If you are to conduct high risk operations of any kind, from an individual to a sizeable group, you need intelligence.
"The intel you've got is never the intel you want."
With that being said, welcome to what will become my series on intelligence.
Who am I?
I am someone who is currently active in the Military Intelligence community. You can call me Intel Andy. I have gone overseas to hazardous areas and worked with all kinds of military units. All in order to support their operations in intelligence and sometimes participate.
What is the situation/mission?
So, your a "warlord" in this dystopian future. You have a group of reliable neighbors who you can count on. Now, with you as the leader, you have recognized there is a need for this group to accomplish certain objectives to survive and/or thrive. BUT some of them carry a high degree of risk due to the nature of the mission, which for you as small group with limited resources would be any (potential) combat operations.
What do you do? How do you begin this process to conduct operations (or missions)? How do you protect those who risk their lives? Or ensure that the missions are even worth executing?
Often, real military operations are conducted with a high degree of risk in order to obtain high returns. Especially when there are national interests at stake. Success for these operations dictates that uncertainties associated with the enemy and environment are reduced as much as possible, while still achieving the desired outcome.
What is intelligence?
Intelligence is the collection, analysis and dissemination of processed information; often for questions the leader(s) needs answered. Which differs based on what you have, versus, what your going up against. Therefore, information and intelligence needs can frequently differ. So, it means you must utilize any and all forms of intelligence possible by using all available resources to close any gaps in information; in order to provide timely, relevant, accurate, and predictive intelligence.
Intelligence supports leaders through a process called intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB). The IPB process is key to; providing situational awareness, identifying targets, protecting valuable info, avoidance of friendly fire, increasing survivability, increasing safety, identifying health concerns, and protecting the area which you care about. Also includes providing early warnings, identifying indicators of significant activity and tracking enemy losses.
We will go into further detail later but for this primer IPB can be broken down into four steps.
Define the area and environment that you will be working within.
Evaluate the effects of that environment.
Evaluate what your are going up against.
Determine what actions the enemy will take.
Why do these things matter?
In short, intelligence processes like IPB will provide a framework of thinking to assist the mission development and mission planning (like the Five Paragraph OPORD). So that your group can have the odds of not only surviving, but thriving during operations and allow you to achieve your desired goals.
To end this primer, I do ask you to pick some questions to consider and conduct your own research:
Does intelligence drive operations or does operations drive intelligence?
How could I incorporate intelligence into my planning?
How would I benefit from intelligence?
Who should be collecting, analyzing and disseminating my intelligence?
Who can collect intelligence?
What can collect intelligence?
What equipment or individuals could I use to gain intelligence? Where can I find intelligence? When is intelligence most valuable?
What types of intelligence is there?
Leave your responses, questions, comments and concerns below.