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Chapter Four

Relevant Information and Intelligence (RII)


"The main imperative guiding future operations, from full war to domestic support operations, will be to gain information and continued accurate and timely shared perceptions of the battlespace."(1)

-- TRADOC PAM 525-5, Force XXI Operations

Relevant information is defined as - "Information drawn from the military information environment that significantly impacts, contributes to, or is related to the execution of the operational mission at hand."(2) Intelligence is a subset of relevant information that focuses primarily upon foreign environments and identified existing and potential adversaries. In peace operations, the adversary is not merely the FWF political and military leadership and elements, but conditions and events that threaten the desired end state. In support of friendly operations, intelligence helps produce a common, current, and relevant picture of the battlespace that reduces uncertainty and shortens the commander's decisionmaking process.(3) This situational awareness, built from RII that can be shared throughout the force is referred to as the Relevant Common Picture (RCP). Access to the RCP contributes directly to effective C2 during all stages of the decision and execution cycle at all levels of command.(4)

RII is collected in many ways: electronic, reconnaissance and reporting from the field, imagery, human intelligence, and from open sources. All soldiers are collectors of RII during peace operations. Soldiers must monitor everything that happens within range of observation, providing timely and accurate reports on every situation or incident that develops. Factual and impartial reporting constitutes the cornerstone of all successful peace operations. The use of maps, field sketches, diagrams, videotapes, pictures, and references to specific agreement or instructions contributes to the accuracy and utility of the RII provided.(5) Intelligence in peace operations may be referred to as information gathering, as the belligerent parties may perceive collecting intelligence as a hostile act. Just as PSYOP is known by other names in peace operations, the less innocuous term information gathering is less likely to damage the trust which the parties should have in the peace operations force that sustains legitimacy.(6)

"Peace operations often require augmentation of the intelligence staff."

--FM 100-23

Peace operations often require augmentation from higher headquarters. The size of the AO, the number of supported units, the nature of the threat, and the scope of the analytical effort required in a PKO or PEO environment are the reasons for augmentation. TFE was no exception. Thorough mission analysis and pre-deployment training identified the needs associated with the complex operating environment in Bosnia. This included increased HUMINT collection, the need for new, non-MTOE Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) capabilities, a near real-time Image Intelligence (IMINT) capability and increased analytical expertise.

The Military Intelligence Task Force (TF Lightning) was composed of units from several organizations.(7) The corps MI brigade provided the bulk of the augmentation, providing additional analytical personnel for the G2 Analysis and Control Element (ACE), CI/HUMINT teams, aerial exploitation and Long-Range Surveillance (LRS) teams. Other assets attached or in direct support of TFE from higher echelons included: Temporary Change-of Station-(TCS) personnel for key shortages, a National Intelligence Support Team (NIST), a G2X, Deployable Intelligence Support Element (DISE) teams, Allied Military Intelligence Battalion (AMIB) assets, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), and liaison officers from theater agencies. TFE could leverage other theater and national assets through the NATO/Combined Air Operations Center collection management process. TFE also received sanctuary analytical and exploitation support from component, theater and national intelligence centers.

Several tailoring approaches were non-doctrinal, but successful, given the operating environment. Deployment of WARLORD-equipped theater mini-DISEs to multi-national maneuver units (Russian, Turk, NordPol Bdes) was key to connectivity and shared situational awareness.(8) The NIST, which is normally deployed at joint task force (JTF) level, was fully integrated into the division ACE. Since the bulk of the corps MI brigade deployed to TFE, the divisional MI battalion was attached to the MI brigade.

Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB)

While the IPB process remains the same, the focus of intelligence and derived intelligence products are different in a MOOTW environment. The major differences include the impact of the political situation, to include such items as legal mandates or terms of reference, and the enormous demand for demographic analysis. New information categories will emerge for the commander as he directs troops and accomplishes missions in the MOOTW environment.(9) The nature of peace operations means that the IPB and intelligence products will focus on non-military information and civilian trends, as much as operational information.(10) In peace operations, the collection plans and IPB must also focus on non-military actors in the battlespace, such as NGOs, IOs, PVOs, police and para-military organizations, social, political, and religious organizations, and even commercial interests and enterprises providing important services. While IPB for a combat operation might have a unit or a location as a named area of interest (NAI), a peace operation NAI might be something more abstract like frequent meetings of local faction leaders, or observable events such as large movement of buses or transportation assets, or political rallies.

