This shit is chess. It ain’t checkers. – Alonzo Harris, Training Day

Bottom Line Up Front: This is a rebuttal to “Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan”(Flynn 2010), and includes my own assertions regarding military intelligence. This post is a series of observations based on my own experience within the community (spanning more than a decade) and a response to navel gazers within the community that have determined that specific emphasis on intelligence du jour will solve our nation’s problems.

I do not yet have a comprehensive solution. I am still working on it, however, even correcting symptomatic issues will seem unpalatable to most policy makers. Having said that, my job has never been one of pleasing decision makers, but rather, tactfully spoon-feeding unpalatable information to colicky adults. I harbor no resentment toward this because I’d like to think it has worked out well to this point in time. This one might be long folks, so I hope you have some coffee. Also…from here on out, fuck tact.

The Value of a Distributed Network of Small Analytic Cells

JICs (Joint Intelligence Centers) suck. Battlefield Surveillance Brigades suck. Stability Information Operations Center (Flynn 2010, 5) suck.



Military intelligence is a horrible hydra or chimera. Pick your beast. It seeks to stay beholden to the TO&E of traditional (and sometimes non-traditional) Army infrastructure. Little intelligence shops to big intelligence shops. TATs (Tactical Analysis Teams) to ridiculously over-staffed JIOC (Joint Intelligence and Operations Centers) or JICs. Policy and decision maker input or interface is at the JIC level.

Forget battlefield rotation. That’s like suggesting a night in the back of your Chevy with Suzie Rottencrotch is like the enduring relationship with your wife. Not the same at all. If someone were to suggest (outside of operational battlefield rotations, and even that’s questionable) that a battlefield rotation by the SecDef to each JIOC or JIC or S2 shop on the battlefield gave them a “real” understanding of what was going on I’d snort Rice Krispy’s through my nose in between chuckles of jaded laughter. What works? Starfish.