Small Wars Journal


SOF News: House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations

Thu, 02/04/2021 - 1:53pm

A new subcommittee under the U.S. House Armed Services Committee has been formed. The Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations will focus on specific activity areas of the Department of Defense. The new subcommittee with be chaired by Representative Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) He is a Marine Corps combat veteran who deployed to Iraq in 2005 for an eight month long deployment.

The Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations (ISO) will have the following jurisdiction:

  • military intelligence
  • national intelligence
  • countering CBR weapons of mass destruction, counterterrorism
  • special operations forces
  • counter-proliferation
  • counterterrorism
  • sensitive military operations

There are currently seven permanent subcommittees of the U.S. House Armed Services:

  • Tactical Air and Land Forces
  • Military Personnel
  • Readiness Committee
  • Seapower and Projection Forces
  • Strategic Forces
  • Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems
  • Intelligence and Special Operations

It appears that the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee has been replaced by two new subcommittees: Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems and the Intelligence and Special Operations Subcommittees.

SOF Experience with Linguists - Understanding and Navigating the Human Domain

Wed, 06/17/2020 - 2:52pm

Mike Kershner, Andrew Milburn, and Dave Maxwell held a discussion about language, culture, and Special Operations. "SOF Experience with Linguists - Understanding and Navigating the Human Domain" (it begins at about the 5:30 mark and is about 60 minutes in total).



Doing Intelligence Differently via ‘Intelligence Engineering’ (IE)

Sat, 04/18/2020 - 10:14am
Today is an appropriate time for encouraging and indeed advocating some further innovative change both to and for contemporary intelligence. This article aims to accomplish that objective by featuring and further advancing an understanding of the recently introduced and developing concept of ‘Intelligence Engineering’, abbreviated henceforth as ‘IE’, and also known as the ‘Bridgehead Methodology’.

About the Author(s)

The Coronavirus Pandemic is a Failure in Leadership - Not Intelligence

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 6:58pm
Words mean things. The mantra of the best Senior Intelligence Analyst I know has a curt humor to it, but in our business, it is advice worth remembering. In a recent opinion piece for "Foreign Policy", political scientist and author, Micah Zenko describes the leadership shortcomings of the Trump administration throughout the COVID-19 crisis. The article’s title? “The Coronavirus Is the Worst Intelligence Failure in U.S. History.” Words mean things.

About the Author(s)

Multi-Domain Intelligence Support for Sustainment

Mon, 10/14/2019 - 5:43pm
Offensive cyber, EW, and counterspace operations against sustainment enterprise could create a ‘shockwave’ across the theater of operations. The TSC G-2 sections need to emphasize analysis and collection against these multi-domain threats to the sustainment forces from both inside and outside of theater.

About the Author(s)

The Primacy of Information Intelligence

Mon, 09/30/2019 - 9:48am
Our need to scrutinize information becomes more acute as automation outstrips human understanding. If machine-learnt becomes machine-taught, we may lose the power to make responsible decisions. At the same time, our drive for technological advantage creates dependence on complex networks such as the “collaborative sensing grid.” Uncertainty persists.

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Same Dog, New Tricks: Trends in Russian Intelligence Services

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 6:48am
Russian intelligence has adapted to exploit modern tools and the host of vulnerabilities they present, building on a robust history of exploiting the open access to media and information that are hallmarks of western, democratic societies. Russian confidence is at an all-time high, where intelligence activities are conducted with little regard for political costs.

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“American Spy” Chapter Excerpt: Iraq Intelligence Failure

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 12:40am
This story could have been included in the previous chapter [“Ignore My Intelligence at Your Peril (I Am Not As Stupid As I Look)”], but as you will read, this premeditated intelligence failure in Iraq is so mind-boggling in nature that it deserves a chapter all its own. Technically it was not an intelligence failure; it was a spectacular tactical intelligence success story, followed by an unconscionable bureaucratic failure to properly manage an invaluable ongoing counterterrorism intelligence operation.

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Blame Intel

Sun, 07/14/2019 - 12:09am
When senior officers don’t listen to intelligence, they are responsible for the consequences - though they usually aren’t held to the same standards as their subordinates. When this occurs in combat, the most you might see is a senior officer fired after the fact, though many may have died as a result of their action or lack of action.

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Resilient Command and Control of Airborne Intelligence Assets in the Theater Air Control System: A Contested, Degraded, Multi-Domain Imperative

Sat, 04/27/2019 - 6:36am
The USAF is well known for its precision strike capability as well as space and airborne ISR expertise. With this consideration, a resilient ISR C2 model that offers embedded expert joint controllers for leveraging ISR C2 capabilities is appropriate; in other words, a single, integrated structure that fully empowers the TACP through its ISR team to execute C2 of ISR missions. This ensures that the USAF’s expertise is leveraged and optimized through streamlined and synchronized joint operations.

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