Leading the Pack: Intelligence Staff's Role in Coalition Planning Process

  • September 01, 2014
  • Commander Bryan H. Leese

This paper examines the role of the intelligence staff in the development of the commander's intelligence requirements during the coalition crisis operations planning process. NATO's Operation Unified Protector (OUP) is a case study on intelligence staff's performance in a coalition environment. During OUP, NATO was unable to apply, in a timely manner, its doctrine to intelligence staff support of planning resulting in the desynchronization of intelligence with planning and poor intelligence staff alignment, up and down echelons. Many point blame for poor integration of intelligence at the commander, yet the intelligence organizations themselves must accept culpability as well. Coalition warfare is the character of conflict and the U.S. can improve intelligence support. The U.S. and NATO must use organizational change principles to improve doctrine, the selection of personnel assigned to intelligence staff positions, the training of intelligence personnel, and staff integration exercises. Reinforcement of these changes requires improved staff organization, design, and procedures. Intelligence staffs must lead operational planning teams and use Prioritized Intelligence Requirements (PIRs) as synchronization lynchpins.