AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
When III Corps deployed to Iraq in January 2004, we knew that intelligence was key to victorious operations. As we reflect back on our thirteen months in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) II, first as the core of Combined Joint Task Force 7 (CJTF-7) and then as Multi-National Corps-Iraq (MNC-I), that was clearly the case. Intelligence was the most important and challenging aspect of every endeavor. This article is intended to share some of what we learned about intelligence during our tour in Iraq.
The challenges we faced were perhaps most daunting as we transitioned from CJTF-7 to MNC-I on 15 May 2004. Both Shiites and Sunnis were fighting us on the battlefield, testing newly arrived formations. Furthermore, many of the Iraqi security forces had folded; the Abu Ghraib detainee abuse controversy was occurring; the insurgents were attacking Iraq's infrastructure (including our logistics lines); the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) was culminating; and a sovereign Iraqi government was a month away. Less than nine months later, MNC-I had a series of major victories against the insurgency leading up to the very successful elections on January 30, 2005. Across our area of responsibility, coalition forces had battled the growing insurgency in myriad ways, during countless engagements, and with absolute determination. Many factors contributed to the victories, but intelligence proved to be the key to all. Never before has intelligence driven operations as effectively as in OIF.
From small unit to theater level, intelligence provided the basis for every mission.
The demands of a new insurgency battlefield heightened our dependence on intelligence. While we had, and still maintain, robust technological advantages over the insurgents, the counterinsurgency battle requires a deep human intelligence (HUMINT) capability to understand the enemy, his intentions, and how to take the fight to him. We still need the technological advantages of our systems in the counterinsurgency fight, but our intelligence must leverage a significantly greater HUMINT capability.
Our intelligence capabilities during standard Cold War operations were quite effective in determining the enemy intentions, situation, and likely courses of actions. The rigid nature of these operations allowed our systems and intelligence personnel to apply templates to probable actions and maximize the collection capabilities of our technological systems. However, in the counterinsurgency environment (see Figure 1), our technical superiority in collection capabilities is somewhat marginalized and we become more dependent on collecting the enemy's intangible human dynamic which requires a heavier focus on HUMINT. Within the insurgency environment, a higher number of hard-to-predict events will occur, as occurs daily in Iraq. Assassinations, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs), and ambushes are less likely to be picked up through our Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) and Signals Intelligence (SlGINT). Rather, we are dependent on HUMINT to gather this information through interrogations, interaction with the community, and other means.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
The key to the future of Military Intelligence (MI) is to retain the old capabilities while providing for the new challenges. As we continue to transform our Army in consideration of the contemporary operating environment, we will still have a significant need for our established …