Next week: Finally getting to the historical material.
Last day: War and political violence. Terrorism and guerilla warfare.
Intelligence in conventional warfare.
Several different categories of conventional warfare. One very important to the way military officers
conceive of the role of intelligence, one not simple to grasp – target acquisition and strike warfare.
Looking at weapons whose operators are firing at targets they can't see. Have to create weapons
systems. Definition begins when operators are firing at targets they cannot see. Intelligence becomes
fundamental in the way these work.
Emerges WWI. Once gunners begin to shoot at targets they can't see using targets between them. Can
also fire through predictive means. Process is more complicated and generally speaking in WWI you're
firing at targets you can see, but bringing in mechanical devices to guide fire.Aircraft develops this
further. With artillery, a form of intel that few people think of now but in WWI was as important as
SIGINT – artillery intelligence. Triangulate position through sound, or through flash spotting – uses
gunflashes. Later in the twentieth c., find this being introduced to aircraft strikes. Find it in WWI.
British make efforts to launch airstrikes on German subs in the north sea. Send radio message back
home requesting their own position, providing description of what they did and asking for new targets.
British aircraft carry rudimentary ordinance of one piece, and there were virtually no cases of these
working. But SIGINT is being used to find targets to strike. This is how Brits attacked German
zeppelins and bombers. Create air defense system which knocks zeppelin campaign out. Trying to find
ways to convert intelligence into actionable means. In WWII, becomes feasible, intelligence can guide
strikes several hundred miles away from a base. Uboats destroyed in 1933 used target acquisition and
strike warfare. Radar, traffic analysis guiding use of aircraft or surface vessels to locations to strike
If you don't look at how firepower is guided, you miss important part of how intel and military intel
works. Military personnel are often trying to figure out how to hit a target. Issue increases in last
century. With use of UAVs and SIGINT as well as drone warfare, this process has been carried to new
level of sophistication. Possible now in real time for intel to be used to control a drone to attack a
specific group in a 10x10 area which will not kill anyone outside of say 50 feet beyond that “box”.
Increased sophistication leads to less collateral damage.
This form of military intel is fundamental to rise in the war conventional armies now fight. Servicing
this need is a big chunk of why intelligence services are as big as they are. Useful tool, but not the
whole of military intel. Easy for military personnel to overrate the significance of a particular mission
and to assume all intel ever does is service these missions. Did not exist in 1914 at all. Should not be
ignored, but by no means is all of military intel.
Way intel operates in military environments. Force to space ratio – how many personnel do you have
over how large a space? How can you detect people in that space, how does your command control
communications and intelligence – C3I or C4I. Impact of intelligence varies on whether you have a huge area and small forces, making it difficult for them to discover each other. Previously, once a fleet
was out of sight of further part of your squadron was blind, and you were blind to it. High force to
space ratio – lot of fire power. If you can't outmaneuvre the enemy, outflank them, then you have to
hammer it head on. If it's any good, it'll hammer you back, and in those circumstances, intel can allow
you to convert attritional exchange rate so you lose fewer personnel. Convert 2-1 loss rate to 9-1 loss
If its possible to maneuvre lots of men quickly and fight mobile war, then suddenly intel can allow you
to outmaneuvre the enemy, launch ambushes, counterambushes. In this category of operation, intel has
the most unpredictable effect. Have to understand what kind of war you're fighting.
Certain forms of war are less political than others. WWII – no one was going to stop fighing til the
other side was broken. Guerilla war has warfare and politics intrinsically linked. Even in a high
intensity war, sometime political intel matters a great deal, may shape the way you choose to use force.
When thinking about what intel can do, bear in mind it's not what you collect or assess. Need to
understand the competitions you're in and how they work.
Intelligence Failures and Strategic Surprise
People imagine intelligence failures are easy to categorize and avoid.