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Intelligence Terminology Dictionary Part Two: F-Z

foreign military intelligence collection activities: Entails the overt debriefing, by trained human intelligence personnel, of all US persons employed by the Department of Defense who have access to information of potential national security value. Also called FORMICA.

generic indicator directory (GID): any source document that contains a listing of a general set of indicators from which to choose in developing a specific indicator list for a given warning problem or concern.

geospatial intelligence: The exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess, and visually depict physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth. Geospatial intelligence consists of imagery, imagery intelligence, and geospatial information. Also called GEOINT.

Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture (GIEWS):
located under the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the system provides annual reports with a global perspective on the production, stocks and trade of cereals and other basic food commodities. Publications contain analyses of trends and prospects of hunger worldwide and statistical information on developments in the world cereal markets, export prices and ocean freight rates. GIEWS also produces “special reports and alerts” that describe the food supply and agricultural situation in countries or sub-regions experiencing particular food supply difficulties. They also alert the international community on measures to be taken. [See also: Humanitarian Early Warning System.]

guarded frequencies: A list of time-oriented, enemy frequencies that are currently being exploited for combat information and intelligence or jammed after the commander has weighed the potential operational gain against the loss of the technical information. See also electronic warfare.

holy grail: a specific, mostly notional, indication that clearly delineates the exact time, location or intention of a future course of action (such as an attack); a singular piece of data that fully validates all previous existing intelligence analysis or assessments. For example, although the U.S. had intercepted Japanese message traffic prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, not one of the messages was the holy grail that stated the day, time and avenues of approach of the attack.

hugger-mugger: term of unknown origin meaning secret or stealthy. It also means confused or disorderly, in reference to intelligence operations; also refers to the manipulation of information that produces false signals which are believed to be true indications. Hugger-mugger occurred among watch officers in the 1970’s when the CIA generated stories detrimental to Chilean President Salvador Allende, creating so much activity that U.S. watch centers began picking up false information that the CIA itself had planted, and reported it back to Washington. “Thick and unwholesome in their thoughts and whispers//For good Polonius’ death, and we have done but greenly// In hugger-mugger to inter him: poor Ophelia// Divided from herself and her fair judgment// Without the which we are pictures, or mere beasts”47 Finally, in another example, “Most reporting from Kosovo still tilts toward the Albanians and against the Serbs even though, for many months, the real story has been about NATO’s failure to prevent the ethnic cleansing of Serbs. Why should this be? One reason is that many of the reporters in Kosovo are old Balkan hands that first reported Serbian atrocities in Bosnia and then Serbian excesses in Kosovo. They are hugger-mugger with Albanian intellectuals such as the journalist Veton Surroi. Their mindset is such that they find it very difficult to see the Serbs as victims. In a sense they are reporting the last war rather than what is going on now.”

Humanitarian Early Warning System (HEWS): developed in 1994 in the United Nations’ Department of Humanitarian Affairs. HEWS was the first database program designed primarily to collect quantitative information on a number of countries highly susceptible to complex emergencies. However, due to a shortage of personnel to update and maintain the database this system became a major disappointment and it was unable to provide sufficient early warning.49 [See also: Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture.]

immediate message: a precedence category reserved for messages relating to situations that gravely affect the security of national or allied forces or people and requires immediate delivery to the addressees.

indication: a specific act or decision an enemy has taken as part of an aggressive action. An expected action or decision that if, or when it occurs, signifies the unfolding of a threatening scenario. [See also: signposts; indicator; intention.]

indications analysis: a deductive process for evaluating the significance of observed intelligence against an established list of indicators to signify an increase in the hostile policy/attitudes of an aggressor. These factors are logical or plausible moves or acts, based on Western reasoning or observed during past conflicts or crises, or based on the results of intelligence assessments of enemy strategic offensive military doctrine and strategic standard operating procedures.

indications and warning (I&W): a generic term usually associated with intelligence activities needed to detect and report time-sensitive knowledge on foreign events that could threaten a country’s allies, its citizens abroad, or the country’s military, economic, or political interests.

indications and warning intelligence: information that alerts or warns of an impending course of action by a foreign power that is detrimental to the interests of a country. This information is the product of recognition and correlation of threat indications and the synthesis of a threat posture.

indications and warning systems: a network of intelligence production facilities with analytical resources capable of contributing to or developing indications and warning intelligence, and disseminating this product within their own command and to other facilities, organizations, or commands.

indications center: an intelligence situation room distinguished by around-the-clock operations, comprehensive communications, concentration on all aspects of possible enemy attack or other situations which might require action by the military, and adherence to procedures established for operation within an indications and warning system. Sometimes it may be the focal point for performing the operational intelligence functions for a command. [See also: alert center; warning center; watch center.]

indications watch officer: an intelligence watch officer or duty officer who serves in an indications center; trained to identify indications of hostilities and cope with other intelligence matters requiring immediate action.

indicator: a generalized, theoretical statement of a course of action or decision that is expected to be taken in preparation for an aggressive act and that can be used to guide intelligence collection resources. Commonly, indicators are developed from enemy doctrine, or from previous military operations or exercises, and an analyst’s ability to apply logic and common sense. “The progress that the Government of Lebanon is making in counternarcotics through the steps being taken toward acceding to the 1988 Convention on Narcotics and the drafting of laws addressing money laundering schemes, constitute grounds for cautious optimism. The willingness [italics added] of the Government of Lebanon to pursue the prosecution of a member of Parliament is another indicator of its increased seriousness in its counternarcotics efforts.”

Indicator, critical: [See also: critical indicator.]

indicator, hard: any generalized, theoretical action, usually focusing on capabilities that can be linked without a doubt to intentions of an aggressor. For example, the forward deployment of tanks, armored personal carriers or the sudden expansion of medical facilities or beds in a hospital would be hard indicators that a target country is planning, without a doubt, aggressive action.

indicator, soft: a generalized, theoretical action that focuses on capabilities and may be linked to possible intentions of an aggressor. For example, an increase in the number of military personnel for a scheduled training exercise would be a soft indicator that the country may be planning to go to war. [See also: hard indicator; indicator.]

indicator element: a term used mostly in communications and signals intelligence analysis to distinguish message traffic; not considered a strategic indications and warning term.

indicator list: a list of the factors or acts (military, political, economic, diplomatic, and internal actions) a foreign power might be expected to take if it intended to initiate hostilities; these factors are logical/plausible moves or acts based on ostensive evidence, that have been observed during past conflicts and crises, and that result from intelligence assessments of enemy strategic offensive military doctrine and strategic-level standing operating procedures.

indicator organization: a counterintelligence term for a model group or organization that represents several other groups or organizations seeking the same political or ideological goals. In instances where counterintelligence and security assets are limited, the prototype would be targeted for extensive surveillance, and the results would be considered applicable to the other organizations in the set.

infrastructure attack (IA): an attack designed to significantly compromise the function of a whole infrastructure rather than individual components. “Attacks against infrastructure are relatively new and are of interest in the study of information warfare. In considering infrastructure vulnerabilities, threats to both individual systems and the infrastructure itself must be evaluated when considering criminal activity. Both share similar enablers as a pre-requisite to compromise, however, infrastructure attacks require a more concerted and coordinated effort and provide better data points for indicator and warning analysis.”

inferences: conclusions derived from facts or from other inferences; that is, from forecasts, predictions, extrapolations and estimates.

information: unevaluated material, at all levels of reliability and from any source, which may contain intelligence information.

information warfare (IW): actions taken to achieve information superiority by affecting adversary information, information-based processes, and information systems, while defending one’s own information, information-based processes, and information systems.

instability indicator (I2): a specific issue or factor that may represent a potential threat to mission force operations and protection. [See also: indicator.]

intelligence: the product resulting from the collection, processing, integration, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation of available information concerning foreign countries or areas.

