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Military Intelligence Disciplines

Part Three provides a more detailed explanation of the intelligence disciplines introduced in Part One of this manual.

Chapter 5 defines and discusses the roles and fundamentals of the all-source intelligence discipline.

Chapter 6 defines and discusses the roles, fundamentals, and generic organization of the HUMINT discipline.

Chapter 7 defines and discusses the roles, fundamentals, and generic organization of the IMINT discipline.

Chapter 8 defines and discusses the roles, fundamentals, and generic organization of the SIGINT discipline.

Chapter 9 defines and discusses the roles, fundamentals, and generic organization of the MASINT intelligence discipline.

Chapter 10 defines and discusses the roles, fundamentals, and generic organization of the TECHINT discipline.

Chapter 11 defines and discusses the roles, fundamentals, and generic organization of the CI discipline.

Chapter 5

All-Source Intelligence


5-1. All-source intelligence is defined as the intelligence products, organizations, and activities that incorporate all sources of information and intelligence, including open-source information, in the production of intelligence. All-source intelligence is a separate intelligence discipline, as well as the name of the function used to produce intelligence from multiple intelligence or information sources.


5-2. The operational environment provides an ever-growing volume of data and information available from numerous sources, from which the commander can use to achieve situational understanding. His situational understanding enables him to make decisions in order to influence the outcome of the operation; prioritize and allocate resources; assess and take risks; and understand the needs of the higher and subordinate commanders. The commander depends upon a skilled G2/S2 working within his intent to support his ISR effort and provide all-source intelligence analysis conclusions and projections of future conditions or events.


5-3. All-source intelligence production satisfies intelligence requirements. It provides an overall picture of the adversary and the battlespace. It reduces the possibility of error, bias, and misinformation through the use of multiple sources of information and intelligence.


5-4. The utilization of all-source intelligence facilitates the development of accurate and concise contingency-specific plans, orders, and intelligence products. Additionally, the G2/S2 must retrieve, update, or develop any required intelligence databases. The most important all-source products are the modified combined obstacle overlay (MCOO), event templates, ECOA sketches, and the HPT list provided during initial IPB in support of the plan function. Through all-source intelligence, the commander can make informed decisions about COAs and adversary capabilities.

5-5. The intelligence staff coordinates its efforts with other elements such as the engineer terrain team, the unit surgeon, the Air Force weather team, and other assets or elements that can support the analytical effort.

5-6. IPB plays a significant role in the planning phase of the intelligence process. It is a systematic, continuous process of analyzing the threat and environment and is designed to support staff estimates and the MDMP. The IPB is led by the G2/S2, with participation by the entire staff. IPB allows the commander and staff to make informed decisions, develop COAs, and focus ISR efforts where they are most needed. IPB continuously assists the commander and staff in focusing ISR assets on the appropriate targets at critical points in time and space.

5-7. The time available for the IPB process may not permit the luxury of conducting each step in detail. Overcoming time limitations requires the commander to identify those parts of IPB that are most important to the commander in planning and executing his mission. Applying the specific steps or degree of detail performed varies according to METT-TC. There are four steps in the IPB process: define the battlefield environment, describe the battlefield's effects, evaluate the threat, and determine ECOAs.

Define the Battlefield Environment

5-8. In this step, the G2/S2:

  • Identifies characteristics of the battlefield that will influence friendly and threat operations including terrain (mobility), weather, hydrological data, infrastructure, and civilian demographics. Produces accurate, timely, and predictive IPB products that depict the aspects of the battlefield.
  • Identifies the limits of the command's AO and AOI.
  • Identifies gaps in current intelligence holdings, identifies IRs, and recommends CCIRs (PIRs and FFIRs).

