GG – Week1

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INTL304 – Intelligence Collection
Strategic and Tactical Intelligence Collection Requirements:
In this first week you will be looking at the differences between strategic and tactical intelligence collection, which address quite different problems and have different pressures and demands. To complete this discussion board you should review IIE Part 3 (3.doc), Strategic Intelligence, review the IPB, and CIA collection operations. Also review chapter 12 in the Clark book.
Once you are prepared please address the following question:  Your initial post should be a substantive 250+ words, student responses 250+ words
Identify at least 5 significant differences (there are many more) between intelligence collection for strategic analysis and intelligence collection for tactical military requirements. Remember to take a strategic view of this question. Think about source of requirements, tasking of platforms, turnaround times, the effect on analysis, collection planning, etc.
Use examples, demonstrate you have read the materials, and apply critical thinking skills to earn maximum points on this board. Show your sources as well…it assists in the rigor of your thinking. You are welcome to draw on additional readings, but your work must at least reflect that you’ve completed the required readings.
Student Response #1 – Michael 
One of the many significant differences between strategic and tactical intelligence is what it is used for and who the major consumers are for each type.  Strategic intelligence is used to create strategy, plans and policy at the nation and theater level and created by national security issues.1   Where tactical intelligence is used for planning and conducting tactical operations and used by field commanders.2   This creates a completely different consumer set for each type of information produced.
Another difference is how Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) is conducted.  For strategic levels the theater is evaluated and the doctrinal principles are applied in a long range large scale model.  This means that every aspect of the theater is looked at from geography to the local belief systems and the overall operational plan (example: Enduring Freedom) is created and sent to the tactical units.  IPB for the tactical units is what I and my team did in Afghanistan.  As the ISR collection manager I used every asset I had available to collect on the terrain and saturate the target area with ISR.  Mean while my team dug though the databases and HUMINT information available and created target packages.  Each time we did a major air assault we had nine to ten weeks of collection going on before the troops left the Forward Operating Base (FOB).  The difference is in this order.  Kabul looked at the theater and conducted IPB based on that, while Kandahar conducted regional IPB’s and fed that to Kabul, we conducted area IPB in support of combat missions and fed that to both regional and theater IPB’s.3
Weather is another difference that comes into play between strategic and tactical.  Because weather is affecting a tactical area and they are unable to do anything at that time, strategically looking at weather brings about new information about an enemy and how they react to different weather conditions leading to a better strategic understanding of the theater.  Not to mention that assets can be moved to an unaffected area and give more coverage and collection.4
Types of assets can be either strategic in nature or tactical.  For example, Full Motion Video (FMV) is considered to be more of a tactical nature as it is a here and now type collection and is normally used for finding known targets of interest and reacting to situations that are found.   Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is an asset that would be mostly strategic in nature.  SAR allows for change detection over time.  This shows that SAR is used over a period of time to find the changes in the local terrain.  Very important in planning operations.5
Lastly, are the intelligence requirements.  These differ due to scope of operation.  For tactical the requirements are more for the here and now type of operation.  We want to get bad guy 1 and we know he hangs out here.  So we make the intelligence requirements to confirm this information and then conduct the operation to roll him up.  Whereas strategically we want to know how issue x affects national security and requirements are created to fill in the knowledge gap.
“Strategic Intelligence,” The Free Dictionary, last modified 2014, accessed December 1, 2014,
“Tactical  Intelligence,” The Free Dictionary, last modified 2014, accessed December 1, 2014,
Eloisa Green, “Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield,” Newsletter No. 96-12, (Jan 17, 1997): 2.
Green, “Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield,” 4
Robert M. Clark,  Intelligence Collection (Sage Publications, 2014), 303-332.
Student Response #2 – Harshul
There are many differences between intelligence collection techniques, methodologies and objectives for tactical (military) purposes and in support of strategic goals. For this exercise the example of a plant specializing in the production of military hardware that is assumed to be of importance to either a wartime adversary or a peacetime rival will be used. 
