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Human Intelligence (HUMINT) and Counterintelligence (CI) are two of the most important capabilities a maneuver commander can leverage when conducting counterterrorism and counterinsurgency (COIN) operations. In Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), the newly created battlefield surveillance brigade (BfSB) provides additional CI and HUMINT assets to reinforce the collection efforts of tactical maneuver commanders. Although each brigade combat team (BCT) commander has a robust intelligence staff and organic Military Intelligence (MI) company equipped to plan and execute intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) within the BCT area of operations, BCT commanders have grown to rely heavily on additional CI and HUMINT assets provided by the BfSB in order remain effective in HUMINT-intensive, COIN operations such as OIF. Still in its infancy, the organization and mission of today's BfSBs look quite different than that of the force designers' intent, who forecast the maturity of the BfSB at the end of Army transformation in 2032. While the mature BfSB will provide the capability to fill collection gaps and provide much-needed situational awareness to a division commander, the doctrine of the future BfSB is largely inconsistent with the role the current BfSB is fulfilling in support of OIF.
Consisting of primarily two MI battalions, today's BfSB serves as a force provider for tactical maneuver Commanders--a role drastically different than the role force designers proscribe for the mature BfSB of the future. While these concepts have not yet been formalized into doctrine, proactive MI leaders attentive to Modularity's changes can read the writing on the wall. Because the concepts of 2032 do not support the reality of 2008, MI leaders today are left facing a "doctrine gap." If left unaddressed, this gap will allow MI leaders to choose which tenets of new or old doctrine to apply and which to ignore, thus stymieing the move towards Modularity and degrading ISR support to the combat Soldiers at the tactical level. Even FMI 3-0.1, The Modular Force does not truly define the application of current BfSB assets for a COIN mission, but rather defines the application of a BfSB that does not yet exist, designed for a mission in which tactical level commanders have sufficient ISR assets and do not rely on reinforcing assets from higher echelons.
This paper provides three key recommendations for MI leaders in the BfSB headquarters and MI battalion to consider in the application of their CI and HUMINT assets which, when applied, will provide the best support to the warfighter. First, there is no need for BfSB HUMINT assets to form a Tactical HUMINT Operations Section (THOPS) due to the establishment of the 2X capability at every echelon of CI and HUMINT operations. Second, CI Teams should operate as BfSB force designers suggest, rather than being dismantled and task organized with HUMINT collectors to perform as the Tactical HUMINT Team (THT) of the 1990s. Third, the advent of Modularity brings a paradigm shift within the MI branch from commandcentric to staff-centric operations that, when embraced, will focus MI force providers on the importance of their role in training and support, thus improving the overall readiness of MI Soldiers supporting tactical operations.
Force Design Evolution and the BfSB
Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. Army doctrine has evolved steadily to maintain the superiority of our fighting force against new threats and adversaries. The intent of the most recent doctrinal evolution moves the Army from a threat-based force toward a capabilities-based force tailored to defeat a dynamic, asymmetric enemy. Evolutions in force design commonly referred to as Modularity, accompany this move. Because the results of Task Force Modularity are transforming the Army from a division-based force to modular, brigade-based, self-contained units, a shift in our methods for ISR in collection, processing and dissemination is also taking place. (1) Essential changes in the structure of the Army's intelligence units at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels will produce the changes in ISR methodology that will increase actionable intelligence for commanders at all echelons and enable them to make better decisions more quickly.
The principal change in the intelligence apparatus at the tactical level is the creation of the division BfSB. Established after the elimination of the Force XXI Corps MI Brigade, the BfSB is designed to assist the division G2 in answering the division commander's critical information requirements and develop situational understanding of unassigned portions of the division area of operations (AO). (2) Upon the completion of transformation in 2032, the BfSB will consist principally of an MI battalion and a reconnaissance and surveillance (R&S) battalion, but has the potential to receive additional collection capabilities as indicated in Figure 1.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
Because BCTs subordinate to the division will focus their operations on populated areas and lines of communication, any large portions of the division AO not consistently monitored allow an adaptive enemy to exploit gaps in collection. Doctrine gives the BfSB commander and his staff wide latitude to develop the situation in these unmonitored areas. (3) To support the collection mission of BfSB HUMINT, Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and R8vS assets, force designers provided the …