Weekly Intelligence Notes #31-03
8 August 2003

WIN 31-03 dtd 8 August 2003

Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are produced and edited by Roy Jonkers for non-profit educational uses by AFIO members and WIN subscribers. RADM (ret) Don Harvey contributes articles to selected WINs


AFIO NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE SYMPOSIUM 2003: 'The Changing Face of Intelligence,' hosted by NRO and CIA, 1-4 November 2003, is in the late stages of preparation.  We are putting the final touches on a great program. The issues will be discussed by the intelligence leaders and experts. The Sheraton Premiere hotel at Tysons Corner (tel: (703) 448-1234) will be the home base, with special low rates (compared to others in area) for AFIO members. Mark your calendars! (RJ)



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          Tactical Intelligence Lessons Learned (Again) in Iraq



          Wherefore Art Thou, Osama Bin Laden?



          Defense Department Common Access Cards

          National Information Assurance Certification

          Police Matrix Database



          UK vs US Domestic Intelligence Approach

          Revisiting the Assassination Ban



          Employment Exchange

          AFIO National Intelligence Symposium 2003




TACTICAL INTELLIGENCE LESSONS LEARNED ( AGAIN) IN IRAQ -- In what will probably be the first of several intelligence "lessons learned" reports from the US Operation designated "Iraqi Freedom," the First Marine Division assessment can be summarized in one sentence: "The Marine Corps has a tremendous void in its intelligence collection capabilities at the echelon that needs it the most."

          Some systems received praise in the Division report. "The presence of a Joint STARS control ground station [CGS] at the division had a tremendous positive effect for integrating this information into a comprehensive intelligence picture.  No other collection asset provided the wide-area, all-weather coverage of the battle space that the Joint Stars did with the MTI [Moving Target Indicator] radar.  When other platforms failed or were unavailable, the CGS/Joint STARS combination ensured that we were not blind on the battlefield." 

          Also, the AIP [Anti-surface warfare Improvement Program] - P-3 (aircraft) "provides a tremendous Indications and Warning capability, provided that the support unit has a rider [liaison officer] on board to direct employment of the sensor to meet the tactical needs of the ground user." 

          Continuing, "The Pioneer (UAV) worked great when the bureaucracy between the [Pioneer unit] and the division G-2 could be negotiated, but the lack of a habitual relationship and adequate rehearsal time limited our ability to do so." Systems such as the Pioneer, P-3AIP, ATAR and other theater and national assets "were great for developing deep targets, (but) subject to the prioritization of higher headquarters."

          According to the division, "a superb example of a successful UAV system was the Dragon Eye, which was fielded to selected battalions and allowed to collect against the commander's priorities, locations and schedule without interference from higher headquarters."

          But once the war started, the Division complained that it received "very little actionable intelligence from external intelligence organizations" and that it had to assemble a coherent picture from what it could collect with organic and direct support assets alone. Said the report: "On a fluid high-tempo battlefield, the highly centralized collections bureaucracy is too slow and cumbersome to be tactically relevant.  Navigating the labyrinth of collection tasking processes proved too difficult in most cases to get reporting on division targets, and certainly for battalion-level collections. The best employment option is to push more assets in direct support to the lowest tactical level, and increase available organic collections... Maneuver units have limited ability to see over the next hill, around the next corner or inside the next building…Generally, the state of the Marine Corps' tactical intelligence collection capability is well behind the state-of-the-art…"  

          Intelligence officers from the last century may not recognize the acronyms, but the general thrust of the complaints has a near-cliché ring only too familiar from similar "lessons-learned" reports in the 1900s. (Harvey) (Jane's Defence Weekly 6 Aug '03 //T. Ripley)




WHEREFORE ART THOU, OSAMA BIN LADEN? -- The Al-Qaeda leader has been hunted for years. President Clinton in 1998 reportedly signed a secret Presidential Finding authorizing CIA to capture or kill bin Laden. Soon afterward CIA provided "specific, predictive, actionable" intelligence, and President Clinton authorized a lethal attack on al Qaeda training camps near Khost, Afghanistan. Bin Laden escaped, having left one hour before the attack. Was he warned?  The President then allegedly signed additional Presidential Findings, authorizing the killing of the top leadership and permitting planes carrying them to be shot down. That also was not successful. The Navy reportedly posted two submarines in the Indian Ocean to shoot missiles at bin Laden, but the time lag between sighting and locating the target and the arrival of the missile did not lead to success.

