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INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT TO SPECIAL OPERATIONS IN - page 17 / 35

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conventional integration as capabilities that had “reached new levels of performance in OIF and needed to be sustained.” 54 He also cited information operations and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance as capabilities that “demonstrated considerable effectiveness but need enhancement,” and pointed out that intelligence on Iraqi strength was good at the start of the war, but diminished as the pace of the war increased.55 “The ability to be able to do effects assessments or battle damage in a rapid fashion lags seriously behind the movement of our forces.”56

According to ADM Cebrowski, director of the Pentagon’s Office of Force Transformation, without SOF’s capabilities and precision guided munitions, damage done by coalition forces in the course of removing Sadam Hussein’s regime could have been much worse. Tactical lessons learned confirmed the importance of SOF skills and intelligence. “The general rule is that small forces with a depth of local knowledge have more power than very large formations that come from [elsewhere].”57

In recent years, the United States has waged wars against regimes, not nations. Consequently, the US military had the mission of defeating the enemy regime without alienating the population, so as to facilitate postwar reconstruction and stability operations. Key to achieving this objective was limiting noncombatant casualties and damage to the target state’s infrastructure. To do this, the US-led coalition had to strike with discrimination and move with great speed. Advanced intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities proved critical to identifying military targets. The widespread use of precision guided munitions enabled discriminate strikes, minimizing the loss of noncombatant lives and sparing much of Iraq’s infrastructure.58

GEN Franks, former Central Command (CENTCOM) commander, stated the Operations Southern and Northern Watch, OEF and OIF “improved our joint C4I networks” and led for the first time to an “integration of forces, rather than [just a] deconfliction of forces”, whereby SOF enabled conventional forces efforts against asymmetric threats. But he added “human intelligence and communications bandwidth are areas that will require continuing focus.”59

According to retired GEN Joseph Hoar, former CENTCOM commander, American technical abilities to monitor, listen to, and see from a distance have leapt in the past decade, but nothing substitutes for having operatives on the ground.60

The Army Center for Lessons Learned (CALL) noted that SOF and conventional force intelligence were successfully integrated and that the liaison should continue. Their report rated spatial products and information as good, but noted that some units operated with two-year old satellite imagery. The preliminary report also recommended AM radio as a backup for the primary communications method, SATCOM, and that dedicated frequencies be allotted to reconnaissance units. In addition, they noted that it is the combination of several intelligence

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