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Part I noted that two key requirements of our counterinsurgency doctrine – a legitimate host-nation government and a competent, trustworthy host-nation security force – will never be accomplished in Iraq or Afghanistan. Part II will illustrate the lack of reliable intelligence in our woebegone wars.

The counterintelligence field manual that Gen. David Petraeus supposedly wrote but really didn’t says, "Counterinsurgency (COIN) is an intelligence-driven endeavor." That’s bad news for us, because our intelligence systems in both Iraq and Afghanistan can best be described as The Man from U.N.C.L.E. meets Inspector Clouseau.

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) recently published a report titled Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan. The authors, who include Maj. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, deputy chief of staff for intelligence in Afghanistan, tell us that the intelligence apparatus in Afghanistan "is unable to answer fundamental questions about the environment in which U.S. and allied forces operate in."

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, says, "Our senior leaders – the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the secretary of defense, Congress, the president of the United States – are not getting the right information to make decisions with."

Catch the rest at Antiwar.com

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes at Pen and Sword . Jeff's novel Bathtub Admirals (Kunati Books), a lampoon on America's rise to global dominance, is on sale now.  

Originally posted to Jeff Huber on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:26 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  How'bout catch the rest HERE? (5+ / 0-)

    Instead of using DKos diaries as teasers to advertise another blog?

    Copy & paste is easy.  Teasy is cheesy.  

  •  "Our senior leaders . . . . (4+ / 0-)

    . . . the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the secretary of defense, Congress, the president of the United States – are not getting the right information to make decisions with."

    As far as I can tell, this has been SOP since . . . 1947 and the National Security Act????

    The CIA magnified the capacity of the Soviet Union for 40 years to justify the $$$ shoveled at defense contractors . . . they supplied cooked intel to justify the Iraq invasion.

    In fact, can they point to anything positive they've accomplished in the last 60 years?

    And I don't include Guatemala or Iran or Chile or Bay of Pigs or Iran hostage or Beirut embassy/barracks or Iran Contra or Panama . . .

    "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

    by bobdevo on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:42:12 AM PST

    •  the successes don't make the news. (0+ / 0-)

      People who are in a position of oversight e.g. Congressional intel committees, don't blab about the successes they hear about, but raise a major stink about the failures.  

      Blabbing about a success necessarily ends up reflecting on sources & methods, which everyone knows is a very bad idea if you want to repeat that success later.  

      The technical intel agencies (NSA, NRO, and their predecessors) are more likely to have their successes end up in the news for various reasons having to do with the nature of the technologies they use.  All of their outputs are inputs to CIA for analysis, so each of these cases reflects on the entire US Intel Community.  

      The successful cryptanalysis (codebreaking) of Axis encryption systems in WW2 led to a number of notable successes in the war, including the shootdown of Admiral Yamamoto, the battle of Midway, and the ability of the Allies to predict German targeting of cities in the UK.  The details of the cryptanalysis were kept secret until 1974, but could be released at that time due to changes in technology (all of the old cryptosystems were long since gone).  

      The successful aerial reconnaissance of Cuba led to detection and irrefutable evidence of Soviet missile installations, enabling the Kennedy administration to pressure the USSR to withdraw those missiles.  Some of this material, but by no means all, was made public by the Kennedy administration as part of its negotiating strategy.

      The successful interception and decryption of Soviet diplomatic messages enabled the US to obtain a better outcome under the original Strategic Arms Limitation Talks than would otherwise have been possible: we knew exactly how far the Soviets were willing to go and we were able to use that information in the negotiations.  I don't know how this one managed to leak out because it should have stayed classified until some time in this decade, but there it is anyway.

      I could go on, but those should suffice to invalidate your assertion of unqualified failure.  

  •  Human intelligence? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobdevo

    Isn't that an oxymoron?

    Beam me up, Scotty.  There's no intelligent life down here!

  •  You forgot Maxwell Smart (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobdevo, dark daze, Joe Johnson

    can best be described as The Man from U.N.C.L.E. meets Inspector Clouseau.

    All you need to know is that both Rumsfeld and Cheney were champions of increasing the US "humint" capabilities.  As they were firing linguists who knew the languages because they were gay.

    Step 1 in US intelligence: Don't speak the language.
    Step 2: Refuse to understand the culture because "it's anti-American"
    Step 3: Rely on paid informants.
    Step 4: Contract out security at CIA stations to private firms.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:42:56 AM PST

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