Us Army Fm

US army FM

  • Importance of intelligence
  • odd dynamic - everyone should do it but only if you are trained
  • intelligence preparation of the battlefield
  • intelligence operations dynamic - self reinforcing cycle
  • reconnaissance is hard HUMINT is easier
  • HUMINT sources are more accessible than RECCI targets

Chapter 3


COIN is intelligence-driven

  • both insurgency and COIN try to have upper-hand in intelligence networks
  • both also try to disrupt the other network
  • for COIN, socio/cultural info is important
  • insurgency networks vary in their organization and learning capacity
  • so all levels need to collect intelligence to gain a holistic picture of the enemy
  • be able to process for their own situation


  • intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB)
  • IPB is defined as the systematic, continuous process of analyzing the threat and environment in a specific geographic area
  • it is a component of component of mission analysis, and helps determine deployment
  • IPB helps to establish a plan for addressing the underlying causes of the insurgency
  • it helps prepare COIN units to interact with the populace appropriately
  • IPB focuses on civil situation - leaders etc. -
  • IPB in COIN requires personnel to work in areas like economics, anthropology, and governance -
  • the goal of IPB is to find a culturally appropriate way of gaining popular support.


  • Intelligence drives operations and successful operations generate additional intelligence
  • it is a self reinforcing loop
  • for example good operation leads to happier populace which means the people will give you more information
  • inaccurate intelligence leads to operations that piss off the populace, and discourage them from giving a COIN unit information

Human intelligence (HUMINT)

  • the collection of information from people and their associated documents and media sources to get intel
  • must be by a trained human intelligence collector
  • often info that can't be garnered from other sources - this type of info important for COIN
  • interrogation is one aspect of HUMINT
  • take care to protect HUMINT sources because insurgents will target them
  • humint collectors know how to protect them and it should be left to them to handle the sources
  • Quantity of nformation depends on COIN's ability to protect the population from insurgent intimidation
  • the population has to be willing to give info they cannot be forced

Military Source operations

  • developing humint sources/networks in the field
  • Interrogation of detainees and debreifing of defectors -questioning must meet US law, international law, etc.


  • all operations should include intelligence gathering goals
  • traditional reconnaissance (recci) is ineffective in COIN because info is social info that is easily hidden by suspicious populations
  • insurgents also flexible- so if recci elements are noticed, then insurgents can leave
  • HUMINT is generally better than recci

Other Options

  • HUMINT is one of many intelligence disciplines.
  • Others are signals intelligence (SIGINT) which is useful in COIN
  • open-source intelligence, media, etc. are other sources of info useful for cultural info/understanding
  • they give understanding into public attitudes and reasons for public support of insurgents
  • imagery intelligence IMINT - aerial photography etc can track insurgent movements, find insurgent activity areas
  • the list goes on.. there are lots of intelligence disciplines that are of some use to COIN)


  • counters or neutralizes intelligence collection effort
  • Counterintelligence includes all actions taken to detect, identify, exploit, and neutralize the multidiscipline intelligence activities of friends, competitors, opponents, adversaries, and enemies
  • COIN units must be careful who they work with sharing intelligence can provide sources of information to insurgents
  • insurgents can do recci easily by blending into populace
  • insurgents also have early warning system of civilians - warn of attacks


  • Intel Analysis in COIN is hard b.c - culture different, insurgents change,
  • much of population is important/should be tracked
  • analysts need to be pushed down in the organization - decentralized

Comprehensive Insurgency Analysis

  • examines interactions among individuals, groups, and beliefs within the operational environment’s historic and cultural context.
  • One of the more important products of this analysis is an understanding of how local people think

trying to understand insurgent…

  • support base,
  • links to population,
  • organizational structure and leadership
  • insurgency as a social phenomenon,
  • root causes,
  • how insurgency manifests itself,
  • how it is an outgrowth of the social environment in which it exists
  • perceptions
  • this is time consuming and difficult, but key to success.
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