Peacekeeping intelligence: Emerging Concepts for the Future Chapter 10—Matthew M. Aid

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PEACEKEEPING INTELLIGENCE: Emerging Concepts for the Future

Chapter 10—Matthew M. Aid

International Peacekeeping Operations:

The Intelligence Challenge for America in the 21st Century

Matthew M. Aid
It will come as no surprise to any reader familiar with the US intelligence community to learn that the US government’s perspective on providing intelligence support to international peacekeeping operations has been largely shaped by the American experience in peacekeeping over the last 20 years, particularly our involvement in Lebanon in the 1980s, followed in the 1990s by operations in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, and now in Afghanistan.
What follows is the perspective of a number of American military and civilian intelligence officers interviewed over the previous year, all of whom have participated in one or more international peacekeeping operations over the past two decades. The purpose of this chapter is to share their thoughts as to how the US intelligence community could improve its intelligence support for ongoing or future international peacekeeping operations based upon their experiences in the field. The first thought I would like to impart is that, in the opinion of these intelligence officers, despite ups and downs, including a number of dreadful miscues over the last quarter century, American intelligence support for international peacekeeping has improved dramatically in the last decade, in large part because of the harsh lessons that the US intelligence community learned a decade ago in Somalia.
With each subsequent peacekeeping operation that the US has participated in we learned something new, the lessons of which were incorporated into how the US intelligence community approached subsequent operations. We also watched carefully and made note of the intelligence performance of our allies who participated in the UNPROFOR peacekeeping operations in Bosnia in the early to mid-1990s and other UN-sponsored peacekeeping operations which the US did not participate in. The net result is that within the US military today, there is a much greater understanding and appreciation for the value and importance of good intelligence support during peacekeeping operations. Almost unanimously, American military commanders that I have spoken to voiced the opinion that probably the single most important reason why virtually no American soldiers have been killed on peacekeeping duties over the past decade in Bosnia and Kosovo is largely because of intelligence.
Lessons Learned
So the question is: What practical lessons have the US military and intelligence community learned from these peacekeeping experiences that are applicable to the new global geostrategic environment in the 21st Century? These lessons can be divided into two separate but inter-related categories: (a) lessons that are applicable to the performance of peacekeeping intelligence functions within the US intelligence community; and (b) lessons relating to intelligence co-operation with foreign nations in peacekeeping operations.
Better Intelligence Preparation for the Peacekeeping Environment

