About Intelligence Collection

By Jeremy Tamsett Intelligence collection entails the science and art of gathering information from different sources and means known as the intelligence collection disciplines. Six of these disciplines with a short description of each are found below:

Human Intelligence (HUMINT) – involves people on the ground, typically overseas, gathering information from human sources; the National Clandestine Service (NCS) is responsible for coordination and de-confliction of clandestine HUMINT operations across the Intelligence Community Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) – involves intercepted signals from communications and electronic emissions; the National Security Agency (NSA) is responsible for SIGINT collection and reporting Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) – information gathered from non-classified, nonsecret sources including news media, the internet and commercial databases to name a few; the Open Source Center (OSC) in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) are the major collectors of open-source intelligence Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT) – involves a highly technical, multidisciplinary approach to intelligence collection to provide detailed characteristics of targets including radar signatures of aircraft and telemetry of missiles; the Directorate for MASINT and Technical Collection (DT) at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is responsible for MASINT Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) – involves the collection of information related to the earth from imagery, imagery intelligence, and geospatial information; the National Geospatial Agency (NGA) is responsible for geospatial intelligence collection management Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) – involves representation of objects reproduced by optically or by electronic means from a variety of sources including radar, infrared sources and electro-optics; the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is responsible for all imagery intelligence collection activities

The process of managing and organizing one or more of the six intelligence disciplines above is called Intelligence Collection Management. To become an adept intelligence collection manager,

you need to develop a deep understanding of intelligence studies and analytic tradecraft in addition to intelligence operations. Intelligence Collection Management Collection Management is the art and science of managing and organizing the collection or employment of tactical, analytic or operational tradecraft objectives. From understanding the broad disciplines of clandestine or covert operation activity to preparing candidates for the effective management of intelligence professionals, intelligence collection management helps ensure that the people and processes involved in these national security efforts are effective and germane. While other government agencies (ex: CIA) deal primarily with intelligence analysis, a valuable collection manager focuses on developing and using a broad understanding of intelligence studies, analytic tradecraft and intelligence operations. Intelligence Collection and the Threat of Terrorism The threat posed by non-state actors and terrorist groups have challenged world intelligence agencies to organize and respond effectively. Precise methods of collection management and analytic tradecraft are continually reviewed by all intelligence agencies to counter terrorism and related illicit networks. Any successful intelligence operation requires, among many other critical elements, the support of intelligence analysts trained in operational concepts and planning. To expand your understanding of intelligence operations and demonstrate your capabilities as an intelligence student or intelligence professional, you need to deepen your knowledge of intelligence collection and its role within the intelligence process. About Henley-PutnamHenley-Putnam University is a leading educational institution in the field of Strategic Security. If you have questions about this article, contact the author at: jtamsett@henley-putnam.edu. For more information on Henley-Putnam University, call 888-852-8746 or visit us online at http://www.henley-putnam.edu.

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