5-9. Defining the battlefield environment includes identifying enemy forces (their location, mobility, general capabilities, and weapon ranges) and all other aspects of the environment that could have an effect on the unit's ability to accomplish the mission. Depending on the situation, these considerations may also include:

  • Geography, terrain, and weather of the area.
  • Information environment to include but not limited to computer and communications systems and capabilities, data acquisition systems and capabilities, media access and distribution, areas prone to electro-magnetic interferences, and systems to generate electromagnetic interference.
  • Population demographics (ethnic groups, religious sects, age distribu-tion, health status, income groups).
  • Medical threat to include but not limited to endemic and epidemic diseases, occupational and environmental health hazards, and poison-ous and toxic plants and animals.
  • Political or socio-economic factors, including factions, clans, and gangs.
  • Infrastructures, such as transportation or telecommunications, and critical decisionmaking infrastructures and supporting information systems.
  • ROE or legal restrictions, such as international treaties or agreements.

Describe the Battlefield's Effects

5-10. This IPB step deals with the effects of the battlefield environment on the current operations and potential enemy and friendly COAs. It begins with the assessment of existing and projected conditions of the battlefield environment, which the staff accomplishes through terrain analysis, weather analysis, and analysis of other characteristics of the battlefield. To conduct terrain analysis, the staff uses maps, reconnaissance, and other specialized terrain products (maps, overlays, databases, software). These products address such factors as wet or dry cross-country mobility, transportation systems (road and bridge information), vegetation type and distribution, surface drainage and configuration, surface materials (soils), ground water, manmade structures, and obstacles. The results of evaluating the terrain's effects should be expressed by identifying areas of the battlefield that influence each COA.

Evaluate the Threat

5-11. Evaluating the threat involves determining the threat force capabilities and the doctrinal principles and TTP that threat forces prefer to employ. The result of this evaluation produces a threat model, which portrays how threat forces normally execute operations and how they have reacted to similar situations in the past. The threat model includes an evaluation of the threat's strengths, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities, including an evaluation of typical HVTs.

Determine ECOAs

5-12. Determining ECOAs involves the identification and development of likely ECOAs that will influence accomplishing the friendly mission. Developing ECOAs is a form of predictive intelligence analysis and production. The procedures for this step include:

  • Identifying the enemy's likely objectives and predicting the desired end-state.
  • Identifying the full set of COAs available to the enemy.
  • Predicting the enemy's most likely and most dangerous COAs.
  • Evaluating and prioritizing each COA.
  • Developing each COA in the amount of detail that time permits.
  • Identifying initial ISR and collection requirements.

5-13. After conducting the initial IPB, the staff, primarily the G2/S2, identifies gaps in the available intelligence, develops the initial PIRs and IRs, and develops the initial input to the ISR plan based on the commander's guidance.

5-14. Indicators are the basis for situation development. Indicators are activities that will confirm or deny the event specified in an intelligence requirement. They are any positive or negative evidence of enemy activity or characteristic of the AO that points toward enemy capabilities, vulnerabi-lities, or intentions. Individual indicators cannot stand alone. Each indicator is integrated with other factors and indicators before patterns are detected and enemy intentions established. Indicators are developed by the analysts in the G2/S2 section. The event matrix shows the threat activities, or indicators, to look for in each NAI, and the timelines during which each NAI should be active. All indicators are developed to answer the commander's PIRs and IRs. The analyst uses indicators to correlate particular events or activities with probable ECOAs and to determine what events or activities must occur for an enemy to follow a particular COA. The ability to read indicators (including recognition of enemy deception indicators) contributes to the success of friendly operations. The analyst integrates information from all sources to confirm indicators of enemy activities. As indicators are detected and confirmed, PIRs are answered.



5-15. All-source activities during the prepare function include:

  • Conducting rehearsals.
  • Conducting communications rehearsals and verifiying communications protocols with higher, lateral, and subordinate units.
  • Planning and practicing actions that support likely contingencies, branches, or sequels.
  • Reviewing and updating available databases and IPB products.
  • Ensuring control and coordination measures are still in effect.
  • Updating the force with the most recent intelligence before mission execution.

Intelligence Estimates

5-16. The intelligence estimate is a continuous process that is the product of all actions the intelligence staff performs throughout the MDMP. The intelligence estimate provides a timely and accurate evaluation of the enemy and the AO (and often the AOIR) at a given time. It provides the background the G2/S2 uses to portray enemy actions during COA analysis.

