Intelligence Challenges In The 1990's CSC 1993 SUBJECT AREA - Intelligence EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Title: Intelligence Challenges of the 1990's Author: Major Rhonda LeBrescu, U.S. Marine Corps Thesis: The intelligence community must focus on several specific areas: the development of a low intensity conflict indications and warnings program; an increased emphasis on human intelligence collection; and the ability to provide timely and accurate intelligence to tactical commanders. Background: For almost half a century the world focused on the threat of global nuclear war, to be fought primarily on the European continent. That world no longer exists. The Soviet Union is now a collection of independent states each with its own political, economic, and ethnic agendas. As these new nation-states struggle to find their own identity, the world's stability is at risk. The economic and population stresses in the Third World add to the global instability. Recommendations: As a result of this instability, the U.S. now faces the challenge of re-defining its national military strategy and defense posture. The intelligence community must meet the challenge by re-defining the paradigm for intelligence support. This new paradigm must include; an indications and warnings system responsive to low intensity conflicts, an increased emphasis on human intelligence collection, and the ability to provide timely and accurate intelligence to tactical commanders. INTELLIGENCE CHALLENGES IN THE 1990'S Outline Thesis: The intelligence community must focus on several specific areas: the development of a low intensity conflict indications and warnings program; an increased emphasis on human intelligence collection; and the ability to provide timely and accurate intelligence to tactical commanders. I. Introduction A. Global instability B. Regional instability II. Understanding the threat A. Conventional 1. Former Soviet/Warsaw Pact 2. Quantitative collection and analysis B. Emerging 1. Third World/Low intensity conflict 2. Qualitative collection and analysis III. Expeditionary environment A. Stability operations B. Limited objective operations IV. New intelligence paradigm A. Indications and Warnings 1. Conventional I&W 2. Low intensity conflict I&W B. Human intelligence collection 1. HUMINT/TECHINT 2. HUMINT as sole collector C. Tactical intelligence support 1. Forward presence and crisis response missions 2. Lessons learned INTELLIGENCE CHALLENGES IN THE 1990'S Dramatic changes are taking place in Eastern Europe, Russia, as well as in the increasingly volatile Third World. The former Soviet Union dissolved into a number of separate independent nation states. Communist Eastern Europe, without the stability provided by the military might of the Soviet Union, degenerated into a conglomerate of countries that are now bickering among themselves over age-old territorial and ethnic differences. The Third World nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, beset by economic and over-population problems, are beginning to emerge as the primary threat to area stability and world peace. All three of these areas of the world can erupt at any time into an internal conflict that can easily escalate into a confrontation requiring U.S. military intervention. This intervention ranges from peacekeeping duties to full scale military operations. As a result of these changes it is apparent that the 1990's will be a period of sweeping, global challenges for the U.S. armed forces and the intelligence organizations, both civilian and military, that support them. These organizations, collectively known as the intelligence community, must recognize that a distinctly different approach is needed to collect and analyze intelligence. The intelligence community will no longer enjoy the luxury of dealing with the relatively static threat posed by the nuclear and conventional forces of the former Soviet Union and its allies. The intelligence community must shift from its previous myopic view of the world to a broader perspective of the international political, economic, and security environment. Although the threat poses uncertainty, several factors remain clear. First, the Soviet/Warsaw Pact alliances forged over the past forty years will either crumble or take on new characteristics. Former Communist Bloc nations will increasingly take military action to further their own self- interest. Second, the rise of Third World nationalism will continue to engender terrorism. Third, the growing population in the Third World will create added stresses on an already overburdened economic and social system. Low intensity conflicts, sometimes referred to as conflicts short of war, will increase dramatically in the short term. Having established the environment within which the intelligence community will operate in the 1990's, a new paradigm for intelligence support must be defined. The traditional methods of determining the threat should be complemented by new or revised doctrines of intelligence collection and analysis. This is not a call for a dissolution of the current intelligence support apparatus- - but a warning that the intelligence community must re-focus their direction in intelligence collection and analysis in order to adapt to the new challenges presented in the post Cold War threat environment. The intelligence community must focus on several specific areas: the development of a low intensity conflict