Document: USA HUMINT 1.1
This is tentative (new draft) pending additional feed-back from a handful of still-engaged colleagues. It assumes CIA being dead in the water, reliant on foreign liaison and legal traveler debriefings for 90% of its “clandestine” Human Intelligence (HUMINT), and its OSC being totally out of touch with 80% or more of the relevant Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), for example, materials pertinent to Chinese submarines and their weapons systems. It assumes that DIA and the Services are still playing patty-cakes with enlisted people playing case officer, and shallow historical, cultural, or linguistic capabilities for the circuit riders. It also assumes that misplaced obession with security in Stone Age terms has blocked all new initiatives with respect to multinational collaboration and limited duty HUMINT assets (principal agents) that never come inside.
It integrates the following comments from Ralph Peters:
It was HUMINT operatives, running local agents, that have enabled us to target hundreds of terrorist leaders around the world. Of course, HUMINT alone isn’t responsible, and everything from phone intercepts to host-state information play roles, as you know…but our HUMINT, while it could be better, will always remain imperfect–because humans are imperfect. The real problems we face in HUMINT are the limited number of dedicated, expert career agents with language skills and long stretches on the ground in target countries. Then there are the political restrictions. Also, as I can tell you from the experience of friends, military-run HUMINT (primarily spec ops) has made enormous strides. While this is primarily tactical/operational HUMINT, it’s pretty impressive. The other key thing, though, to which I alluded above, has been the pretty successful integration of HUMINT with other disciplines to give us some genuine all-source intelligence. I’m impressed with the targeting we’ve been able to do globally–although less impressed with our analytical ability to exploit the raw data and deliver successful, useful strategic forecasts.