This is not your ordinary “essay” midterm. For the midterm project you will deliver two intelligence collection plans (a tactical and a separate strategic collection plan).
You are expected to deliver in .ppt or .doc format a table that is a matrix of potential intelligence targets and collection methods (feel free to break down major methods of collection, like SIGINT, into their components: ELINT, COMINT, MASINT, TELINT, etc.).
You are asked to submit two matrices: one that deals with tactical intelligence and one that deals with strategic intelligence. You are required to identify and describe an intelligence question (of your choice) that drives each of these matrices. Remember what you learned early on in this class: clarity in the intelligence question is the most important element of collection planning.
Your grade will be based on the following rubric and I recommend you make a check list to be sure you have:
1) the primary intelligence question or requirement identified (in two separate strategic and tactical matrices), 2) you’ve listed your sub-questions or component information requirements(PIRs/EEIs), 3) listing of targets of collection, and tie the targets to the PIRs, 5) identify what collection mechanisms you will recommend for each target, and 6) provide an estimate of the expected effectiveness of the collection to successfully collect the information needed
(NOTE: a project that is does not pursue the purpose of this assignment–intelligence collection planning–will be considered “off-topic” and zero points granted)
Each matrix should not extend beyond one page (which means that your mid-term will not be longer than 2 pages). This means you need to make a judgment about what targets you want to include on your matrix (some are probably not worthy of much consideration).
You should also, on a scale of 1-10, rate the effectiveness of that particular target-collection method combination (this evaluation will be relative and not perfect, but it is important to get a grasp on effectiveness of certain target-collection combinations.
You are welcome to display your matrix in any graphical fashion that you like. Any creativity you bring to this assignment in your layout should be there to help you make your point. Be sure to label your columns and rows clearly. You are welcome to use font size 8 in the matrix in order to include additional description or you run short on space.
This assignment is due at the end of Week 4. Do not delay. I think you’ll have fun with this assignment but you might end up doing a little research on the intelligence question you choose and you’ll probably spend some time organizing the ideas so that you clearly communicate what you intend.
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Some students, after completing this midterm confess confusion and vagueness about this assignment. Please understand that this assignment is designed as it is for a reason…not by accident. So to help you better understand what you are doing and why I offer this explanation of how this assignment will help you as students in this program and beyond:
This is often perceived as a difficult assignment for some students. First, many students have a military enlisted background and have extended time in schoolhouses. They are given templates and formats and job tasks and asked to complete them. For those not in the military they do not have experience with intelligence job tasks, and especially collection tasks. Regardless of your background there is something important to be learned in this assignment.
n this assignment I don’t want the students doing a fill-in-the-blank midterm. The design was intended to accomplish two things: 1) find out if a student knows what the components of a collection plan are and how they relate to each other (from the intelligence question to the PIR, the target, and the collection method). In real life we would actually list a collection platform, but that tends to make the collection plans classified. For this reason we stop at listing the “type” of collection (MASINT, FISINT, etc.), and 2) is to ask that the students toss out doctrinal training, and fill-in-the-blanks, and see if they can creatively “see” the connections and then assemble (communicate) a moderately complex plan in a chart. This requires creativity and asks the students to exercise that portion of their intellect that is so important in intelligence, creativity and imagination, and do so with sound logic.
I do understand the concern that some students present about vagueness or lack of direction. The students may not like the vagueness but it stretches and challenges them to go beyond being an automaton–to become creative and imaginative critical thinkers. If there is one trait that needs to be improved in our IC it is creativity and imagination. The 9/11 committees, reports, and commissions came to the same conclusion. This is one of the MAJOR failings of the IC in the pre-9/11 years. We need to develop and inspire creativity and imagination. So that is why this midterm is designed the way it is designed. The students are given the flexibility to address the problem, with minimum guidance and intended vagueness.
If you have any questions please ask!!
The grade will be based on the following elements:
(NOTE: IF A SUBMISSION DOES NOT PURSUE THE GENERAL INTENT OF THE ASSIGNMENT AND IS CONSIDERED “OFF-TOPIC” THE SUBMISSION WILL NOT BE EVALUATED USING THIS RUBRIC AND WILL INSTEAD BE ISSUED A GRADE OF ZERO)