indications and warnings program; an increased emphasis on human intelligence collection; and the ability to provide timely and accurate intelligence to tactical commanders. Before examining these three specific areas, the new paradigm of the changing threat and the expeditionary environment in which the Marine Corps will contribute to the national military strategy, must be discussed. The national strategy and defense posture of the U.S. will be derived, in part, by the intelligence community's ability to accurately gauge and forecast fast-breaking political, military, and economic developments in the Third World. General A. M. Gray, former Commandant of the Marine Corps, stated that the Marine Corps "....as the nation's 'force of choice' for expeditionary operations, must be extremely concerned and vocal about global intelligence challenges in the 1990's. (3:37) Balanced intelligence coverage world-wide will allow Marine air ground task force (MAGTF) commanders to understand the type of threat they face and the actions they must take to overcome that threat. The focus on threat orientations must change from the previous Soviet/Warsaw Pact order of battle and organizational and doctrinal wiring diagrams, to a more balanced look at the political, economic, and social elements that exist in the new threat environment. Today the U.S. finds itself in a multi-polar and multi- dimensional environment. A critical distinction must be drawn between the conventional threat and the emerging threat. General Gray compared the two threat environments in the following manner: Conventional Emerging Governmental Non-governmental Conventional/nuclear Non-conventional Static order of battle Dynamic or random Linear development over time Non-Linear Rules of Engagement No Rules of Engagement Known doctrine Unknown doctrine Strategic Warning Unlimited 5th column (3:38) The distinction is straight forward. The conventional threat was generally associated with a recognized government and its conventional or nuclear military forces. The threat used a static order of battle, was linear in the development of its capabilities, and deployed along well-established doctrinal models. The emerging threat, by contrast, is non- governmental, non-conventional, dynamic or random, non- linear, with no rules of engagement or predictable doctrine. Moreover, the conventional threat lent itself to conventional intelligence collection capabilities that included a strong reliance on stand-off technical collection capabilities and methodical analysis. However, the emerging threats cannot be easily seen, assessed, and fixed by existing technical intelligence collection capabilities. (12:42) In order to provide the best possible support to the MAGTF commanders, the intelligence community must re-focus and cultivate a better understanding of the developing global situation. Currently a vestige of the Cold War mind- set blurs the community's picture of actual threats. The lack of established encyclopedic intelligence databases, operational collection assets, and analysis capability of Third World countries, highlight the inattention to potential crisis areas. Reliable intelligence collection and analysis capabilities that afford both warning and understanding of emerging threats in the increasingly volatile Third World must be developed. Since the end of World War II, the U.S. Marine Corps was the force of choice in eighty percent of the nearly three hundred crisis and conflicts that occurred in the Third World. This trend is likely to continue. While remaining prepared for general war and conventional combat operations, the Marine Corps must also focus its attention at the low end of the warfare spectrum, particularly in the protracted conflicts that are expected to occur in the Third World. Over the past few years the widespread pattern of low intensity conflicts, coupled with acts of terrorism and drug trafficking, posed a major threat to U.S security drug trafficking, posed a major threat to U.S security interests worldwide and are expected to be the most common type of conflicts in the future. (6:T-3) MAGTFs must be prepared to respond quickly to a variety of mission assignments. MAGTF employment in low intensity conflicts may range from stability operations using a combination of civil and military resources to support host nation governments, to limited objective operations, characterized by significant restrictions on the type and scope of force used. The complexity of the operational environment in the Third World is illustrated by the following specific MAGTF missions-- Stability Oparations (Civil-Military Operations) Presence/Amphibious Ops Humanitarian Assistance --Deliberate ops --Disaster Relief --Civic Action Mobile Training Teams Internal Security Support Peacekeeping ops Counternarcotics ops Counterinsurgency ops Limited Objective Operations(Short of General War) Peacetime Contingences --Non-combatant Evacuation --Amphibious Raid --Seizure of Advance Bases Counterterrorism ops (3 : 40) Accompanying the need for a shift in the intelligence community's focus from the traditional Cold War mind-set to the Third World centric view is the requirement for a new intelligence support paradigm. First, the intelligence community does not have an indications and warnings (I&W) capability that is focused primarily against the new types of threats that are emerging in the Third World. Low intensity conflict I&W is an area of high interest to the Marine Corps. There is clear concern over the lack of warning capabilities on de-stabilizing events including non- military trends and occurrences. A report from a recent Technology Initiatives Wargame recommended the development of low intensity conflict indications and warnings intelligence collection methods and data elements for analysis. The report further stated that "....warning capabilities needed to trigger reconstitution of forces for Third World regional wars do not exist and will take years to build."