Magazine article National Defense

Hayden: War on Terrorism Requires New Intelligence Techniques

Magazine article National Defense

Hayden: War on Terrorism Requires New Intelligence Techniques

Article excerpt

The United States is trying to fight 21st century wars using World War II intelligence approaches, said Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, director of the CIA.

"We have started to recognize that intelligence is inherently operational," he said during a recent Air Force defense strategy seminar in Washington, D.C. "That recognition involves moving away from a mathematical approach that has been a powerful part of Air Force intelligence since the air plan that defeated Hitler."

That plan focused on pure math and science, Hayden said. It identified a modern economy and the key nodes of that economy, and asked questions such as "how many bombs are needed to destroy those key nodes?"

"We still have a tendency to think that way," Hayden said. Citing his experience working at the U.S. European Command during the Bosnian War, he said, "We still talk about the end product of intelligence being a cursor on a target."

The war on terrorism requires a fundamental shift in how the military and intelligence communities do their jobs. Instead of focusing on the so-called "find/fix/finish" strategy used in World War II and the Cold War, in which the enemy was hard to find, but relatively easy to finish off, it's all about "find," he said.

"In the war on terrorism, the equation is reversed: our enemy is easy to finish, he's just very, very hard to find." Intelligence officers are looking for individuals or small groups that have enormous power to plan suicide bombings, run jihadist web sites and act as conduits between al-Qaida and potential nuclear, chemical or biological experts. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.