The written word is a powerful thing. Elizabeth Hoyt September 06, The written word is a powerful thing.
At the time, I was the intelligence officer of 3d Battalion, 6th Marines, which was preparing for Operation Moshtarak, the clear-hold-build of Marjah, Afghanistan. I was given a copy and read it with great interest, finding myself agreeing with many of the points the article made.
The article has become so ubiquitous that it is the "go to" reference in articles about Counterinsurgency COIN and intelligence. This is unfortunate, as the article is deeply flawed and in reality will do little to "fix" intelligence.
Three things about the article stand out to me; the first is that it advocates a population-centric focus to intelligence operations. While this hardly seems like cause for concern, it is that if we only spend more time on the population vice the enemy that we will be able to connect the dots and figure out the insurgency.
This is an unproven idea that does not fully embrace exactly what intelligence does, which brings me to my second issue — that intelligence serves its master — the commander. If the commander and his guidance are unclear, the intelligence will be unclear as well.
Finally, the major changes identified in the article have long been identified — in fact, the Marine Corps identified these issues nearly two decades ago, which leads me to believe intelligence education outside of the MOS is sorely lacking.
With regards to my first point, if you are a tactical level intelligence officer and read "Fixing Intel" chances are you would not have much to argue with.
Further, the document argues that the redundant effort in intelligence up the chain of command serves little purpose for those units most engaged in the fight. That is, too much time is spent doing collection on the enemy and therefore simply spending more time on the populace is key.
Plainly, there is a lot of stuff I would like to know, but what do I actually need to know. This brings me to my second point, intelligence is about the mission. That is, intelligence does not exist for itself, intelligence exists to support the decision maker - or as the venerable publication Frontline Intelligence puts it, "The primary object of combat intelligence is to enable a commander to issue a proper combat order.
In order to do this, intelligence answers requirements the commander needs to make decisions and to give him an idea of the situation.
Thus, finding out local conditions and sentiment often called "atmospherics" is not a bad thing — but doing so to the extent that one cannot address those kinetically engaging coalition forces seems foolhardy. This is the fundamental flaw - that even if all the effort in the world is spent collecting and analyzing information about a local populace, it means nothing if the mission is unattainable.
This logic is perpetuated with the false belief that somehow the missing link will be found amongst the populace and that through it grievances will be addressed and the mission will succeed.
However, if it turns out that my presence and my mission are what are causing the grievances, then what? Realizing at the tactical level that the mission is the problem means little if it is not also recognized at the operational and strategic levels where changes can occur. The article appears to have been published more so to support the shift in effort to population-centric counterinsurgency at the time rather than address intelligence shortfalls.
The recommendations from "Fixing Intel" can be distilled to: Interestingly, post Gulf War I, the Marine Corps identified six deficiencies in Marine Corps Intelligence1 and thirteen functional concepts to address them2.
The result became known as the Van Riper Plan which radically altered how intelligence Marines would be trained.Each year, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation presents a series of awards to both Marines and civilian community members, recognizing their exemplary work in advancing and preserving Marine Corps history.
These are just two of the topics of writing contests sponsored by the Marine Corps Gazette. If having your ideas published in the Gazette is not enough of an incentive for you to write, here is another: The winners of Gazette writing contests or Gazette -supported writing awards receive cash awards ranging from $ to $5, references, the established DSO awards are: Marine of the Year, Defense Counsel of the Year (DECOY), the Academic Writing Award and the Motions Practice Award.
Deadlines and processes for all Corps Gazette; (f) Have published a writing at least 1, words in length; (g) Have published in a subject of general interest. The Marine Corps Historical Foundation has awarded four research grants in for study in Marine Corps-related historical r-bridal.com Robert Sullivan received $2, to assist in his study entitled "Eisenhower and the Marine Corps," which will analyze Gen Dwight Elsenhower's perceptions during his long-standing relationship with Marines.
Gary Sampson is a Ph.D. student and Commandant of the Marine Corps Fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. His research is focused on elucidating the role of China in North Korea’s nuclear weapons decision making since the rise of Kim Jong-un.
Gary is an year. The award is for a distinguished example of feature writing by an individual dealing with U.S. Marine Corps history or Marine Corps life, giving prime consideration for high literary quality and originality.