(5:16) Many non-military crisis missions of the expeditionary environment require a commitment of military resources for stability or humanitarian interests. It is essential that a methodology for studying the preconditions and precipitants of the emerging threats be developed. Indications and warnings are based on the enemy's likely preparations for an armed attack. Conventional indications and warnings include several identifiable events: mobilization of reserves; forward movement of military forces; and changes in communications patterns. Once observed, these events are then referred to as "indications". Analysts determine how imminent the threat is by the totality of indications and issue warnings at various threshold levels. (9:56) However, indications and warnings is normally a methodology restricted to the strategic and operational levels of war. The new threat environment requires the development of a low intensity conflict indications and warnings system that is responsive to the forward presence and crisis response missions of the MAGTF. The next area that the intelligence community must focus on in order to meet the challenge of the new paradigm of intelligence is the increased emphasis on human intelligence collection. The intelligence community is not comfortable with intangibles, and is even less comfortable with abstract concepts. Therefore, it is much easier to "count beans" than to attempt to accurately analyze or forecast implications of ethnic conflicts and political unrest precipitated by economic plight. The intelligence community must resist its propensity to depend heavily on technical and quantifiable issues, while ignoring the less tangible human factors surrounding today's threat. In recent decades, technology revolutionized intelligence collection, making routine what was previously unthinkable. Technical intelligence (TECHINT) collection methods are unrivaled for answering quantitative and material questions: How many tanks? Where are the tanks located? TECHINT is critical for compliance with strategic and conventional arms treaties. However, it is much less useful in answering the "why" questions: Why are the tanks moving? Why are the tanks located there? While human intelligence (HUMINT) and TECHINT can serve complementary roles, TECHINT will never be capable of assessing or predicting intent. HUMINT collection can provide the essential first indication that something of interest is occurring or will occur at a given location. The technical systems can then target that location for intelligence collection. Without such clues, the technical systems could be less efficient and might miss important developments. A HUMINT source can also provide the clues to interpret the raw data gathered by a technical collection system. Even with a good photo of a building, an intelligence analyst may not be able to determine its function. A human source familiar with the building may be able to explain that the presence of a certain detail, not otherwise discernible, was designed for a specific purpose. Without the human source, it is unlikely that any noticeable detail or any special significance would be understood. But once this "signature" is recognized, photos of similar buildings can be examined to see if the same detail is present.(9:33) HUMINT is critical in providing information that cannot be satisfied by TECHINT. For example, HUMINT is necessary to collect crucial information about non-governmental targets, such as terrorist organizations, that lack the fixed facilities or communication networks vulnerable to technical collection. Intelligence collection against such groups depends heavily on the ability of HUMINT to infiltrate the group or to recruit its members as informants. The third specific area the military intelligence community must focus on is the provision of timely and accurate support to tactical commanders. The emphasis is shifting away from fighting the conventional European land war against Soviet nuclear forces, to a more low intensity conflict environment. The Marine Corps' forward presence and crisis response missions necessitate a global intelligence perspective with a focus on potentially volatile regional situations. Contingency operations include responding to regional instability and various forms of terrorism, and performing peacetime missions such as humanitarian assistance and counternarcotics operations. Accurate and timely intelligence support to MAGTF commanders must be provided by the military intelligence community in order to meet the challenges of the new threat environment.