRs) and
indicators that will lead to the answering of the intelligence requirements.
Cultural awareness in the various AOs will have different social and regional
considerations that affect communications and can affect the conduct of operations. These
may include social taboos, customs, and courtesies. The staff must include this information in
pre-deployment training at all levels to ensure that personnel are properly equipped to
interact with the local populace.
Understanding basic human behaviour. A HUMINT collector can relate better to the
source’s personality and reactions when he understands basic behavioural factors, traits,
attitudes, motivations and inhibitions.
Neurolinguistics. Neurolinguistics is a behavioural communication model and a set of
procedures that improve communication skills. The HUMINT collector must be in tune
with the specific neurolinguistic clues of the cultural framework in which he is operating.
HUMINT collection capabilities include the ability to:
Collect information and cross-reference from an almost endless variety of potential sources
including friendly forces, civilians, detainees, and source-related documents.
Focus on the collection of detailed information not available by other means. It also includes
building interiors and facilities that cannot be collected on by other means due to restrictive
Corroborate or refute information collected from other R&S assets.
Operate with minimal equipment and deploy in all operational environments in support of
offensive, defensive, stability and reconstruction operations, or civil support operations.
Based on solid planning and preparation, HUMINT collection can provide timely
information if deployed forward in support of manoeuvre elements.
HUMINT collection limitations include
Interpersonal abilities. HUMINT is dependent on the subjective interpersonal capabilities of
the individual rather than on the abilities to operate collection equipment
Requirements set out before the HUMINT operation starts are used as drivers for identifying
sources who have access to the pertinent information.There are a multitude of sources but
locating these knowledgable sources and proper identification is required so that they have
the required information. .
Limited numbers. There are never enough HUMINT collectors to meet all requirements.
Limited assets must be placed in order of importance in support of units and operations based
on their criticality.
Time limitations. Time is a factor affecting HUMINT collector operations especially Source
Operations as much more time is required to form a solid reliable source base.The
requirement listed out at the beginning of the HUMINT operation should allow sufficient
time for collection.
Language limitations. Although HUMINT collectors can normally use an interpreter, the lack
of language proficiency by the collector can significantly slow collection efforts. Time is
required to develop the proficiency.
HUMINT collectors are sometimes assigned taskings meant for the military police,
counterintelligence unit or any other speciality.This is usually due to a misunderstanding of
the HUMINT mission.
Timely reporting and immediate access to sources. Except in tactical situations when
HUMINT collectors are deployed in direct support of maneuver units, HUMINT collection
and reporting require a lot of time. In military operations, sources need to be assessed and
developed. Once a suitable partnership has been established with the sources, they need to
remain in contact with the HUMINT collector. This takes time and a lot of coordination.
Sometimes the terrain may be an obstacle, i.e. urban areas, mountains and deserts, as these are
places where the insurgents and other opponents take cover. The terrain can also wreak havoc on
sophisticated technical intelligence equipment and the weather also plays its part in sabotaging
the equipment.
The human factor is also another obstacle. Intelligence units should pay attention to the support
of the local population. Without support of the local population, actionable intelligence will be
difficult if not impossible to get.
Language is another form of obstacle especially in joint operations. Use of a common
languagefor communication would reduce the obstacle. In addition, understanding between
interrogators and interrogated persons is very important, where trustworthy, and well-educated
interpreters are used.
HUMINT is considered the backbone for any intelligence operation .The information flowing
circuit is the large amount of live people who are part of the network. Within intelligence, there
is no possibility of substitute for the human interface. The net of FIS cannot be breached unless
there is presence of intelligence personnel with soft skills.
Collecting HUMINT
The screening of human sources is the first step of the HUMINT collection. This process
includes conducting interviews that would be cross-indexed as well as recorded on an essential
basis. Small bits of information can state different meaning in the HUMINT context which is
why it is required that the interview should be planned carefully and intelligence collection
discipline is observed. This planning is also essential when the interrogator is not part of the
same culture of the respondent and does not speak the same language.
Recruiting Special Reconnaissance Patrolling
Special reconnaissance is carried out by uniformed individuals who are required to observe the
activities of the enemies beyond the border lines of their own country or beyond the area of
o0perations deep into enemy territory, sometimes 100s of miles deep. These soldiers are part of
the HUMINT organization and are trained specialists who communicate clandestinely to
headquarters.. In a systematic manner, they are debriefed on a constant basis by the HUMINT
officers present within the organization. These officers are very much familiar with the
techniques for information collection. Within the special reconnaissance organization, there
would be some information which is extremely vital and sensitive and is held on a need to know
basis. These operations are carried out 100s of kilometres deep and could be further than the
furthest forward friendly scouting and surveillance units. Several ways may be used to enter the
operation area and their mission is to avoid direct combat. Their entry plan usually includes
collection of information, observations, reporting or directing the team to carry out the artillery
or air attacks upon the enemies. Even if they are engaged in directions, they try their best to
remain covert. The enemy is likely to know that they would be attacked but who is actually
helping conduct this attack must be unknown.
Basic Differentiation by Subject Type
To extract vital information, the method of torture seems to be the first option. However, there
exists a certain level of disagreement upon this activity and it is required that it should be
disposed. It is possible that mental of physical torture would help extract information, but this
information may not be true and could be misleading. There are legal and a moral issue also
related to the process and is not considered as the practical solution to all situations.
Information is shared by different subjects in different circumstances in a voluntary or
involuntary manner. It is essential that a relationship based on trust, friendship, fear or any
human emotion must be built between the interrogating personnel and the person being
questioned. The state of mind of the respondent must be understood and the correct method
should be applied accordingly. A tough guy attitude may arise from the respondent if simple
torture is carried out. Members of some organizations are told that the other party always uses
torture to extract information. If this is the case, the fear must be managed well. It was due to
this reason that the Japanese prisoners in WWII were eager to commit suicide when captured.
The HUMINT assets deployed to conduct source operations are always
exceeded by the number of available prospective sources and documents.
Hence screening is of utmost importance and an absolute necessity to
determine the right sources who will offer the right information and in another
scenario are not enemy agents themselves. Efficient usage of limited
HUMINT resources thus becomes feasible.
Screening is of two types.Human source screening and document screening.In Human source
screening it is determined whether the source truly has prioritized information
needed by the Commander , meaning whether he does have the required
placement and access to the information.A predetermined source-profile is
often laid down after ascertaining the intelligence requirements.Screening
attempts to locate sources who match this source-profile.Screening also
determines whether he has any information useful to any other agency , such
as the CI unit and hence is referred to the unit by the HUMINT operative (this
is the case in tactical HUMINT units and mobile interrogation teams , which
besides being composed of HUMINT assets have a 2-3 CI member team
included).It should be remembered that already HUMINT resources are
insufficient , and hence a balance should be maintained between employing
them for screening and those that conduct interrogation,debriefing and other
HUMINT operations. Screening is an integral part to all HUMINT
collection operations. While questioning an individual source, a HUMINT
collector may switch between screening (finding out general source areas
of knowledge) to interrogation, debriefing, or elicitation (finding out
detailed information about a specific topic). Screening is not an information
collection technique,it is the evaluation of prospective HUMINT sources but it
is very necessary for the collection operations to succeed as it targets those
sources who can be exploited best by the HUMNINT agents to extract the
prioritized information requirements as per the HUMINT mission or higher
headquarters needs.Hence screening should be conducted by personnel who
are totally knowledgable of all HUMINT collection operations , the
intelligence requirements as laid down by the collection manager and who are
sufficiently matured and experienced to study the source and make well
reasoned judgement based on limited information.Yes,to optimize HUMINT
assets deployment collection (interrogation,debriefing,elicitation) can be
integrated with the screening process but then this slows down the overall
tempo of the HUMINT mission.