The first difference is in regards to collection requirements which are imposed by the time frame. For strategic purposes intelligence collection would focus on the “…company’s employees, its previous production methods, its financial status…its overall functional structure and operations, and the consumer market” (Krizan 2006, 2) and would be carried out over months or even years. Tactical considerations would require intelligence on security measures used by the plant, its physical characteristics, operational hours and the surrounding terrain. This type of data would help to determine how the target should be engaged, the most effective was to destroy the plant, limit collateral damage and if a direct assault is possible.
The second concerns the collection efforts that would be utilized. For strategic purposes extensive use would be made of HUMINT and SIGINT sources and technologies. For the HUMINT, the recruiting of assets and penetration of the organization would be attempted. Communications intelligence (COMINT) as a sub-discipline of signals intelligence would be most useful for monitoring professional and personal communications of the important members of the organization. In the tactical sphere geo-spatial intelligence (GOEINT) products and information gathered by aerial platforms such as aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) would be used to gain real and non-real time data for operational planning.
The third concerns the amount of time available to neutralize the target. Clandestine activities by the CIA, DIA and other agencies would not be focused on the destruction of the plant during peacetime operations. They instead would concentrate on gathering as much information as possible, for as long as possible, without being detected by foreign intelligence organizations in order to assess long term possibilities, for their operations are not constrained open hostilities. As for military requirements, they would be concerned with seizure or destruction of the plant in order to eliminate a major contributor to the enemy’s war effort and intelligence would provide relevant projections for the objective. Tactical operations have a smaller window of opportunity for war itself is a timed exercise limited by financial and political considerations.
The fourth concerns collection planning. For the armed forces the operations “…are limited, short-ranged, and directed at immediate requirements for the tactical commander” (Field Manual, 1) in order to meet mission objectives relevant to a particular geographic location. Thus, data is gained through satellite, aerial and reconnaissance units and planning remains fluid due to changes in the battle space. Whereas strategic collectors must have a broader scope to support foreign policy and national objectives across the globe. Their collection operations must seek to penetrate adversarial organizations for the long term by embedding moles or through technical surveillance. Tactical intelligence would be tasked to support operations that would render the plant useless and strategic intelligence would aim to learn about the technology that a rival nation is developing and its policy ambitions that could be supported by its deployment.
The last difference is the effect each type of intelligence collection has on analysis and analysts themselves. Tactical analysis is geared towards supporting the operatives engaged in combat and the scope of analysts is restricted to the battle space. They are depended upon by their commander to provide time critical information that could influence the disposition and deployment of forces as well as use of wartime resources, such as in an operation to neutralize an important production facility. Strategic analysis is focused on the actions of rival nation states and as of late, the growing influence of non-traditional threats in certain regions of the world and their impact on long term American goals around the world. The analysts would be expected to provide a long term assessment of the plant’s capabilities and its overall value to a rival power.
Krizan, Lisa. 2006. Intelligence Essentials for Everyone- Part 3, Collection. Joint Military Intelligence College (October 18).
Field Manual. Strategic Intelligence. FM34-1. 
INTL446 – Intelligence and Narcotics
The week one forum addresses the illicit drugs that are available in the United States. It is designed to help you understand some of the issues that make a drug a threat. Respond to following question: 
Which illicit drug do you think is the greatest threat to the United States?
Instructions: Your initial post should be at least 500 words. Please respond to at least 2 other students. Responses should be a minimum of 200 words and include direct questions.
Student Response #1 – Darrow
Which illicit drug do you think is the greatest threat to the United States? (500)
To state which drug I think is the greatest threat to the United States I have to go back in time to when I first remember when the war on drugs started.  The drugs that the government were going after was cocaine and marijuana.  Now marijuana is a recreational drug that is being legalized throughout the United States for public assumption and can be bought at a local store so the state can tax it, it will only be a matter of time before marijuana is legalized in every state in the United States.
