Military Intelligence

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Military intelligence includes information on other countries' military forces, plans, and operations gained through a variety of collection methods. RAND analyzes this intelligence to help civilian policymakers and military leaders understand political and military trends around the world, the sources of potential regional conflict, and emerging threats to the global security environment, and provides recommendations on how best to employ information-gathering techniques and technologies.

  • Syrian residents watch as U.S. troops patrol near Turkish border in Hasakah, Syria, November 4, 2018

    Commentary

    Intelligence Losses Pose Large Risks as U.S. Troops Head Home

    Jan 24, 2019

    Departing theaters such as Syria and Afghanistan carries a host of associated risks, challenges and potential benefits. Leaders would be well served to factor into the debate the importance of U.S. intelligence collection capabilities, its connection to U.S. presence overseas and its role in anticipating current and future threats.

  • An information network graph

    Research Brief

    Improving Intelligence Support for Operations in the Information Environment

    Dec 17, 2020

    Challenges to effective intelligence support for operations in the information environment (OIE) can be addressed by improving processes, prioritizing support for OIE, training and educating personnel, and optimally allocating personnel.

Explore Military Intelligence

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Al-Qaeda after bin Laden

    Wary of communicating with each other and with al Qaeda's field commands, al Qaeda central could become more isolated, more dependent on its affiliates, allied groups, and individual acolytes, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    May 12, 2011

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Book Review: 'Fallout' by Catherine Collins and Douglas Frantz

    Anyone concerned about nuclear proliferation or interested in the world of espionage will want to read Catherine Collins and Douglas Frantz's provocative new book, "Fallout: The True Story of the CIA's Secret War on Nuclear Trafficking," which tells a fascinating story whose characters come straight out of a spy novel, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    Jan 9, 2011

  • Report

    Report

    Understanding Commanders' Information Needs for Influence Operations

    In order to improve the effectiveness of combined arms planning and assessment operations, ground commanders need information pertaining to cultural and other "soft" factors and practical ways to integrate such information into influence operations activities.

    Oct 28, 2009

  • Report

    Report

    Controlling the Cost of C4I Upgrades on Naval Ships

    Looking across a set of completed C4I upgrades to U.S. Navy ships, the authors uncovered mixed evidence of cost improvement, a high level of variability in costs, and a trend toward overestimating the installation-labor costs of certain upgrades.

    Sep 14, 2009

  • Report

    Report

    Improving Development and Utilization of U.S. Air Force Intelligence Officers

    Describes an approach to develop systematic and effective career strategies for U.S. Air Force officers.

    Jul 14, 2009

  • Commercial Book

    Commercial Book

    Intelligence for an Age of Terror: New Book Examines Implications of Terrorism for U.S. Intelligence

    Because terrorism is not confined to national boundaries, it puts pressure on the U.S. both at home and abroad, forcing intelligence and law enforcement—the CIA and the FBI—to work together in new ways. This requires new means of sharing not just information but also analysis across the federal system.

    May 19, 2009

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Wanted Dead or Alive? When We Don't Get Our Man

    On his first day in office, President Barack Obama issued a dramatic series of executive orders intended to symbolize a change of direction in America's "war" on terrorism. Despite the headlines these orders generated, a more significant policy shift may have been the one signaled the week before his inauguration, writes Benjamin Runkle.

    Mar 3, 2009

  • Report

    Report

    Considering the Creation of a Domestic Intelligence Agency in the United States: Lessons from the Experiences of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom

    With terrorism still prominent on the U.S. agenda, whether the country’s prevention efforts match the threat the United States faces continues to be central in policy debate. One element of this debate is questioning whether the United States should create a dedicated domestic intelligence agency. Case studies of five other democracies provide lessons and common themes that may help policymakers decide.

    Feb 5, 2009

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    The Secret Briefing Obama Needs on Day One

    A select few Americans will ever see the president's daily brief — a digest of the intelligence community's most closely guarded secrets. But trust me, Barack Obama is going to need much more useful information than he is getting now, writes Gregory F. Treverton.

    Jan 22, 2009

  • Report

    Report

    The Knowledge Matrix Approach to Intelligence Fusion

    As the U.S. military transforms to an information-based force, it will need to collect, combine, and utilize intelligence relying on the process known as ''fusion.'' This report describes one approach to capturing fusion in a constructive simulation.

    Sep 4, 2007

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Iran's Covert War in Iraq

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Iran's Covert War in Iraq, in the Washington Times.

    Mar 16, 2007

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Media Leaks Hinder Intelligence Gathering

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Media Leaks Hinder Intelligence Gathering, in the Washington Times.

    Mar 11, 2007

  • east room, podium, speeches

    Announcement

    Obituary: Roberta Wohlstetter, Pioneering RAND Policy Analyst and Historian of Military Intelligence

    Roberta Wohlstetter, a pioneering RAND Corporation policy analyst and one of America's most important historians of military intelligence, died in New York City on Jan. 6. She was 94.

    Jan 9, 2007

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Lessons for Intelligence in the Campaign Against al Qaeda

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Lessons for Intelligence in the Campaign Against al Qaeda, in Vanguard magazine.

    Mar 2, 2006

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Role of Intelligence in Deciding the Battle of Britain

    The successful employment of German air power in the Battle of Britain was greatly hindered by abysmal intelligence. The Luftwaffe never developed an accurate picture of enemy strengths and weaknesses, and this contributed to preventing it from bringing force to bear at the decisive point of battle. Although certain aspects of British intelligence were equally flawed, it ultimately proved itself to be an indispensable adjunct to the operational success of Fighter Command. This article focuses on the contribution made to Luftwaffe and RAF operations during the Battle of Britain by their respective intelligence gathering institutions. It is an investigation into the extent to which activities in the realm of intelligence can explain the eventual British victory.

    Jan 1, 2006

  • Report

    Report

    Next Steps in Reshaping Intelligence

    The creation of the Director of National Intelligence position reshaped how U.S. intelligence is organized. The next steps are transforming how it does business by improving analysis; shaping intelligence by mission or issue rather than collection source or agency; and more.

    Oct 24, 2005

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    True Intelligence Reform Is Cultural, Not Just Organizational Chart Shift

    Published commentary by RAND staff.

    Jan 13, 2005

  • Report

    Report

    Using Biometrics to Achieve Identity Dominance in the Global War on Terrorism

    Shows how biometric technology can be used to achieve identity dominance in the global war on terrorism and to meet the requirements of force protection, actionable intelligence, and law enforcement.

    Jan 1, 2005

  • Report

    Report

    Stretching the Network: Using Transformed Forces in Demanding Contingencies Other Than War

    Networking can help solve almost all common operational challenges in nonpermissive contingencies short of war.

    Dec 20, 2004

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Why Allies Send Spooks to America

    Published commentary by RAND staff.

    Oct 25, 2004

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  • MI