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Old 08-01-2009, 06:28   #1
Richard
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Military intelligence: Essential Readings?

Something for the aspiring 18F/18Z/18A/180A to ponder.

Richard's $.02


Military intelligence: a list of essential readings
Tom Ricks, Foreign Policy, 31 Jul 2009

A young acquaintance of mine due to report to the Army's military intelligence school later this year asked for some reading recommendations to prepare for the classes. Having no idea, I asked some knowledgeable friends. Here are their picks:

Quote:
Army Reserve Maj. Kyle Teamey, a counterinsurgency expert:

If this is a brand new lieutenant with no previous service experience, he/she should focus first on learning the basics of soldiering, tactics, and leadership .... [and] start with the same books a young infantry or armor officer might read:

The Defense of Duffer's Drift, Swinton (and the various knock-offs)
Once an Eagle, Myrer
The Bear Went Over the Mountain and/or The Other Side of the Mountain, Grau and Jalali
Infantry Attacks, Rommel
Quote:
Retired Army Col. John Collins, who enlisted as a private in 1942, served in three wars, and also is author of Military Geography and Military Strategy :

My top candidate is Sherman Kent's classic, a golden oldie titled Strategic Intelligence for American World Policy."
Quote:
Carson Morris, a career intelligence officer:

Kent's is very good; hence naming the school after him. I would add:

Roger George & Jim Bruce's Analyzing Intelligence: Origins, Obstacles, and Innovations
Col. John Hughes-Wilson's MI Blunders and Cover-ups
The Army's Recce and Surveillance Handbook
Abe Shulsky & Gary Schmitt's Silent Warfare: Understanding the World of Intelligence, latest (think is 3rd) edition
Allen Dulles' The Craft of Intelligence
John Keegan's Intelligence in War
Steve O'Hern's Intelligence Wars: Lessons from Baghdad
Quote:
Retired Marine Col. T.X. Hammes, author of The Sling and the Stone:

Stuart Herrington's Silence Was a Weapon. Amazon has it used for under $10. Obviously good for COIN. For conventional tactical, the Marine Corps republished a small manual called ‘Intelligence for Frontline Units.' Not sure where he can get that one."
Quote:
Lani Elliott, teaches at the National Defense Intelligence College:

Sandler, Todd, et. al., 'Terrorist Signalling and the Value of Intelligence' (British Journal of Political Science, October 2007), Brian Dunmire's recent article from Military Intelligence, ‘Army Strategic Intelligence,' and Don Hanle's Terrorism: The Newest Face of War, would be my recommendations. The Dunmire article is very helpful on the career field itself and some key issues strategic intelligence faces, especially in the Army. Insightful and informed. Hanle's book provides the most immediately applicable and functional method of analyzing terrorism that I know about. The book is especially valuable when read with T.X. Hammes' The Sling and The Stone."
Quote:
James Hailer, founder, Hailer Publishing, a specialty house for military classics:

Compton McKenzies' Water on the Brain. a comedy/satire written about rivalry between competing intelligence agencies in England in 1933. It was based on MacKenzies' experience as a MI6 agent during WWI and was his revenge for being prosecuted under the official secrets act for trying to publish his memoir of the war in 1932. He nails the war between bureaucracies better than anyone I have read, and it is one of the few books that I have consistently laughed out loud as I read it. Frankly it should be required reading for any person in a large organization."
Quote:
Lin Todd, a specialist in counterterrorism in the Middle East:

Richards Heuer's ‘Psychology of Intelligence Analysis' is a classic primer on analysis of intel of all sorts. In addition, Front Line Intelligence by COL Robert Robb and LTC Stedman Chandler, which is an S2 AAR of intelligence from WWII, might be useful."
Quote:
Shawn Brimley, one of the brains behind the QDR:

Three additional books that have influenced my thinking on this issue are:

Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy -- by Mark Lowenthal
Anticipating Surprise: Analysis for Strategic Warning - by Cynthia Grabo
Surprise Attack: Lessons for Defense Planning -- by Richard Betts."
What would you suggest adding to this list?

http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts...ntial_readings
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:39   #2
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These are not good "how to" texts if you are looking for the basics of intelligence cycle, analytical thought, etc. They are more niche books, but I found them to be quite educational. Funding Evil, How Terrorism is Financed... & Evil Money, Encounters Along... by Rachel Ehrenfeld because everything requires financing. I also like Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs, from Communism to al-Qaeda by Robert Wallace, H. Keith Melton, and Henry R. Schlesinger for a historical view of technology.

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Old 08-27-2009, 02:10   #3
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Here you go...

