Thursday, February 11, 2016

Military Organization For Dummies - Pt. 2

In today's briefing, we'll cover the S-2 section.

Oxymoronic jokes aside, the -2 shop's job is everything related to Intelligence.
Not measuring it, in an IQ sense. Rather, collecting it in a military sense.

Who are the potential enemies?
How big are they?
Where are they located?
What are their training, tactics, and procedures?
That, and anything else is the job of your S-2.
Same for friendly groups.
And for neutral groups.

Need a map or ten of a given area?
What's the weather like there next month?
When's sunrise? Moonrise? High tide? What's average temperature and rainfall?
How about three months from now?

Where are the major roads? What about the smallest trails?
Can the bridges handle heavy trucks? What's the height of the lowest overpass?
Is there water access?
Nearest airports?
How many planes there?
Any military there?
Pretty much everything DHS doesn't want you taking pictures of.

Locations of everything:
Government buildings.
Which agencies are there. How many people.
What stuff do they have.
State, county, and city facilities.
Police, fire, ambulance services, hospitals, clinics.
Bad neighborhoods.
Power plants.
Rail depots.
Distribution warehouses.
Schools from K-PhD.
Any place big enough to land a helicopter.
Any place where you can only get there on foot.

Military facilities, from ARNG to active, all the services, army, navy, marines, air force, coast guard.

Utilities: power, water, gas, phone, cell towers, relay sites, TV and radio stations, newspapers.
Any important resources, whether for weapons, ammunition, gasoline, medical supplies, clothing, food, water, etc.

The economy.
Major employers.
Political/religious/other important groups and factions.
Criminal activity.
And on and on, to the level of minutiae.

Including language(s) spoken, in other places, and jargon, even here at home.

If there's anything you might want to know, ever, your S-2 should already know it. Or be working on getting it. Ideally, from people or sources inside. Firsthand news is usually the most reliable.

For a hint on a national scale assessment, take a look at the CIA World Factbook.
If you have access to a decent library, find any old unclassified US Mil Country Study, on anywhere. Or go read them online: US Country Studies.

Forget about the info, look at the categories of info.
Then apply the same level of rigor to your own state, then to your own county and nearest city or town.

Everything you see, hear, know, or find out can go into your own version. Get as many sources as you can, because "none of us are smarter than all of us". And all of that is just raw intelligence.

And if you thought gathering the raw intel was a monstrous job, now your S-2 has to analyze it, and turn it into usable products for your group and its leadership.
What does X plus Y times Z mean?

And what else should the S-2 be doing? Counter Intelligence: Keeping the people on your potential enemy list from finding out anything about you besides Jack, and Sh*t.
Vetting the people the S-1 recruits. Again and again, and over time. Enemies never do as much damage to you as "friends" do from the inside. The Walker ring, Bradley Manning, etc. should ring some bells out there.
The S-2 keeps the stuff you gather safe, encrypted, and as near to uncrackable and unnoticeable as possible. Their job is to find out what the Other Side is doing, and make sure no one knows what You are.

Codes and ciphers.
HUMINT: people who tell you stuff
SIGINT: what you can get from the airwaves
OSINT: what you can find out from open sources
And about a dozen other acronyms.

Maps, photos, satellite pics, books, magazines, video, etc.
And yes, GoogleEarth is your friend now, but you'd better have hard copy and new means in case the net goes away.
Got still cameras?
Video cams?
Audio recorders for radio traffic?
Thumb drives and hard drives to store it all?
Hard paper copies of everything?
You might start to get that this is going to get big, in a hurry. You'll want a few trusted friends helping to do this, not just one guy, if you can help it.

They should also be running anyone tasked with gathering intelligence, whether it's folks taking pictures and counting cars, or guys sitting on a site in the weeds, or someone inside who works there.

Yeah, exactly what people in the trade call "spook stuff".

So somebody better know about espionage and tradecraft, and know how to disseminate it to everyone who needs it.
This is all the job of the S-2.
Some fun recent resources:

100 Deadly Skills
Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life

For those who find two whole books TL;DR, let me boil it down for you from both books:
Stay situationally aware, always, everywhere.
That's everyone's job, unless they're lunchmeat.

But the people doing the S-2 function, for you, should be the unquestioned subject-matter-experts, able to make sure that your group doesn't get caught with its pants down.
Because doing that metaphorically, leads to that situation in reality.

Just ask the Bundys.

Part 1
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I bought both of those books because they both sound really interesting. I'm a writer so I read as many new subjects as I can, even if I don't use them in my writing at the time. Of course now if anyone is watching my Amazon habits, they're ALL perked up ;) ROFL!!!!