The US intelligence community has learned the hard way from its involvement in previous peacekeeping operations, especially American involvement in Lebanon in the 1980s and Somalia in the 1990s, that they have to do better basic intelligence preparatory work before the first American soldiers are sent in to participate in a peacekeeping operation. It is ludicrous to believe that American peacekeepers can adequately perform their duties without fear of loss of life if we do not intimately understand the political, economic and social environment that our forces must operate in. The American journalist George Wilson, has written: ‘If you don’t understand the cultures you are involved in; who makes the decisions in these societies; how their infrastructure is designed; the uniqueness in their values and their taboos, you aren’t going to be successful.’1 The intelligence officers that I have spoken to strongly believe that too many American lives have been needlessly lost in past operations because our intelligence community did not adequately prepare our political leaders or military forces for the mission that they were tasked with performing. In Lebanon, one author has concluded that ‘The disastrous bombing of US Marines in Lebanon in October 1983 that cost almost 300 American lives, is largely attributable to a lack of understanding of the nature of the threat... US forces in Lebanon had little knowledge of how various Lebanese and Palestinian Liberation Organisation factions were likely to respond as the US escalated military actions.’2 In Somalia, virtually all sources agree that the chief intelligence failure was the inability of senior American commanders to understand the fundamental aspects of Somali societal structure and culture, which were the driving forces behind the bloody Somali civil war and resultant famine. Few American commanders or intelligence officials in Somalia understood the dynamics of clan structure and politics in Somalia, which in retrospect we now know to have been a crucial intelligence failure.3 The first UN commander in Somalia was particularly mindful of these aspects of Somali culture and politics, whereas his successors were not. The resulting intelligence disaster and loss of life, as popularised in the film Black Hawk Down, should speak for itself.4
Better Integration of Intelligence
Another key lesson learned is that intelligence must be completely integrated into all aspects of the planning and execution of peacekeeping operations. Although the importance and relevance of this fundamental point would appear to be self-evident, it has not always been practiced by commanders in the field in the past. Recent experience has shown that American peacekeeping commanders who ignore or give short shrift to intelligence do so at their peril. There have been instances in the past where American military commanders on peacekeeping assignments, not understanding or realizing the importance of good intelligence information for the successful performance of their mission, have relegated intelligence to a secondary priority and have not paid as much attention to the subject as they should have. For instance, the inattention to intelligence of the US Marine Corps commander in Beirut in 1983 is a stark example of what can go horribly wrong if peacekeeping commanders do not pay attention to the information that their intelligence staffs provide. At 6:22 a.m. on the morning of October 23, 1983, a Shi’ite suicide bomber detonated a massive car bomb outside the US Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 American servicemen. Largely forgotten by history is the fact that on the same day, a second suicide bomber detonated an equally large bomb outside the barracks housing French forces in Beirut, killing 59. This disaster could probably have been avoided. On September 27, 1983, NSA sent out a warning message to the White House and the CIA stations in Beirut and Damascus, which indicated that on the basis of a September 24, 1983 intercepted telephone conversation between the Iranian ambassador in Damascus and an an official with the Iranian Foreign Ministry in Teheran, a group calling itself the Husaini Suicide Forces Movement, led by a Shi’ite terrorist supported by Iran named Abu Haidar, intended to ‘undertake an extraordinary operation against the Marines’ in Beirut. The warning, however, did not give a place or date for the operations, the specific identity of the target, or how the attack would be carried out. As a result, the warning message, like so many before it, was given short shrift by the Marine commanders in the field until after the attack took place.5
The American military’s participation in the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) peacekeeping mission during the early 1990s was also marked by repeated intelligence miscues. For instance, US military Human Intelligence (Humint) collection assets were not among the first echelon of forces deployed to Somalia. Rather, the deployment of these units and their equipment was pushed back in order to make way for higher priority combat and combat support units.6 Not surprisingly, the subsequent performance of US Humint in Somalia left much to be desired, in the opinion of military intelligence officers who served in Somalia.7 Moreover, poor intelligence directly contributed to the death of 16 US Army Rangers during an operation in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on October 3, 1993.

Senior US military commanders did a much better job of integrating intelligence into planning for the 1994 intervention in Haiti, but field commanders interviewed repeatedly complained about the paucity of hard intelligence they received prior to and during the operation from both the CIA and the military intelligence organisations.8 It was not until the US military was sent into Bosnia in late 1995 following the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords that intelligence was fully integrated into the planning and execution of a major American military peacekeeping operation. The success of the US participation in the IFOR peacekeeping operation in Bosnia since 1995 speaks volumes about the relative importance of intelligence in the conduct of international peacekeeping operations.

Tailor Intelligence Resources for the Task
The US intelligence community has also learned that insofar as intelligence collection in peacekeeping operations are concerned, they must do a better job of tailoring the intelligence collection and analytic resources committed to peacekeeping operations to be able to collect both political and military information in the country and/or region where the operation is occuring.
There have been instances in the past where American military forces have been committed to peacekeeping operations with a ‘standard’ intelligence package that was designed for monitoring enemy military forces on a European-style battlefield, but was incapable of performing even the most rudimentary political intelligence gathering.9 The need for political intelligence gathering capabilities in a peacekeeping environment is absolute. The experience of the US intelligence community in Lebanon, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo showed with stark clarity that the protagonists in these fractured political environments oftentimes say one thing publicly, but then do something completely contrary to their public statements. Therefore, it is the job of intelligence in a peacekeeping environment to penetrate the subterfuge of the various political actors so as to clearly understand what their true intentions are. This means that American intelligence units deployed to the field in support of American peacekeeping forces must be capable of monitoring and assessing both political and military developments with equal skill.
Better Co-ordination of Effort among Intelligence Units
US intelligence officers believe that support of peacekeeping operations can only be successful in the future through better and more consistent co-ordination of effort amongst the multitude of American military and civilian national, operational and tactical intelligence collection and analytic units participating in, or peripherally supporting these operations. For example, there have been instances in the recent past where American military intelligence personnel participating in peacekeeping operations in the Balkans were not given intelligence information collected by their civilian counterparts at the CIA or State Department diplomatic reporting, and vice-a-versa.10

Why Not Use the Best Intelligence Assets?
The American experience in peacekeeping operations over the past decade has demonstrated that while US forces sometimes contributed intelligence from their ‘top-of-the-line’ national intelligence collection assets, principally satellite imagery and Signals Intelligence, for the most part what the US intelligence community has contributed to past peacekeeping operations, especially those in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s, has been generally low-level intelligence product derived from tactical intelligence assets that can hardly be described as the best product the US intelligence community had to offer at the time.11

The reason for failing to make available the best intelligence available to peacekeepers is simple: the security concerns on the part of senior American intelligence officials.