intelligence assessment: a phenomenon that encompasses most analytical studies dealing with subjects of policy significance; thorough in its treatment of subject matter but, unlike estimative intelligence, an assessment may not attempt to project future developments and their implications; usually coordinated within the producing organization but may not be coordinated with other intelligence agencies. [See also: estimative intelligence.]

intelligence collection plan: a plan for gathering information from all available sources to meet an intelligence requirement. Specifically, a logical plan for transforming specific requests for information (possible indicators) into orders to collection sources within a required time limit. [See also: indicator; scenario; ]

intelligence day (I-DAY): the day on which the Intelligence Community determines that, within a potential crisis situation, a development occurs which may signal a heightened threat, although the scope and direction of the threat may be ambiguous. The Intelligence Community responds by focusing collection and other resources to monitor and report on the situation as it evolves.

intelligence estimate: an appraisal of elements of intelligence relating to a specific situation or condition in order to determine a target’s courses of action, as well as their probable order of adoption; a prediction of future events, developments or courses of action and their implications and consequences. [See also: national intelligence estimate; .]

intelligence failure: this generic term is often used to lay blame on the Intelligence Community when an unexpected event or action occurs that may have an impact on U.S. foreign policy. However, not all intelligence failures are warning failures. An intelligence failure encompasses all or parts of the intelligence process and system. “Despite our best intentions, the system is sufficiently dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed. Though the form is less important than the fact, the variations are endless. Failure may be of the traditional variety: we fail to predict the fall of a friendly government; we do not provide sufficient warning of a surprise attack against one of our allies or interests; we are completely surprised by a state-sponsored terrorist attack; or we fail to detect an unexpected country acquiring a weapon of mass destruction. Or it may take a more nontraditional form: we overstate numerous threats leading to tens of billions of dollars of unnecessary expenditures; database errors lead to a politically unacceptable number of casualties in a peace-enforcement operation; or an operation does not go well because the IC is not able to provide the incredibly specific data necessary to support a new generation of weapons. In the end, we may not suffer a Pearl Harbor, but simply succumb to a series of mistakes…”55 “While these surprises have often been cited as intelligence failures [italics added] — and admittedly there were some serious inadequacies in collection and assessment — gross misperceptions and errors in judgment by policymakers and military command were the real causes of failure. There is no better example of the principle that warning is useless unless it results in action to forestall disaster.”56 [See also: warning failure]

intelligence readiness: creation of optimal organizational and procedural conditions to manage security threats, achieved through information management for timely, expert analysis, tailored synthesis, and provision of support to consumers.

key drivers: variables within a threat scenario that seemingly have a dynamic influence on the environment or the success or failure of the outcome of a particular scenario.

key indicator (also known as critical indicator): those actions or decisions that will immediately and directly affect a threat scenario, constitute a small proportion of the overall indicators, and which can easily be monitored. key questions: basic, “so-what” kernels of the particular estimative situation that should be fashioned at the very outset of any estimate. Framing such key questions is usually a much more difficult task than the novice might assume, and in practice many [estimates] have been rushed into with no clear picture of what the really essential elements of the situation were in which the policymaker would be most interested. [See also: key judgments; principal conclusions.]

key judgments: extraction of the overall situation and likely outcome based on an extensive review or research of a given situation; encapsulation of a lengthy estimate, found in the first few pages of an estimate. [See key questions; principle conclusions.]

linchpin assumptions: premises that hold the argument together and warrant the validity of the conclusion.
local indicator list: a supplementary collection guide, developed for select activities and specific commands, which can be activated whenever there exists a need to acquire I&Wrelated information during critical periods; this list specifies local activities that can significantly impact a warning problem.

M-type deception: achieving a reduction of ambiguity, as perceived by the intended target, by building attractiveness of a wrong alternative; may be more difficult than A-type deception because it requires time and carefully orchestrated resources to build a series of misleading false signals. A deception program may start out as an M-type ploy to confirm the adversary’s expectations about what is going to happen based on what he expects on the basis of logic and experience. However, since most adversaries are prudent enough to consider other possibilities (of which one may be the real solution), the deceiver also may employ an A-type program to increase the number of alternatives. This, if effective, causes the deception target to spread his remaining resources over a number of possibilities.61 [See A-type deception; active deception; denial and deception; passive deception.]

manipulation: a deceptive practice of quoting factual information out of context or reporting only part of a given situation.

military intelligence: in the context of warning, this term means information that is analyzed, evaluated, and interpreted and that describes and defines a nation’s military capabilities for both offensive and defensive postures. Information used to estimate the probable use of military strategy, tactics, and doctrine; provides decisionmakers, planners, and commanders with data needed to choose courses of action required to counter foreign military threats, and to conduct operations if necessary.

mirror-imaging: a belief that leaders of a nation will behave in the same manner as leaders of another nation, particularly in a tense and confusing situation. Example: mirrorimaging occurred prior to the bombing of the U.S. Naval Base in Pearl Harbor in 1941 when U.S. personnel reasoned that the United States had far greater military, economic, and industrial strength than Japan; thus the Japanese would recognize that they could not win a war against this country. In a sense, U.S. analysts perceived a Japanese attack as irrational based on American perceptions and assumptions.

missile gap: American perception during the 1960 presidential campaign, fueled by candidate John F. Kennedy, that a gap existed or would soon exist between the number of U.S. intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and the operational number of Soviet ICBMs. Reportedly, a U.S. Air Force estimate had 600-800 Soviet missiles, CIA had an estimate of 450 missiles, and the U.S. Navy had an estimate of 200 missiles. Proponents of the “missile gap” thesis were able to put public pressure to increase defense spending and a greater procurement of newer ICBMs. Over time the differences in estimates of Soviet ICBMs force levels were attributed to differing methodologies, changes in information collection and varying strategic perceptions by the agencies involved.

mission creep: any military mission lacking clear goals or objectives that in the continuance of that mission slowly evolves into additional duties and responsibilities. Not to be confused with the term “creeping normalcy.” “National-level orders may contain internal inconsistencies that make a mission especially difficult or even impossible. By analyzing their directives, commanders can (though the literature suggests they rarely do) largely predict what the courses of their operations will be if guidance is not modified. Flawed specifications lead, if not to failure, to changes in missions while they are in progress. The United States has a term for such adjustment to intelligence, policy, planning, and operational shortcomings: mission creep.” [See creeping normalcy.]

National Communications System: The telecommunications system that results from the technical and operational integration of the separate telecommunications systems of the several executive branch departments and agencies having a significant telecommunications capability. Also called NCS.

National Incident Management System: A national crisis response system that provides a consistent, nationwide approach for Federal, state, local, and tribal governments; the private sector; and nongovernmental organizations to work effectively and efficiently together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity. Also called NIMS.

national intelligence estimate (NIE): an assessment of a situation in the foreign environment which is relevant to the formulation of foreign economic and national security policy, and which projects probable future courses of action and developments; may be structured to illuminate differences of view. A strategic estimate of capabilities, vulnerabilities, and probable courses of action of foreign nations.

National Intelligence Officer for Warning (NIO/W): principal point of contact between the Director of Central Intelligence and intelligence consumers below the cabinet level; primary source of national-level substantive guidance to Intelligence Community planners, collectors, and resource managers. One of 13 National Intelligence Officers of the National Intelligence Council.

National Military Joint Intelligence Center (NMJIC) Alert Center: located at the Pentagon, this 24-hour watch center monitors incoming current intelligence of national security value.
national power: a broad assessment of the means available to a nation in pursuit of its objectives. [See also: elements of national power.]

National Security Agency/Central Security Service Representative: The senior theater or military command representative of the Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service in a specific country or military command headquarters who provides the Director, National Security Agency, with information on command plans requiring cryptologic support. The National Security Agency/Central Security Service representative serves as a special advisor to the combatant commander for cryptologic matters, to include signals intelligence, communications security, and computer security. Also called NCR. See also counterintelligence.

National Security Council: A governmental body specifically designed to assist the President in integrating all spheres of national security policy. The President, Vice President, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense are statutory members. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Director, Central Intelligence Agency; and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs serve as advisers. Also called NSC.

