A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Int Corps' started by Howayman, Jan 5, 2010.

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  1. Still reading this (found in The Guardian).


    However, it is a blunt, objective piece that I doubt that we would have written, let alone released.
  2. Discussed on R4 this morning, making the drive to work such fun!
  3. I have been out of the 'game' for some time now so I have no recent operational experience to base my comments on other than reading through this paper.

    I would say that its just as well the Americans have taken ownership of a strategically weighted document with the words "making intelligence relevant' in its title. For God's Sake surely this is not the right title to use because to me (as a civvy) it simple says "We have not been making intelligence relevant for the last 5 years" 8O

    I would like to think that in all our UK military operational experiences we have always worked to a Commander's IRs - and therefore from a UK perspective the words 'intelligence' and 'relevant' should never conflict.

    Quote me if I am wrong but if any serving UK Military Officer or DIS bottom shiner had put his name to this you would have thought he would already be picking up his P45?
  4. In the process of reading it - as the OP says, unlikely statements like this would be published in UK:

  5. Over-reliance on PowerPoint story boards...........where have I heard that before? How much bandwidth do you want to strangle today sir?
  6. There's not too much that's surprising in here, except that some of it needed saying in the first place. Illuminating that some of the senior mission commanders seem to be having difficulty imposing their vision above narrow local (nationally driven?) objectives. Agree that the focus for analysts at regional level needs to be on the environmental factors rather than low level fire fighting, but the devil as always will be in the detail - is drought, crop failure, migration, sustainable economic growth a J2 or J9 issue? Certainly there is a J2 impact, but J9 will lead - however it is unclear whether the paper recommends integrating a J2 approach into the J9, or giving J2 a greater say in the analysis of where the J9 should go. I am also unsure what purchase the 'information clearing houses' will have and would suggest that they need to be more active in searching out and distributing information amongst ISAF/UN/ANA/ANP/NDS/NGOs and that some parties may need to be dealt with separately. But isn't that just routine liaison? Certainly a lot of what is being recommended was being done as part of normal business by ISAF elms although it could be improved and US nationals were somewhat in the back seat - so this may be more of a cultural issue for the Americans

    Final quick observation on this 'down and dirty' reaction - if commanders leave it to the J2 to tell them what their PIRs are then you get the situation described in the paper. Bit like the one where everyone writes their own job description - instead of me telling the boss what I think my job should be shouldn't he be telling me what he expects? And please - use the RFI system, otherwise J2 can only default to pushing out the same old stuff.
  7. You would be surprised P_F.
  8. Mmmm. Two fairly damning papers from two Major Generals in the past couple of days.

    So, thus far the British MOD isn't capable of managing its part of the Campaign and most of the Int set up is up the chute.

    Oh and Obama has severely criticised the whole US Intelligence effort.

    So who is getting it right?
  9. msr

    msr LE

    And amusingly for a document which seeks to make life easier and the intelligence better targeted they have released a pdf which is almost unreadable on screen in its current layout...
  10. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    Works for me.
  11. No problems reading the PDF thista! I am worried that I find I agree with it. We are too focused on finding and killing the Taliban instead of providing a safe area for infrastructure imporovement and allowing J9 and NGOs and environment in which they can work. Fine, send out the mean green dealers of death, but once in location findout what the locals want and then create an envrionment that allows that to be completed. Also, listen to what the locals want/need ( I particularly liked the anecdote about the well) and not what we, as westerners, think they would want/need.

    I also agree that we are conducting an anti-insurgency campaign and not a COiN one. Wish I had thought of that phrase. and in future I think I will have!!!!
  12. This never happened in my day Hurrumph!

    [/tounge in cheek]

    Pass the free NGO fertiliser over will you ?

  13. I wonder how much of this is down to the lamentable failure of Govt agencies other than the military to deliver ? Lacking drive and purpose from above the military, funny old thing, gets stuck into killing people and breaking things. We and the cousins may be tinkering with ROE and so on but the basic assumption appears to be that if we play whack-a-mole with the opposition for long enough then a miracle will happen and peace will break out. That miracle is not, can never be delivered by the military though.

    Some of it may also be that delving too far into the reality causes senior officers to get leaned on hard by their political masters for fear of embarassment; after all, a hard look at uncomfortable reality may well lead one to the conclusion that we have backed and continue to back the wrong horse in Karzai; that AFG has not been and will not be a viable nation state with borders as currently drawn; and that our chief achievement to date has been to convert old school confined to AFG anti-drug Taliban 1.0 into the modern, network enabled, drug-powered, multi-national Taliban 2.0. And to create the conditions for AQ franchises to flourish elsewhere.
  14. Is it just me, or does the media reporting bear absolutely no resemblance to the actual contents of the report while trying to insinuate a link between Gen Ferry's thoughts and the Detroit airline bomber incident? (Odd thing to do since Ferry is arguing that less effort should be put into targeting, and more into understanding environmental issues, motivations etc for long term payoff and also confines himself to theatre intelligence)

    And I should be surprised, why?
  15. OOTS. I am struggling to make the link between "failing government agencies" and a failure of unit and sub-unit level commanders understanding of their role in Directing the Int Cycle within their AOR. .