The purpose of screening is to
Identify those select individuals among the target audience who have information of potential
value and who are willing or can be persuaded to cooperate.
Identify individuals who match certain criteria that indicate them as being potential subjects
for source operations or matching the profile for collection by special interest groups such as
During screening certain preliminary criteria are kept into consideration
which are indicators of a source possessing potential information of use to
the Commander.These criteria include rank , position , gender , appearance
and location. Criteria such as occupation may require questioning.Others
may be determined simply by observation.
Screening is of prime importance,in fact the most difficult HUMINT task.Only if screening is
done properly can HUMINT assets deployed be put to the most efficient use,otherwise
time,effort and HUMINT expertise wasted and tactical or mission objectives not
attained.HUMINT assets are frequently very few in number compared to the enormous quantity
of detainees during an ongoing operation.There can be no room for wastage of these assets or
working on wrong/useless information extracted from a poorly screened source.Screening places
in the hands of the HUMINT operatives the right sources with the right placement and access to
information required.If screening is done incorrectly or without focus , say without the exact
collection requirements in mind then what results is a mix of sources with little or absolutely no
information.As such screening is of prime importance and requires very trained personnel.They
should have long experience,should be aware of local cultures and norms,should be able to
understand the psyche of the source,have good assimilation,analytical and questioning skills
language capability,and the ability to understand perfectly collection requirements , break them
down into all possible indicators and look for source-profiles who can give information relating
to these indicators.The screener should also be able to examine the source carefully and
determine if he has any information of use to other intelligence disciplines.
One very important point to be noted here is that screening may have to be executed in a very
short span of time , say at the front or near the front during combat operations and where the
detained personnel need to be examined very fast for actionable intelligence.Before the
HUMINT/CI operatives do that the screener should rapidly segregate and process the
detainees.Thus he should be highly skilled in screening.Yes screening and other HUMINT
operations like interrogation can be switched to and fro on the same detained personnel group to
save time.
As mentioned before screening should be driven by collection requirements.
Just like any other HUMINT operation is driven by intelligence
requirements. The collection requirements should be very clearly understood
by the screener. They should not be vague , but explicitly clear. If not then
the screener must extend his faculties and imagination to create indicators
from these vague requirements (IR,SIR).Screening is relating the
knowledgibility brief of the source with the information requirements and
ascertaining how close does it match the latter.
Usually the intelligence officer breaks down the PIRs into SIRs and looks
for indicators.If not done yet the screener should be adept in determining the
indicators corresponding to the SIRs and these indicators must reflect the
anticipated source-profile to identify EPWs and detainees who might possess
information pertinent to these indicators. The source must be presented with
an enquiry which should be more elaborate or else good selection of sources
isn’t possible as the HUMINT operative cannot gauge the knowledge of the
source with regard to the intelligence requirement at hand.For example
asking the source ‘’Are you aware of any camps of te insurgents in your
area’’ wont be of much help—its vague.The source might not know anything
at all of the existence of insurgent camps in his area.But he might very well
know that certain elements of dubious nature carrying arms frequently go
south towards the remote jungle area,strangers visit his village occasionally
and rent homes for few days etc.Hence the HUMINT operative must frame
his questions(SIRs).These indicators must relate to source
personality,characteristics and types. For example, a refugee probably will
not know if the threat intends to defend a particular ridgeline. However, he
might know whether or not there are threat forces on the ridge, if an
improvised explosive device (lED) is being employed on a route, if they are
digging in, or if engineer type equipment is in the area.
Area Conducive to Screening Operations. Effective screening operations must allow the
HUMINT collector to speak to the source where the source is not exposed to outside influences
or dangers that may inhibit his responses. For that reason, sources should never be screened
within the sight or hearing of other potential sources.
HUMINT collectors can use rooms within a building, tents, or other field-expedient
methods to isolate the individual being screened. Screening a source within view or
hearing of other potential sources may not only pose a danger to the source but also will
tend to inhibit the source from freely cooperating.
Security. The personnel conducting the screening need to be able to
concentrate on the individual being screened. Although the collector is
ultimately responsible for his own personal security, screening is
facilitated by having dedicated personnel present (for example, MPs)
who are responsible for security. Screeners coordinate with MP or
other security personnel concerning their role in the screening process.
SCREENING OPERATIONS In screening operations the target is usually the permanent and
transitory population in the AO such as refugees,locals,EPWs and other detainees.
Determination must be made as to whether the source is of any intelligence value to the
HUMINT collector. The TACHUMINT team will place the sources under
the scanner to determine their usefulness. The HUMINT collector will
basically place the source within one of four categories.
Persons who have information of immediate intelligence interest.They are interrogated or
debriefed as the case may be on the spot.The mobile interrogation teams come in handy
at this juncture.
Persons who may be of interest to other intelligence disciplines.For example the source
may have information of TECHINT value.In that case the HUMINT collector can take
the services of a technical savvy operative to interrogate or debrief the source.Again
HUMINT collectors are presented with the ‘’profile of interest’’ by CI agents.If the
source matches these requirements the HUMINT collector first extracts all what he can
relevant to his domain and then transfers the source to the CI team for questioning.All
this is coordinated by the OMT.
Persons who may provide good intelligence in the future by virtue of their placement and
access to the enemy intelligence services or organization.The HUMINT collector after
careful assessment comes to the conclusion that this individual has the potential to be a
good source.As such his name is entered in the database in the folder of potential sources.
Persons who can provide no information of any intelligence value.
Screening is of the following types:
Tactical Screening
Checkpoint Screening
Local population screening
Collection facility screening
Local employee screening
Other detainees.
Tactical Screening. Tactical screening is conducted during combat or contingency
operations.The prime requirement is to extract information of immediate tactical value
expeditiously without going into elaborate approach techniques and quickly evacuate to a secure
area,Time is of essence during operations,particularly in forward areas.There is no time to plan
approaches or how to frame questions,Approach techniques may be used but only those that is
allowed in the limited time,especially in forward areas where situation is very fluid during
tactical operations.What is required here to elicit co-operation quickly.The
EPW,refugees,detainees at the point of capture or the local civilians apprehended during a rapid
cordon/search operation these people are screened for priority tactical information ,the
HUMINT collector passes on that information to the Commander and then after the HUMINT
collector ascertains that the detainee has more information of tactical value he is evacuated to a
secure area where with recommendation to the Commander that the detainee may be detained
further for additional questioning , say information suitable for counterintelligence,hence he
may be interrogated by the CI team—whatever the case may be.All screening persons evacuated
to secure areas belonging to higher echelons for further detailed questioning must be
accompanied with all information extracted on proper formatted information sheets.