National Signals Intelligence Operations Center (NSOC, pronounced “n-sock”):
located at the National Security Agency, this 24-hour watch center monitors incoming intelligence of national security value. Not to be confused with NSOC, Navy Satellite Operations Center.

near-real time: the reception of data and its analysis that has been processed and communicated in close duration to the actual event. [See also: current intelligence.]

nerve agent: A potentially lethal chemical agent which interferes with the transmission of nerve impulses.

net assessment: comparative review and analysis of opposing national strengths, capabilities, and vulnerabilities.
noise: the quantity of irrelevant or inconsistent signals and signs that lead to the misinterpretation of a threat. [See also: signal.]

networked munitions: Remotely controlled, interconnected, weapons system designed to provide rapidly emplaced ground-based countermobility and protection capability through scalable application of lethal and nonlethal means.

network operations: Activities conducted to operate and defend the Global Information Grid. Also called NETOPS.

news media representative: An individual employed by a civilian radio or television station, newspaper, newsmagazine, periodical, or news agency to gather and report on a newsworthy event. Also called NMR. See also public affairs.

normal theory: projecting an adversary’s objectives, capabilities and propensity to risk based on problematic thinking and making the best possible estimates about numerous instances of behavior over time.65 [See also: exceptional theory.]

nonconventional assisted recovery: Personnel recovery conducted by indigenous/surrogate personnel that are trained, supported, and led by special operations forces, unconventional warfare ground and maritime forces, or other government agencies’ personnel that have been specifically trained and directed to establish and operate indigenous or surrogate infrastructures. Also called NAR.

nondestructive electronic warfare: Those electronic warfare actions, not including employment of wartime reserve modes, that deny, disrupt, or deceive rather than damage or destroy. See also electronic warfare.

nonpersistent agent: A chemical agent that when released dissipates and/or loses its ability to cause casualties after 10 to 15 minutes.

nuclear detonation detection and reporting system: (*) A system deployed to provide surveillance coverage of critical friendly target areas, and indicate place, height of burst, yield, and ground zero of nuclear detonations. Also called NUDETS.

nuclear intelligence: Intelligence derived from the collection and analysis of radiation and other effects resulting from radioactive sources. Also called NUCINT. See also intelligence.

nuisance minefield: Military term. A minefield laid to delay and disorganize the enemy and to hinder the use of an area or route. Concept also used in media and other intelligence operations as a diversion tactic.

obstacle restricted areas: A command and control measure used to limit the type or number of obstacles within an area. A variety of tactics can be used to clear obstacles from a location during an operation.

offensive counterintelligence operation: A clandestine counterintelligence activity conducted for military, strategic, Department of Defense, or national counterintelligence and security purposes against a target having suspected or known affiliation with foreign intelligence entities, international terrorism, or other foreign persons or organizations, to counter terrorism, espionage, or other clandestine intelligence activities that threaten the security of the Department or the United States. The two types of offensive counterintelligence operations are double agent operation and controlled source operation. Also called OFCO.

offensive space control: Those operations to prevent an adversary’s hostile use of US/third party space capabilities and services or negate (disrupt, deny, degrade, deceive, or destroy) an adversary’s space capabilities.

Office of National Estimates (ONE): Central Intelligence Agency’s research office that was to be limited to economic intelligence when it was created in 1950; however, in subsequent years it began dealing with political intelligence. The National Intelligence Council replaced it in 1973. [See also: Korean War; National Intelligence Officer for Warning.]

open-source intelligence — Information of potential intelligence value that is available to the general public. Also called OSINT. See also intelligence.

operational architecture: Descriptions of the tasks, operational elements, and information flows required to accomplish or support a warfighting function.

operational control: Command authority that may be exercised by commanders at any echelon at or below the level of combatant command. Operational control is inherent in combatant command (command authority) and may be delegated within the command. Operational control is the authority to perform those functions of command over subordinate forces involving organizing and employing commands and forces, assigning tasks, designating objectives, and giving authoritative direction necessary to accomplish the mission. Operational control includes authoritative direction over all aspects of military operations and joint training necessary to accomplish missions assigned to the command. Operational control should be exercised through the commanders of subordinate organizations. Normally this authority is exercised through subordinate joint force commanders and Service and/or functional component commanders. Operational control normally provides full authority to organize commands and forces and to employ those forces as the commander in operational control considers necessary to accomplish assigned missions; it does not, in and of itself, include authoritative direction for logistics or matters of administration, discipline, internal organization, or unit training. Also called OPCON. See also combatant command; combatant command (command authority); tactical control.

operational decontamination: This may include decontamination of the individual beyond the scope of immediate decontamination, as well as decontamination of mission-essential spares and limited terrain decontamination. See also decontamination; immediate decontamination; thorough decontamination.

operational design: The conception and construction of the framework that underpins a campaign or major operation plan and its subsequent execution. See also campaign; major operation.

operational intelligence: Intelligence that is required for planning and conducting campaigns and major operations to accomplish strategic objectives within theaters or operational areas. See also intelligence; strategic intelligence; tactical intelligence.

operation order: A directive issued by a commander to subordinate commanders for the purpose of effecting the coordinated execution of an operation. Also called OPORD.

operational readiness: capability of a unit/formation, ship, weapon system or equipment to perform the missions or functions for which it is organized or designed. This term may be used in a general sense or to express a level of readiness. [See also: combat readiness ]

operational warning: required for effectively counteracting any major military operation that would hinder the ability to execute those military operations needed to accomplish strategic objectives within theaters or areas of operations.
opinion: a value judgment regarding a future course of action that cannot be directly observed; most heavily relied upon for warning in lieu of factual data. [See also: analysis; assessment.]

operations security: A process of identifying critical information and subsequently analyzing friendly actions attendant to military operations and other activities. Also called OPSEC. See also operations security indicators; operations security measures; operations security planning guidance; operations security vulnerability.

operations security assessment: An evaluative process, usually exercise, or support function to determine the likelihood that critical information can be protected from the adversary’s intelligence.

operations security countermeasures: Methods and means to gain and maintain essential secrecy about critical information.

operations security indicators: Friendly detectable actions and open-source information that can be interpreted or pieced together by an adversary to derive critical information.

operations security survey: A collection effort by a team of subject matter experts to reproduce the intelligence image projected by a specific operation or function simulating hostile intelligence processes.

operations support element: An element that is responsible for all administrative, operations support and services support functions within the counterintelligence and human intelligence staff element of a joint force intelligence directorate. Also called OSE.

overt operation: An operation conducted openly, without concealment. See also clandestine operation; covert operation.

palm reading assessment: mostly used as a pejorative term for estimates and forecasting based on qualitative or intuitive judgment. The term received widespread use among U.S. intelligence analysts and policymakers during the Vietnam War in the 1960s.66 [See also: bean-counting assessment.]

paradox of warning: enemy counteraction based on action taken as a result of a warning that alters the enemy’s initially intended course of action. The warning thus appears to be wrong on the basis of the change in enemy action. Also known as the “warning paradox.”

passive deception: measures designed to mislead a foreign power, organization, or person by causing an object or situation to appear non-threatening when a threat does exist; downplaying capabilities or intentions to look less threatening. “Passive deception is primarily based on secrecy and camouflage, on hiding and concealing one’s intentions and/ or capabilities from the adversary. Some experts view passive deception as inferior and not likely to succeed against any competent intelligence organization…[which] is not necessarily true [italics added].”67 A classic example is the Trojan Horse incident in the second millennium. Troy’s soldiers accepted a seemingly innocuous gift from their enemy. However, inside the wooden statue of the giant horse were Greek soldiers ready to attack while the city slept. Today, the term “Trojan Horse” resurfaces in the lexicon of cyberwarfare. Most cyber viruses use passive deception to enter into a computer’s operating system by hiding inside another program or e-mail. [See also: A-type deception; active deception; denial and deception.]

pattern recognition: an inductive process of recognizing a commonality or trend in an aggregate of indications from which a plausible explanation or model can be developed.