TFE-conducted IPB focused on FWF compliance with both the military and civil aspects of implementing the DPA. The focus of intelligence collection varied according to the situation. Intelligence relevant to the implementation of the military provisions focused on such issues as cantonment areas, weapons storage sites (WSS), displaced persons and refugees (DPRE), freedom of movement, and the right to inspect other sites. In supporting the elections, a civil operation for which the OSCE was responsible, TFE focused on monitoring cross-border refugee migration and voting corruption.(11)

Intelligence operations supporting a peace operation must be built with the premise that, historically, peace operations often prove to be long-term commitments.(12) As such, the RII obtained by various RISTA systems, HUMINT, open-source intelligence (OSINT), and ground reconnaissance and reporting were input into automated databases to support analysis and the development of predictive intelligence products over time.(13) TFE developed and maintained databases devoted to automobile license plates, key personalities, environmental issues, mass grave, imagery target deck, NAIs, and RFIs, without which, predictive analysis, mission management, and technical control would have been nearly impossible.(14)

Battlefield Visualization

Battlefield visualization is the process whereby the commander develops a clear understanding of his current state with relation to the enemy and environment, envisions a desired end state, and then visualizes the sequence of activities that will move his force from its current state to the end state.(15) From an IO perspective, the commander must first identify, then collect and process that critical information needed for battlefield visualization. In identifying the information required to support battlefield visualization, the commander must first establish his information requirements,(16) then continuously adapt these requirements based on METT-T. In collecting information, the commander must maximize the use of information acquisition means, dynamically tasking surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence collection assets. Such a sequence of actions forms the friendly commander's information actions and has been referred to as shaping the "info-space."(17)

For the current state, he needs to know what is happening among the people who live in the operational area, key actors who can influence events in the AO, as well as friendly and adversary military force information. For the desired end state, he needs to collect information about both military and non-military actions that may occur once military objectives are secured. For visualizing the sequence of events leading up to the desired end state, he needs information to capitalize on friendly IO capabilities and take advantage of adversary IO vulnerabilities.(18)

Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT)

TFE refined its open-source collection to produce daily reports for commanders. One product called The Night Owl, provided RII on events in the area of operations, area of responsibility, and area of interest. The Night Owl, translated information from open-source media, primarily from the nations of the former Yugoslavia, providing insight into the concerns, politics, and psyche of the various FWFs. The MND-N Coalition Press Information Center (CPIC) produced the Daily Media Summary/Analysis which provided a quick summary and analysis of media stories from domestic and international sources. The Daily Civil Military Operations Center (CMOC) Report provided daily updates on CMOC projects as well as reports from the field on attitudes from the populace. SHAPE and SFOR News provided daily media summaries and analysis.

The PA component of TFE has captured RII on more than one occasion. In one instance during early operations in OJE, an international television reporter received information alleging the location of a mass grave site. He requested assistance from the JIB (precursor to the CPIC) and the information was passed to the G-2. In another case, the TFE Main CP had received word that there would be a protest at the front gate of Eagle Main (TFE's Main Base Camp near Tuzla). The JIB was able to call six local news media outlets (using translators) and the local ministry of internal affairs to confirm that no such protest was planned.(19)

Human Intelligence (HUMINT)

HUMINT is the most important discipline in many MOOTW activities for collecting information and understanding the AO. Whether collected by U.S., coalition, or host-nation personnel, HUMINT contributes the most to understanding the population, its culture, needs, and intentions, as well as the operational environment. HUMINT in MOOTW is often derived from non-MI military and civilian personnel in the AO. Workers from the IOs, PVOs, and NGOs operating in the battlespace are sources of information during MOOTW. In MOOTW, every individual is a potential source of HUMINT.(20)

The nature of peace operations is one of heavy involvement with the populace, governments, police, and military elements of the FWF, which makes intelligence collection HUMINT-intensive.(21) Human intelligence will often remain the only source of reliable information about the situation, even with today's highly technical battlespace, especially in MOOTW situations.(22) Operational concerns and internal security during MOOTW emphasize use of HUMINT.(23)

Capturing CCIR

Some information requirements may be filled by organizations which play a part in the Military Information Environment (MIE) in a theater of operations, but which do not communicate with the military communications architecture. The Military Information Environment (MIE) includes several actors operating outside the military information systems, such as UN offices, IOs, NGOs, PVOs and police. Occasionally, "social and cultural elements, including religious movements and their leaders" or "adversaries and other non-DOD organizations including many actors, agencies, and influencers outside the traditional view of military conflict, intrude into the MIE.Their activities may cause an unanticipated or unintentional effect on military operations.(24)

