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Characteristics of a Good HUMINT Collector Part 6

Updated on September 10, 2010
Dissemination is putting out your product to those who need it.
Dissemination is putting out your product to those who need it.


Dissemination is where the whole process comes to fruition, no matter what happened before this stage, getting the answers to the people who need them is the most important part. Even if you get all the intel in the world and fail to pass it on to your customer, you may as well have not bothered collecting at all. Dissemination is basically spreading the word. It requires that the collectors be able to have a working knowledge in the back of their heads and be prepared to discuss and explain pertinent issues at a moment’s notice. This is because you may be called on to speak during a briefing or meeting in which you weren’t planning to participate. At other times a chance encounter with primary and secondary consumers may yield questions about previous reporting or predictive analysis.

Finishing a product and declaring it “done” isn’t enough, there needs to be dissemination up and down the chain and it needs to be made available to anyone that may have an interest in the matter. On top of that, they need to be able to contact you directly if they require more information on a particular matter.

The collector will need to know who will require relevant information so that he can determine how far the information needs to be disseminated, not only among consumers, but also laterally among other collectors and even other platforms. SIGINT can take leads and monitor frequencies while IMINT can have UAVs monitor roads for and IED that are projected to be emplaced. The most important part of dissemination is the answer to the question “so what?” a collector needs to be able to say I’m telling you this because…there has been an increased threat in your area of responsibility. Or: the enemy has changed tactics and our methods will no longer be effective. Maybe even: capturing the logistics cell leader alive rather than killing him with artillery will allow us to not only stop IEDs but also cut the supply lines, preventing new weapons and ammunition from coming into the area while uncovering existing weapons caches and identifying other cell leaders operating in our area.

So for effective dissemination a collector will know the organizational structure and be able to identify relevant information and interested parties and he will be able to explain the significance of the information being disseminated. It is implied that with this ability the collector has strong verbal, written and public speaking skills.



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