“Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called “The Pledge.” The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course… it probably isn’t.

The second act is called “The Turn.” The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn’t clap yet.

Because making something disappear isn’t enough; you have to bring it back. That’s why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call “The Prestige.” – Cutter

The Pledge

Creating Intelligence

Intelligence covers a broad spectrum of disciplines in academia and generally functions to reduce the fog of war within the Department of Defense (DoD). Within the US intelligence community among the 16 primary agencies, intelligence has different scope, different definition.

Thus, when discussing any kind of intelligence it’s important to put it into the context of the agency and the scope. Are you referring to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)? If so, are you referring to the Department of Operations (DO)? Or the Department of Intelligence (DI)? At the CIA, for example, the DO is a function of intelligence; however in the DoD J3/G3/S3 or Operations is not a function of intelligence (J2/G2/S2). Operations would continue in the absence of intelligence (perhaps not as effectively) but they would continue.

Most of the time the interface for intelligence with operations in the DoD is the “Two Three” shop. The intelligence operations shop. Hypothetically, this is where Coriolanus meets Jack Murphy. The shop divides further, but that’s a topic for another day.

The Turn

The disciplines of intelligence are human intelligence (HUMINT) or what we classically think of as “spies”. Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) is combined with geographic information systems (GIS). Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), subcomponents of which are communications intelligence (COMINT) and electronic intelligence (ELINT); this is often the most time-sensitive of all the disciplines followed closely by HUMINT.