Checkpoint Screening. People entering the AO or exiting the AO often do in large
numbers.Then there are refugees, enemy personnel masquerading as normal
local civilians,other hostile elements in seemingly simple attire and concealed
weapons—the Checkpoints set up in the AO assist in screening these people
during transit through the AO.This can either be static or mobile.In static
screening the checkpost is stationary.In mobile screening the security personnel
move around in vehicles intercepting the people in transit in and out of the AO
and the AOI.Refugees who are entering from areas ahead of AOI/AO must be
given particular attention than detainees.These refugees know the area very well
and may co-operate more easily giving sound information of tactical value..
Local Population Screening. Before deployment of the force to a totally new area
HUMINT teams are the first to arrive.They encounter the local population and
instantly seize the opportunity to conduct tactical questioning if the locals exhibit
cooperation/interest in giving information which is in their PIR list.
Local· Employee Screening.. This is very important. Whether be it peacetime or
during operations in AO/AOI.There are local hires or employees who may be
security risks or may give information of value. These persons should be
periodically screened by HUMINT personnel in conjunction with CI assets .
The HUMINT elements in the TACHUMINT team liaise with the CI elements so as to
know their requirements before conducting screening.This profile of interest is of two
types.Persons of the enemy’s intelligence service conducting collection operations fall in
the first category.Persons who can provide details (identifications,locations or
activities)about the persons in the first category constitute the second profile of
interest.Generally CI operatives are interested in persons who :
Have no identification documents.
Have excessive or modified identification documents.
Possess unexplainable large amounts of cash or valuables.
Are illegal border-crossers.
Attempt to avoid checkpoints.
Are on the CI personalities list, which includes members of an intelligence service.
Request to see CI personnel.
Have family in the denied area.
Speak a different language or dialect than is spoken in the area.
Segregation: Screening operations should focus on EPWs and other detainees/refugees
separately.To this end all persons should be segregated so as to be screened in two separate
locations—one reserved only for EPWs and the other for refugees and local detainees.Further
while segregating EPWs enlisted personnel must be kept separately from officers.Moreover
NCOs must be separated from lower enlisted personnel.Segregation assists in rapid screening
and tactical questioning I is executed well.Keeping officers away prevents them from influencing
enlisted personnel so as not to give in during questioning.Refugees should be treated humanely
and not out rightly detained unless sufficient reasons exist that indicate they can be an
intelligence or security threat,in which case they will be treated as detainees.They will be
accorded privileges as per Geneva norms.
6-10. Its very important that areas s far forward as operationally possible
should be given priority in screening operations by qualified HUMINT
collectors.These areas should be selected for the initial questioning and
screening process.At this point the civilian or military detainee should be
initially questioned as to his name,rank,unit,job type,why he is here,if in
uniform the insignia and papers,IDs or any other documentation with him—
all these will go into preparing an initial source file which can be handed
over to the interrogation team and also preclude duplication later.At these
areas no personnel other than qualified HUMINT collectors should conduct
initial questioning as HUMINT collectors are fully aware of the intelligence
IMPORTANT: It is very important to properly process and identify the
captives and their equipment such as weapons and documents or other
material having intelligence value.Biographic data unique to the individual are
recorded in a tag which may include name,rank,insignia,unit,mission,location
of capture , service/serial number etc.Any items seized from them including
documents are also tagged and bagged.These are then handed over for further
exploitation.Evacuation of the captive and these tagged items must be done
separately and under no circumstances the captive should be removed with the
items on his person.
Military Police Internment/Resettlement Operations
Further screening is conducted after the detainee is brought to the internment facility.This
screening is much more intyensive.The Military police have an important function here.That of
classifying and separating them as EPWs,refugees,retained civilians,protected
persons,EPWs,rrefugees,retained civilians,protected persons etc.EPWs should have the following
characteristics to be labeled thus:
1.Bearing rank,insignia or any distinctive symbol
2.There is evidence that he belongs to a unit commanded by a senior officer
3.At the time of capture he was engaged in any operation as per rules of war
4.Was armed and was carrying it openly.
Protected persons are people of the local community for example who perceive threat from
theenemy forces on account of their affiliation with the friendly forces.
The term “detainee” may also refer to enemy combatants. In general,an enemy combatant is a
person engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners during an armed
conflict. The term “enemy combatant” includes both “lawful enemy combatants” and “unlawful
enemy combatants.”
Every detainee,EPW ,civilian internee and protected person is assigned a serial number for
identification purposes.A tag is prepared,capture tag containing at the minimum information
about the detainees unit,where exactly he was captured,under what circumstances he was taken
in.Any documents with him must be examined to ascertain his identity,unit,mission and any
other background information like family,affiliations,experience,expertise/speciality or
education.The interrogators can frame approach techniques in later part of questioning with this
knowledge and also choose the appropriate source for questioning on a related topic.
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
MPs can assist the intelligence personnel in several ways.They are the ones who are in close contact
with the detainees so they can observe behavior of the latter,overhear conversations or when one is
being questioned thery can observe the reactions of the others who are placed separately from the
individual being interrogated.All these observations they can convey to the intelligence personnel.Any
search on the person of the detainee are conducted only by MPs and out of sight of the other
detainees.The MPs assist MI screeners by identifying captives who may have answers that support
PIR and IR.
Other technical areas such as TECHINT, SIGINT, IMINT, MASINT, or other services need to supply the
HUMINT collectors with a profile of the individuals with whom they wish to speak. The HUMINT
collectors upon identifying such an individual will contact the requesting agency after extracting PIR
SCREENING PROCESS The initial screening at the internment facility depends on whether urgent
information is inherent in the intelligence requirement (in which case he is questioned immediately)or
whether identification is required for future questioning. The objective in screening is to identify the
detainee, his mission, his background,affiliations,personal history, documents carried with him (to ascertain
all what has just been said and maybe more),to determine level of cooperation which can be expected of
him, and vulnerability to select approach techniques to be adopted by interrogators later.Therafter he is
passed on to the questioners with all information in a specified written format along with the detainee serial
number and capture tag.If the source is very cooperative the screener exploits the information fully and
compiles a report.If the source is highly knowledgable with regard to intelligence requirements then the
officer in charge of the interrogation facility is informed who will determine whether the screener should
continue questioning the source(if he is well acquasinted with the technicalities inherent in the disclosures
by the source,say he understands the information being offered) or whether the source be passed on to a
more qualified HUMINT operative for questioning.
The source is assigned a screening code as follows:
Cooperation level:
A—Responds very well to questioning
B---Responds hesitatingly to questioning
C—No response at all to questioning
Knowledgeability level—
1—Possess extensive knowledge in keeping with the priority intelligence
requirements.Highly likely he will be able to answer them.
2—There is likelihood of him to be able to answer IRs
3—Does not appear to have any information.
6-28. A HUMINT agent cabn assume roles of screener and tactical questioner
alternatively during the process of initial screening.While accompanying a patrol and
meeting a source or a detainee,he may first screen the source by asking some general
questions to assess his cooperation and knowledgability levels and if it deems fit he may
switch over to debriefing the individual in matters related to PIRs.After this is over he
again screens the individual with the intent to know his knowledgability in other areas of
interest,say the IRs.If he feels the source has information of tactical value to
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
counterintelligence personnel he refers the source to the latter.If he finds the source has
information but is too technical he may refer him to a technical expert.He may have to
take the assistance of a linguist if the source can only speak in a dialect not known to
him.Usually the detainees/sources are prioritized and listed so that they are questioned by
a separate HUMINT team on specific topics.If the HUMINT collector cum screener finds
in initial screening that the individual has no information of tactical value or his
cooperation level is very low and the time in hand is also very less,the individual is no
longer debriefed.So we see that screening can take separately but also it can be integrated
with HUMINT collection operations depending on:Knowledgability and cooperation
levels and the timeframe.
