Evolving Military Intelligence roles in support to domestic criminal threats

Domestic military intelligence (MI) operations are defined procedures detailed in regulatory guidance, such as Army Regulation (AR) 381-10, U.S. Army Intelligence Activities. Since 1975, Executive Orders (EOs) have been in effect to provide our intelligence professionals with guidelines on how to perform their missions consistent with the legal rights and protections guaranteed to all U.S. persons by our Constitution. President Ronald W. Reagan issued Executive Order 12333, United States Intelligence Activities, in 1981, which is still in force today. Department of Defense (DOD) Regulation 5240. 1-R, Procedures Governing the Activities of DOD Intelligence Components that Affect United States Persons, implements Executive Order 12333 within the DOD and sets forth procedures governing the activities of DOD intelligence components that affect U.S. persons. It states:

The purpose of these procedures
is to enable DOD intelligence
components to carry out effectively
their authorized functions
while ensuring their activities that
affect U.S. persons are carried
out in a manner that protects the
constitutional rights and privacy
of such persons.

The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 did not cause a change in the EO; however, they have caused the intelligence communities to re-evaluate the limits imposed on domestic intelligence operations that affect their missions. Additionally, the ramifications of these attacks did prompt a clarification of procedures by the Army's Deputy Chief of Staff (DCS) for Intelligence (DCSINT) (now the DCS G2); in particular, whether MI capabilities and resources might, in some way, be brought to bear in support of domestic law-enforcement operations. This article chronicles the initiatives of one unit's effort to combine the talents and resources of the Army's MI community with those of the Army's law-enforcement community.

Doctrinal Issues

The events of 11 September serve to identify a doctrinal "gap" between the roles, missions, and responsibilities of the MI and military law enforcement communities. Despite both communities' increased emphasis on resolving these "disconnects," there remain a number of shortfalls and gray areas within Army-approved doctrine relating to police intelligence operations (PIOs), especially as it relates to the formalized processes for the collection of information and conduct of the Police Information Assessment Process (PIAP), and development of police intelligence products (PIPs). Given that the Army only recently (within the last five years or so) assigned military police (MP) and criminal investigation division (CID) elements the wartime tasks of police and criminal intelligence operations, this weakness in our doctrine is understandable. Doctrine often captures the lessons of the last "war." However, in this area, doctrine is progressive and incorporates lessons learned while the Global War on Terrorism is still on-going.

Policy Note: Although doctrine has not traditionally addressed it, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC) has had responsibility to "collect, analyze, and disseminate to affected commands criminal intelligence pertaining to threat activities...." in all of the last three versions of AR 525-13, Antiterrorism.

Doctrinal Note: The introduction of Police Intelligence Operations was not intended to replace Military Intelligence, nor to subsume traditional MI functions, duties, or responsibilities, nor to become a separate stovepipe organization. A PIO pertains to strategic analysis of operational and tactical police operations provided to the commander and staff for decision-making.

This is not to suggest there is no doctrine relating to MI's role with respect to police and criminal intelligence operations. MI and law enforcement have been collaborating and performing these missions (and doing them well) for many years. Instead, the evolution of modern warfare has forced the Army to recognize the relevance of PIOs (and MI's contribution to these operations) in modern military undertakings and not simply their combat support relevance. This recognition is now evident across the entire operational spectrum, whether in peace-enforcement operations (as in the Balkans), in domestic force protection (FP) operations (in which we are now fully engaged), or on the physical battlefield (as in Afghanistan). There remains the need for a coherent police intelligence doctrine that adds analytic rigor to our familiar processes, generates useful police intelligence products, and communicates in terms supported commanders are accustomed to hearing.

Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin: Bridging the intelligence gap in the heartland: evolving MI roles in support to domestic criminal threats - military intelligence


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