These "other actors" have become the focus of military operations during OJG. Accordingly, the CCIR in these operations focused on these groups which did not follow conventional military lines or actions. Task Force Eagle had to expand its abilities to acquire the RII it needed to plan and execute operations that would maintain situational dominance over these new actors. In peace operations, the most timely, accurate, or relevant information, may come from other than the traditional collectors of information through sources outside the unit or military channels.(25) Indeed, the information needs of the commander may be answered by the interface with local or international police, the news media, UN offices, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Private Volunteer Organizations (PVOs), or private religious or social groups.(26)

The commander may need information that is shared in the communications infrastructure of these organizations, but is not routinely shared with the military component because of a lack of communications links, or deliberate efforts to conceal their actions and intentions. The commander may selectively task his Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Targeting and Acquisition assets to collect on, and may direct his staff to effect liaison with, the communications networks of these organizations to acquire the necessary RII and CCIR.

CCIR may be obtained by non-traditional intelligence collectors and from significant actors who intrude into the MIE. In TFE, the PMO, POLAD, interpreters, and SJA were each on various occasions the best means to collect the CCIR for the Division Commander. In each case, established liaison was exploited to extract the necessary CCIR in support of military operations.

In one case, a Federal Agency, the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) was conducting routine information-gathering efforts through a Bosnia-wide survey to support federal agencies involved in the diplomatic and economic aspects of the mission in Bosnia.(27) The Division PYSOP Support Element (DPSE) co-opted this effort to obtain necessary information to obtain a sharper focus on the target audience by gaining a better understanding of its perceptions on various issues. The USIA was glad to oblige and collected information in support of military operations in a less-intrusive manner than would have been the case if Tactical PSYOP Teams (TPTs) had been used.

Battlespace Awareness

The Department of Defense initiated support for Task Force Eagle under the C4I for the Warrior Bosnia Command and Control Augmentation (BC2A) program, which brought together a consortium of DoD components to meld communications and functional applications into an integrated whole with better connectivity, while taking advantage of the latest commercial technology.(28)

Task Force Eagle's situational awareness (SA) systems included its helicopter aviation assets, supporting Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), JSTARS, RIVET JOINT, Airborne Reconnaissance Low (ARL), the USN Orion P-3C aircraft,(29) and other USAF and USN airborne-reconnaissance systems.(30) These assets were focused on COMEAGLE's CCIR (Commander's Critical Information Requirements) and on the potential and actual hot spots identified by the G-2. These systems were supplemented with HUMINT collectors, both active and passive. The aerial assets could be used during operations to provide battlefield visualization in support of current operations. The RISTA systems were carefully managed to ensure optimal use and were employed according to collection plans developed by the ACE on the previous day. Aviation provided a reconnaissance capability that could be rapidly redirected to focus on developing hot spots and provide reports and analysis. The shared RCP for the task force was communicated over the radio net.

Video cameras were an important tool in acquiring RII and documenting the facts when dealing with the FWFs and non-combatants. The saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" has meaning in IO directed at influencing FWF leaders and non-combatants. U.S. Army IO doctrine lists video-taping as a TTP for documenting actions and developing situations and states that "...successful peacekeeping depends on impartial, factual reporting accompanied by as much pertinent data as possible: for example, photographs...[and] using video cameras and cassette recorders."(31) In Operations JOINT ENDEAVOR and JOINT GUARD, even hand-held video "camcorders" at the squad and platoon levels were effective tools in acquiring RII and conducting C2-Protect IO.

Imagery supported situation dominance over the FWFs during initial operations to separate the warring factions. Knowledge of the exact location and disposition of adversary heavy equipment via RISTA systems allowed friendly force commanders to pressure FWF military leaders into compliance, by demonstrating that friendly forces could see and target heavy weapons and vehicles in the battlespace. In these cases, the friendly commander could show the imagery to the FWF leadership - proof the FWF leaders could not refute - and direct them to move specific pieces of equipment, or risk their destruction.(32) "Through IO, the Implementation Force (IFOR) always knew where the rival factions were and what they were doing. This enabled IFOR to control the situation on its own terms."(33)

Capturing the CCIR by Exploiting Non-military INFOSYS

Some information requirements may be filled by international organizations that are part of the Military Information Environment (MIE) in a theater of operations, but which are not connected with the military communications architecture. The commander must be ready to exploit the communications processes and events between these organizations to meet his information requirements.

