I know….what the Hell is HUMINT?
First, in my days with military intelligence (no not the oxymoron) we dealt with human intelligence(HUMINT)…..that is intel gathered from human resources….or as defined by the CIA……
Human intelligence (HUMINT) is defined as any information that can be gathered from human sources.
The National Clandestine Service (NCS) is the branch of the CIA responsible for the collection of HUMINT. The NCS is charged with strengthening national security and foreign policy objectives through the clandestine collection of HUMINT.
HUMINT is collected through:
- Clandestine acquisition of photography, documents, and other material
- Overt collection by people overseas
- Debriefing of foreign nationals and U.S. citizens who travel abroad
- Official contacts with foreign governments
The NCS officers responsible for collecting HUMINT are called Operations Officers. They focus on acquiring information from individuals with access to vital foreign intelligence on the full range of national security issues.
To be successful, NCS officers must understand one of the most complex aspects of running assets — human nature. Emotions, intentions and motivations differ from person-to-person and change overtime. Understanding people, with all of their complexities, is crucial to the business of running assets to collect HUMINT.
Collection methods can take place in a variety of ways, including in-person meetings. Some HUMINT operations are short in duration, while others take years. Through it all, NCS officers must understand and assess the intentions and motivations of their assets, as well as the authenticity of the intelligence they provide. The most successful HUMINT sources provide volumes of intelligence responsive to Intelligence Community requirements.
Okay, does that help?
This technique was all but abandoned when Reagan came to power….his CIA chief, Turner, did not place much confidence in HUMINT….he thought that SIGINT would be a better place to put the funding.
He was wrong and since those days we are struggling to find human resources for intel gathering…we lost a whole generation of 2nd generation Americans that spoke these languages they way they are suppose to be spoken not from some school.
WE have yet to return to the adequate state of our HUMINT that we had before 1980…..and that is the cause of many of the problems we are having with our intel gathering.