Pentagon report calls for improved early response to irregular warfare

A Defense Science Board task forces stated in a report made public last month that the military lacks a coherent definition for the range of non-traditional warfare that includes counterinsurgency and counterterrorism, along with intelligence operations and special operations.

The report on intelligence related to counterinsurgency operation or COIN called for broadening intelligence beyond the technical spying from drones to include more human spying.

In summary, influencing foreign governments and populations is a complex and inherently political activity, the report said. The military role in irregular warfare campaigns in general, and COIN in particular requires the ability to plan, conduct, and sustain integrated operations of interagency and multinational civilian and military organizations to support a foreign government or population threatened by irregular adversaries. In other words, it requires the whole-of-government approach.

The report said U.S. forces are superbly trained in the traditional aspects of violent combat, but warned that these irregular warfare and COIN campaigns may fail if waged by military means alone.

The report called for developing more ideological means to counter insurgencies early in their formation or before, what the report called left of bang on the line of warfare ranging from politics to insurgency.

Given that it is USG policy to deter and counter insurgencies, then the defense intelligence community should place more emphasis on left of bang before the need for a large commitment of U.S. combat troops while an insurgency is still in an incipient stage of development, and that the whole-of-government approach should be given the capabilities necessary to succeed.

Intelligence operations need to be crafted to support that approach.


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