As previously explained, the most timely, accurate, or relevant information, particularly in MOOTW, may come from sources outside the unit or military channels. The MIE includes several actors operating outside the military information systems, such as UN offices, IOs, NGOs and PVOs, religious and social groups, local and international police, and the media. The commander may need information that is shared in the communications infrastructure of these organizations, but is not routinely shared with the military component because of a lack of communications links. The commander may selectively direct liaison between his staff and the communications networks of these organizations.

On 11 July 1997, the Association of the Women of Sebrenica attempted to execute a bus ride and vigil to the Dulici Dam, the suspected mass grave site of the victims of the genocidal slaughter of the citizens of Sebrenica captured and subsequently killed by Bosnian Serb Army in the Summer of 1995. As the AWS members and others began to board busses, an angry Bosnian Serb crowd gathered at the Dulici Dam to ambush the Bosniacs. Reports from the IPTF officers on the ground verified that the crowd was armed with pitchforks, rocks, and some small arms as well. At the final rehearsal on the night prior to the operation, the IPTF Regional Chief, a Russian Civilian Police Officer, briefed the compromise plan that had been reached, and the various contingencies that IPTF were prepared to handle. Additionally, he provided a sketch of the Dulici Dam area and explained the security concerns from the point of view of the IPTF. The IPTF representative was able to coordinate his plan with that of SFOR, and to fill information gaps SFOR had on the situation.

During the execution of the operation, the IPTF updated TFE on the situation developing at the dam site, and radioed through their chain of command and then to the MND-N CP through the Liaison Officer (LO). The Division TAC knew relatively quickly that an IPTF vehicle had been stoned and had an accurate description of the crowd growing at the dam site. This improved the division's situational awareness.

FM 100-6, Information Operations, lists "exchanges with local police" as a source of relevant information and intelligence.(34) The meeting arranged by the Tuzla Chief of Police with SFOR and the leadership of the AWS are real-world examples of this principle. Additionally, the coordination with the IPTF into the rehearsal and execution of the operation provided written and electronically transmitted Relevant Information and Intelligence (RII) that demonstrated the principle that RII "drawn from the MIE supports the creation of situational awareness and contributes directly to effective C2 during all stages of the decision and execution cycle."(35) The Division TAC was able to maintain an accurate Relevant Common Picture made more accurate by local police and IPTF input.

Including the International Police Task Force in the planning and wargaming phase, and then maintaining communications in the execution phase helped TFE to maintain situational awareness during the Association of the Women of Sebrenica march on 11 July 1997. The Association of the Women of Sebrenica is an example of what FM 100-6, Information Operations, describes as "Social and cultural elements, including religious movements and their leaders."(36)

"The most timely, accurate, or relevant information, particularly in operations other than war (OOTW), may come from sources outside the unit or military channels."(37) Indeed, "the information needs of the commander [may be answered by].interface with local or international police.."(38)

Battlespace Awareness - JCO as the Commander's "Directed Telescope"

The technique of the "directed telescope" employs the selective and careful use of trusted subordinates to serve as the commander's eyes and ears, to observe and report directly, rapidly circumventing command channels. Throughout history, commanders have used the "directed telescope" to obtain critical information requirements and to focus sharply on any part of the battlespace and rapidly acquire the information without filtering through layers of command hierarchy. The "directed telescope" is also a means for the commander to receive information on the "intangibles" such as friendly force morale, and attitudes, intentions, and perceptions of the local populace.(39) The "directed telescope" concept is usually accomplished by "using special operations units, reconnaissance teams or officers, and special communications networks."(40)

One of the most reliable sources of RII came from the Joint Commission Observer (JCO) teams composed of U.S. Army Special Forces and U.S. Navy SEALs. The JCO mission evolved from the experiences of the British Army supporting the UNPROFOR peacekeeping operation. When the UN force began operations in BiH, the infrastructure was so disorganized that there was no way for key political and military leaders and communicators of any factions to discuss problems with their adversaries. The initial mission of the JCO was to maintain communications between the UN peacekeeping force and the FWFs, and to be the link for the various faction leaders to communicate. British forces supporting UNPROFOR developed composite units (JCOs) that were capable of operating amidst the local population, with the mission to gain the ground truth and maintain liaison with FWFs.

When the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC), later to be the Implementation Force (IFOR), assumed the mission, the JCOs were retained. The JCOs specifically communicated issues between the NATO commander and the political and military leaders of the FWFs. In that role, the JCOs were able to provide excellent RII on the intentions and actions of FWF leadership. Living among the local populace in "safe houses," the JCOs had a unique vantage point for collecting RII. The JCOs spoke the language, or used translators, and participated in cultural, social, and other local events, meeting daily with varied elements of the Bosnian society: FWF organizations, church authorities, local police, prominent citizens, refugees.(41) Through the Office of High Representative (OHR) and various faction liaisons, JCO operations monitored the pulse of the local populace. The JCOs observed potential flash points, such as refugee resettlement issues, political issues, and border disputes, which enabled commanders to be proactive rather than reactive.

