January 04, 2010

Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan

By Matt Pottinger, Michael T. Flynn and Paul D. Batchelor

This report critically examines the relevance of the U.S. intelligence community to the counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan. The authors - Major General Michael T. Flynn, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence in Afghanistan; his advisor Captain Matt Pottinger; and Paul Batchelor, Senior Advisor for Civilian/Military Integrations at ISAF - argue that because the United States has focused the overwhelming majority of collection efforts and analytical brainpower on insurgent groups, the intelligence apparatus still finds itself unable to answer fundamental questions about the environment in which U.S. and allied forces operate in and the people they are trying to protect and persuade.

Quoting  General Stanley McChrystal, the authors write that "Our senior leaders - the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, Congress, the President of the United States - are not getting the right information to make decisions with ... The media is driving the issues.  We need to build a process from the sensor all the way to the political decision makers."  

This report is the blueprint for that process.  It describes the problem, details the changes, and illuminates examples of units that are "getting it right."  It is aimed at commanders as well as intelligence professionals in Afghanistan, the United States and Europe. 

Authors

  • Matt Pottinger

  • Michael T. Flynn

  • Paul D. Batchelor

  • Commentary
    • Defense One
    • September 17, 2019
    The U.S. Military is Not, and Can Never Be, Afghanistan’s Police

    In 1829, the father of modern policing, Sir Robert Peel, established “Peel’s Principles” to describe the role of police at large. Almost 200 years later, policing has changed ...

    By COL Sarah Albrycht

  • Podcast
    • September 10, 2019
    Ending the war in Afghanistan

    Christopher D. Kolenda joins The World and Everything in It to discuss the latest developments in talks between the United States and the Taliban. Listen to the full conversa...

    By Christopher D. Kolenda

  • Podcast
    • August 30, 2019
    The Key Role Pakistan Is Playing In U.S.-Taliban Talks

    A bomb parked under the preacher's pulpit in a mosque likely had a high-profile target: a brother of the Taliban leader. It was seen by the Taliban as a warning to stop their ...

    By Stephen Tankel

  • Commentary
    • The Wall Street Journal
    • August 9, 2019
    The U.S. Abandoned Iraq. Don’t Repeat History in Afghanistan

    The announcement of a peace agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban is said to be imminent, after years of combat and months of negotiation. The U.S. will reportedly promis...

    By David H. Petraeus & Vance Serchuk

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia