Episode 130 S4-6
Operational Intelligence for your Survival Group
Battle for the South Ch 6
Master Sergeant Bennet continues his search for Vince and Erika in the Battle for the South adventure. His access to military intelligence keeps him one step ahead. Today we discuss intelligence operations for your survival group with special guest Samuel Culper, former Military Intelligence NCO and founder of ForwardObserver.com.
There are five steps to gaining military intelligence called the intelligence cycle. The first step is intelligence requirements and direction. You identify intelligence requirements and identify and gaps in your knowledge. Figure out what do you know and what don't you know. The second step is collection. Basically, find out what you don't know. Fill in any intelligence gaps. The third step is analysis and processing. You have to find out what is true and what is not. Then you discard the bad information and compile the data. The fourth step is production. During this step, you produce a final report. All the data is formed into a conclusion. The fifth step is dissemination. You spread the information to the appropriate people or areas that need it.
There are six major areas that must be analyzed in your potential battle space. The first is the terrain. These are the physical things in your neighborhood: houses, sheds, fences buildings, roads, methods of transportation, etc. You must analyze how they can be used to your advantage and how the enemy could utilize them to theirs. The second area is human terrain. This is the understanding of the people in your area: What are their beliefs, culture, emotional statuses? Every member of society is an intelligence sensor. They are hearing, seeing and experiencing unique aspects that can be exploited. The third area is critical infrastructure. These are the critical businesses that keep the world spinning, not just power plants but places like Walmart as well.You need to know where they are. These areas are potential targets and traffic to and from these places could put you into danger. The forth area is politics and governance: the status of the governments, etc. The fifth is economy: What is the current state of the economic and financial landscape? The sixth area is law enforcement and security: How many officers are in the area? Some law enforcement agencies have more training for different circumstances. It's good to know what your local government is prepared for and what type of event would require them to call for assistance from State or Federal Forces. It is also a good idea to find out what type of ammunition they primarily use. In a SHTF situation where volunteers may be needed to help maintain order it would be a good idea to have a weapon that can fire whatever type of ammo they have supplied.
There are levels of intelligence or source grades based upon the information's reliability. The elicited information needs to be scrutinized for it's validity. Single Source information is very vulnerable. It is limited to the amount of information the individual has access to. You should try to confirm their information through other sources. That source can be given a grade based on the history of their information's credibility.
It is hard to choose a course of action when you are dealing with conflicting information. In a SHTF situation your information may be very limited. You will need to develop a formal process to analyze data. No matter how much information you gather, the decision will ultimately come down to the commander. You have to do your best to try to find false information. Use the FACT filter to check it. F stands for feasible: Is it possible for the information to be true? A stands for appropriate: Does it make sense that the information would be true? C stands for consistent: Is the information in line with past knowledge? T stands for timely: What is the timeline for this information?
If you realize you are relying upon faulty information, stop digging. Try to repair any damage you have caused. Then you need to assess the impact that your misdirected action may cause in the future.
Keeping information private, especially now-a-days, is a challenge for all people and organizations both big and small. "The best way to keep a secret is to deny one exists in the first place." (The Grugq) The first thing you need to do is control access to the information. You can build a canary trap when you need to disseminate it. Make each copy a little different and log the tiny errors. Then when the information gets leaked you can look at the copy that was leaked and know where it came from. You always have to understand your adversary's capabilities. If you are trying to avoid NSA spying you need to not carry a cell phone and stay offline. Think like the wolf: How do they gather information? Then think about where you are vulnerable and how your adversary might target you. If you have sensitive data the best place to keep it is on a computer that does not connect to the internet. Get off the chessboard and keep your information secret. You have to know who your adversary is, how they will attack and then reduce or remove threats.
In today's day and age the biggest threat is identity theft. For example the Office of Personnel Management leaked the identities of people with top security clearance. Not only were their backgrounds, including financial and family history, released but their identities can now be easily traced. The Chinese are responsible for the theft and now their government can check flight records and figure out where our top government representatives are going. The introduction of bio-metrics has made staying off of the grid even more difficult. You can no longer present a fake id and a good story and travel from place to place. People have one set of fingerprints, two eyes and one face. Once this information is stored and change in the id name would cause a red flag. Government collusion disseminates this information between countries and make it even more difficult to travel under an unknown alias.
Once we are in a SHTF situation it will be absolutely essential to understand your adversary's capabilities. If they have signals intelligence capabilities you will not want to use a cell phone for communication. Understand that if something emits a signal, it can be traced. Hand radios are very easy to sniff out. A cheap transmitter would easily do the trick. Know that you should not use them and get yourself a transmitter. Then you can become a signals intelligence hub and understand your adversary's capabilities. Run your own intelligence operation and track movements of groups. Remember that you are not renewable. You should never try to infiltrate another group to illicit information. Instead motivate someone else to do it. Find out what motivates the individual and use it to your advantage. Before you do, confirm that they are even capable of knowing the information you want, otherwise you are wasting your time. Do your research and find methods of eliciting information from people and then begin practicing. Remember that once you have made contact with an outsider, they are constantly gathering information about you: how many are in your group, what weapons you have, how much food, etc.
The Changing Earth Series
"Samuel Culper is a former military intelligence NCO and contract intelligence analyst. He now runs Forward Observer, a threat intelligence services company based in Texas."