          As General Hugh Shelton, Chairman of the JCS, noted, 'You can develop military operations until hell freezes over, but they are worthless without intelligence." An intelligence breakthrough in the war on terrorism and Al-Qaeda came with the Predator UAV. In 2000, the Predator, an Air Force one-thousand pound unmanned propeller plane, came on line and provided an intelligence break-through -- live video surveillance, day or night, and through cloud cover. It provided spectacular surveillance coverage and pictures. Live video feeds now captured the daily routines inside Al-Qaeda training camps and operating areas. It was deployed under CIA auspices.  By the spring of 2001 the USAF was planning the further step of arming the Predator, allowing the reaction time from intelligence analysis to operational strike decision to be enormously condensed. USAF was initially looking at a three-year test plan. It was condensed to three months with White House and CIA encouragement, and the armed version of Predator was declared operational by the summer of 2001.

          September 11 cleared away all bureaucratic cobwebs. President Bush reportedly signed a Top Secret Memorandum of Notification calling for Bin Laden to be either captured or killed on sight on a high priority basis. By November the armed Predator was deployed to help destroy what video surveillance showed to be a high-level Al-Qaeda meeting outside Kabul. This first strike was a brilliant success, killing Al-Qaeda's military chief, Mohammed Atef, but again, Bin-Laden was spared. A week later his voice was allegedly intercepted on a satellite phone in the Tora Bora mountain cave complex, and the area was pounded by B-52's. This was the last place Bin Laden was reportedly detected as definitely alive. The best estimate is that he either walked, rode a donkey or took a bus across the border into Pakistan, sometime in December 2001.

          With continuing hints of his survival detected by Intelligence, the hunt continued throughout 2002 by intense CIA, FBI and Military Special Forces and other resources.  In March 2003 there was success in capturing Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in Pakistan. He was believed to be the third most important figure in the Al Qaeda organization, but although he sang like a canary, he did not lead investigators to the chief.  Days later Intelligence traced a phone call from Saad bin Laden (son) to a location in Baluchistan, a lawless tribal province bordering Afghanistan. An unmanned surveillance plane then spotted a convoy in the area moving at night, consisting of about a hundred people on horseback and on foot, advancing along an old smuggler's route. It was intercepted by a team of CIA and Delta forces, but no luck -- the convoy was only a group of refugees. In this "war," innocents are inevitably killed.

          Where is he? Media reports have it that bin Laden is protected by tribal leaders in the border area who have an arms-length relationship with the Pakistani government. There is conjecture that he is protected by concentric circles of security, including an outer ring of tribal leaders and people, and an inner ring of personal aides and bodyguards. He is surrounded by devout followers, in a sea of impoverished, fundamentalist tribal people. He cannot move except at night, and cannot communicate by phone, radio or walkie-talkie. He reportedly sends hand-written notes and taped messages transmitted by a human chain. He seems to be nearly alone, but keeps in touch with the remnants of his inner circle, including Mullah Mohammed Omar, the fugitive leaders of the Taliban. He no longer sends video tapes of himself, possibly due to wounds he is said to have sustained. 

          The role of Pakistani forces is always debated. There is a sense that lower-level Pakistani intelligence (ISI) officials remain sympathetic to the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban (not the same as the Al Qaeda terrorist organization). The official position is that President Musharraf's government is working hard to root out terrorists within Pakistan. According to Cofer Black, famed CIA counter-terrorist officer, "The Pakistani government is a strong and key player in the global war on terrorism, and their contribution has been second to none." More than 25 Pakistani security officials have been killed helping the US capture an estimated 480 Al Qaeda members and sympathizers. (Globally one-third of the Al Qaeda leadership is thought to have been captured or killed.)

          President Musharraf must contend with internal political opposition, including an increasing hold of Islamic fundamentalism on the democratic electorate in the North-West Frontier province. He must deal with the fickleness of American support, and accept the weakening of serious American counter-terrorist forces that were diverted to Iraq (e.g. Arabic-speakers, collection systems). Finally he must persuade and obtain American understanding that the approach to the tribal area 'sinkholes' must be more political and anthropological rather than solely military. Kill innocent people, and you and your clan have enemies for a hundred years. This part of the world (and the Middle East also) runs on revenge.

