Intelligence: March 24, 2003

Archives

The coalition strategy in Iraq is based on using intelligence information aggressively and getting it quickly from many sources. Not much is said of this, for obvious reasons. But it is known that the CIA and other intelligence operations are supplying more information more quickly than was the case in 1991. American intelligence agencies have enormous capabilities, from spy satellites to electronic monitoring networks to vast databases of already collected information. The big complaint in 1991 was that not enough of this information was getting to the people needed it. And then they did get some of it, it wasn't soon enough. This has apparently changed considerably. Intelligence troops down to the brigade level, and lower in some cases, are getting a lot more information. Taking advantage of advances in computer database and analysis software, the right information is getting to the troops, not just a flood of raw and incomprehensible data. The idea is to keep everyone as well informed as possible so that they can react to opportunities before the enemy can figure out that they are about to be played. In 1991, the Iraqis often realized what danger American maneuvers were putting them into and moved out of the way, or at least in such a way as to defeat any attempt to exploit their vulnerability. One of the obvious examples was the escape of most of the Republican Guard in 1991. By the time most of the guardsmen had gotten back into Iraq, we realized that we could have stopped them, and made the subsequent rebellions in northern and southern Iraq more likely to succeed. This time around, the idea is to figure out what shape the Iraqis are in before they do, and take advantage of it immediately. How well these new intelligence tactics will work will be seen in the next few weeks. Even if the new methods don't work, a lot will be learned about why they don't, and what has to be changed to fix the problems. 

 


Article Archive

Intelligence: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close