The mission of the JCO in OJE/OJG/OJF was to assist FWF Leaders liaison with designated MND Commands in support of SFOR objectives and to be prepared to respond to a crisis by serving as a communications conduit between responsible elements to defuse or minimize the crisis. JCOs served as the division commanders' "directed telescope" regarding FWF activities, capabilities, attitudes and intentions. Being the "directed telescope" for the commander means being at the exact point on the battlefield which best answers the commander's information requirements. Their collocation among the local populace meant they were often the most credible source of information regarding the FWF.(42) As such, JCO represent a part of the friendly force INFOSYS in that the JCO personnel provide commanders with accurate, relevant, timely, and usable information that contributes to development of the relevant common picture and better situational awareness.(43) INFOSYS includes not only electronic and automated systems and equipment, but also the personnel who collect information that contributes to the knowledge of the battlespace.

The JCO METL includes:

  • Serve as impartial honest brokers
  • Provide ground truth
  • Assist FWF liaison
  • Respond to crisis
  • Coordinate with NGOs and Civilian Authorities
  • Flatten the communications hierarchy

Battlespace Awareness -Capturing and Distributing RII with Video

Video imagery has proven to be a powerful tool in Operations JOINT ENDEAVOR and JOINT GUARD. TFE was successful in countering propaganda and compelling compliance with the provisions of the DPA by demonstrating the means to capture non-compliance "on tape." Several systems were used to capture the facts, or information, that supported reporting, and situational awareness on the actions of the EAFs, para-military and police organizations, social groups, and non-combatants.

One of the simplest means of this technology was employed by soldiers on the ground during operations using hand-held video cameras. The ability of such simple systems to compel compliance and provide archival truth was demonstrated convincingly during Operation JOINT FORGE in the winter of 1998.

During a Weapons Storage Site (WSS) inspection in the American sector of SFOR in Operation JOINT FORGE, a company commander used a hand-held video camera to document potential non-compliance with the military terms of the General Framework on the Agreement for Peace (GFAP). Following the sensational arrest of Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic, a high-profile person indicted for war crimes (PIFWC) on December 2, 1998, the Bosnian Serb Army responded with non-cooperation with U.S. forces attempting to carry out Joint Military Commission (JMC) duties including inspecting WSSs. General Momir Talic of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) announced the suspension of "almost all aspects of cooperation between the RS Army and SFOR."(44)

To document anticipated non-compliance, the Company Commander brought along a hand-held video camera to record every step of the inspection. The Company Commander would either re-assert his rights to inspect the WSS, or he would have documented proof of non-compliance that could result in the imposition of a ban on all training or movement of the Entity Armed Forces (EAF).

Arriving at the WSS, the Americans found the EAF uncooperative, but the video camera, prominently forward with the Company Commander forced them to be accountable for their actions. The EAF complied with the Company Commanders demands, knowing that if they did not comply, they would be held accountable by SFOR. The EAF at the WSS repeatedly protested the need for the video camera, but their protests only served as a testimonial to its effectiveness in forcing compliance with the military provisions of the peace agreement.

Doctrine recognizes that the use of video cameras contributes to "factual and impartial reporting (which) constitutes the cornerstone of all successful PKOs.(45) Task Force Eagle distributed hand-held video cameras throughout American units in the Division to enable soldiers to document acts of non-compliance on the part of EAF and Entity police forces. During the Summer of 1997, when the task was dismantling illegal police check-points hindering freedom of movement, the hand-held cameras were identified as an important tool in documenting both non-compliance as well as documenting American actions to head off possible propaganda and disinformation from those opposed to SFOR actions.(46)

TTP: Hand-held video cameras give U.S. Forces a powerful tool with which to document non-compliance on the part of the military forces of the former warring factions (FWFs). This capability in and of itself is a way to compel compliance from FWFs military elements during tactical operations. Additionally, the video record serves as archived factual truth of the interaction between American forces and the FWF, and is available to refute adversary propaganda attacking the conduct of the peace operations force. Having recorded video imagery of the facts is an example of a C2-Protect measure where the video itself may serve as the tool to counter "the effects of adversary propaganda or misinformation through PSYOP and PA."(47)



Chapter Three, Operations
Chapter Four, Part 2