A Better Balance in the Mix of Intelligence Resources Committed
It is also clear that the US intelligence community must achieve a better and more appropriate balance in the mix of intelligence collection resources that it dedicates to peacekeeping operations in the future. Too often in the past, the US

military has dedicated far too many technical intelligence sensor systems that had, at best, marginal utility in peacekeeping operations instead of more appropriate low-tech intelligence collection resources. The US intelligence community’s dependence on technical intelligence sources at the expense of other means better suited for operations in the less-developed world has been a source of concern for many knowledgeable observers for many years. For example, the commanding general of Saudi forces during Operation Desert Storm in 1990-1991 noted that: ‘I was struck by the fact that in their intelligence gathering the Americans depended overwhelmingly on technology, satellite surveillance, radio intercepts and so forth, a very little on human sources.’12

The problem has been that these high-tech intelligence collection sensors, more often than not, do not work in the low-tech peacekeeping environments where they have been deployed in the past. For instance, American intelligence officials confirmed that on the whole, Sigint collection systems deployed to Bosnia during the mid-1990s produced little in the way of useable intelligence.13 Attempts by US Army Sigint personnel to secretly eavesdrop on

conversations being held in buildings in central Bosnia proved to be futile because the equipment was big, designed for use on the battlefield, and as such, not particularly well suited for use in an urban peacekeeping environment.14
Moreover, the intelligence information generated by these systems has proven to be extremely difficult to use, and posed critical problems about how to share this information with our allies, if at all. For example, an officer who served in Somalia in the 1990s has written that ‘The US propensity to push the use of sophisticated technical collection equipment caused a number of problems. It made the products difficult to sanitise and distribute and delayed the arrival of more effective Human Intelligence collection assets.’15

Greater Emphasis on Human Intelligence
Publicly available materials and sources interviewed for this report also tend to agree that American intelligence support for future international peacekeeping operations must place greater emphasis on Human Intelligence (Humint). In virtually every instance of US forces participating in peacekeeping operations in less-developed countries during the 1980s and 1990s, such as in Lebanon, Haiti,

Somalia and Bosnia, Human Intelligence has far proven by far to be the most useful intelligence resource available. It is a matter of considerable embarrassment among American intelligence officers, who have participated in international peacekeeping operations that, according to one officer, ‘other countries often are more effective than the US in gathering human source intelligence.’16 Part of the problem is that the CIA and the Pentagon have ignored Humint for the last 25 years. Intelligence officers interviewed have stated that rare indeed have been the instances where the CIA or US military have had an existing Humint network in place and operating at full capacity in the countries where US forces have been deployed on peacekeeping operations in the last twenty years. In Lebanon in 1983, for instance, American Humint resources in that country had recently been destroyed when a car bomber destroyed the US embassy in Beirut, killing all but one member of the CIA Beirut station. In Somalia the US had no Humint network in place at the time US forces were sent into the country in 1991.17 Moreover, American military commanders had complained frequently that it has taken the CIA and US military intelligence too long to establish viable Humint networks in previous peacekeeping operations. Intelligence professionals respond that it takes a relatively long period of time to establish agent networks. Ludwig Mundt, the former chief of operations of the German foreign intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), stated in a June 2001 speech that it can take up to five years to build an effective agent network.18 But the intelligence officers interviewed for this paper also emphasize that the US intelligence community must do a better job of effectively using what Human Intelligence resources that are available in future peacekeeping operations, since CIA and American military Human Intelligence performance in recent international peacekeeping operations has left something to be desired in their opinion.19 For example, in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo, rather than take the time to organise and develop Human Intelligence networks, which the British experience in Northern Ireland indicates can take years if one does it right, US intelligence officers have resorted to the time-honored expedient of making large cash payments to sources in return for intelligence information.

