What Is Your Definition Of "actionable Intelligence?"

Marauder06

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I know it's in a joint pub or FM somewhere, but I'm interested to hear what YOU consider "actionable intelligence."

It is not necessary for you to be in the military to comment on this thread.
 

Scotth

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I'm not sure there is any fixed point for what is actionable or not. It's almost a slide rule kind of standard. Value of the target, quality of intel, ability to mount a response, and potential for negative blow back if something goes wrong would just be a few of the criteria for what's actionable or not.

For example I would say what constitutes actionable intelligence for say a target like Bin Laden under the Clinton Administration was a lot higher then it was for the Bush Administration or the Obama Administration. I'm not trying to start a fight about what administration did or didn't do. I talking about current conditions. If they got good information of Osama in Pakistan it would be a lot easier today to pull the trigger then it was pre-9/11.
 

Brill

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When the linguist throws down his headphones and takes up his defensive position. <---- Did I win? :D

Ok, seriously, I would say that it's specific information that must initiate some type of action (maintaining vigilance is only one type of action) in order to fulfill the Commander's Intent. That could come in the form of force protection (enemy's coming over the wall), I&W (enemy is maneuvering) , situational awareness (enemy is at a low state of readiness), etc.

Regarding Scotth's example, I would comment that the Commander's Intent has significantly changed since the Clinton administration.

It's your thread Sir, but I would recommend if we cite further examples, we should stick to the WWII-era in order to protect forces afield. I'm my opinion, OPERATION VENGENCE (yes, I'm going to make the readers Google it) is a classic example of AI but would also question whether the LACK of intel would be grounds to initiate action. Photos of the Japanese fleet missing from port on 5 Dec 1941...actionable?
 

Dame

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Sir,
You are so gonna regret opening this up to idiots like me.

From my very limited view as a civilian, I would consider Actionable Intelligence to include at the very least:
  1. Information from boots on the ground. Their feel for the area and the people and what motivates the locals.
  2. Past experience.
  3. Aerial eyes-on recon.
  4. Past and current ISR.
  5. Probability statistical analysis coupled with game theory logic.
  6. Local sources
The combination of these (in whatever great and powerful Oz combination those with better heads than I have deemed GTG) at the very least, and possibly in that order of weight, would give a good intel picture.
 

Marauder06

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Mara, I'll discuss this with you in person one day, over a nice scotch and a steak... because I don't feel like typing that much tonight.

Deal.

A;though I always look forward to your posts on topics like these, too.
 

SpitfireV

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Actionable intelligence is verified intelligence which you can move on, whatever move might mean.

It's product that that a high Admiralty Rating and it would be beneficial to act on it.

I suppose technically anything is "actionable."

Limited examples to WW2 is a bit extreme, I'm sure there are good examples from GW1 that won't endanger anything.
 

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Put in simple terms, it boils down to proper preparation based on the intelligence given for the situation at hand. It applies in different ways to different steps along a route. You can't expect to start handing out info during a firefight that should have been given earlier in the planning process. With today's technology in the military it is easier to make adjustments in mission statements as the war rages on, but not while the battle is in heat. "Right here, right now" is not the same as "gonna be there at this time". This is one of those times where the military is trying to weave a blanket out of holes.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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From a basic military stand point I would say it is having all the proper supporting information, analysis and resources to act. Meaning that you have the full puzzle picture, and are fully prepared to act based on the collection and analysis of the pieces of that puzzle.

Strategic Example: You would have information on the enemy’s location, abilities/capabilities and support resources. You would have clear analysis on the projected enemy reaction to any actions taken and you would have analysis of the level of force necessary to act (ground, sea and air forces). You would have all the resources readily deployable to the theater of operation and you would have a primary strategy as well as contingency strategies ready and available. It would be like walking into the oval office with war plans drawn and ready, everything is set, resources are in place, the information is as good as it’s going to get and all you are waiting on is the green light.

Operational Example: You have good information on the enemy’s location, abilities/capabilities and support resources. You have a good plan of attack and you have the tactical assets available in the operational area. You have coordinated with all supporting units and are fully ready to act.

