INTELLIGENCE IN COIN OPERATIONS: EXTENDING TARGETING INTO MONITORING IN AFGHANISTAN

The war effort in Afghanistan has focused on kinetic targeting. Since insurgent operations involve few fighters, the intelligence task became to identify and locate perpetrators. Modern network analysis was applied in support of targeting, but intelligence collection and analysis in support of day-to-day relations with Afghan communities have been insufficient to allow intelligence-driven operations to build relationships and gain their support. Intelligence is needed to monitor the social fabric of Afghanistan, relations between communities and ethnic groups, and the actions of influential Afghans. Reintegration efforts to assimilate low to mid-level insurgents into their communities must be monitored, to verify that former insurgents behave but also to prevent dissatisfied rivals from manipulating the process to take revenge. Without a more comprehensive intelligence effort that goes beyond targeting, the challenges of Afghanistan may prove insurmountable.
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