Thursday, April 11, 2013

Absence of intelligence

As everybody knows by now that the North Koreans are readying themselves for a bloody fight with the U.S. and South Koreans and God knows who else. And we have been bemoaning that we don’t have enough intelligence on the ground to fight. So after spending hundreds of billions of dollars on satellite and other technology to spy on other countries, we are still handicapped because we don’t have people on the ground to tell us what will be the next move of North Korea or if and when they want to launch an attack or if it is all part of psychological propaganda (since they have nothing better to do). This is the same complaint we had when we were investigation the Iraqi WMD (weapons of mass destruction) and this is still the issue with the Iran nuclear program. A long time ago, it was being said that with the advent of technology and satellite imagery, there will be less need of human intelligence and all the secret details of dangerous countries would be visible to the U.S. so that we can plan accordingly. But as we have seen from our multiple failure in having intelligence in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea, Syria, Iran, Yemen and in Africa to name a few, we are sorely missing human intelligence that is more closely and intimately integrated to the local population. Why this is so may have been for a number of reasons and going into each of them in detail is beyond the scope of this post (as the intelligence community continues to trade blame game of what are the reasons).

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