Pearl Harbor: example of a ‘blind’ enemy operation wherein foreknowledge of the attack was gained and the operation was allowed to transpire.

penetration aids: Techniques and/or devices employed by offensive aerospace weapon systems to increase the probability of penetration of enemy defenses.

persistent agent: A chemical agent that, when released, remains able to cause casualties for more than 24 hours to several days or weeks.

persistent surveillance: A collection strategy that emphasizes the ability of some collection systems to linger on demand in an area to detect, locate, characterize, identify, track, target, and possibly provide battle damage assessment and retargeting in near or real-time. Persistent surveillance facilitates the prediction of an adversary’s behavior and the formulation and execution of preemptive activities to deter or forestall anticipated adversary courses of action. See also surveillance.

personal locator beacon: An emergency device carried by individuals, to assist locating during personnel recovery. Also called PLB. See also emergency locator beacon.

phases of warning: stages of a surprise attack that can degrade a nation’s defense. The three phases of warning are political, strategic, and tactical, although other analysts label these phases strategic, operational, and tactical. [See also: political warning; strategic warning; tactical warning.]

plan identification number — 1. A command-unique four-digit number followed by a suffix indicating the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan year for which the plan is written. 2. A five-digit number representing the command-unique four-digit identifier, followed by a one-character, alphabetic suffix indicating the operation plan option, or a one-digit number numeric value indicating the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan year for which the plan is written. Also called PID.

planning factors database: Databases created and maintained by the Military Services for the purpose of identifying all geospatial information and services requirements for emerging and existing forces and systems. The database identifies: unit requirements, at the information content level, for geospatial data and services; system requirements for standard Department of Defense geospatial data and services; research, development, test, and evaluation requirements for developmental systems, identified by milestone; and initial operating capability and full operating capability for emerging systems. Also called PFDB. See also data; database; geospatial information and services.

planning order: A planning directive that provides essential planning guidance and directs the initiation of execution planning before the directing authority approves a military course of action. Also called PLANORD. See also execution planning.

political intelligence: pertaining to foreign and domestic policies of governments and the activities of political movements.
political warning: a forecast of increasing tensions between two or more countries that raises the possibility that deterrence can fail, leading to an unforeseen crisis; usually can range over a period of days or months. [See also: strategic warning; tactical warning.]

Pollyanna: one who sees and reports only positive outcomes from current indications, regardless of the message read into the same indications by less biased analysts. Term originates from the American novel Pollyanna (1913) by Eleanor Porter. [Term is usually capitalized; see also: Cassandra.]

positive identification and radar advisory zone: A specified area established for identification and flight following of aircraft in the vicinity of a fleet-defended area. Also called PIRAZ.

Posse Comitatus Act — Prohibits search, seizure, or arrest powers to US military personnel. Amended in 1981 under Public Law 97-86 to permit increased Department of Defense support of drug interdiction and other law enforcement activities. (Title 18, “Use of Army and Air Force as Posse Comitatus” – United States Code, Section 1385)

post-surprise measures: planned methods and activities to deal with a sudden attack once it has taken place. [See also: emergency measures; basic measures.]

Potomac fever: a slang term derived from the river that runs adjacent to the Pentagon, this is a pejorative term used to describe those who seek to provide intelligence or information they think senior-level leaders want; more generally, any analysis or assessment produced with the guiding principle to please as many and offend as few as possible; warning production used solely to further the ambition and career goals of an individual.

power intangibles: factors, such as ideology, a government’s ability to mobilize resources and manpower, the maintenance of ruling coalitions, or a fear of domestic revolutions or opposition movements, that have an independent impact on political intentions.

preassault operations: Operations conducted by the amphibious force upon its arrival in the operational area and prior to H-hour and/or L-hour. See also false flag operation.

precipitation static: Charged precipitation particles that strike antennas and gradually charge the antenna, which ultimately discharges across the insulator, causing a burst of static. Also called P-STATIC.

precision acquisition intelligence: required intelligence needed to create a valid assessment in an environment of ambiguity and uncertainty in a given crisis situation or warning problem. For example, data collected on reserve military medical technicians with advanced training in chemical or biological warfare may be the precision acquisition intelligence needed to understand a nation’s readiness for certain types of warfare. [See also: precision engagement.]

precision attack/engagement: any attack of a target by weapons employing guidance, with sufficient spatial and temporal accuracy, that seeks to achieve its required effect with minimum expenditure of munitions and a reduced risk of collateral damage. “It is a scalpel approach to all types of military operations using lethal or non-lethal, kinetic or nonkinetic force. In conventional warfighting, precision engagement is the ability to forgo brute force-on-force tactics and apply discriminate force precisely where required. One B-2 dropping 16 precision-guided weapons and destroying 16 key targets epitomizes precision engagement. It also redefines the traditional military concept of mass. In military operations other than war, precision engagement may be the rapid response of airborne resources, space assets or troops for monitoring peacekeeping operations or the timely airlift of relief supplies for humanitarian operations [italics added].”69 [See also: creeping normalcy; salami tactics.]

precursor chemical: Compounds that are required in the synthetic or extraction processes of drug production, and become incorporated into the drug molecule.

prediction: a statement of the expected time, place and magnitude of a future event. [See also: forecast.]
preemptive attack: when a state initiates an attack because it believes it must act immediately or lose the opportunity to retaliate.

pre-position: To place military units, equipment, or supplies at or near the point of planned use or at a designated location to reduce reaction time, and to ensure timely support of a specific force during initial phases of an operation.

Presidential Decision Directive-56 (PDD-56): After several failed crisis interventions in Somalia, Rwanda and Haiti, U.S. strategic planners had to improve techniques regarding participation in such missions. President Clinton signed this directive in 1997 to address the need to focus on complex emergencies. Although this document remains classified, in a press release the White House outlined its goals and objectives. The directive orders the National Security Council to work with the National Defense University, Army War College, Pentagon, State Department, Central Intelligence Agency and other agencies to develop and conduct a multi-agency training and planning program focused on complex emergency issues.

preventive attack: when senior-level leaders believe that an armed confrontation is not imminent, although it is likely to occur at a later date, and it is decided that by attacking now they would seize the initiative. [See also: preemptive attack]

preventive diplomacy: diplomatic actions taken in advance of a predictable crisis to prevent or limit violence before it occurs. When a nation acts with political and economic tools, in concert with others, to head off conflict before it reaches the threshold of mass violence or military intervention. “The UN mission in Macedonia has been used as a part of a strategy of preventive diplomacy [italics added], and it is perhaps best known within a range of different preventive efforts undertaken within a longer period in this country.”

pride of previous position: when an analyst has already expressed a viewpoint and is extremely reluctant to change it for fear of admitting error. [See also: double blind; clientitis.]

principal conclusions: those conclusions of a report or estimate that are emphasized to elicit a specific action or point to a clear understanding of a potential threat or action; based on basic intelligence. If done poorly or with bias, it can have a disastrous effect. Prior to the Korean War in 1950, General MacArthur’s own estimates by his G-2, Major General Charles Willoughby, were purposely slanted. “MacArthur did not want the Chinese to enter the war in Korea. Anything Mac Arthur wanted, Willoughby produced intelligence for …In this case, Willoughby falsified the intelligence reports.” [See also: key judgments; key questions.]

probable: likely to occur or prove true; supported generally but not conclusively by the evidence. Commonly confused with possibility. According to a U.S. national warning estimate of 1966, “Intelligence is not likely to give warning of probable Soviet intent to attack until a few hours before the attack, if at all. Warning of increased Soviet readiness, implying a possible intent to attack, might be given somewhat earlier.” [See also: possible.]

protected frequencies: Friendly, generally time-oriented, frequencies used for a particular operation, identified and protected to prevent them from being inadvertently jammed by friendly forces while active electronic warfare operations are directed against hostile forces. See also electronic warfare.

