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Characteristics of a Good HUMINT Collector Part 2

Updated on August 28, 2010

Where it all begins

This business planning model can be applied to the Planning and Direction stage of HUMINT Operations
This business planning model can be applied to the Planning and Direction stage of HUMINT Operations

Planning & Direction

For HUMINT, planning and direction involves looking at Priority Intelligence Requirements and deciding how to go about answering them. Using the basic interrogatives, the first question in planning is, “who.” Determining who would have access to the required information, their potential age, ethnic background, place of employment and education level among other things are used to build a source profile of the type of person that you’ll be looking for during spotting and assessing. Often times, what you’ll find is that the archetypical “best-case-scenario” source doesn’t exist, (not that he’d necessarily cooperate if he did) but a number of people who have various aspects of this source can be more easily found. If we were looking for the offensive playbook of a college football team we need to first determine who would have access to it. Well, the obvious answer is the coach who wrote it and again, he wouldn’t be likely to talk to you, though he has all the information. A good second place candidate could be quarterback, but there’s a good chance that he’s savvy enough to notice someone being a little too interested. Of course, you could recruit his girlfriend or a groupie and have her get the information for you. Perhaps the second string QB may not be so vigilant about keeping his playbook in a secure location. What’s more likely to happen is the information will be collected piece by piece from linemen, linebackers and receivers and then assembled later. Planning will include deciding where to find the best source, who to send in and where does the team hang out?

That being said, for the planning and direction phase, a good HUMINTer will be able to learn and memorize their PIRs and recognize gaps in requirements as well as information of value that may become available during operations. The HUMINTer will be able to develop a source profile, spot and assess for a source with direct or indirect access to the desired information by mapping the human terrain in the source’s social network (think Facebook in the real world) and determine the best plan of action to satisfy their PIRs.

Follow me for updates, next time I'll cover what may be the most important part of HUMINT, collections.

Characteristics of an effective HUMINT Collector Part 3: Collection

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