In the short term, this yielded some intelligence, but over the long-term the reliability of what the sources were passing to their American handlers proved to be dubious, at best. In Somalia, so much false or misleading information was finding its way into American Human Intelligence reports that many commanders stopped reading them. Moreover, once the cash payments stopped, the local informants became vindictive and stopped providing intelligence.20

Another often-heard criticism is that American Human Intelligence collectors have all too frequently not availed themselves of the best intelligence sources available: in this case, the ‘bad guys’ on the other side of the firing lines. In Somalia, the UN military commander (an American general) initially made a point of meeting regularly with the most important local warlord, Mohammed Farrah Aideed. The American military commanders who followed him, however, cancelled the meetings and abandoned all contact with Aideed and his aides because of political directives received from Washington. But in the process, however, the US lost its best and most reliable source of intelligence.21 Unable to have direct contact with the leaders of the forces hostile to the peacekeeping forces, US Human Intelligence collectors were forced to depend on much lower-level local sources who turned out, more often than not, to be unreliable and whose primary motivation was their own financial betterment. This has resulted in some painful intelligence failures, such as the inability to find Aideed in Somalia, or a warning that the local populace had become hostile to the continued presence of American forces in Mogadishu.22

In Bosnia and Kosovo there is documentary evidence that US Army Human intelligence operatives overused their sources. Post-mortem reviews of US Army Human Intelligence performance in Bosnia in the mid-1990s found that there were too many Human intelligence collectors chasing to few sources. This often resulted in the same source being interviewed by two or three American Human intelligence operatives a week, each of whom was asking basically the same questions.23
Relax Political Constraints on Intelligence Collection

Then there is the problem of American peacekeepers not being aggressive enough in collecting intelligence by getting out more into the local environment. Because of political concerns about suffering casualties akin to the disasters in Beirut in 1983 and Mogadishu in 1993, American peacekeepers have become virtual prisoners in their kasernes in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia. This has severely impeded productive Human intelligence collection, which can only be gathered through face-to-face contact with friends and enemies alike. It has also led to an unhealthy dependency on technical intelligence sensors for intelligence. When US Human Intelligence collectors were allowed out of their barracks, security considerations made them look conspicuous. In Bosnia, US Army regulations requiring all Army troops, including intelligence collectors, to wear full battledress uniform, carry weapons, and travel in conspicuous four-vehicle convoys was found not to be particularly conducive to eliciting information from sources in Bosnia towns and villages. Efforts to get these restrictions lifted were largely unsuccessful.24
Linguistic Shortages
A shortage of trained linguists has severely hampered the effectiveness of American Human Intelligence during virtually every peacekeeping operations over the last decade, and helped contribute to some of the intelligence failures of the past. The advantages of possessing good linguists is supported by this post mortem of the Somali operation:

One of the biggest successes were the contracted Somali interpreters from the United States. Although limited to English translation, they provided keen insight on Somali culture as well as language. These interpreters, many of whom were Washington, D.C. cab drivers, also interpreted body language and facial gestures - not only of Somalis to western troops, but vice versa. They were able to explain to Somalis the body language (frustration, anger, etc.) of Americans, which would otherwise have gone unappreciated. Two way understanding was important. The Somalis needed to know what we thought and felt as much as we needed to understand them.25

American intelligence officers who have participated in peacekeeping operations in Lebanon, Haiti, Somalia and the Balkans virtually unanimously agree that the US intelligence community as a whole must do a better job of integrating the vast amounts of intelligence information that it obtains from the wide variety of technical and human intelligence sources available, and more importantly, ensuring the timely synthesis, analysis and reporting of intelligence information collected by these various means to the peacekeeping force commanders.26