proximity operations: In space operations, on-orbit activities of a resident space object that deliberately and necessarily maintains a close distance from another resident space object for a specific purpose. Two objects in space that pass each other by natural orbital mechanics (e.g., routine orbital conjunctions or close approaches) or Department of Defense space systems which are designated to utilize cluster or formation flight to maintain required proximity to provide required system functionality do not fall within this definition.

purposeful interference: In space operations, deliberate actions taken to deny or disrupt a space system, service, or capability. Purposeful interference threats include but are not limited to: mission uplink or downlink interference; command uplink interference; telemetry downlink jamming; positioning jamming; unauthorized access; information insertion; and signal probing. Also called PI.

querying: the exchange of information between analysts of different organizations with a common mission; also, requesting additional or amplifying information on specific collection activities.

radar intelligence: Intelligence derived from data collected by radar. Also called RADINT. See also intelligence.

radial: A magnetic bearing extending from a very high frequency omni-range and/or tactical air navigation station.

radio detection: The detection of the presence of an object by radio-location without precise determination of its position.

radio frequency countermeasures: Any device or technique employing radio frequency materials or technology that is intended to impair the effectiveness of enemy activity, particularly with respect to precision guided weapons and sensor systems. Can be used in national security situations in home terrirtories – i.e. civil protests, etc. Also called RF CM.

radiological accident: A loss of control over radiation or radioactive material that presents a hazard to life, health, or property or that may result in any member of the general population exceeding exposure limits for ionizing radiation.

radiological dispersal device: An improvised assembly or process, other than a nuclear explosive device, designed to disseminate radioactive material in order to cause destruction, damage, or injury. Also called RDD.

radiological exposure device: A radioactive source placed to cause injury or death. Also called RED.

raw intelligence: information that has been collected but that has not been processed for validity. According to U.S. Army Personnel Command, “MI [military intelligence] Officers lead, manage, and direct intelligence planning and operations at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels across the operational continuum. At all levels, MI Officers plan, supervise, and conduct collection and analysis of raw intelligence information. From this information, MI officers produce and disseminate finished all source intelligence products for commanders and other intelligence consumers.” [See also: finished intelligence.]

reach-back capability: an organization’s ability to provide additional detailed analysis to deployed units. Example: In an attempt to help the Russians rescue their sunken submarine, the U.S. Secretary of Defense said, “we have proposed having teams of experts who have a so-called reach-back capability [italics added] to well-organized mission specific expertise.”76

readiness: the level of capability within a predetermined time period with which an actor can adequately respond to an attack. “Historically, readiness of U.S. military forces at the unit level has been measured using the Status of Resources and Training System (SORTS), under the sponsorship of the JCS. Under SORTS, units report their overall readiness status as well as the status of four resource areas (personnel, equipment and supplies on hand, equipment condition, and training). The readiness status of a unit is reported by assigning capability, or “C,” ratings as follows: C1 — Unit can undertake the full wartime missions for which it is organized or designed. C2 — Unit can undertake the bulk of its wartime missions. C3 — Unit can undertake major portions of its wartime missions. C4 — Unit requires additional resources and/or training to undertake its wartime missions, but if the situation dictates, it may be required to undertake portions of the missions with resources on hand. C5 — Unit is undergoing a service-directed resource change and is not prepared to undertake its wartime missions. While SORTS still provides the basic underpinning to readiness assessments, both OSD and JCS have established senior oversight groups in recent years to focus on readiness issues at a higher level and provide a more comprehensive assessment of readiness.”

reciprocal fear (of surprise attack): the possibility that crisis conditions may trigger automatic mobilization responses, loss of control, and preemptive attacks, resulting in a self-fulfilling prophecy.

reconnaissance: A mission undertaken to obtain, by visual observation or other detection methods, information about the activities and resources of an enemy or adversary, or to secure data concerning the meteorological, hydrographic, or geographic characteristics of a particular area. Also called RECON.

red team: An organizational element comprised of trained and educated members that provide an independent capability to fully explore alternatives in plans and operations in the context of the operational environment and from the perspective of adversaries and others.

regional satellite communications support center: United States Strategic Command operational element responsible for providing the operational communications planners with a single all-spectrum (extremely high frequency, super-high frequency, ultrahigh frequency, Ku, and Ka) point of contact for accessing and managing satellite communications (SATCOM) resources. Specific tasks include: supporting combatant commanders’ deliberate and crisis planning, assisting combatant commanders in day- to-day management of apportioned resources and allocating non-apportioned resources, assisting theater spectrum managers, and facilitating SATCOM interface to the defense information infrastructure. Also called RSSC.

ruse: In military deception, a trick of war designed to deceive the adversary, usually involving the deliberate exposure of false information to the adversary’s intelligence collection system.

sabotage: An act or acts with intent to injure, interfere with, or obstruct the national defense of a country by willfully injuring or destroying, or attempting to injure or destroy, any national defense or war materiel, premises, or utilities, to include human and natural resources.

safe house: An innocent-appearing house or premises established by an organization for the purpose of conducting clandestine or covert activity in relative security.

salami tactics: the incremental attainment of an objective in a slow, methodical way by reducing capabilities in one location, while increasing capabilities in another location. Recently, this term appeared in the editorial pages as “The selling of [President] George Bush’s tax cut relies heavily on salami tactics [italics added]— slicing away opposition a bit at a time. To understand how fundamentally misleading that sales pitch is, we must look at the whole salami.” [See also: creeping normalcy; scheme of maneuver — The central expression of the commander’s concept for operations that governs the design of supporting plans or annexes of how arrayed forces will accomplish the mission..]

scientific and technical intelligence: The product resulting from the collection, evaluation, analysis, and interpretation of foreign scientific and technical information that covers: a. foreign developments in basic and applied research and in applied engineering techniques; and b. scientific and technical characteristics, capabilities, and limitations of all foreign military systems, weapons, weapon systems, and materiel; the research and development related thereto; and the production methods employed for their manufacture. Also called S&TI. See also intelligence; technical intelligence.

scheme of maneuver: The central expression of the commander’s concept for operations that governs the design of supporting plans or annexes of how assets will accomplish the mission.

SECRET Internet Protocol Router Network: The worldwide SECRET-level packet switch network that uses high-speed internet protocol routers and high-capacity Defense Information Systems Network circuitry. Also called SIPRNET. See also Defense Information Systems Network.

security dilemma: any action by a nation or a decision by that nation’s leadership to enhance security that may also lead to a shift in a systemic power balance that could be perceived to endanger other nations.

security cooperation organization: All Department of Defense elements located in a foreign country with assigned responsibilities for carrying out security assistance/cooperation management functions. It includes military assistance advisory groups, military missions and groups, offices of defense and military cooperation, liaison groups, and defense attaché personnel designated to perform security assistance/cooperation functions. Also called SCO.

security countermeasures: Those protective activities required to prevent espionage, sabotage, theft, or unauthorized use of classified or controlled information, systems, or material of the Department of Defense. See also counterintelligence.

security force assistance: The Department of Defense activities that contribute to unified action by the US Government to support the development of the capacity and capability of foreign security forces and their supporting institutions. Also called SFA.

sensitivity analysis: a process of determining the significance of changes or variations in the base level of identical, similar or related types of activity over a period of time; trends are shifts in base level over an extended time period, while anomalies are sudden variations or non sequential types of changes in the base level. [See also: creeping normalcy.

