Friday, October 21, 2011

Gen McChrystal Stalks GEOINT2011

ALEXANDRIA VA, October 21, 2011 - Intelligence integration is a critical challenge for both the National and Military Intelligence Programs. One organization that is know to be at the forefront of this effort is SOCOM and its subordinate commands. Prior to Admiral McRaven, the greatest influence over the integration challenge has been Gen Stan McChrystal, USA Ret. While he was not in attendance at the conference (as far as general attendees could tell) he was everywhere - or at least, his ideas and influence among the combined IC and OPs communities.

McChrystal intellectually dominated the scene setting video that opened the conference. He has a number of good insights in his comments, in particular he refers to the imperative for integration and the fact of inter-generational tension over integration as a way of analytic and operational life. MIL INT can confirm this is a major recurring theme of the study he is doing for HQMC on Ops-Intel Integration.

The bin Laden raid was the culmination of a decade of hard work both in the field and in support of those in the field. SOF led the way in changing the INT-OP culture, from mutual ignorance and distance to symbiosis. SOF continues to lead the way in this field. Many speakers at GEOINT confirmed MIL INTs analysis that small footprint CT is the only way ahead. Indeed Michael Vickers used a lot of the same language in his presentation. For some interesting media on Mr Vickers impact on CT see this April Post article and a 2007 Post article.

The GEOINT challenge is to continue to deepen this vital trend into both the physical and the intellectual architecture of INT. What is meant by this? Integration is not just the IT but also the way we think about INT. There was a lot of IT talk at GEOINT and that is as it should be. Without it, the task is impossible. But it is an enabler of a much bigger idea. INT and OPS have got to be completely inside each others minds as well as foxholes. Neither should be allowed to exist without the other and when INT does not deliver to OPS - it has to get off its ass and go find out why, and make itself relevant. Not just to warfighters, but to strategic leaders. Which leads to this next piece on strategic analysis that requires its own treatment (link will be added when its posted).

1 comment:

  1. Prior to 9/11, "intelligence drives operations," was a commonly held belief in the military. Over 10 years of fighting, have proved that assumption false, at least it opened the door to the possibility that "operations drive intelligence." In the final analysis, there is a complex inter-play between operations and intelligence. Sometimes, intel will drive ops and vice versus. What is confirmed, however, is that neither ops nor intel is the panacea for success on tomorrow's battle fields.