Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Classic Case of OpInt (Operational Intelligence)

Stratfor has just released an article Tartus, the Mother of Martyrs which is a brilliant example of OpInt (Operational Intelligence) as a genre. The article describes feeling of doom in Tartus, a Syrian city which has been known as one of stalwart supporters of Assad's regime. This piece of open source intelligence (OSINT) predicts fall of Assad's regime better than the whole bunch of CIA intelligence reports.

"Everyone wants to “see” a map. Mapping cultures is probably the most difficult geospatial task, and we are going to have to do a better job at it. We’re exceptional at mapping defense-related activities, facilities, homes, bridges, and the like, but how do you map a tribe, a culture, or an entire society?

This will take vastly more integration between the all-source community and the geo-spatial community. This also requires geospatial specialists to get out into the field. Just because you can see imagery from miles above the earth doesn’t mean you understand the problem.

We need to get our best and brightest into areas where we are operating or likely to operate. We need to build teams of area experts and geospatial analysts who can construct templates of societies. The burgeoning populations in the places most likely to experience conflict are those we understand least. We can do better in defining regions and areas of the world.We can determine gaps in our knowledge base, and then decide how to better focus limited collection resources". Ten Points for the Commander, Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn, U.S. Army,and Brigadier General Charles A. Flynn, U.S. Army

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