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
INITIAL DATA AND OBSERVATIONS :The screener may have to make a rapid ‘’prescreen’’ in order
to filter out the individuals who have no information.This prescreening is necessitated by the fact that
sometimes screeners encounter a big number of detainees/sources and time in hand is not sufficient.In such
cases prescreening is done based on visual and other aids.He can make a quick mental profiling of the
source by studying his behavior and things on his person and his appearance.Uniforms and their
condition,rank,insignia,medals,documents,dialect,business suits or traditional attire etc can all provide
indications of the echelon to which he belongs,his knowledgability level,the area from where he is
coming.His behavior can be good pointers.If he is trying his best to mingle in the crowd,avoiding eye
contact,trying to stay in the middle of the line or center of the group,intentionally switching over to a wrong
segregation group,exhibits anxiety,perspiring,stammering when questioned—all this indicates he may have
information of value.
Method of Screening
1. Screening it to be defined and the interrogation operations role is explained
2. Leads for EPW/detainees to be identified through lead development specifically for those who
retain pertinent tactical information.
3. The screening operations role carried out by personnel must be provided with a brief holding area
4. The EPW/detainee knowledge should be assessed by identifying, extracting, using relevant and
present information.
5. The assessment of the EPW/detainee knowledge to be carried out by the question holding area
6. If enough time is available, the EPW/detainees must be observed for personal appearance as well as
the demonstrated behaviour.
7. The EPW/detainees personal data is to be obtained, confirmed and corrected by asking questions.
8. The EPW/detainees must be motivated to answer the pertinent questions and for this purpose the
questions must be formed appropriately for screening.
9. Confirmation of the initial EPW/detainees knowledge must be assessed which is why the screening
questions are to be asked accordingly.
10. The screening report information of EPW/detainees must be recorded
11. The EPW/detainee screening category must be assigned appropriately.
Prisoners or free subjects can be subjected to screening. Free subjects are those who can be known and
identified. If the subject is a random prisoner then real skills are required. Particular details of the subject are
to be analyzed by the screener even though he may not be the main interrogator.
1. The information regarding sources of capture which includes the how, when, where, whom and so
on is provided by the Enemy Prisoner of War (EPW) captive tag.
2. Rank insignia.
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
3. Map sections, letters, identification cards etc are the documents captured with the source or any
other documents which could provide vital information regarding the source, his mission,
organization, family background, race, knowledge etc.
4. Equipment and uniforms
5. The source behaviour demonstration
6. Information related to foreign material as well as foreign material
7. Signs of nervousness, fear or anxiety
8. The kind of behaviour exhibited by the subject
9. The requests that have been made by the subject
10. How the subject responds to order and his behaviour
11. The intentional joining with the wrong segregation group
12. The screeners must note any behaviour or appearance that he is willing to talk or is attempting to
talk to the guards.
Debriefing and interrogation are the two basic types of interviews identified.
Especially on a military mission, when questioning is carried out to extract information or gather
intelligence, it is known as debriefing. The process includes conducting controversial sessions which are
conducted to share and examine information after a specific event occurs. Several purposes are served by
debriefing and this entirely depends on the situation. Individuals from the interviewers’ organization are
tasked or then non-asked individuals may also be willing to undergo the process of debriefing. These people
are subjected to the rules and regulations formed by the HUMINT organization if the interaction takes place
over the electronic mediums or are face to face.
Complex information is shared using extensive and formal methods but the tasked personnel make use of the
SALUTE method to share the brief reports. Before the interview takes place, it is essential that the collector
has all vital information regarding his personality as well as his motivation. The source would be much more
comfortable and cooperative if his surroundings and interview environment is customary to his requirements
and beliefs. During the debrief process, these are tangible and discreet product which may arise. When the
subjects are willing to contribute, the best general approach would be carry out planned elicitation of
information maintaining specific objectives and goals. Based on shared interests, the rapport which exists
between the source and elicitor would be recognized as the key to elicitation. During the initial stages, it is
observed that the collector limits his discussion of elicitation to harmless topics like sports or social aspects.
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
The focused topic would be started by the HUMINT specialist when the collection environment, source
value and security consciousness of the subject is in the appropriate position.
When the process of interrogation is compared to debriefing, it is observed that the process does not require
cooperation during the extraction of information by the organization members. The subject is held in
custody and under legal rules and regulations it is possible that the uncooperative subject would leave.
The POWs is an example of the subjects who may be interrogated along with a thief who may be arrested by
the civilian police or the individual detained by the patrol for not being part of the area. Having rapport with
the subject is essential during interrogation as it is a skilled technique. Subject matter experts or linguists
may help with the interrogation process but it is required that the interrogator contains all necessary trained
qualities. An initiative must be set even if the interview is voluntary or involuntary. Harsh activities may be
followed to maintain and bring forward this initiative. Keeping the subjects; cultural aspects in mind, the
interrogators are required to be formally polite in order to be successful. If the respondents’ society
maintains a strong host-guest tradition, the interrogator would play the role of a host who carries out a polite
The entire process of information collection is the HUMINT collection technique and not considered as an
analysis. After the interview has been conducted, the interrogator would analyze the data, cross check the
statements against the name indices and then form social network wiring diagrams. The information seen,
heard or assumed by the sources must be compared by the interrogator with his own notes to make sure
there is consistency.
Planning Initial Interview
A basic plan must be developed for the interview even though there would be a change of attitude of the
subject or needs in the service of the interviewer when the actual technique takes place. The documents
associated with the subject and the basic plan for the interview must be placed together in a folder. It could
also be sent out to the HUMINT database for other cultural and language specialists, interrogators and
analysts to review.
With the help of reviews it is possible to enhance the present review along with present new ideas for
interrogators to carry out other interviews.
Elements which must be collected are the following
1. HUMINT collection requirements which are urgent
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
2. The EPW/detainee serial number who is to be analyzed
3. The questioning time and location
4. The alternate and primary approaches
5. Topics to be a part of the questioning plan and the planned sequence of these identified topics
6. Unfamiliar and highly technical topics to be considered and questions to be prepared
7. Support of the linguist if required
8. Technical or general interrogators included if required
9. The recording and reporting method must be attained.
Intelligence is not extracted from the preliminary interview. It is only conducted so that the interrogator
gains insight upon the type and character of the individual being assessed. Strong judgment needs to be
carried out upon the dominance symbol and psychological pressures being used. The interviewing
techniques must be such that they do not threaten or make the subject uncomfortable. For instance, two
interrogators are seated on another table far across the room and when the subject enters he would be at a
distance from these individuals. He would walk across the room and take his seat during which the device
would observe his manner and poise. However, this activity could unsettle the subject. This technique is
considered pressure oriented and the interrogators are found to sit with their back towards the light so it
could obscure their faces, hide their expressions and make the prisoner uncomfortable. An uncomfortable
chair, with wobbly legs or shortened from legs so he slides off, for the prisoner could also further strain the
At times, using an opposite technique could also prove to be beneficial. The prisoner may drop his guards
after he is made comfortable and given a hearty beer. This would actually occur due to drowsiness.
