Add your Insight
01 February 2021
01 November 2021
Military intelligence is of great importance, but while there is some literature on historical cases, only limited academic research has been done into the post-1990 era. In an effort to understand this lack of attention, it seems that most scholars have emphasized intelligence at a strategic level and studied, for example, the role of intelligence in national decision councils. Meanwhile governments spend heavily on intelligence in support of military operations to meet the information needs of troops at the tactical and operational levels. This happens in many different mission areas, abroad as well as at home and in various contexts including counter-terrorism, homeland security and peace and stability operations.
First, military organizations have characteristics that distinguish them from other organizations. These include a culture that is based on hierarchy and rules, discipline, and a tendency towards assessment-aversion, the personnel available - both civil and military – and their need to cooperate with other countries’ militaries as well as other actors. A second reason is the changing character of war. Nowadays, armed forces frequently operate in environments that have been defined as “new wars” or hybrid/grey zone conflicts. As a result, armed forces are confronted with violence of different combinations of state as well as non-state actors, threats that blur the distinction between peace and war, large-scale displacement of people, fragile or failing economic, political, and social institutions, random and systematic violence against non-combatants and widespread lawlessness. These characteristics pose many challenges to military intelligence organizations and their personnel. Third, and related to the previous point is the blurring of roles and domains. The highly interconnected external environment leads to the blurring of domestic and foreign intelligence, of civil and military intelligence as well as the blurring between the hierarchical levels of warfare. This makes coordination and alignment with other actors crucial. It also leads to questions on social and organizational conditions, such as the nature and status of hierarchy, routines and the power to make sense or decide. Fourth, there are many innovations that take place at high speed and influence the way military organizations are doing intelligence. These include the absorption of emerging technologies such as biometrics, the introduction of high-tech platforms such as the joint strike fighter or unmanned aerial vehicles and the advance in data analytics and machine learning to support comprehensive practices such as activity-based intelligence or target-centric network modelling. Finally, academic research can provide new theoretical as well as empirical perspectives on military intelligence. This may lead to new insights as well as the identification of lessons learned or opportunities for the future. This call for submissions aims to bring together contributions that critically reflect on 21st century military intelligence. In different contexts, these can study how military intelligence functions, how it is embedded in the military organization, campaign or operation, what challenges it meets, how it performs and what future developments lie ahead. Within this scope, possible papers can focus on:
- Intelligence in land, sea and air operations;
- Intelligence as part of homeland security;
- Intelligence in NATO, EU or UN missions;
- Special forces intelligence;
- Constabulary forces intelligence;
- Enemy-centric targeting;
- Population-centric intelligence;
- Producer-consumer relations;
- The role of technology;
- Military culture;
- Intelligence sharing;
- Intelligence collection and analysis;
- Intelligence-led operations;
- Unmanned systems;
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