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A debater running naval coop asked about what exactly intel sharing means. I wrote her this response…

Ooh, ask the intelligence major.

Types of intelligence:
SIGINT — Signals intelligence includes communications interceptions (landline, cells, radios, etc), radar, any kind of tracking, electricity and wave interceptions (infrared, emissions, etc). This type of intelligence tells you where the pirates are, what they are talking about, recognizes coordinated conversation right before strike, tracks individuals and equipment… 30,000 people at the NSA have this as their full-time job, plus thousands of other people in other states and countries, plus any AWACS aircraft or intelligence equipment on-site (on a ship or nearby base). This type of intelligence is HUGE.

HUMINT — Human intelligence is basically your traditional “spying”–it turns humans or plants humans who feed information. Most classified data is classified because of the source (who could be one of the only ones to know the info) rather than because of the info itself. This type of data would be “x group is led by Y person who is idealogically bent this way, has z affiliations, and wants to do some piracy in A on B date using C weapons.”

OSINT — Open source intelligence means non-classified sources. Basically, as a debater you are an Open Source analyst because you are researching on the web what is going on. Looking at what the IMB posts is an example of this type of intelligence.

MASINT — Measurement and Systems intelligence does exactly what it sounds like… analyzes the firepower, internal mechanics, molecular structure, etc of weapons and stuff. You probably aren’t going to get a huge amount of help from MASINT for your routine piracy. But they may be helpful for combatting the pirate/terrorist container nuke type of threat.

IMINT — Imagery intelligence uses people on the ground to satellites in space to take sweet pics of things and analyze exactly what is going on (like that scene in the one spy movie where they figure out that only a certain ceiling fan is like that and can only be in one of four places). So satellite pics of terrorist/pirate bases, pics of your evil pirate terrorists, etc

Each country has their own intelligence programs and collects this type of info. Usually intelligence agencies don’t even share this with each other that much b/c of how sensitive the source/info is.

CIA — HUMINT (mostly)
NSA — SIGINT (mostly)
DIA — All types
DNI — Organizes all this and tries to break down barriers, plus OSINT
FBI — HUMINT/SIGINT (primarily domestic, though the foreign branch is growing)
DHS — All somewhat, but mostly relies upon sharing from other agencies plus sub-organization intel units (CBP, ICE, etc)

Then all the military branches have their own intel service, Treasury does, Energy dept. does, and DEA does.

I think that’s your intel organizations.

So to share compartmentalized info (in the “piracy/terrorism” type compartment) means we see more of what is about to happen before it happens (India and U.S. telling each other what radar/AWACS, SIGINT, IMINT sees means more units can better respond and be prepared in time), know whose financial assets to freeze (HUMINT from U.S. helped by info from India = Treasury dept. worldwide action), track the perpetrators after an event (U.S. tracks, India intercepts/arrests), know what weapons they’re using (India reports weird purchases/actions/missing items, so does U.S.), and then use your brain to think of more types of info you need to combat piracy (maybe even research this!) and how that would help U.S./Indian units respond.

Additionally consider that India might share info with Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, while U.S. probably gains info from Pakistan that India has no access to (for obvious reasons)–but Pakistan is a local source of the piracy threat. So there’s another way our intel sharing can help each other to more info.

Finally, just stare at a map for a few minutes. You’ll see some arguments pop out at you by studying geography.
Indian Ocean Map

Speaking of piracy, there are about 5 big headlines on it at Drudge today: http://drudgereport.com/

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