The Al Qaeda Reader. MUST READ. If nothing else, read the forward and the introduction. The analysis by Raymond Ibraham and Victor Davis Hansen is a crash course in Islamic Law, the foundation of the war of ideas in which we find ourselves. What you'll find are the words of Bin Laden and Zawahiri - what they say to US and what they say to Muslims - which is different - and why. I was afraid it would be wasting my time reading pages of "Why I hate America" screedo by bin laden. Instead, it ultimately provides a much better understanding of the threat we face.
If al qaeda were crushed tomorrow, it would still provide a road map to understanding the islamic militant threat.
READ THIS BOOK and KNOW YOUR ENEMY.
http://www.amazon.com/Al-Qaeda-Reade.../dp/038551655X

Counter Insurgency: Theory and Practice by David Galula. IT's THE BOOK that GEN(RET) Keane told Rumsfeld to read when he explained the concept of the surge in Iraq to the SECDEF. A quick read, it takes complicated counter-insurgency concepts and makes them easy to understand.
Make sure you read LTC(RET) John Nagl's introduction as well.
http://www.amazon.com/Counterinsurge...1360262&sr=1-2

Defeating Jihad by Serge Trifkovic. The title says it all.
http://www.amazon.com/Defeating-Jiha...1360439&sr=1-1

They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It by Brigitte Gabriel
http://www.amazon.com/They-Must-Be-S...1360509&sr=1-2

Stealth Jihad by Robert Spencer.
http://www.amazon.com/Stealth-Jihad-...1360509&sr=1-1

This is a good start...will add more later...

Last edited by Warrior-Mentor; 08-27-2009 at 02:16.
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Old 09-17-2009, 20:03   #4
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Stuart Herrington's books are good for COIN and Counterintelligence tips. He's been in the business a while, though these days I believe he is thwarting corporate enemies. For CI types I recommend Stu's book "Traitors Among Us", David Wise's book, "Cassidy's Run" and Orrin Defforest's "Slow Burn".

Handy website: http://cicentre.com/
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:06   #5
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Terror In The Name Of God.
Jessica Stern.

Foriegn Affairs Magazine.

Inside Sudan: Political Islam, Conflict and Catastrophe.
Donald Petterson.

The Looming Tower.
Lawrence Wright.

Milestones.
Sayyid Qutb
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Old 03-20-2010, 19:12   #6
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Have any of you read the book "See no Evil" by Robert Baer? Its written by an apparently disaffected DO officer who started working for the CIA in the the mid 70's. It's not a book on MI, but besides "The Killer elite" I haven't been able to find anything specifically on MI in the local bookstore. I'll be getting some of the books recommended here though. Anyway, I was wondering if any of you gentlemen have read "See no Evil" and if you have, what do you think of it? Some of what the author writes is tainted with his own beef against the CIA which gets a little annoying, he's more than entitled to his own opinion (just so long as it doesn't violate OPSEC) but I'm not interested in that, I'm interested in the techniques he says he used throughout his service ( targeting/handling agents, surveillance/countersurveillance, etc.). My question for you gentlemen is are the way things are done in the MI community the same way things are done in the CIA community (If you can't answer due to OPSEC I understand)?


Warrior-Mentor: Great book by the way! "Get Selected" was a great read, and a great motivational piece. I've been following your advice and I just got some ripple-sole jungle boots, saddle soaped them, and mink oiled them. I'm slowly breaking them in and when I get over this flu I'll be doing my first ruck in them. Thank you Sir!
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Old 05-25-2010, 20:01   #7
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The Defense of Duffers Drift

Just finished reading it. Thought it was a great book with many lessons throughout it, but it left me with the question of how to plan and prepare for every possible contingency. Even more; is it even possible to do so? In the book the officer had the luxury of trial and error, luckily he was only dreaming and was able to modify his plans to avoid in his next confrontation the errors of the previous. In reality from the viewpoint of somebody who doesn't yet have any formal officership experience or education (I'm starting ROTC in the fall) this is an unacceptably costly way to go about planning a mission. I'm glad I have this book and I'm gonna keep these questions in mind throughout my time in the ROTC.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:51   #8
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"Know Thyself"

Those are some great suggestions and must reads for anyone gathering intel on the ground. I never had a chance to go to any advance schools for intel while I was in but what helped me in my gathering experience is knowing the personality of a person. Most people love to talk and as I would listen I would identify that persons personality type and work within that to "collect" the information I needed. Resources that helped me identify this were;

Dr Robert Rohm - Positive Personality Profiles, http://www.personalityinsights.com/

Florence Littauer - Personality Plus

Dale Carnegie - How to Win Friends and Influence People

Gary Chapman - The Five Love Languages


Not only did I do a better job "collecting" information I had a better understanding of my personal relationships with family and friends.

my 0.002 cents!
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Old 06-27-2010, 20:24   #9
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Analyzing Intelligence: Origins, Obstacles, and Innovations
by Roger Z. George (Paperback) about $20.00

Written by a career analyst with CIA, DIA, DoD. Book touches on a critical topic in the field of intelligence analysis for national level options for 18Fs.



