Most would agree that the DoD JIC performed adequately during OPERATION DESERT SHIELD/STORM, but there were several shortcomings inherent to the organization. These shortcomings provided rich and enduring lessons for future JIC operations across the Department of Defense. The DoD JIC, like so many other ad hoc organizations, suffered from the fact that it was forced to mesh together intelligence personnel with varying backgrounds and experience levels into a coherent team. Moreover, this was done after the crisis began, denying the JIC personnel the opportunity to train as a team. Instead, the JIC was forced to establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as the crisis unfolded. It was similar to picking nine players from several major league baseball teams and throwing them straight into game seven of the World Series. The ad hoc nature of the DoD JIC was compounded by the fact that many organizations did not send their “best and brightest” to support the JIC. Many of the DoD JIC personnel did not have experience with even basic skills such as order of battle maintenance, message handling procedures, word processing, the use of intelligence automated information systems, or area expertise pertaining to Southwest Asia. As a result, the JIC was easily overwhelmed with its “full plate” complement of missions consisting of: All-source analysis in support of the National Command Authority, Theater, Coalition, and other intelligence consumers; target nomination; and graphics development.
Born out of the aforementioned shortcomings, the Gulf War served to pave the way for an era where JICs began to formalize organizationsxxxix as well as intelligence training before the outbreak of a crisis in order to avoid a repeat of the lessons learned during OPERATION DESERT SHIELD/STORM.
OPERATIONAL AND TACTICAL INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS
When one examines intelligence analysis at operational and tactical echelons, perhaps the greatest Gulf War challenge confronting intelligence analysts was the development of common situational awareness, sometimes referred to as a common operating picture. Gulf War intelligence analysts relied exclusively on a number of slow and inaccurate analog tools, such as voice radio communications and plastic overlays, to disseminate and share intelligencexl in the dawn of an era of warfare which demanded digital solutions to disseminate and share data on the battlefield in near real time. It was precisely this type of Gulf War challenge that precipitated the requirement for automated battlefield command tools in support of tactical intelligence analysis.xli