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Characteristics of a Good HUMINT Collector Part 5: Analysis and Production

Updated on November 14, 2010
Analysis requires tying together information from multiple sources to establish trends and make a projection of what's next.
Analysis requires tying together information from multiple sources to establish trends and make a projection of what's next.

Analysis and Production

Once the report is complete and submitted to higher echelons, the analysts will take a look at it and piece it together with other reports from different collection platforms such as SIGINT, IMINT, etc. it’s not necessarily a HUMINTer’s job, but he can do it anyway and should be able to do so. The ability to anticipate what analysts will need will be greatly beneficial in that you’ll be a step ahead and facilitate timeliness. Using all the HUMINT resources available, the source operator should be able to get a pretty good idea of what’s going on. To access these other resources will require that you know where you fit into the “big picture” and have a good working relationship with intelligence professionals in other agencies and platforms in spite of work center politics and rivalries.

In today’s contemporary operating environment, the lack of technology used by the enemy limits the value of the more tech-dependent platforms. For example, if there is no radio being used, there is no conversation to intercept handicapping SIGINT capabilities. And if there is no mass movement, it becomes more difficult to notice a few people moving around a crowd so IMINT can be easily circumvented.

For production, there will be a target package put together on high value targets. As a HUMINTer, you should basically have half of one put together at all times and ready to hand over to All Source or analysts where other –INTs will be tasked to supplement and validate your work.

Among the biggest traits one will need for sound analysis is objectivity. Mirror imaging is a major reason for intelligence failure as looking at someone else’s actions and trying to put them into your scope saying, “this is what I would do.” You must bear in mind that what you would do is based on your motives which are affected by your upbringing and your training. What your enemy hopes to accomplish may not be as obvious as it appears because there are a number of reasons that someone could take the same course of action. Their motives will determine what they hope to accomplish; their upbringing and moral limitations will determine what they’re willing to do to accomplish it while their training will determine how they go about it and their effectiveness in execution.

So for a Human Intelligence Collector to be effective at the analysis and production stage, a source operator must remain neutral and objective. He will need to have logical and analytical skills allowing them to piece together a puzzle and develop an in depth understanding of the area of operations as well as make projections of what can be expected in the near future. A HUMINTer should be familiar with PMESII and Carver analyses as well as predictive analytical methods such as the Lockwood Analytical Method for Prediction (Projection) and Delphi methods. Something to look into is a man named Sherman Kent, better known as the father of intelligence analysis. A working knowledge of statistics wouldn’t hurt either.

 Characteristics of a Good HUMINT Collector Part 6:  Dissemination


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