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Afghanistan: Intelligence Operations Re-focus from Social, Tribal Data to Targeting Insurgents

28 giugno 2011
Military intelligence officers were scrambling a year ago to collect and analyze the social, economic and tribal ins and outs of each valley and hamlet in Afghanistan. This information wasn’t the kind of secret or covert material many military intelligence specialists were used to. But it was seen as crucial to helping commanders tell the good guys from the bad, learn what Afghans really needed from their government and undermine the Taliban-led insurgency by winning hearts and minds over time. Since last fall, top intelligence leaders in Afghanistan shifted their focus back to targeting the enemy in the more traditional way, by mapping their networks and analyzing what made the Taliban tick. They didn’t stop collecting the other information. But their goal now was helping tell commanders what they needed to know to kill insurgents and drive the enemy to the negotiating table. […]
Two senior intelligence officials involved in the reorganization say it was simply a response to Gen. David Petraeus’ priorities, when he took over from now-retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal. The top U.S. commander did try to send the message that social intelligence was important in tracking enemy networks, and he asked officers to count things such as the number of cellphone towers in an area, as a measure of success equal to the number of insurgents killed, the official said.
Intelligence shift shows change in Afghan war aims, The Associated Press, 26 giugno 2011
Source: Conflict Monitors –
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