(15) A study that examined the effectiveness of intelligence support during Operation Desert Shield/Storm concluded that intelligence support did not fulfill the needs of tactical commanders. The study identified two major shortfalls: the processing and dissemination of tactical intelligence and imagery support. (7:2) These two shortfalls still exist in today's new threat environment and the solutions must be found to overcome the deficiency. During Desert Storm, MAGTF commanders received a staggering amount of information but they had insufficient communications assets to adequately process and disseminate the information. As was often the case during this conflict, there was intense competition between the component commands as well as with national-level agencies for the use of secure communication links. This environment was not conducive to timely intelligence support. Since the Marine Corps does not have an organic imagery collection capability, MAGTF commanders were forced to rely entirely on national and theater assets. This created difficulties in both tasking and receiving intelligence derived from these assets. Theater and national systems were also limited in their ability to provide timely, high resolution imagery required by tactical commanders. The MAGTF needs the capability to electronically receive national or theater imagery, process that imagery into usable reporting and disseminate it throughout the task force using secondary dissemination means. In examining lessons learned from six other recent Marine Corps expeditionary operations ranging from the non- combatant evacuation operations to humanitarian assistance operations, insight is provided into the type of intelligence support that was required at the tactical level but was not provided. The below listed themes emerged across the entire spectrum of expeditionary operations examined. Mapping Charting and Geodesy (MC&G) Maps needed for the expeditionary operations were not available, either because they were not disseminated to forces afloat or because they did not exist. The Marine Corps Expeditionary Study 1-89 stated that "Of all the mission planning factors, MC&G emerged as the most serious for the employment of Marine Corps forces in the 1990's."(6:T-25-1) Linguist Shortfalls Linguist shortfalls existed, both in terms of individuals with security clearances able to complete intelligence tasks in a foreign language, and in terms of individuals able to speak various languages and perform non- intelligence tasks such as evacuee screening and civil affairs coordination. This shortfall prevented tactical commanders from deriving time-sensitive, perishable intelligence information that was not otherwise available from conventional intelligence collection sources from the local populace. (12:91) Conclusion The political and economic changes that are evolving in Russia, the eastern European countries and in the Third World are creating serious challenges to the U.S. The need exists for the U.S. to re-examine its national military strategy and defense posture. As the U.S.' "force of choice", the U.S. Marine Corps, stands ready to respond to the challenge by providing forward presence and crisis response support. At the same time, the intelligence community must meet this challenge by re-defining the paradigm for intelligence support. This new paradigm must include an indications and warnings system responsive to low intensity conflicts, an increased emphasis on human intelligence collection, and the ability to provide timely and accurate intelligence to tactical commanders. The intelligence community must shift its focus for intelligence collection and analysis away from the Cold War mind set presented by the former Soviet Union and its allies to the more dynamic Third Word low intensity type conflict. BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Breth, BGen Frank. "C4I2:Integrating Critical Warfighting Elements." Marine Corps Gazette, March 90: 44-48. 2. Godson, Roy. Intellegence Requirement in the 1990's. Lexington Books, 1989. 3. Gray, Gen. Alfred M. "Global Intelligence Challenges in the 1990's." American Intelligence Journal, Winter 89-90: 37-41. 4. Jenkins, MajGen Harry W. "Tactical Intelligence and Related Activities: Report From the Director of Intelligence." Marine Corps Gazette, September 92: 111-115. 5. Marine Corps Trip Report. "Technology Initiatives Wargame." 21-25 October 91. 6. Marine Corps Expeditionary Study 1-89: "Overview of Planning and Programming and Factors for Expeditionary Operations in the Third World." U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence Center, 1990. 7. Research Paper# 92-0008 (Part 10). "Intelligence Operations in Southwest Asia." Marine Corps Research Center, July 91. 8. Sadler, Col Lori M. "Improving National Intelligence Support to Marine Corps Expeditionary Forces: General Areas of Interest." American Intelligence Journal, Summer 92: 61-65. 9. Schulsky, Abram N. Silent Warfare: Understanding the World of Intelligence. Brassey's (US), Inc., 1991. 10. Steele, Robert D. "Applying the New Paradigm: How to Avoid Strategic Intelligence Failures." American Intelligence Journal, Summer/Fall 93: 50-53. 11. Steele, Robert D. "Intelligence in 1990's: Recasting National Security in a Changing World." American Intelligence Journal, Summer/Fall 90: 42-49. 12. Steele, Robert D. "Intelligence Lessons Learned From Recent Expeditionary Operations." August 92: 90- 110. 13. U. S. Marine Corps Intelligence Roadmap 1993-1998 (Draft) U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence Center, January 93: 1-19. 14. U.S. Marine Corps Mid-Range Threat 1992-2002 (Part II). U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence Center, May 92.
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