The Necessity of HUMINT Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to recognise personal emotions, as well as the emotions of those in the world around you. Considered to be a skill pivotal to understanding and communicating with others, emotional intelligence acts as a guide to human thinking and behavioural patterns.

There are three defined models of emotional intelligence. These are as follows:

The Ability Model

Developed by Peter Salovey and John Mayer, the ability model focuses on the individual’s ability to process emotional information and use this to navigate their social intelligence.

The Trait Model

The Trait Model was defined by Konstantin Vasily Petrides and encompasses behavioural dispositions and self-perceived abilities. The Trait Model is measured through self report.

The Mixed Model

Using a combination of both the ability and trait model, The Mixed Model was defined by one of the foremost names in the field of emotional intelligence, Daniel Goleman.

HUMINT Intelligence has embraced these theories. Gathering intelligence by means of interpersonal contact, using attachès, espionage and Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) in the field, HUMINT (Human Intelligence) intelligence has proven to be very effective.

NATO defines HUMINT intelligence as, ‘a category of intelligence derived from information collected and provided by human sources.’ Activities conducted by HUMINT intelligence operatives include interrogations and conversations with assets in the field.

Within the context of the military establishment most HUMINT activities doesn’t include clandestine activities. This is the same for counter intelligence activities.

Why HUMINT Intelligence is Paramount

HUMINT Intelligence can provide several different types of information. From observations throughout events or travelling excursions provided by POW’s, refugees and individuals that have escaped captivity and are known as friendly to supplying vital information based on specific knowledge of an event that’s about to occur or another person’s activities, beliefs or intentions, HUMINT Intelligence activities can provide information on interpersonal relationships and networks of interest.

HUMINT Intelligence fulfils two separate intelligence values – both counter intelligence and intelligence collection. Any interviews collected should balance any known information requirements with both intelligence collection guidance and the requirements of counter intelligence.

Cultures and Intelligence Preparation

Cultural intelligence draws heavily on social sciences. The more notable social sciences that bare a direct correlation with HUMINT Intelligence are psychology, sociology, criminology and internal relations.

The CIA professional journal recognises two aspects of cultural study, relevant to HUMINT. Drawing on The Arab Mind by Raphael Patai, Lloyd F. Jordan describes the first group of scientific analyses of culture and character as beginning with cultural anthropology that began as early as the 1920’s.

He stated, ‘it was precisely the inaccessibility of the target country and the availability of fragmentary information concerning national character research that was deemed to be relevant to intelligence needed for the war effort.’

‘He continued, ‘anthropologists, aided by psychiatrists and combined with psychoanalytic and interaction theory, child development and learning theory used anthropological research methods to construct models of contemporary cultures of enemy countries throughout wartime.’

The second class of studies had a narrower focus. These studies concentrated on the relationship of personality traits to individual subsets of any given society or the category of rules given by an individual society, as opposed to the identification of relationships between personality and the social structure as a whole.

Interviews and Interrogation

Interviews between the subject and the interrogator are considered to be far more effective when they take a more therapeutic approach. An extended interview dynamics will take the form of transference and counter transference. Throughout transference interviews the subject projects his own experiences onto the interrogator. Throughout the counter transference interview the interrogator will begin to take on the mindset of the subject by considering their personal experiences,

These forms of interview have proven to reap solid rewards. They require an exceptionally high level of emotional understanding on behalf of the interviewer to gather the information needed.

Interrogations take on a different tone. An interrogation is not necessarily conducted in a co-operative sense but one of obtaining vital information from the subject at all costs. The subject may be permitted to leave at the conclusion of the interview but, obtaining information as a matter of urgency is often the circumstances at which interrogations take place.

Conducting an interrogation is a skilled technique – one that involves building a rapport with the subject. Having a comprehensive understanding of HUMINT Intelligence is paramount. Interrogators are trained specialists, though on occasion they will be required to work with interpreters.

One of the principal requirements is that the interrogator must take and maintain the initiative. For this reason, interrogators need not be overly harsh. Indeed, Haans Scharff, considered the most successful German WW2 interrogator, and who shaped all US interrogations after the war, used a variety of techniques to gain a subjects trust. These included portraying himself as the closest allay that the subject had, offering to share an alcoholic drink or cup of tea, and telling jokes.

The interrogation process is a collection of HUMINT theories. At the conclusion of the interrogation the interrogator will cross check the statements and checks any notes that have been made in order that the report contains and identifies the information as it unfolded throughout the interview.

As we can see, it is absolutely paramount for HUMINT Intelligence to be utilised in military situations. When in the field, successful deployment of HUMINT Intelligence can be pivotal in the fight against the enemy, save lives and prevent devastating attacks.

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