          Bin Laden still exists. His Al-Qaeda organization has been damaged severely, but has somewhat adapted and decentralized. His regional support base is also regenerating. There are reports that the Taliban have regrouped in Afghanistan and in the tribal areas of Pakistan, providing cover for him. Bin Laden remains the 'spiritual' leader of the Al Qaeda terrorists. His death would not stop terrorism, but nevertheless could have a profound political effect, either positive through fear of US power, or negative if he lives on as an inspiring "martyr." Perhaps he should continue, as one would put it, as 'Osama bin Forgotten.' (Jonkers) (The New Yorker, 4 August 03, p. 26, //J. Mayer)




DEFENSE DEPARTMENT COMMON ACCESS CARDS -- A California company has been hired to provide software so the Defense Financing and Accounting Service can use the high-tech features of its identification cards. SSP-Litronic of Irvine, Calif., will provide the organization with 23,000 software licenses for so-called 'Common Access Cards' (CAC), the Defense Department's new ID cards with smart card technology and biometric security. When DOD deploys the necessary software, the cards will not only provide access to installations, but to workstations and networks as well. (Levine 6 August 03)


NATIONAL INFORMATION ASSURANCE CERTIFICATION -- The government's plan to pressure software vendors to build more secure products seems to be gathering a bit of momentum. A major part of the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, the idea involves using market pressures and the government's purchasing power to influence vendors' development practices. An important component of this plan is the National Information Assurance Partnership's (NIAP) Common Criteria testing program, which validates the security and reliability of a given product.  The program is a partnership between the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (Levine 6 Aug 03) http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,3959,1211299,00.asp


POLICE MATRIX DATABASE -- 'Matrix' Offers Law Agencies Faster Access to Americans' Personal Records. Police in Florida are creating a counter-terrorism database designed to be model to give law enforcement agencies around the country a powerful new tool to analyze billions of records about both criminals and ordinary Americans.(Levine 6 Aug 03) (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21872-2003Aug5.html)




UK vs US DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE APPROACH -- Should the United States establish a new domestic intelligence agency along the lines of Britain's Security Service (MI5) to take over the intelligence duties currently assigned to the Federal Bureau of Investigation? Such a proposal has been advanced by Sen. John Edwards (D-NC), among others, who have argued that "the law enforcement responsibilities of the Bureau are inconsistent with, and will continue to undermine, its ability to be an effective intelligence agency." One tends to be skeptical, but the issue is 'out there.' The proposal was critically examined in a Congressional Research Service report entitled "Domestic Intelligence in the United Kingdom: Applicability of the MI-5 Model to the United States" by Todd Masse, May 19, 2003. REf. http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RL31920.pdf

See also: "Intelligence Critics Urge U.S. to Look to British Spy Agency" by Don Van Natta, Jr., New York Times, July 26, 2003. (Secrecy News 08/06/03)(RJ)


REVISITING THE ASSASSINATION BAN -- U.S. policy as set forth in President Reagan's 1982 Executive Order 12333 formally prohibits assassination.  But exactly what does that mean?  The term is not defined. An introduction to various thorny legal issues is provided in "Assassination Ban and E.O. 12333:  A Brief Summary" by Elizabeth B. Bazan, Congressional Research Service, January 4, 2002. With all the talk about killing this and that leader, the intellectually curious may find this issue interesting. See also http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RS21037.pdf, (Secrecy News 08/06/03) (RJ)




EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGE:  Corporate Recruiter needed by STG Inc. Strong background as corporate recruiter in the intelligence arena required. Candidate should be experienced in recruiting personnel with Top Secret clearances to include SCI from various government organizations. Minimum SECRET clearance required, TS/SCI preferred. Interested applicants should send resumes to Larry Moberley, e-mail lmoberley@stginc.com (RJ)


AFIO NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE SYMPOSIUM 2003: 'The Changing Face of Intelligence,' hosted by NRO and CIA, 1-4 November 2003, is in the late stages of preparation.  We are putting the final touches on a great program. The issues will be discussed by the intelligence leaders and experts. The Sheraton Premiere hotel at Tysons Corner (tel: (703) 448-1234) will be the home base, with special low rates (compared to others in area) for AFIO members. Mark your calendars! (RJ)


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