November 27, 2007

Intelligence in Counterinsurgency

Counterinsurgencies are not won by more soldiers, cutting edge technology, or more lethal weapon systems. Rather insurgents are defeated when the pacifying force fully understands the local citizenry, when the people identify with the pacifying force, and when there is an abundance of timely information which allows the pacifying force to apply their intelligence to operations that result in overturning and disrupting insurgent activity.

The old maxim is that intelligence drives offensive operations, and it's certainly the case that intelligence -- tactical, strategic, cultural -- drives effective counterinsurgency operations. Abu Muqawama finally got around to reading this post on Small Wars Journal, written by a junior officer serving in Iraq. There are some interesting ideas about information sharing in this post, so you should read it if you are at all interested in the subject. How do we break down the walls that separate knowledge within the U.S. government, and how do we then re-organize that knowledge so a variety of different customers can access what they need?