Tactical Example: You are boots on ground and get solid information on the enemy (SALUTE report), you have support in route or standing bye and you have the ability act.
 

Teufel

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Honestly I think actionable intelligence is another military buzz word that does not have a commonly understood meaning, like "effects based targeting", or "the enemy has gone to ground". Actionable gives the idea that the intelligence product can be immediately actioned by launching some sort of operation. I think people think of HVI hunting and intelligence triggers when they think about actionable intelligence. If I find out by whatever intelligence discipline that so and so is at this location I can go get him. What determines if something is actionable or not? Ultimately the commander will decide, not the S-2.
 

Marauder06

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Honestly I think actionable intelligence is another military buzz word that does not have a commonly understood meaning, like "effects based targeting", or "the enemy has gone to ground". Actionable gives the idea that the intelligence product can be immediately actioned by launching some sort of operation. I think people think of HVI hunting and intelligence triggers when they think about actionable intelligence. If I find out by whatever intelligence discipline that so and so is at this location I can go get him. What determines if something is actionable or not? Ultimately the commander will decide, not the S-2.


I think there actually is a doctrinal definition of actionable intel, I'll see if I can find it.

Fully concur on "actionable" being in the eyes of the commander.
 

Marauder06

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I did not find a joint definition so it looks like Teufel was right that there is no community-wide commonly-understood definition

I did find a definition in the new Army Intel pub, I'm not saying it's a good one but here it is:

http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm2-0.pdf
http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm2-0.pdf ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE 1-84. Actionable intelligence is an example of bringing the characteristics of effective intelligence together with the effective integration of intelligence into ongoing operations to support the commander. Joint doctrine discusses the concept of critical intelligence. (See JP 2-0.) Army personnel have used the concept of actionable intelligence to reflect the joint concept of critical intelligence. In current operations, the concept of actionable intelligence is used by Army personnel to describe information that answers operational requirements. Army personnel also use it to describe specific commander’s guidance in the attack guidance matrix to a sufficient degree and with sufficient reliability to support the commander’s targeting decisions.

1-85. Ideally, the staff thoroughly integrates intelligence into the operations process to ensure the collection and reporting of timely, relevant, accurate, predictive, and tailored information and intelligence. This integration is accomplished by using the characteristics of effective intelligence as well as conducting a successful ISR plan through detailed ISR synchronization and ISR integration, so commanders can fight the threat based on knowledge rather than assumptions.
"Actionable Intelligence "--Product developed for commanders and Soldiers to provide shared situational understanding allowing commanders and Soldiers to operate with the speed, accuracy, and timeliness necessary to conduct successful operations.



 

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Mara, isn't that what used to be called an Op Order? I wish I had that fancy term to call what I did as a LRS TL instead of just calling it being locked in a room for 3 days.
 

Marauder06

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It does sound a lot like paragraphs one and two.

I see "actionable intel" as being the intel necessary to trigger an operational decision. That decision might be to hit a target, or it might be to hold off hitting a target. Either way a decision is made based on the intel provided.
 

Teufel

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It does sound a lot like paragraphs one and two.

I see "actionable intel" as being the intel necessary to trigger an operational decision. That decision might be to hit a target, or it might be to hold off hitting a target. Either way a decision is made based on the intel provided.

"In current operations, the concept of actionable intelligence is used by Army personnel to describe information that answers operational requirements."


Sounds a lot like a CCIR or PIR being answered to me.
 

RetPara

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The definition of this is different at National, Strategic, Operational, and Tactical levels.

National level would be when you have a balance or set of Indication & Warning reports, other intelligence reports, diplomatic communications and a consensus of policy makers on the topic that a policy change that tip the scale in favor of a change in national policy or a specific course of action.

Strategic level would be when I&W, isolated & individual intelligence reporting, along with diplomatic comms, and direct contact with reliable sources on the ground indicate to the leadership/policy level that a change of policy or action is required.

Operational actionable intelligence is when information and intelligence reporting indicates the move to a specific course of action by an adversary or belligerent.

Tactical actionable intelligence is when informaiton and intelligence indicate a vulnerability or availability of a targets(s) or imminent action of a belligerent. The vulnerability or availability of a target can be of any time duration.
 
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