A psychological effect would be created upon the source due to the location of the questioning during a
military source operation. The HUMINT collector must decide upon his planned techniques, activities and
the impression he needs to project and the questioning location should correspond to this decision. For
instance, meeting in a restaurant where the atmosphere is relaxed may ease the source as well.
It is formal in nature to meet in an office space but informal to meet in an apartment. A psychological
advantage is provided to the source when the meeting is held at his home. The HUMINT collector is given
the edge when the meeting is at the work area of this individual. The level and status of the source, security,
workspace availability, lighting availability, furnishings, heating or cooling of the room must all be
considered by the HUMINT.
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
Characteristics of Interrogator(s)
Interrogators before conducting the interaction activity must consider their own strengths, weaknesses and
style. They must first assess themselves then move on to understanding the attitude of the subject. He must
understand if there is requirement of a specialist, cultural advisors or linguists.
The physical conditions of the source as well as himself must be considered by the HUMINT collector. A
certain limit is present for the HUMINT collector or the source to concentrate upon a subject which is why
this limit must be understood after the extended operation is conducted.
Support Needs
Incentives may play a vital role in the extraction of information. If it is believed that they would help with
the situation, the interrogator must analyze what the incentives must be and how they could be attained. The
incentives promised earlier must be delivered. If the delivery is not carried out it is required that the issue
must be covered and make sure it does not interfere with the rest of the interrogations.
Additional support in terms of interpreters, technicians and analytics may be required by the HUMINT
collector. Varying levels of trust are present for the intelligence services in the polygraph device. It is
considered as controversial but at times the HUMINT collector may need its help. It is possible that the fear
of the unknown would help elicit the responses much easily than by the measurement of the device. The
interrogators may have anecdotal accounts where they collect and put together random equipment pieces and
tell the respondent that it is a lie detector. This would help break the resistance. Also, trained individuals
from the Behavioural Science Consultant (BSC) could also be appointed. They would be able to conduct a
psychological assessment of the character, personality, social interaction and behaviours of respondents and
eventually advise the HUMINT collectors on how to further carry out the process.
Attitudes of Subject
The approach of the interview will be based upon the attitude of the subject. The tentative technique must be
selected keeping in mind 4 primary factors.
1. The physical or mental state of the source should be observed if he is crying, angry, arrogant,
frightened or cocky.
2. The background of the source should be considered which includes the age, military level, civil
experience, religious, ethnic or cultural factors.
3. The HUMINT collection objective which includes the amount of value the information of the
source holds and if it is beneficial to convince the source to provide the information.
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
4. The Attributes of the HUMINT collector which include his skills, abilities and experiences. The
weaknesses must also be considered which could hinder with the information collection. Any social
or ethnic barriers present or the personality adoption to adapt to the personality of the source should
be taken into account.
Cooperative and Friendly
A source that is cooperative and friendly would show less or no resistance towards the interrogation being
conducted. He would participate in all topics being discussed apart from the ones that would personally
degrade or incriminate him.
From these cooperative and friendly sources, information can be extracted to the maximum level by
enhancing the interrogation environment and making it peaceful and friendly. The private affairs of the
subject must not be mentioned by the interrogator. However, over friendliness and loss of control of the
interrogation must also be avoided [10]. The customs and traditions of the sources culture should be
understood through expert advice by the interrogator. Inquiring about the individuals’ family, health etc may
be considered polite in some cultures but this activity is not carried out by the Americans during their
interrogation. The cooperative subject may turn into a silent one if his cultural norms and traditions are not
Neutral and Nonpartisan
To a limited extent, cooperation is observed from a nonpartisan and neutral source. He may not volunteer
information but would answer questions that have been asked directly. At times, he may be afraid of reprisal
by the enemy which is why he may not answer. Such an aspect is observed in low-intensity conflict (LIC) as
people are afraid of the insurgent reprisals. To obtain information from a neutral and nonpartisan source, the
interrogator is required to ask various questions.
Hostile and Antagonistic
Interrogation is most difficult with subjects who are arrogant and hostile. A real challenge is presented to the
interrogator as he refuses to talk. Patience, self control and tact is extremely necessary on the part of the
interrogator when such a subject is present.
Such subjects must be passed on to the senior interrogators when the juniors have already carried out their
limited interview. The senior would be able to use this information and understand why the subject is being
hostile and unsupportive.
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
For a reluctant subject, the intelligence interrogation must be broken down like riding a horse. However, it
should not be like smashing a golden egg.
Each interrogation has its own attributes and characteristics. No two interrogations are the same. They must
be tailored to the needs and requirements of the subject. The following 4 parts have been determined as the
standard lines of procedure.
1. Detention and arrest
2. Preliminary interview and questioning
3. Intensive examinations
4. Exploitation.
The combination of the first three steps is called the softening up process where there is no torture present. If
a cover story is being presented, it would be broken down through softening up. If the subjects are referred
to as liars, they would become less determinate and stick to the lie much stronger. In such situations, it is
essential that loopholes are present while asking questions that allow them to correct themselves while
presenting their stories and not enable to state that they were lying. There are several ways in which the
questioning process is carried out. It includes the persuasive manner, the merciless and threatening posture,
friendly, neutral and impersonal approaches. 4 interrogators must be present to have the disturbing effect all
attitudes but there is possibility that 1 interrogator may play two roles.
1. There is one cold individual who shoots out the questions like a machine gun, has a hard and
monotonous voice but does not show compassion towards the subject or threatens him.
2. There is a bullying interrogator who insults, threatens and passes sarcastic remarks to help break
down the subjects guard and exhaust him or make him angry.
3. One of the questioners is extremely naïve and credulous who give the prisoner benefit of doubt and
believe their story. He lets the subject feel smarter than the interrogator, builds false confidence to
extract information.
4. An understanding, friendly, kind and persuasive interrogator is able to carry out a sympathetic
approach which proves to be of great importance during the interrogation climatic phase. This
interrogator is usually used as a siege after first and second types have done their job. He may also be
present when there is sleep trouble after a siege.
Planning Additional Interviews
The exploitation or softening phase are included in this part. When the resistance is broken and as well as
the cover story, the subject is ready to answer which is why there should be well planned questions readily
available to extract information. The activity cannot be conducted through cooperation and mutual
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
assistance. The interrogation could be moved to another office and left alone to display that they have trust
in him. The broken subject will benefit emotionally through this feeling of trust. It will also save him from
thinking about committing suicide or introspection.
The subjects’ character will define the right course of action. The way he is broken and his attitude will help
the individuals conducting the process to decide on the technique. Fresh interrogators may at times extract
valuable information. However, at times, proponents may be unwilling to show their broken spirit to others
and would like to talk to the original interrogator. A relationship of trust and confidence may also be built
which should not be destroyed by introducing another individual.
The interrogation steps are the following.