Intelligence Analysis: A Target-Centric Approach
by Robert M. Clark (Paperback) at least $45.00

BEST BOOK for any 18F!! If you new or old, buy this book. If your thinking of doing INTEL after your military career, buy this book. This book thorough explanation of the intelligence analyst and your job. Breaks down each discipline with each chapter.
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Old 06-28-2010, 00:09   #10
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Just basics if MI basic Officer Course.

Know what an INSUM is. Learn how an S2 works on the staff. Learn the required reports plus Intel sources. Learn the Intel rating process and what is F6. Get the INTEL NCO's to teach you. Hell, that old triple 6 course was above any officer's course.
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:26   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinT View Post
Just finished reading it. Thought it was a great book with many lessons throughout it, but it left me with the question of how to plan and prepare for every possible contingency. Even more; is it even possible to do so? In the book the officer had the luxury of trial and error, luckily he was only dreaming and was able to modify his plans to avoid in his next confrontation the errors of the previous. In reality from the viewpoint of somebody who doesn't yet have any formal officership experience or education (I'm starting ROTC in the fall) this is an unacceptably costly way to go about planning a mission. I'm glad I have this book and I'm gonna keep these questions in mind throughout my time in the ROTC.
Read it again. (and again, and again, and again, and again) They were a series of dreams. Dreams are just unconscious unconstrained thinking. Dufffer's Drift is literary stealth. To understand it you have to really read it many times. I recommend every years before school starts, at Christmas break, and at the start of summer. 12 more reads between now and commissioning. (Think "wax on, wax off") Sort of why ROTC is four years long, sort of why MSIV roll their eyes at MSI, sort of why PSGs roll their eyes at 2LT. good luck.

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Old 12-12-2010, 16:01   #12
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Well sir, just finished my first semester of ROTC. I'm starting to see how things written in that book fit in with the subject of leadership. Now that it's Xmas break I'll give it another read. One thing worth noting is that having read "The Mission, the Men and Me" and "Once an Eagle" gave me some interesting viewpoints throughout the semester. As an ms1 I'm not yet in an official leadership roll, but I do try to positively influence those that are, and I can see how using the main character of "once an eagle", and the author of "the mission, the men and me" as rollmodels throughout my time in ROTC and possibly while working as an officer could benefit me and those I may influence. Im in a pretty unique situation in that I'm a paramedic with 5 years of field experience in a busy area playing the roll of the guy in charge at an emergency; directing my partner, a fire crew and cops when they feel up to it so sitting back and being micromanaged by 19 yearolds on an FTX took some getting used to but I do see the value in letting them experience what it's like to be responsible for a group. I think I'm droning on here but basically the books recommend here have helped me out so far and anyone reading this who's in a leadership position or anyone aspiring to be should add these books to their own training curriculum.
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:36   #13
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MI Lists

A few lists. For intell I usually try to grab a few from the MI prof dev reading list that gets circulated. I really can't seem to find the time lately! ...one of these days.

https://www.cia.gov/library/intellig...ure/index.html

http://www.stratcom.mil/reading_list/
Attached Files
File Type: pdf MI Reading Lists.pdf (327.5 KB, 100 views)
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:32   #14
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There are many books, reports, papers and resources. No one book will help you with it all, and all of the books available won't help you at the point you most need it.

Commit time to stop by and learn the local intel guys and who they know. Engage in a dialogue of what you expect of them, and what they should expect of you. Division of labor counts in the current operational environments and realistic expectations are a must.

Learn capabilities, shortcomings and develop an understanding of each other and their disciplines before SHTF. Common language and skills will prevail. I use the same tools as the 18F, and the same methodology. They report from the bottom up, I refine from the top down.

Accept the fact that rank does not equate to experience or level of understanding for an AO. Case in point, I'm the senior in my Bn for intel. I look at Operational level and Strategic Intel and only dip into the tactical where it is needed and to provide guidance and mentorship. My guys are in the weeds and tied to their AOB and ODAs.

I can say that a few here that know me and my guys, will tell you, we will never turn you away, nor will we tell you no.

Lastly, punch those in the face that tell you no. Pat those on the back that say "I don't know, but I'll see what I can do". Trust but verify, and above all else, educate one another on what it is that "YOU" do and how to make it better.

My humble contribution.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:44   #15
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Originally Posted by jbour13 View Post
Lastly, punch those in the face that tell you no. Pat those on the back that say "I don't know, but I'll see what I can do". Trust but verify, and above all else, educate one another on what it is that "YOU" do and how to make it better.
This should be in the Quote of the Day section. Very well said.
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