Intelligence Integration in Palantir: An Open-Source View of the Afghan Conflict

In this video, Palantir explores a number of ways that Palantir can help commanders and analysts to achieve the information advantage required to win the Afghan counterinsurgency battle:
  • Enabling information flow from the bottom up, ensuring that the critical knowledge gained on the ground reaches all who need to know
  • Combining data on insurgent groups and local populations into one common operating picture
  • Enriching traditional intelligence with the insights of local leaders, UN officials, NGOs, Provincial Reconstruction Teams, and Civil Affairs officers
  • Providing a framework for collaboration in remote and austere environments

Download the WMV (54 MB)Note: All data contained in this video are unclassified and open-source.

What Afghanistan Can Learn from Colombia by Robert Haddick

Source:Posted by Robert Haddick on January 11, 2010 10:55 AM on

The United States will not succeed in Afghanistan if Afghanistan’s own security forces don’t eventually secure the country. Few analysts dispute this point. But do the U.S. and Afghan governments have the right plan for building up Afghanistan’s security forces? In an essay I wrote for The American, a journal published by the American Enterprise Institute, I assert that the U.S. and Afghan governments can learn a lot by studying how over the past decade Colombia reformed its army and greatly improved its security situation.

An excerpt:
Ten years ago, Colombia faced a security crisis in many ways worse than that which Afghanistan currently faces. But over the past decade, Colombia has sharply reduced its murder and kidnapping rates, crushed the array of insurgent groups fighting against the government, demobilized the paramilitary groups that arose during the power vacuum of the 1990s, and significantly restored the rule of law and the presence of the government throughout the country.

With the assistance of a small team of U.S. advisers, Colombia rebuilt its army. In contrast to [General Stanley] McChrystal’s plan for Afghanistan, Colombia focused on quality, not quantity. Colombia’s army and other security forces have achieved impressive success against an insurgency in many ways similar to Afghanistan.

I discuss the similarities and differences between the security challenges in Afghanistan and Colombia. I then argue that Colombia’s relatively small but elite professional army, its emphasis on helicopter mobility, and its local home-guard program provide a powerful model for reforming Afghanistan’s security forces.

Click here to read the essay.

How Crime Pays for the Taliban by Aryn Baker (TIME article)
Taliban: An Organizational Analysis by Major Shahid Afsar, Major Chris Samples, Major Thomas Wood

Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan

Working Paper from the Center for New American Security

Authors: Major General Michael T. Flynn, Captain Matt Pottinger, Paul D. Batchelor.

This report critically examines the relevance of the U.S. intelligence community to the counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan. The authors - Major General Michael T. Flynn, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence in Afghanistan; his advisor Captain Matt Pottinger; and Paul Batchelor, Senior Advisor for Civilian/Military Integrations at ISAF - argue that because the United States has focused the overwhelming majority of collection efforts and analytical brainpower on insurgent groups, the intelligence apparatus still finds itself unable to answer fundamental questions about the environment in which U.S. and allied forces operate in and the people they are trying to protect and persuade.

Quoting General Stanley McChrystal, the authors write that "Our senior leaders - the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, Congress, the President of the United States - are not getting the right information to make decisions with ... The media is driving the issues. We need to build a process from the sensor all the way to the political decision makers."

This report is the blueprint for that process. It describes the problem, details the changes, and illuminates examples of units that are "getting it right." It is aimed at commanders as well as intelligence professionals in Afghanistan, the United States and Europe.

The Evolution of Structured Analytic Techniques by Richards J. Heuer, Jr.

Presentation to the National Academy of Science, National Research Council Committee on Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security, Washington, DC, December 8, 2009.

Primary Source: Text and mp3:
Available on IAFIE Website as PDF and DOC.

Mr. Heuer has 58 years of experience working for the US Government in both operations and analysis for the Central Intelligence Agency from 1951 to his retirement in 1979, as an independent contractor for CIA from 1979 to 1995, and a consultant for the Department of Defense Personnel Security Research Center from 1995 to the present. He is the co-author of Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence scheduled for publication February 2010, author of the 1999 book Psychology of Intelligence Analysis, and editor of the 1978 book Quantitative Approaches to Political Intelligence: The CIA Experience.