Marine Ground Intelligence Reform: How to Redesign Ground Intelligence for the Threats of the 21st Century   [open pdf - 9MB]

Present-day Marine ground intelligence is configured for attrition warfighting and the predictable conventional adversaries of the past. Designed during WWII, it has undergone little change; what has changed is the threat environment. Modern-day threats are less centralized and regimented. They think on their own and they adapt quickly. This thesis analyzes the current configuration of Marine ground intelligence and compares it with two major threats of the next century: asymmetric military threats and non-conventional threats. To counter these smart adversaries, Marine ground intelligence will need to be configured differently. Sophisticated sensors and rote intelligence work are no longer enough to identify and track these powerful threats. The performance of Marine intelligence during the Gulf War demonstrates that having failed against the Iraqi army, intelligence is very likely to fail again. Indeed, Marine intelligence faces a serious dilemma: it can either reform or face ever-decreasing relevance and effectiveness. Having presented the rationale for urgent reform, this work recommends an intelligence enterprise centered around the leveraging of human intellect. It suggests the network as the design change that best leverages intellect and optimally configures ground intelligence for operating successfully against the threats of the next century.

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