Shock and Awe: from the Hebrew word "Shekhinah" meaning either ‘just retribution’ or ‘the power of the ark of the covenant’ depending on the context of it’s extraction.

selective identification feature: A capability that, when added to the basic identification friend or foe system, provides the means to transmit, receive, and display selected coded replies.

signal: information accurately interpreted as evidence that points to an adversary’s future action or intention. [See also: noise;]

signal operating instructions: A series of orders issued for technical control and coordination of the signal communication activities of a command. In Marine Corps usage, these instructions are designated communication operation instructions.

signal security: A generic term that includes both communications security and electronics security. See also security.

signals intelligence: category of intelligence comprising either individually or in combination all communications intelligence, electronic intelligence, and foreign instrumentation signals intelligence, however transmitted. 2. Intelligence derived from communications, electronic, and foreign instrumentation signals. Also called SIGINT. See also communications intelligence; electronic intelligence; foreign instrumentation signals intelligence; intelligence.

signals intelligence operational control: The authoritative direction of signals intelligence activities, including tasking and allocation of effort, and the authoritative prescription of those uniform techniques and standards by which signals intelligence information is collected, processed, and reported.

signals intelligence operational tasking authority: A military commander’s authority to operationally direct and levy signals intelligence requirements on designated signals intelligence resources; includes authority to deploy and redeploy all or part of the signals intelligence resources for which signals intelligence operational tasking authority has been delegated. Also called SOTA.

signposts: intermediate developments indicating that events may not be unfolding as expected; also known as indicators of change.

situation report: A report giving the situation in the area of a reporting unit or formation. Also called SITREP.

situation template: A depiction of assumed adversary dispositions, based on that adversary’s preferred method of operations and the impact of the operational environment if the adversary should adopt a particular course of action. See also adversary template; course of action.

solatium: Monetary compensation given in areas where it is culturally appropriate to alleviate grief, suffering, and anxiety resulting from injuries, death, and property loss with a monetary payment.

sounds of silence paradox: when a quiescent international environment acts as background noise which, by conditioning observers to a peaceful routine, actually covers preparations for war. [See also: creeping normalcy.]

source: 1. A person, thing, or activity from which information is obtained. 2. In clandestine activities, a person (agent), normally a foreign national, in the employ of an intelligence activity for intelligence purposes. 3. In interrogation activities, any person who furnishes information, either with or without the knowledge that the information is being used for intelligence purposes. See also agent; collection agency.

space asset: Any individual part of a space system as follows. (1) Equipment that is or can be placed in space (e.g., a satellite or a launch vehicle). (2) Terrestrially-based equipment that directly supports space activity (e.g., a satellite ground station).

space control: Operations to ensure freedom of action in space for the US and its allies and, when directed, deny an adversary freedom of action in space. The space control mission area includes: operations conducted to protect friendly space capabilities from attack, interference, or unintentional hazards (defensive space control); operations to deny an adversary’s use of space capabilities (offensive space control); supported by the requisite current and predictive knowledge of the space environment and the operational environment upon which space operations depend (space situational awareness). See also combat service support; combat support; negation; space; space systems.

space force application: Combat operations in, through, and from space to influence the course and outcome of conflict. The space force application mission area includes ballistic missile defense and force projection. See also ballistic missile; force protection; space.

space force enhancement: Combat support operations and force-multiplying capabilities delivered from space systems to improve the effectiveness of military forces as well as support other intelligence, civil, and commercial users. The space force enhancement mission area includes: intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; integrated tactical warning and attack assessment; command, control, and communications; positioning, navigation, and timing; and environmental monitoring. See also combat support; space.

space sensor: An instrument or mechanical device mounted on a space platform or space vehicle for collecting information or detecting activity or conditions either in space or in a terrestrial medium.

space situational awareness: The requisite current and predictive knowledge of the space environment and the operational environment upon which space operations depend — including physical, virtual, and human domains — as well as all factors, activities, and events of friendly and adversary space forces across the spectrum of conflict.

space support: Operations to deploy and sustain military and intelligence systems in space. The space support mission area includes launching and deploying space vehicles, maintaining and sustaining spacecraft on-orbit, rendezvous and proximity operations, disposing of (including deorbiting and recovering) space capabilities, and
reconstitution of space forces, if required. See also combat service support;

space surveillance: The observation of space and of the activities occurring in space. This mission is normally accomplished with the aid of ground-based radars and electro- optical sensors. This term is separate and distinct from the intelligence collection mission conducted by space-based sensors which surveil terrestrial activity. See also space; space control.

space systems: All of the devices and organizations forming the space network. These consist of: spacecraft; mission packages(s); ground stations; data links among spacecraft, mission or user terminals, which may include initial reception, processing, and exploitation; launch systems; and directly related supporting infrastructure, including space surveillance and battle management and/or command and control.

special access program: A sensitive program, approved in writing by a head of agency with original top secret classification authority, that imposes need-to-know and access controls beyond those normally provided for access to confidential, secret, or top secret information. The level of controls is based on the criticality of the program and the assessed hostile intelligence threat. The program may be an acquisition program, an intelligence program, or an operations and support program. Also called SAP.

special actions: Those functions that due to particular sensitivities, compartmentation, or caveats cannot be conducted in normal staff channels and therefore require extraordinary processes and procedures and may involve the use of sensitive capabilities.

special events for homeland security: Those special events designated as having an impact on homeland security. Also called SEHS.

special forces: US Army forces organized, trained, and equipped to conduct special operations with an emphasis on unconventional warfare capabilities. Also called SF.

special information operations: Information operations that by their sensitive nature and due to their potential effect or impact, security requirements, or risk to the national security of the United States, require a special review and approval process. Also called SIO. See also information operations; operation.

special mission unit: A generic term to represent a group of operations and support personnel from designated organizations that is task-organized to perform highly classified activities. Also called SMU.

Special National Intelligence Estimate (SNIE): specific policy problems that need to be addressed in the immediate future; generally unscheduled and prepared more quickly than national intelligence estimates.

special operations: Operations requiring unique modes of employment, tactical techniques, equipment and training often conducted in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments and characterized by one or more of the following: time sensitive, clandestine, low visibility, conducted with and/or through indigenous forces, requiring regional expertise, and/or a high degree of risk. Also called SO.

special operations combat control team: A team of Air Force personnel organized, trained, and equipped to conduct and support special operations. Under clandestine, covert, or low-visibility conditions, these teams establish and control air assault zones; assist aircraft by verbal control, positioning, and operating navigation aids; conduct limited offensive direct action and special reconnaissance operations; and assist in the insertion and extraction of special operations forces. Also called SOCCT. See also combat control team.

special operations command: A subordinate unified or other joint command established by a joint force commander to plan, coordinate, conduct, and support joint special operations within the joint force commander’s assigned operational area. Also called SOC. See also special operations.

special operations forces: Those Active and Reserve Component forces of the Military Services designated by the Secretary of Defense and specifically organized, trained, and equipped to conduct and support special operations. Also called SOF. See also Air Force special operations forces; Army special operations forces; naval special warfare forces.

special operations liaison element: A special operations liaison team provided by the joint force special operations component commander to the joint force air component commander (if designated), or appropriate Service component air command and control organization, to coordinate, deconflict, and integrate special operations air, surface, and subsurface operations with conventional air operations. Also called SOLE. See also joint force air component commander; joint force special operations component commander; special operations.

special operations naval mobile environment team: A team of Navy personnel organized, trained, and equipped to support naval special warfare forces by providing weather, oceanographic, mapping, charting, and geodesy support. Also called SONMET.

special operations-peculiar: Equipment, material, supplies, and services required for special operations missions for which there is no Service-common requirement. Also called SO-peculiar. See also Service-common; special operations.

special operations weather team: A task organized team of Air Force personnel organized, trained, and equipped to collect critical environmental information from data sparse areas. Also called SOWT.

special operations wing: An Air Force special operations wing. Also called SOW.

special reconnaissance: Reconnaissance and surveillance actions conducted as a special operation in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments to collect or verify information of strategic or operational significance, employing military capabilities not normally found in conventional forces. Also called SR.

special staff: All staff officers having duties at a headquarters and not included in the general (coordinating) staff group or in the personal staff group. The special staff includes certain technical specialists and heads of services, e.g., quartermaster officer, antiaircraft officer, transportation officer, etc.

special tactics team: An Air Force task-organized element of special tactics that may include combat control, pararescue, tactical air control party, and special operations weather personnel. Also called STT. See also combat search and rescue; special operations; special operations forces; terminal attack control. (JP 3-05)

spot report: a brief narrative report of essential information covering events or conditions that may have an immediate and significant effect on current planning and operations. A spot report is accorded the fastest means of transmission to the watch officer.