5-17. The G2/S2 must clearly understand the weather and terrain effects and the ability to visualize the battlespace before producing the intelligence estimate. This understanding facilitates accurate assessments and projec-tions regarding the enemy: enemy situation (including strengths and weaknesses), enemy capabilities and an analysis of those capabilities (COAs available to the enemy), and conclusions drawn from that analysis. The intelligence estimate's conclusion identifies the enemy's most likely COA and most dangerous COA. ECOAs must include a sketch of the COA with a task and purpose for the enemy's actions. Any gaps in the intelligence estimate are identified as information requirements.

5-18. The intelligence estimate may be written or oral. At the tactical level, especially during operations and exercises, intelligence estimates are usually delivered orally, supported by graphic displays and other decision support tools. During contingency planning, especially at corps level and above, estimates are usually written. During deliberate planning at joint headquarters, estimates are always written (see JP 5-00.2). However, the intelligence estimate should always be prepared as thoroughly as time and circumstances permit. A comprehensive intelligence estimate considers both the tangible (quantifiable) and the intangible aspects of the enemy's operations. It translates enemy strengths, weapon systems, training, morale, and leadership into combat capabilities and projections of future enemy actions.

5-19. Different sections of the intelligence estimate receive more emphasis during different activities within the operations process.

  • During planning, the most important decision the commander makes is selecting a COA on which to base the plan. Thus, the sections of the intelligence estimate that focus on the commander's selecting the most appropriate COA are the most important at that time.
  • During preparation, the intelligence estimate must focus on the commander's decisions that affect the ability of the unit to execute the upcoming operation. The intelligence estimate: and functions: that supports these decisions must focus on answering the CCIRs (PIRs and FFIRs) and guiding the ISR effort.
  • During execution, the intelligence estimate focus is to support the anticipated command decisions. The most important action of the intelligence estimate: and the ISR effort: is to answer the PIR. However, it is also during the execution phase that the intelligence estimate must look ahead: anticipating branches or sequels to the current operation, transition to other operations, changes in the ECOAs, and required adjustments to the ISR effort.

5-20. Refer to FM 2-01 for examples of intelligence estimates.


5-21. The collect intelligence process function within the all-source intel-ligence discipline is limited to gathering the necessary information, intelligence, and intelligence products required to perform analysis. Thus, all-source intelligence depends upon the other intelligence disciplines to perform collection. This is also the primary reason why OSINT is defined as a source of information and intelligence and not a separate intelligence discipline.


5-22. The process function converts relevant information into a form suitable for analysis, production, or immediate use by the commander. Processing also includes sorting through large amounts of collected information and intelligence to identify and exploit the information which is pertinent to the commander's intelligence requirements and facilitates situational under-standing.


5-23. All-source intelligence analysis and production:

  • Drives collection to answer the PIR.
  • Provides the enemy situation.
  • Provides INTSUMs and other intelligence reports.
  • Supports situational understanding.
  • Provides predictive estimates of enemy actions; specifically, ECOAs.
  • Provides continuously updated IPB.
  • Provides all-source target packages (or folders).

5-24. As previously stated, the intelligence estimate is a continuous process. The commander and staff constantly collect, process, store, display, and disseminate information. Staff members update their estimates as they receive new information, such as-

When they recognize new facts.

When they replace assumptions with facts or find their assumptions invalid.

When they receive changes to the mission or when changes are indicated.

5-25. Technological advances and NRT information allow estimates to be continuously updated; the running estimate and its intelligence component, the intelligence running estimate, exemplify this.

Running Estimate

5-26. Running estimates are continuously updated estimates based on new information as the operation proceeds. They serve as a staff technique to support the commander's visualization and decisionmaking, as well as the staff's tool for assessing during preparation and execution. In the running estimate, staff officers continuously update their conclusions and recommen-dations as they evaluate the impact of new facts. Current doctrine emphasizes the COP as the primary tool that provides the current situation and, when merged with the running estimates, facilitates commanders achieving situational understanding. All staff sections (BOSs) provide their respective input to the COP. The COP as used today, combined with the running estimate, is predictive and enhances our current ability to collect, process, store, display, and disseminate information.