A More Entrepreneurial Approach to Peacekeeping Intelligence

Intelligence officers participating in supporting peacekeeping operations must become more entrepreneurial. They must be willing to throw away their doctrinal manuals and be more open to new, unorthodox ideas about how to collect intelligence in a peacekeeping environment. For example, one of the findings stemming from America’s participation in peacekeeping operations in Bosnia, Kosovo and now Afghanistan is that men and women trained as professional intelligence officers now must become diplomats, police officers, construction workers, public works planners, and even foreign aid officials. One junior US Army intelligence officer in Kosovo found himself as the de facto mayor of a small town, where he found himself responsible for settling family disputes, erecting a new court system, policing traffic, and even installing a new electric grid and sewer system. Although it was not an intended result, the trust engendered from these activities led the inhabitants to begin bringing their new mayor the latest gossip and information about what was going on the surrounding region, oftentimes in the form of complaints. Still, this officer quickly became one of the best Human intelligence collectors for the US military in his part of Kosovo.27 Experience in Kosovo since 1999 has shown that Human intelligence collection in a peacekeeping environment can be expanded at virtually no cost by having the Human Intelligence collectors work more closely with their military police colleagues, who were among the few American forces permitted to roam freely through their area of operations. In addition, by merging their efforts with UN civilian police units in Kosovo (UNCIVPOL), the Human Intelligence knowledge base was expanded even further, especially when it came to hunting for known criminals who threatened the peace in the region.28 In addition, intelligence officers supporting peacekeeping operations must be willing to explore non-traditional sources of intelligence information.
Time after time, American intelligence officers involved in peacekeeping operations over the last decade have found that oftentimes their best sources of hard information came from aid officials and relief workers employed by non-governmental organisations, such as the Peace Corps, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the International Committee of the Red Cross, or CARE. These individuals generally have been present in the region far longer than the Human intelligence collectors, speak the languages of the countries involved, know and have the trust of local officials, and have a deeper perspective on the events surrounding them than the Human intelligence


The problem is that the historical relationship between the US intelligence community and NGOs has been, to put it mildly, less than harmonious. NGOs have resisted co-operating in any substantive way with the US intelligence community rather than prejudice their legitimate position as humanitarian relief organisations around the world.30 As such, these non-traditional sources of information should be treated with great care. They are not part of the US government, so no attempt should be made to co-opt them in return for temporary gains. Moreover, it should be recognised that the interests of the NGOs will not necessarily coincide with those of the intelligence collectors, so great care should be taken when examining the information provided by NGO actors.

Relax Current Security Restrictions

Existing security rules and regulations must be modified to take into account the unique aspects of providing intelligence support to peacekeeping operations. There have been too many instances in recent peacekeeping operations, such as in Bosnia during the early to mid-1990s, where national-level strategic intelligence information was deliberately not made available to American intelligence officers operating on the ground because of the fear on the part of security officials that the information could find its way into the hands of our foreign peacekeeping partners who were not cleared for access to the information.31

More and Better Intelligence Sharing With Our Allies

By all accounts, the CIA and US military intelligence have made dramatic strides in the last decade in trying to work more closely with their multinational partners in international peacekeeping operations. But the US intelligence officers interviewed for this chapter have made clear that the nature and extent of US intelligence co-operation and information sharing with our international partners in peacekeeping operations, which has been a longstanding problem and a source of continual tension with our peacekeeping partners, continues to be in need of massive improvement. This seemingly never ending problem is a difficult one to cure, and defies the short-term ad-hoc fixes that Washington typically prefers because they are politically expedient.32

There appear to be three fundamental areas which need to be addressed in a comprehensive manner before this problem begins to go away: How should the US share intelligence with its friends in a peacekeeping environment; how does the US protect its intelligence sources; and perhaps most importantly, should the US share its most sensitive intelligence information with its peacekeeping partners? Although these issues appear simple on paper, they have bedeviled politicians, military commanders and senior intelligence officials on both sides

of the Atlantic for the better part of 20 years with no clear-cut resolution yet in sight. Publicly, the US intelligence community has committed itself to greater intelligence co-operation with foreign partners in multinational operations. For example, a US Joint Chiefs of Staff doctrinal document states that ‘Sharing of intelligence information between coalition forces is essential to integrating all resources and capabilities into a unified system that will be fulfil the prioritised intelligence needs for joint operations.’33