Now after growing up and seeing all kinds of new types of drugs become the drug of choice for younger people or the drug that every law enforcement agency wants to stop I would have to stick with cocaine still being the greatest threat to the United States for a number of reasons.  Yes drugs like heroin, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, and methamphetamine are a hinder to the United States, but cocaine is a very big money maker for foreign countries and the money that these people make off cocaine cause the biggest security risk to America.  â€œCocaine is derived from coca leaves grown in Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. The cocaine manufacturing process takes place in remote jungle labs where the raw product undergoes a series of chemical transformations. Colombia produces about 90% of the cocaine powder reaching the United States. According to the 2005 Colombia Threat Assessment, 90% of the cocaine shipped to the United States comes from the Central America-Mexico corridor” (, 45).  With terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS able to recruit in poorer countries, Colombia is a hotbed for terrorist networks.  Right after September 11, 2001 there were public serves announcement that talked about how buying drugs in America helped fund terrorism, and with 90% of the cocaine coming from Colombia all that money that is being made is going back into terrorist groups which creates a very big problem for the American Government.  
Yes, over the last 30 years the United States government has helped countries like Colombia take down notorious drug dealers in their country and even helped the country of Panama take down their leader who was a major player in the drug trade in Manual Noriega, but the problem still exist.  It might not be as main stream as other drugs or the “cool” drug of the day, but that does not mean the problem does not still exist.    
This drug not being able to be grown in America and the United States government not able to truly control the flow of the drug into America to me it causes more problems for America than any other drug out there.  Drugs like meth can be home grown and distributed within the United States so all the money made off the drug may stay local and never see anything other than someone in Americas hands and because of this the overall drug problem for meth may be bigger in America put cocaine is a bigger threat to the United States and its safety.
U.S. Department of Justice: Drug Enforcement Administration. Drugs of Abuse. 2011. (Accessed December 1, 2014)
Student Response #2 – 
Which illicit drug do you think is the greatest threat to the United States?
In my own personal opinion, all illicit drugs pose a great threat to the United States. The drug cartels no matter where they are located will always want their hands in any kind of drugs that they can make a profit on.  The deadliest of the drugs would have to be cocaine, “Decreased cocaine production in Colombia down 43 percent from a potential 510 pure metric tons in 2006 to 290 pure metric tons in 2009 coupled with an increase in cocaine smuggling to non-U.S. markets, particularly Europe, has resulted in lower cocaine availability in U.S. markets. NDIC assesses that cocaine production levels will not increase sufficiently in 2011 to return U.S. availability to pre-2007 levels.”(National Drug Intelligence) The drug isn’t what it was before, the price on the streets are going up. Because the price on the streets are rising, the increase of violence over cocaine is increasing. The Columbian government is doing a great job of eradicating the drug, but because of their success, it is causing more violence on the streets and a power struggle for the cartels on who is going to control the substance and the trafficking of the narcotic to foreign destinations around the world.
Because the availability of cocaine, accessed as easily anymore, many of the distributors who were in the cocaine trade have now switched to heroin. Heroin is now becoming more available on the east coast than before. Users of the drug have more of an availability than they have had in the past and now feeds a market to those who were addicted to cocaine that have now switch to heroin. Mexico is now second in the world in producing poppy. Only Afghanistan produces more. In 2010-2011, Afghanistan was producing 95% of the world’s poppy. This drug is used by many state actors, terrorist organizations and drug cartels as a cash crop to supply their organizations with arms and technical capabilities to stay ahead of their opposition. In 2010, one quarter acre of poppy that was harvested in Afghanistan brought in a total of 250,000 U.S. dollars. Of that money, the farmer who worked the crop will only receive 5% of the profit and the rest will be taken by the Taliban. This situation is very comparable to the video we watched that National Geographic produced on cocaine. The cartels will exploit the work of the farmers to take advantage of the profits that are to be made. This drug has direct connections to acts of violence and terrorism which makes it extremely dangerous and my number two of dangerous drugs.
Methamphetamine is a drug that can be produced from a variety of a mixture of chemicals. It can be produced in high quantities in homemade labs or produced by drug cartels. “Methamphetamine production in Mexico is robust and stable, as evidenced by recent law enforcement reporting, laboratory seizure data, an increasing flow from Mexico, and a sustained upward trend in Mexican methamphetamine avail- ability in U.S. markets.” This drug possess a potential risk to this country, in the form of drug cartels trying to gain a foothold in the market and shut down the domestic labs here in the United States. With the potential of this happening, violence could stretch from the Mexican border right into our own backyard.
 National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), The Economic Impact of Illicit Drug Use on American Society, April 2011 .

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