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Military Intelligence

Military intelligence is an important military discipline that makes use of diverse approaches in collecting and analyzing information to provide direction and guidance to commanders to back their decision-making (Austin and Rankov, 1995). This is basically achieved through critical analysis of available information derived from a range of sources, channeled towards commander’s operation or offering solutions to specific questions as part of the operation planning activity. In order to provide a comprehensive analysis, the specific commander’s information needs are identified. Once this is done, the information needs are then integrated into a process of intelligence collection, scrutiny and diffusion. There are numerous areas of study, some of them including hostile, neutral and friendly forces, operational environment, and civilian population amongst other larger areas of importance (Austin and Rankov, 1995). Military Intelligence activities are carried out at the entire levels from strategic to tactical during peacetime or at war. The majority of governments uphold a military intelligence capacity with an aim of offering investigative and information gathering staffs both in consultant units and other services and arms (Fuller, 1987). Generally, the military intelligence capacity intermingles with civilian intelligence capacities with an aim of bringing up to date the continuum of military and political activities.

This essay will candidly look at the ways in which the US Military Intelligence has modified the manner they do business. It encompasses surveillance, protection of highly classified information, and locating the bad guys among other activities. Certainly, the US Military Intelligence performs a great range of activities, which include the protection of the armed forces, technologies, secrets, counterespionage and facilities through the detection, neutralization and exploitation of International Terrorist Threats and Foreign Intelligence Services.

Activities of the U.S. Military Intelligence

The U.S. military Intelligence backs military operations in different areas encompassing warning and indications, force modernization, force protection, operational scheduling and implementation as well as training ad readiness. The CI, for instance, alerted the soldier commanders in a well-timed manner regarding the terrorization into the United States and associated interests, offered the decision-makers of the senior defense with tactical warning, offered information on overseas military forces, helped in the protection of military forces and worked closely with personal military bases and units in order to offer mission developing strategic intelligence abilities (Central Intelligence Agency, 2007). The IC officials have directly incorporated with armed forces and much concentration is offered to operational security measures and defensive communications security.

With an aim of improving tailored and timeless products for the fulfillment of geospatial intelligence necessities, personnel’s were placed by NIMA at every service components of combatant commands (Central Intelligence Agency, 2007). This came after the September 11 attacks and a Spatial Analysis Branch was established in order to center on investigative support on secret and undercover paramilitary and military operations as well as counterterrorism investigation.

Protection of Information

With an aim of protecting highly classified information, there was the development and deployment of a computer network security interruption revealing system. This system considerably improves the protection of Defense Information Infrastructure (DII) (Central Intelligence Agency, 2007).  In order to work efficiently and as required, the system comprises of a network of sensors which are well-placed in the DoD infrastructure offering analyst the capacity to classify inconsistent cyber actions passing through the network. The computer network system matches the local DoD interruption discovery system by offering a layered cyber-security system (Central Intelligence Agency, 2007). The capacities of Military Intelligence have also been improved by the NSA in the areas of information protection.

The Network Operations Security Centers of the CI has been offered with analytical capacity by the Air Force. This plan encompassed capacities intended at identifying searches to essential networks where important information has been saved (Central Intelligence Agency, 2007). Other activities encompass discovering inside threats, performing awareness updates and backing the flow of information. This continuous ability is designed at offering analytical examination via gathering of entire-source intelligence to avoid attacks on information systems.


Surveillance by the US Military Intelligence has also modified greatly. For instance, currently, the Military Intelligence performs electronic surveillance (Military Intelligence, 2007). This includes for individuals in the United States and the US origins residing in other countries. However, electronic surveillance is usually carried out with the authorization of the Attorney General or by the FISC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) (Military Intelligence, 2007). The US Military Intelligence may also carry out emergency electronic surveillance that is not approved by the Attorney General. For the emergency electronic surveillance, the authorization of Secretary of the Army, or a U.S general officer is required (Military Intelligence, 2007). Whilst carrying out surveillance, various factors that are put into consideration encompass: what or who is the surveillance target, the location, and the device being targeted and how.


The other area, in which there have been considerable changes as far as military intelligence is concerned in the U.S., is in the area of terrorism. Karmon (2001) notes that terrorism is in no way a new thing, but it has drastically evolved over the years. In the U.S. and other countries across the globe, terrorism has been identified as one of the main strategic threats, which has posed considerable threat to survival and internal security of these nations. Currently, the threats posed terror group such as Al-Qaida that does not originate from an organized enemy having coherent sets of objectives and clear identity. However, this originates from small desperate and shifting groups of people who want to force their narrow and individual values on innocent people through violence, which, in most cases, results to massive deaths, loss of properties such as the 9/11 among others. In the past, terror groups have taken military intelligence by surprise, both in the U.S. and in other countries manned by the U.S. military. 

Consequently, there has been an urgent need for the U.S. Military Intelligence to make notable changes in order to fight against this vice both in the U.S. and abroad. Intelligence towards the fight against terrorism is special, and in most instances a highly arduous task as compared to classical intelligence, political or even those dealing with rival states. As noted by Jones (2010), in developing countries like those in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the U.S. is rapidly expanding its military intelligence operations in order to counter these acts of terrorism. For instance, they have established surveillance procedures and a network of bases as exceptional operational forces train and infiltrate armies, thus fighting terror groups. The other notable change which has taken place in the U.S. military intelligence is the making alliances with other nations in order to fight against terrorism. For instance, in alliance with other groups such as NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), they have engaged in notable initiatives like conceptual and operational all aimed at fighting terrorism. In order to fight these groups, the U.S. military have invested towards scientific and technological research. For instance, the U.S. military has started to investigate on ways in which they increase their relations with citizens living in notable countries such as Yemen and Pakistan among others. This way, they will be able to empower the local military intelligence, thus enabling them fight against terror groups both in the short and long run.

Field Grade Commitments  

For many years, Army Military Intelligence has struggled with requirements set for higher officer field grade requirement than they can be offered by company grade base. Consequently, the branch has been forced to acquire and assimilate officers from the other departments into the IC (Intelligence Corps) in order to meet the required field grade activities. Additionally, the Army intelligence has in most cases been faced with the problem of creating experts, which spans operational, strategic and tactical echelons (Miller, 1989). Every echelon is composed of various consumers and realms of production, collection and analysis. For instance, in 1980s, Military Intelligence engaged in pre-cursor to activities such as Branch Detailed Program among others.

In 1986, the Goldwater-Nicholas Act helped to improve the management of the Army 35B/Strategic Intelligence officers, through the creation of JSO (Joint Specialty) category. For example, JSO within every service are to be offered promotion above or at the promotion rate compared army officers whose duties are within their service component. Though these changes, the Military Intelligence officers have been able to refine and develop areas of expertise with their profession. In future, Torrisi (n.d) notes that the strength and readiness of the Military Intelligence grade officer’s cadre greatly hinges on the integration acceptance of branch transfers officers as well as the Functional Area 34 /Strategic Intelligence. Furthermore, there is a great need of strategic leadership and vision in the military departments. This way, it will be possible to bring together synchronized, intelligent and united officer carder thus shaping a relevant and relevant Military Intelligence Corps both for the short and long-term (Torrisi, n.d).


From the above information, it is evident that the military intelligence in the U.S. has made considerable changes, thus making it one of the best military intelligence in the 21st century. For instance, there have been changes in the way personal information, surveillance and promotion of officers is protected. Other notable changes entail operations dealing with terror attacks such as cyber attacks among others. In the future, the military should carry out exhaustive research in order to come up with better ways to conduct their activities, both in the U.S. and abroad (Jones, 2010). 

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