1. Interview to be initiated with a light conversation: The subject character must be determined
beforehand.This would include the musical preferences, family, occupation etc. Determine the
nervousness signs, the prone to bragging, confidence and intelligence in the preliminary
2. Abrupt switching to the questioning subject: The reaction of the subject can be noticed through
abrupt switching. It is observed that 9 out of 10 cases the first impressions are correct.
3. Do not interrupt the subjects and let them speak their story: Search for all kinds of
inconsistencies and if the subject is too prepared that means he is ready for questioning and has
already made his story up.
4. Confuse the subject by breaking the flow: Build a scenario in which an associate whispers
something in your ear. Then give the subject a short look and leave the room. By this time, the
subject would be worried as to what is happening and what information you retain. Return in 20
minutes and process to asking your questions regarding the inconsistencies in his story.
5. Request for details: Irrelevant and relevant questions must be combined which would help the
suspect believe that you have a plan in mind.
6. Search for signs that indicate the suspect is lying: When searching for signs, cross hands in a
defensive position, sit at the edge of the chair, tilt the head to the right, look up as you’re thinking an
answer or sit on the edge of the chair. The listener’s trust does not appeal to those individuals who
believe in what they say.
7. Additional interviews must be planned: The exploitation or softening up phase must include this
aspect. After breaking the will to resist and finding the cover story, the subject is ready to answer a
specific set of questions. These questions must be prepared carefully to integrate the intelligence
target and exploit his information through mutual agreements and cooperation.
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
Reid has offered 9 steps of interrogation defined below.
Step 1 Confrontation to be carried out in a direct manner where the suspect believes that it is evidence
which is present with the police that points to him. This suspect must be given a chance to explain why the
offence occurred in the first place.
Step 2–At the time of the crime, there would be other individuals present as well and it would be beneficial
to shift the blame on to the other party and make the suspect comfortable. Themes are to be developed to
justify the situation. Themes may also be presented to state that the accused is at fault.
Step 3–The suspect must be discouraged to deny the guilt.
Step 4–By this point of time, it is expected that the accused will admit if the crime was committed. Push for
a confession.
Step 5–Sincerity must be reinforced to make sure the suspect is being receptive.
Step 6–At this stage the suspect decides to become quiet and only listens. Infer guilt if the suspect cries but
give alternatives to the theme discussion if not.
Step 7–The alternatives or two choices must be presented regarding to what actually occurred. One should
be more socially acceptable than the other. Guilt is admitted to whatever option is chosen but the suspect
will choose the easier one. This third option is also present which would state that he did not commit the
Step 8–To validate the confession, the information presented by the suspect must be in front of witnesses
and it should be corroborated.
Step 9–The confession must be documented and the confession should be recorded in written, video or
audio form.
Principles of Questioning
The HUMINT specialist must thoroughly understand the source and adopt a role which is appropriate. The
verbal and non-verbal cues which are productive should be included. Time must be spent upon
understanding the subject making sure all real life constraints are managed effectively. The constraints
include time availability, knowledge from other sources and information value from other sources.
Walton, (2003), presents 10 rules of game which covers the interrogator or proponent and the interrogator or
1. The respondent must not unintentionally present statements or infer facts which he is trying to
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
2. By allowed means, the proponent must threaten or sanction the respondent to present information.
3. Questions must be created for the proponent that are loaded, deceptive and leading.
4. It is possible for the respondent to serve his end if the answers are ambiguous, vague or misleading.
5. The respondents reply must be critically assessed to extract vital information.
6. The replies by the respondent must be consistent to make sure his commitment remains intact.
7. If inconsistencies are present in the commitment of the respondent, there should be a critical
examination and all information that is inconsistent must be removed.
8. The goal is achieved once the information required is extracted. This is specifically if the dialogue is
in favour of the proponent.
9. It would be in the respondents favour if the dialogue ends without information collection for the
10. To achieve their own ends, the two parties could carry out arguments which are fallacious or
Based on the understanding of the source, the role of the HUMINT must be defined. However, changes must
be made in the verbal and non-verbal characteristics according to requirement. The more time spent in
source assessment would yield better results but the real world situations are likely to change at all times.
The information possessed by the source in terms of quantity and value, the availability of other sources, the
time available and several other factors need to be included.
A formal initial context must be present giving regard to the culture. The situation would become relaxing if
the source appears to be cooperative. The role would have to change and the interviewer would need to
confront if the source is being hostile.
Motivations of the source vary like for personal gain, emotion or logic, when he is observed to cooperate.
The following subjects must be remembered by the HUINT collector from a psychological view.
1. When trying takes place, kindness and understanding must be displayed and if they are under stress,
they need to talk. For instance, when soldiers are captured they are suffering from severe stress.
Usually people like to talk about these things. If the EPW has been separated and silence, the
HUMINT collector would be the one he first speaks to. This would help him to collect vital
information as there will be a desire to talk in the refugees, local civilians and DPs.
2. When a superior authority is confronted, deference must be showed. All over the world, people are
used to replying to government and quasi-government officials yet it is culturally dependent.
3. Personal and culturally derived values must participate in the framework. If the core values are the
same, people respond positively and if not then they show negative attitudes.
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
4. Emotional and physical self interest must be responded to. It is like material reward responding and
provides extra support to rationalize the guilt.
5. In a disorganized or strange situation, it is required that they apply and remember the lessons taught.
6. The HUMINT collector consists of experience and knowledge and they should be willing to discuss
the same topics with the respondents.
7. Exoneration and flattery from guilt must be appreciated.
8. If the HUMINT collector routinely manages a topic, give less importance.
9. Someone or something which they respect must not be criticized specifically by those who they do
not like.
Building Rapport
When a rapport is developed, based on confidence and respect, between the collector and the source, vital
information is extracted [20]. It is usually managed by the HUMINT collector through his efforts and
facilities provided. This relationship could be based on fear, mutual gain or friendship and he may be the
inferior, equal or superior.
During the planning and preparation phase, the position and rank of the collector would be decided before
hand which would be used if he introduces himself. This rank must be decided on the age, appearance and
experience of the HUMINT collector. The rapport may be formed using the incidents of war and he may
pose as an individual who is not a military interrogator.
However, he is not allowed to pose as the following.
1. A medical personnel like a medic or doctor.
2. An International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) or its affiliates member
3. A journalist
4. Civilian government member, like the Member of Parliament [23].
The interrogator attitude is required to be polite, correct as well as sympathetic depending on the kind of
situation. The tempers must be kept low at all times to extract as much information as possible. Based on the
case circumstance, the prisoner should be given a false or true reason for his arrest or then he should be left
entirely in doubt. The interrogators are not allowed to display through their actions if they believe or
disbelieve the source but they need to assess thoroughly if the story being presented is innocent or an act. A
poker face and non committal expression must remain at all times so that the prisoner does not observe how
much information the interrogators have. [8] The interrogators must talk as least as possible but they should
ask those questions which they are most anxious about. The prisoner must be asked to explain his story
through his own words, state the arrest circumstances, details of his occupation or then the period of history
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
of his life. The basic aim of the conversation is to make him talk and prompt hum into speaking as much as
possible in order to assess his personality and extract vital information.