spotter: an agent or illegal assigned to locate and assess individuals in positions of value to an intelligence service.

stoplight chart: a graphical representation depicting the different levels of warning or activity within a country or region. The term originates from the typical warning chart found in most military command headquarters. For example, countries that are color coded green represent normal military activity within the country, yellow coded countries represent unusual military activity within the country and red coded countries represent extremely unusual military activity that is occurring within a country. However, “the often-used but crude ‘stoplight’ charts[italics added]-red-amber-green ‘metrics’ of easily observable variables—may be useless or even counterproductive if they oversimplify complex situations, inaccurately and incompletely measure key variables or address peripheral ones, or stimulate unwarranted confidence about how well the situation ‘outside the wire’ is understood.”

stovepipe warning: an administrative process that transmits information through a predetermined set of guidelines and that does not allow the information to be shared outside the organization or within the organization among departments. For example, in response to NATO’s accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, “House Intelligence Committee Chairman Porter Goss (R-Florida) suggested the problem might be what he called ‘stovepiping’ [italics added]. Goss, a former CIA employee, told CNN: ‘In the Intelligence Community, everyone does his job and you don’t share the information unless there is a need to know. This could be a case where the right compartments didn’t talk to each other.’” [See also: bootlegging.]

strategic communication: Focused United States Government efforts to understand and engage key audiences to create, strengthen, or preserve conditions favorable for the advancement of United States Government interests, policies, and objectives through the use of coordinated programs, plans, themes, messages, and products synchronized with the actions of all instruments of national power. Also called SC.

strategic depth: the elements of space and time, which when accommodated by intelligence analysis, provide a means for timely warning.

Strategic Information and Operations Center (SIOC): located in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) headquarters building in Washington, DC, this crisis center is the agency’s worldwide connection to the DoD, other governmental agencies, and the FBI’s network of field offices in the U.S. and abroad. In operation since 1998, the center can handle four international crises at once.

strategic intelligence: intelligence required for the formation of policy and military plans at national and international levels. Its components include such characteristics as biographic data, economic, sociological, transportation, telecommunications, geography, political, and scientific and technical intelligence. [See also: tactical intelligence.]

strategic warning: a forecast of a probable attack or a forecast that enemy-initiated hostilities may be imminent; warning must be received early enough to permit decisionmakers to undertake countermeasures (military, political, or diplomatic) prior to actual hostilities; usually can range from a few weeks to several days. “For strategic warning, the key problem is not when attack may occur, but whether the enemy is preparing to attack at all…Strategic warning is not a forecast of imminent attack. Strategic warning is a forecast of probable attack [original italics] and it is this above all which the policy official and commander need to know.” [See also: tactical warning; political warning.]

strategic warning lead time: that time between the receipt of strategic warning and the beginning of hostilities. This time may include strategic warning pre-decision time and post-decision time. [See also: strategic warning post-decision time; strategic warning predecision time; chart.]

strategic warning post-decision time: that time after a decision is made in response to strategic warning and the order is executed. This time ends with the start of hostilities or termination of the threat. [See also: strategic warning lead time; strategic warning predecision time; chart.]

strategic warning pre-decision time: that time which begins upon receipt of strategic warning and ends when a decision is ordered and executed. [See also: strategic warning lead time; strategic warning post-decision time; chart.]

tactical intelligence: intelligence that is required for the planning and conduct of tactical operations. Essentially, tactical intelligence and strategic intelligence differ only in scope, point of view and level of employment. [See also: strategic intelligence.]

tactical warning: short-term warning that an attack is imminent or that forces are in motion; primarily intended for military commanders who must respond to it with usu ally no time to re-deploy defensively; primarily the responsibility of operational forces. Detection of the initial movements of the attack itself, before combat occurs; time can range from minutes to hours depending on the distance from the ground force assembly area or missile launch site to target. [See also: strategic warning; political warning]

target intelligence: Intelligence that portrays and locates the components of a target or target complex and indicates its vulnerability and relative importance. See also target; target complex.

tasking: the levying of specific requirements on intelligence collection assets.

tear line: A physical line on an intelligence message or document separating categories of information that have been approved for foreign disclosure and release. Normally, the intelligence below the tear line is that which has been previously cleared for disclosure or release.

technical intelligence: Intelligence derived from the collection, processing, analysis, and exploitation of data and information pertaining to foreign equipment and materiel for the purposes of preventing technological surprise, assessing foreign scientific and technical capabilities, and developing countermeasures designed to neutralize an adversary’s technological advantages. Also called TECHINT. See also exploitation; intelligence.

technical operational intelligence: A Defense Intelligence Agency initiative to provide enhanced scientific and technical intelligence to the commanders of unified commands and their subordinates through a closed loop system involving all Service and Defense Intelligence Agency scientific and technical intelligence centers. Through a system manager in the National Military Joint Intelligence Center, the technical operational intelligence program provides timely collection, analysis, and dissemination of area of responsibility-specific scientific and technical intelligence to combatant commanders and their subordinates for planning, training, and executing joint operations. Also called TOPINT.

technical surveillance countermeasures: Techniques and measures to detect and neutralize a wide variety of hostile penetration technologies that are used to obtain unauthorized access to classified and sensitive information. Technical penetrations include the employment of optical, electro-optical, electromagnetic, fluidic, and acoustic means as the sensor and transmission medium, or the use of various types of stimulation or modification to equipment or building components for the direct or indirect transmission of information meant to be protected. Also called TSCM. See also counterintelligence.

technological surprise: the unilateral advantage gained by the introduction of a new weapon (or by the use of a known weapon in an innovative way) in war against an adversary who is either unaware of its existence or not ready with effective countermeasures, the development of which requires time.

“The post-Cold War political climate does not guarantee any army’s arsenal to come from a single supplier state. S2’s [intelligence officers] cannot template capabilities based on a single (normally Russian) model. Such diversity not only complicates Order of Battle study; it also provides opportunities for technological surprise. Technological surprise is the bogeyman for TECHINT [technical intelligence] analysis: the specter of U.S. commanders encountering optics, weapons ranges, or armor more sophisticated than they thought an opponent possessed. The key to preventing technological surprise is training soldiers ahead of time to look for, recognize, and report on new or modified weapons on the battlefield. The 203rd MI Battalion responds to such spot reports with a TECHINT Collection Team, which photographs and often retrieves the new systems off of the battlefield for further study. This cycle of recognition, reporting, retrieval, and analysis is fundamental to avoiding technological surprise…”

tempest: An unclassified term referring to technical investigations for compromising emanations from electrically operated information processing equipment; these investigations are conducted in support of emanations and emissions security. See also counterintelligence.

terms of reference (TRs): those elements that define the subject matter of a report or estimate to include: context, scope and timeframe. According to Sherman Kent, terms of reference “focus the forthcoming estimate on the new major points which were discerned as the principal concern of the requestor; aimed to ask the questions (irrespective of anyone’s ability to supply factual answers) which would direct research and cogitation to the general area of these major points. In a word, it was a statement of precisely what was wanted and a polite message to the community’s expert research analysts, telling what was wanted of them.”

threat condition (also known as “threat con”): a designated scale used to convey a situation in a particular country or region as it pertains to terrorist activity. Threat conditions are measured by military commanders in the field based on intelligence reports and local conditions. There are five threat condition levels, each of which carries suggestions about vehicle inspections, personnel alerts and identity checks. Local commanders decide what to do under each condition. The five levels of threat condition are:

• Threat Condition Normal: no threat of terrorist activity is present

• Threat Condition Alpha: there is a general threat of possible terrist activity against installations, building locations, and/or personnel, the nature and extent of which are unpredictable.

• Threat Condition Bravo: There is an increased and more predictable threat of terrorist activity even though no particular target has been identified.

