You're gonna make me stay up longer than I wanted to......just to read whatever MG Flynn wrote, and his CPT, and that silly civilian (who I've known for a long time) wrote. But if MG Flynn put his name on it, I'm gonna have to read it, and think about it.
I think we should significantly change the way we train our entry level intelligence people. If I was in charge...
1. There should be one feeder MOS into MI, with a 6 year enlistment.
2. All MI soldiers attend AIT to become an intelligence specialist. The basic intelligence course would be a mix of a college level course on intelligence, and a short analysis course.
3. At the end of the course, there will be a knowledge test and an aptitude test. Based on this these scores, and an interview, a board will choose what intelligence discipline the soldier will enter for follow-on training, based on needs of the service, aptitude, and personal preference.
4. All-source analysts will be specialized and coded by region, preferably a specific country. Their follow up training will be a course on that country. Formal language training will be available for mid-career analysts. Tiered incentive pay will be given for having qualifying college degrees related to their area. More pay for Masters to Doctorate level.
I think that if the MI Corps was ran like this, we might have more people around that would have realized MG Flynn's conclusions a long time ago.
What I also have in mind is kind of like the medical accessions programs we have. The Army would probably just give me a blank stare trying to explain this, but you have a shit hot E-4 or E-5 intel analyst, send him on a full ride to a university to become an expert on China, the middle east, Russia, whatever, in exchange for a long service commitment. Have an education incentive pay for qualified intel dudes. There can be an undergrad program, and a grad program. JMIC on steroids, except that there would also be scholarships to civilian universities for foreign area study types of degrees.
The Army or other services will not lose enough people to it to make a huge dent in personnel numbers. When the guy/gal comes back, you have a subject matter expert for years.
I like some of the points MG Flynn asserts. I agree that the upper level intelligence shops are clueless when it comes to population data and atmospherics. The reason for this, in my humble opinion, is that there is a lack of respect for the ground level intelligence collectors. I am appauled that anyone would suggest that they would be better served by reading a newspaper rather than intelligence reports. If this is the attitude of policymakers then it is no wonder that we are losing in such dramatic fashion. Maybe these policymakers need to go where the ground truth exists, rather than visiting Bagram and Kabul, later claiming that they have been to Afghanistan and know the situation. The idea that "some civilian analysts who deploy to Afghanistan will be empowered to move between field elements in order to personally visit the collectors of information at the grassroots level and carry that information back with them" could be the answer to engaging the populace. It remains to be seen if the analysts that are sent to gather the "grassroots level intelligence" are worth their salt, but if they are then the problem of gathering information from the news media should be mitigated. I like the fact that MG Flynn recognizes the need for F3EAD in order to destroy the enemy and disrupt the networks while shifting some of the focus to collecting on the populace. Overall, I thought the paper was well written and has a legitimate focus. I am curious to see if it works, or if it is even implicated.
I agree with much of what the General pointed out. I also think that too many "Upper level" members of the IC got there by spending most of their time working on degrees and meeting connected people than by what they KNOW through experience... which is unfortunate. I also think that too many Unit Commanders do not understand their Intelligence Soldiers or what they can do for them to support their missions. I am also appalled that ANYONE would think that a newspaper journalist would be in a better position to provide Intelligence to those that need to know better than an Intelligence MOS trained Servicemember. Information is not Intelligence. How can a journalist process information into an intelligence product?!
I would like to see if anyone with the authority to DO anything substantive with the report will. I would venture to guess that very few of the General's points will be implemented.
Journalists are very similar to intel people. They have sources. Sources tell them stuff. Journalist reports it. Once it is published, the information often becomes distorted because of the journalist's or editors own opinion. Since a lot of their training is based on writing skills... I think of them as amateur intel collectors.
I often find myself thinking of intel analysts as newspaper editors when they occasionally fuck up a product. Sometimes the raw information is worth more than the final intelligence product.
I think this is more of an issue with the overall quality of the force, which in the Army, I'd say is currently LOW for analysts and HUMINT collectors.