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
PROBLEM: The Intelligence Collection Management System comprises of a Collection Management
Officer and CI/HUMINT specialists and the CI/HUMINT collectors.The CMO takes charge of the collection
plan and tasks his specialists with constantly keeping an eye on current intelligence requirements as well as
intelligence requirements that surface as tactical situations changes rapidly during combat due to the highly
fluid nature of the latter.This tracking of all intelligence requirements is extremely important as collection
operations are driven by intelligence requirements—the correct IRs.Hence the CMO ensures that the
collectors are properly focusing on the prioritized intelligence requirements.That also includes the passive
HUMINT collectors like Civil Affairs,Military Police,Medical units,Psychological ops and Information ops.
During combat operations,tactical intelligence systems develop problems.ISR Ops during combat MUST be
synchronized.But as tactical situations change during combat rapidly forcing development of more different
intelligence requirements the ISR assets need to be retasked and synchronized again and that too in pace
with the changing scenario and that proves to be very difficult.
Intelligence exploitation operations too suffer.During operations pulling intelligence from higher
headquarters or feeding intelligence inputs as per requests from subordinate units again proves
difficult.Proper dissemination to the maneuver division Commander and subordinate
brigades,battalions,units suffers due to inadequate communication systems and database
management/processing capability.
The commander,the staff, and the higher and lower headquarters across the depth and width of the battlefield
must coordinate with the CM section while formulating plans for future operations and to support ongoing
missions.Variations in enemy actions or changes in perception of the enemy’s movements give rise to new
sets of intelligence requirements and the CM section should take this into account.The battlefield is an area
of high fluidity and hence changes must be expected and Requirements Management must be flexible
enough to incorporate these changes.
The two most critical steps in collection management is identifying and prioritizing the intelligence
requirements.To this end 6 areas of interest must be considered and they are force protection,situation
development,targeting,battle damage assessment BDA,indications and warning and IPB.The intelligence
requirements stems from these areas and all of the competing requirements needs to be
consolidated,.Thereafter the collection plan is created and the scarce IEW resources are tasked more
Requirements Management,Mission Management and Asset Management constitute the Collection
Management process.They are treated separately but together constitute integrated operations as a
The six steps in the CM process are:
Develop Requirements,
Develop a Collection Plan,
Task/Request Collection,
Evaluate Reporting,
Update Collection Planning.
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
The various activities inherent in these steps need to be synchronized and placed under constant review.
While devising the Collection plan,the intelligence officer in charge of designing the plan (henceforth
known as Collection Manager CM) takes into account the following:
Commanders Priority Intelligence Requirements
Low Priority Intelligence Requirements
Requests from subordinate units,
Taskings from higher HQ’s
Intelligence requirements for targeting purposes
Now,he prioritizes these keeping in mind the Commands intelligence needs and the commanders priority
intelligence needs.
When BICCE study was initially conducted with the development of possible enemy COAs , the intelligence
analyst attempts to develop all indicators of these COAs.(Indicators are those details of enemy
action/inaction that may suggest an enemy COA.
There are two collection plans.One designed for conventional battlefield operations whereas the other caters
to a LIC environment.LIC battlefield operations tend to be dispersed.The PIR and IR’s are highly diverse
and collection becomes a tough task.
In the latter case the following steps are followed:
List the PIRs and IRs,priotize them and enumerate them using control numbers and alphabets.This
helps in prioritization.
Now ascertain the indicators
Determine potential indicators-prioritize those that will answer the PIR and IR.
Delete all indicators that do not answer the intelligence requirements.
Develop specific intelligence requirements.These are the requirements as stated by the commander,
prioritized and general,broken down into manageable specific requirements.A PIR may have several
specific intelligence requirements.
Analyse these SIRs and the target characteristics keeping all the indicators in perspective.
Finally prioritize the SIRs and determine the suitable collection discipline/platform/agency keeping
its capabilities,limitations,backlog of collection taskings allotted to it and whether adjacent
units,lower units are also using it.
Prepare the tasking list by creating a prioritized SIR list and deploy the collectors.
Indicator analysis is the basis for recommendations to the commander for a specific COA.
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
CM’S need a thorough knowledge of the threat,the characteristics of the AO and the general capabilities of
collection assets before they can translate the commander’s PIR and IR into indicators.
This includes a detailed knowledge of the—
Threat organization, equipment, and doctrine.
Biographical data on major personalities.
Present and past performance of units and
Terrain and weather constraints.
Patterns of current operations.
Degree of popular support.
The collection manager decides on the agency/agencies/assets to be tasked with the collection.To this he
must judge the capabilities , availability and constraints of the assets with regard to the collection
priorities(the intelligence requirements,PIR,IR,SIRs). These include factors such
Frequency ranges for intercept radios.
Aircraft mission durations.
Number of flights.
Linguistic capabilities.
The assets may be organic or external
The collection manager then compares all the agencies or assets who can answer a particular SIR and
chooses the best one depending on the 3 factors.Then he selects the next best one and so on thus creating a
prioritized assets/agencies listing. Next, he determines which agency
or asset can best answer the SIR and prioritizes them.(EX: CI Team=1,CA Team=2,HUMINT Team =3 in
answering SIR-4 which is ‘’Report strangers movement in NAI-alpha)
Mission success depends on the right COAs and while designing the COA the commander needs the exact
confirmation or denial of all the intelligence requirements,prioritized and general so that he may get the best
visualization of the area of operations—the battlespace; that is to say intelligence collection heightens his
situational understanding.To this effect indicator analysis is of prime importance.An indicator is any activity
that may project the enemys intent,his capability,dispositions,movement,vulnerability or other factors
associated with threat.The indicator as gauged by the HUMINT collector for example may or may not
satisfy the intelligence gap(requirement).After looking at all possible indicators,deleting the ones that do
not answer requirements (VERY IMPORTANT STEP) a final draft is prepared which are again tallied
with the intelligence requirements and characteristics of the threat ,finally performing a draft with the
listing of indicators that do answer the priority and other intelligence requirements and also possible
locations where to find them as well as the methods to be employed to find them , SIRs are developed
keeping all this in perspective , prioritized and the final prioritized SIRs are fed into the collectors in the
carefully chosen collection platform as specific collection tasks which the former execute.
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
The CMO prioritizes the SIR and tasks appropriate
sources to answer them. The list of taskings for each
source also should be prioritized.
SIRs 1 to 10 are prioritized as follows:
Team (Support ops team)is tasked with SIR 3,5,8,10.
We see the prioritized tasking becomes: SIR3,SIR5,SIR10,SIR8
The team will report about SIR3 first,then SIR5,then SIR10 and finally SIR8.
This means the CMO must provide
the SOT-A (1) with a prioritized tasking list as follows:
1 — Report time, frequency, and location of
insurgent radio traffic or EW activity (SIR 28).
2 — Report the number, size, equipment,
composition, route, and time of suspected insurgent
patrols in the area (SIR 6).
3 — Report the location, quantity, and type of
unexplained firings in the area (SIR 1).
Interrogators must know exactly, verbatim,the PIRs so that they can rephrase the SIRs in various ways to
extract information from sources who may or may not be acquainted with the required information.If the
main PIR (which the interrogator knows verbatim)is ‘’Report on the existence of enemy camp in NAI6’’
the source might not know anything at all of insurgent exfiltration or entry to the area,might not have seen
any vehicular traffic etc .
Indicator Examples
Indicators can be broken into three categories:
• Immediate threat indicators.
• Preparatory indicators.
• Secondary indicators.