5-27. The portion of the COP that depicts the enemy situation is currently limited to displaying the locations and dispositions of enemy and threat forces in a relatively static manner, sometimes referred to as snapshots in time. The enemy situation portion of the COP requires analysis to provide the required level of detail. The COP and running estimates sufficiently provide effective support for battle command of knowledge-based organizations.

5-28. The main differentiation between the running estimate and the old staff estimates is the emphasis on not only continuously updating the facts of the estimate but also continuously updating the conclusions and recommendations while including projections of future conditions of the entire battlespace. While the COP is primarily a display of current intelligence and information, the running estimate requires the merging of the staff's cognitive processes with automation applications. The primary focus of the staff's cognitive process is to present predictive or anticipatory intelligence in support of the commander's decisionmaking or situational understanding. See Figure 5-1.

5-29. The running estimate is a product of the entire battle staff. Just as all BOSs contribute to the COP, they will also contribute their portion of the running estimate. The running estimate integrates the running estimates from each BOS. The Intelligence BOS input to the running estimate is the intelligence running estimate.

Intelligence Running Estimate

5-30. The intelligence running estimate is a continuous flow and presentation of relevant information and predictive intelligence that, when combined with the other staff running estimates, enables the decisionmaker's visualization and situational understanding of the AOI in order to achieve information superiority. The intelligence running estimate requires constant verification to support situational understanding of the current situation as well as predictive assessments for future operations.

5-31. While it is possible to employ the concept of the intelligence running estimate today, the true seamless and continuous update feature will be achieved with technological enablers that are not yet present in the force. In the future, technology should allow the information from the running estimate to become implanted as a part of the COP. However, there will always be a place for some separate context, orally or written, separate from the COP display to add fidelity and assist in the commander's visualization and decisionmaking. Additional training must be implemented not just within MI but also throughout the force in order to institute the running estimate concept.

Figure 5-1. Example of the COP and a Running Estimate.


5-32. Analysis is key in converting combat information and all intelligence from each discipline into all-source intelligence products and targeting information. From the multiple sources of information received, the staff analyzes and identifies critical information; determines the relevancy and accuracy of the information; and reaches conclusions about the information. These conclusions are either immediately disseminated or are used to form the basis of intelligence analysis products.


5-33. The intelligence staff extracts and disseminates pertinent intelligence from products developed as a result of all-source analysis. The intelligence staff:

  • Rapidly disseminates time-sensitive, all-source analysis intelligence and intelligence products to higher, lateral, and subordinate commands in order to keep all commanders abreast of current developments in the situation and battlespace in accordance with unit SOPs.
  • Disseminates all-source analysis intelligence to other G2/S2 intelli-gence activities for additional processing or detailed analysis and exploitation in accordance with unit SOPs.

5-34. For intelligence reach operations all-source intelligence products are available and disseminated in a variety of forms. It is incumbent on the requestor to ensure that the all-source product can be transmitted over the available communications systems. This includes verifying the appropriate security level of the communication system.


5-35. The commander, the intelligence staff, and the intelligence consumers assess the analysis, production, and dissemination of all-source intelligence. The staff identifies intelligence gaps, emerging operational requirements, duplication of effort, or new targets or threats and redirects all-source activities as appropriate to meet intelligence requirements. Throughout the assessment process, the G2/S2, the intelligence staff, and intelligence users should be alert for evidence of possible enemy denial and deception efforts. The staff assesses intelligence and information for:

  • Consistency with the current situation and threat trends.
  • Accuracy and confirmation by other intelligence sources or disciplines.
  • Source reliability and credibility.
  • Pertinence to PIRs, intelligence requirements, RFIs, and other intelli-gence tasks or requests.


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