• Threat Condition Charlie: An incident has occurred or intelligence has been received indicating some form of terrorist action is imminent

• Threat Condition Delta: A terrorist attack has occurred or intelligence has been received indicating that action against a specific location is likely.

“Threat Condition Delta is appropriate “if you really do have information that you think is specific and credible and presents a real possibility of danger to your forces at the local level,” Rear Adm. Craig Quigley told journalists this afternoon [coming after the attack on the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen.]

threat management: provides warning of war and instability to support planning and the development of contingency measures to deter, avoid, deflect, and manage threats before they inflict damage on persons or a country’s interests and to support early readiness measures so as to minimize the damage should deterrence fail; to provide warning support throughout the duration of the crisis management phases, through to the restoration of normal conditions.
threat perception: derived from another nation’s behavior, and is a function of both estimated capabilities and intentions.
threat scenario: a sequence of events that when completed represent an unambiguous threat; provides the basis for the formulation of an indicator list.

voice-in-the-wilderness: a forecast or warning given within the context of receptive ambiguity, negligence, or denial by the consumer; an assessment or report that is contradictory to an overwhelming consensus.

warned exposed: vulnerability of friendly forces to nuclear weapon effects in which personnel are assumed to be in a position that all skin is covered with minimal thermal protection provided by a “two-layer summer uniform.” [See also: warned protected]

warned protected: vulnerability of friendly forces to nuclear weapon effects in which personnel are assumed to be in a position against heat, blast, and radiation afforded in a closed armored vehicles or crouched in foxholes with improvised overhead shielding.

warning day (w-day): the day on which the Intelligence Community judges that a potential adversary’s preparations (political, economic, and military) suggest that a decision to initiate hostilities occurred. This term may also be used to designate a specific day when conditions represent a growing threat. For example, “Environmental groups say Athens has taken a tepid approach to the problem, afraid of angering industrial and business interests. Already this year, the city had to call a warning day in early March. ‘You actually smell it. You touch it and taste it and feel it in your head,’ the executive director of Greenpeace Greece, says of the high-pollution days.”

warning failure: an unanticipated action or event or a decision by a foreign leader that results in detrimental consequences to another nation’s national security. Often related to the failure to forecast events before they happen. However, not all warning failures are solely the responsibility of the Intelligence Community. Intelligence is used to influence decisions that may result in a specific action. For example, if a policymaker receives intelligence that a specific act will likely occur, and the policymaker implements no preventative action, is that a warning failure? “On 14 April 1997 the following letter was sent to William Daley, the secretary of commerce, expressing concerns about the proposed cuts in the budget of the National Weather Service: Dear Mr. Secretary: The recent announcement of significant cuts in the budget of the National Weather Service and their impact on the Weather Service’s capability to warn of severe weather and flood hazards to protect life and property is cause for deep concern. The effect of the budget reductions has been to force the Service to hold a large number of vacancies as well as reduce the number of key employees. This thinning of the Weather Service staffing increases the risk of warning failures [italics added] with potentially tragic consequences. There is no need to cite the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, the blizzard of 1996, the recent tornadoes in Arkansas and the flooding in the Ohio River valley to illustrate the importance of timely warnings. While nobody can specifically identify when and where a warning will fail, we can say, with assurance, that the risk of warning failure [italics added] is now substantially increased. As maintenance of critical equipment degrades because of a lack of personnel and spare parts, the chances of failure increase. As meteorologists and other professionalsare eliminated, or positions remain vacant, the forecast and warning load on those that remain becomes excessive.” [See also: intelligence failure.]

warning intelligence: an intelligence product upon which to base a notification of impending activities on the part of foreign powers, including hostilities, which may adversely affect military forces or security interests.

warning intelligence appraisal: provides in-depth analysis and assessment. It is prepared, printed, and disseminated on an urgent basis whenever a short assessment of imminent development is of considerable interest to high-level officials. An alerting document on a developing intelligence and warning situation.

warning judgment: a forecast of the anticipated course of action that a threat will take; an appraisal of a future course of anticipated events or estimate of the likelihood (probability) of occurrence of a current or potential threat.
warning lead time: that time between the receipt of warning and the beginning of hostilities. This time may include two action periods: warning pre-decision time and warning post-decision time. For example, the TET cease-fire (by North Vietnam), its subsequent cancellation and the difficulty of reaching commanders going off for holiday leave compounded the problem of disseminating intelligence warnings. In the words of one U.S. communications officer, “Really we needed 36 to 48 hours [warning lead time] to get a message down to everybody [U.S military forces in Vietnam]. The U.S. had just eighteen hours to alert the whole of MACV [Military Assistance Command in Vietnam]. As a result the majority of units were surprised by the attack when it came on the night of 31 January 1968.90 [See also strategic warning lead time; strategic warning post-decision time; strategic warning pre-decision lead time.]

warning net: a communications system established for the purpose of disseminating warning information of enemy movements to all affected commands.

warning of attack: a warning to natioal policymakers that an adversary is not only preparing its armed forces for war, but intends to launch an attack in the near future. According to Presidential Decision Directive 63, which discusses the newly formed National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), “All executive departments and agencies shall cooperate with the NIPC and provide such assistance, information and advice that the NIPC may request, to the extent permitted by law. All executive departments shall also share with the NIPC information about threats and warning of attacks and about actual attacks on critical government and private sector infrastructures, to the extent permitted by law."

warning of war: a warning to national policymakers that a state or alliance intends war or is on a course that substantially increases the risks of war and is taking steps to prepare for war. “The 1938 Nazi Party Congress put the might of Hitler’s fearsome Wehrmacht on full display to the world and made clear what a forceful hold the Führer had on his people. Delivering his fiery speeches to the well rehearsed formations, he gave Europe an implicit warning of [the] war which would erupt one year later.” [See also: warning of attack; ]

warning order: a preliminary notice of an order or an action that is to follow; designed to give subordinates time to make the necessary plans and preparations; commonly referred to as a “heads up” notice. According to some Department of Defense documents, this term may also refer to “a crisis action planning directive issued by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that initiates the development and evaluation of courses of action by a supported commander and requests that a commander’s estimate be submitted.”

warning paradox: enemy counteraction based on friendly action taken as a result of a warning; alters the enemy’s initially intended course of action. The warning thus appears to be wrong on the basis of the change in enemy action. [See also: cry-wolf syndrome.]

warning problem: an identified potential threat that when translated into threat scenario(s) postulate a sequence of events, which, when this process is completed, represents an unambiguous threat. Warning problems are usually never eliminated but are considered inactive, once the threat no longer exists, to foster an “institutional memory.”

warning synthesis: the building of a plausible threat model from specific (indications intelligence) facts and opinions and the development of a warning judgment based upon this threat model; an inductive process wherein the warning judgment on the threat model is refined as new intelligence becomes available or when the validity of existing intelligence options is upgraded.

warning systems: arrangements to rapidly disseminate information concerning imminent disaster threats to government officials, institutions and the population at large in the areas at immediate risk.

warning threshold: a level of activity, specific actions or decisions by key personnel that result in the implementation of a heightened sense of awareness and action.

warning time: a designated period of time deemed necessary to adequately prepare prior to an attack or an outbreak of hostilities; the period of time necessary to move troops to a possible area of conflict; this term is used when the proper term is “warning lead time.” [See also: warning lead time; strategic warning lead time.]

watch center: a location for the review of all incoming intelligence information and which possesses, or has access to, extensive communications for alerting local intelligence personnel and contacting appropriate external reporting sources and other nodes in the indications and warning system. [See also: alert center; indications center; warning center.]
watch condition (watchcon): an operational and intelligence alerting mechanism and shorthand expression of the reporting organization’s degree of intelligence concern regarding a particular warning problem.

watch officer: a person in the command’s intelligence element trained to identify indications of hostilities and to cope with other intelligence that requires immediate attention; senior officer who is the duty representative of the commander in intelligence matters.

witting: A term of intelligence art that indicates that one is not only aware of a fact or piece of information but also aware of its connection to intelligence activities.


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