All three categories appear at strategic, operational, and tactical levels.
Immediate Threat Indicators. Imminent threat activities or a threat which is already in progress give rise
to indicators known as Immediate threat indicators.We take into consideration all factors possible like
activities,tactics,movemernts,current dispositions,propaganda,and any preparations indicating a dangerous
course of action.The following might be good indicators:
Recovery of huge cache of arms and ammunition in close proximity to any objective
Increased troop movement towards objective
Very aggressive rhetoric by the military leadership of the enemy nation
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
Heavily armed reconnaissance
Preparatory indicators: Before the decided course of action/s is/are undertaken there are preparations to be
made.Indicators of such preparations are termed Preparatory threat indicators.We must analyse
multidimensional threat intelligence,planning,training activities and logistics.Examples of such indicators
could be:
Diplomatic support by other countries
Increased media rhetoric
Very aggressive TV discussions
Increase in training tempo
Lightly armed reconnaissance who engage and break contact quickly
Overt/covert weapons shipments
Regional countries showing support for the enemy government’s policy
UN embargos/sanctions ignored by countries who support the policies of the enemy nation
Increased media support for the enemy country
Secondary indicators: The local population is affected by any threat activity.The population is affected by
tactical preparatory indicators of the enemy and we can thus observe reflections in the economy,
commodities and population to infer the preparations.We might observe that:
A fear psychosis has developed among the population, most schools unattended,and locals avoiding contact
with the authorities and streets deserted before evening
Huge purchases of rations by locals, stockpiling of medicines and emergency stuff at home
Shortages reported in non-lethal material
Very less presence of their community members in festivals,places of entertainment.Cinema theaters
reporting huge losses in revenue as very low attendance.
Now the CM in collaboration with the intelligence analyst attempts to assign a set of specific information
requirements to address each of the indicators -- the overall focus being to answer each prioritized
intelligence requirement. These SIRs go into making the collection plan.The CM unit must constantly keep a
track of the progress,and any incoming information may also part a play in outstanding information
requirements or in any future information requirement tabled for tasking to the collection platforms.The CM
section continuosly evaluates the collection/reporting processes and disseminates the required intelligence to
the Commander.
SIR is a direct function of enemy Order of Battle and the gaps in intelligence.We can have a huge number of
SIRs as each PIR can generate several SIRs /SORs(A division can have upto 12 PIRs for current operations
and envisage an equal number or more for future operations.Note here that we have several intelligence
collection platforms—HUMINT,SIGINT,IMINT,MASINT.Now the collection manager will assign different
SIRs/SORs to each collection platform.Thus overall we have a huge task at hand as now the collection
manager unit may have to handle hundreds of information requirements while combat operations are
Each PIR may have a number of SIRs. This number would also include the intelligence requirements to
support targeting, lower priority information requirements, requests for information from subordinate units,
or taskings from higher headquarters.Hence proper synchronization with operations and
deconfliction(particularly in case of HUMINT/CI collection processes) is a prime necessity.
Thereafter the step of preparing the collection plan is undertaken by the collection manager.The collection
plan is created using the PIRs,indicators,SIRs,SORs and all the collection assets at his disposal. Regarding
the available assets for collection ,factors such as accuracy,range,platform type and technical capabilities--
these are matched with the target characteristics in question and the most appropriate collection resource/s
is/are allocated.Redundancy is important here and the assets need also to be integrated and if there is an
admixture of assets then that has to be carefully planned
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
Mission management is about how the collection task will have to be executed.A collection strategy is
formed keeping in perspective collection taskings to subordinate units,support requests to higher and
adjacent units and exploitation of all intelligence inputs available from other agencies at the corps,theatre
and national levels. The important objective guiding the strategy formation is synchronization of collection
and dissemination schedule with the PIR.
Here again it is critical that operations be synchronized with the collection plan.The taskings must be issued
to the collection platforms as quickly as possible. This also involves specific intelligence exploitation
operations and systems management.
A Sample of the Process
If the commander’s PIR and JR demand to know ifthe enemy will attack, focus on those enemy
activities and preparations which will confirm or deny the enemy’s capabilities and probable COA.
Immediately first focus on ‘’immediate threat indicators’’.Thus during prioritizing immediate threat
indicators translated into SIRs must be given high priority.It is important to not waste time and create
and deliver the SIRs quickly to the collection teams.That is don’t delay in tasking out to the teams.At the
same time when immediate threat indicators are being looked into go ahead with deciding on SIRs for
preparatory and secondary indicators.The same SIR may have to be specified differently to different
collection platforms in accordance with the nature of the latter.For example we need information about
insurgent hideout.Now the SIGINT unit may be given this SIR: Report on any radio intercept in named
area beta.The same requirement has to be put forth to the HUMINT team as ‘’Report on any frequent
insurgent movement in to the named area beta’’ or to the IMINT team ‘’Report on any camouflaged
structure , cleared foliage area.foot tracks in named area of interest beta’’.
DISSEMINATION: The dissemination of the collected intelligence to the commander or other end users is
the next step.It is of prime importance that intelligence information reaches the end user in time.Intelligence
is perishable.Actionable intelligence loses its value if not transmitted quickly.Redundancy in
communications must be avoided.The most appropriate communication channel must be used.It is the duty
of the collection manager that the acquired intelligence is transmitted directly from the sensor to the end-
Finally the last step is the evaluation of the collection effort.This is an often neglected but is perhaps the
most important step after the step of planning.A close watch must be maintained to ensure the collection
assets are properly conducting their tasks and in keeping with the PIRs and SIRs.Technical control should be
exercised throughout. It is very important that tactical maneuver is in synchronization with the collection
operations.The intelligence analysis cell, the targeting cell and the tactical operations center all must work in
close coordination with the collection cell, keeping in mind that as operations progress intelligence
requirements may change,collection priorities will also change,instructions need to be thus meted out to
collection assets and data need to be accordingly updated in the database.Thus we see it is entirely a cyclical
process,from planning to evaluation,wherein often circumstances will arise for repeat planning and
directives to assets , on account of the very fluid nature of operations.Also bear in mind intelligence drives
operations and vice versa,thus intelligence requirements change with time.
Intelligence drives operations and vice versa. In effect the enemy situation drives operations. For the enemy
situation to drive operations we must have perfect intelligence about the enemy. To this end Reconnaissance
, Surveillance and Target Acquisition should work hand in hand with ISR SO AS TO ACHIEVE PERFECT
SYNCHRONIZATION in the deployment and operation of sensors, assets and processing, exploitation and
dissemination of intelligence.RSTA/ISR should focus on the priority intelligence
requirements.Recconnaisance and Surveillance confirm or deny threat actrivities,plans,courses of action
HUMINT/CI Revisited by Keshav Mazumdar ATO CMAS
which were gauged by the Commander and his staff during planning , war gaming and sessions with the
collection manager and counterintelligence speciaslists.By focusing RSTA/ISR on the commanders needs,
his critical and priority intelligence requirements we can deploy and use RSTA/ISR sensors and assets in the
most optimum fashion , totally integrated and synchronized resulting in timely and accurate information,
combat information and intelligence to be disseminated to the targeting platforms.
Every operation is initiated as per plan and this planning has certain decision points.RSTA/ISR should take
these critical decision points in perspective , primary