But American and foreign intelligence officers confirm that while Washington has paid lip-service to greater intelligence co-operation with multinational partners, it has consistently failed to deliver when pressed to make good on promises made. There is no question that the US must do more than pay lip service to the concept of co-operation and intelligence sharing with its coalition partners. In reality, intelligence sharing with foreign nations, even those who have been allies of the United States for decades, has oftentimes posed seemingly insurmountable problems for the US intelligence community. Senior elements within the US intelligence community have consistently viewed intelligence sharing with friends and allies in peacekeeping operations as something akin to anathema. In part this is because, as most intelligence professionals would willingly admit, the very idea of giving away one’s intelligence secrets to strangers runs contrary to the some of the most basic and fundamental beliefs of virtually all intelligence officers around the world. This deeply held sentiment was confirmed a few years ago by a former senior CIA operations officer, who wrote that ‘intelligence sharing is not something the comes naturally to intelligence officers.’34 There are, of course, historical reasons for the American reluctance to share intelligence information in an international peacekeeping environment. Many past and present US intelligence officials point to an incident that occurred in early 1995, when United Nations forces abandoned a cache of sensitive American intelligence documents in Mogadishu, Somalia in their haste to withdraw from the country.35 In some respects, the behaviour of the US intelligence community in previous peacekeeping operations has made the problem more difficult that it should be. In Somalia in 1993, delays in disseminating intelligence information was caused in part by the American propensity to label all intelligence product SECRET NORFORN, barring the sharing of the intelligence with foreign partners, regardless of their nationality. It was only thanks to the initiative of the local American military commander that some of the intelligence product was authorised for release to other coalition partners in Somalia.36
Intelligence information from American national sources was available, but it took in some cases days to disseminate the information to other UN units because of the need to ‘sanitise’ the data in order to protect sensitive sources and methods. By the time the sanitation process was completed, the time-sensitive information was practically worthless.37

Since Somalia, there has been, by all accounts, an order of magnitude improvement in the area of intelligence sharing with our partners, but if the complaints from allies that I have heard based on our experience in Kosovo and Macedonia have any basis in truth, which I believe that they do, we still have a long way to go. The most frequently heard complaint was that certain foreign nations were given higher quality intelligence information by the US than others. This has naturally bred considerable resentment of US intelligence sharing practices among intelligence officials from the nations that were not on Washington’s ‘A List.’ 38

What to do About the United Nations

Which brings us to the next sticky problem: How does the US intelligence community improve the nature and extent of its intelligence co-operation with the United Nations, which has what can only be described as a troubled history.

Given the political dynamics of the institution, the very concept of providing intelligence support to the United Nations is an extremely difficult proposition for American intelligence professionals. A former CIA intelligence officer with considerable experience in the field of providing intelligence support to the United Nations recently wrote that ‘The idea of sharing intelligence between national governments and the UN has required a seismic shift in attitudes and practices on all sides.’39 The UN has not made the process any easier for itself. UN officials have made it clear, both publicly and privately, that the idea of even admitting using intelligence information has been ‘difficult and distasteful.’40 This penchant against intelligence within the UN has frustrated that organisation’s peacekeeping officials. A UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) post mortem study of UN peacekeeping operations in Somalia concluded ‘The United Nations must continue to move beyond its earlier attitude and reluctance with respect to the propriety of ‘intelligence’ and its role in United Nations peace operations.’41

Regardless of whether it is a fair assessment or not, many American policymakers and intelligence officers, both military and civilian, frankly do not trust the UN in the area of intelligence sharing and co-operation. According to a 1996 congressional report, ‘Sharing information with the United Nations has

been more tentative and limited due to the nature of the organisation itself (which includes countries whose interests are perceived as inimical to those of the United States) and to the lack of any effective system at the UN to control information provided by member nations.’42

According to one assessment, the UN’s primary limitation in the field of intelligence is that it is ‘a very rigid, antiquated bureaucratic operation of firmly entrenched staff, who are either unable or unwilling to change.’43 A declassified report written by an American intelligence officer on intelligence support for international peacekeeping stated ‘The UN organisation currently cannot collect or handle information efficiently or effectively.’44 In part this conclusion stems from the fact that the UN’s Office of Research and Collection of Information (ORCI), which was formed in 1988 to act as the UN’s intelligence service, was forced to close its doors four years later in March 1992 for lack of sufficient resources. There are even suggestions that the unit was disbanded because it failed to effectively communicate its findings to the UN Secretariat.

Another recurring theme, again based on experience in Somalia and Bosnia, is that the UN is incapable of protecting or properly communicating classified information, or more correctly put, some member states are incapable of protecting the information within the UN context. This has created uncomfortable situations when in the early 1990s, the US denied the UN access to high-technology intelligence products during peacekeeping operations in the Sinai, Cyprus and Namibia.45 The exception to the rule was the eight year UNSCOM weapons inspection operation in Iraq, which although not a peacekeeping operation per se, proved that under certain conditions United Nations organisations can effectively perform their functions largely to the receipt of high-level intelligence information from participating members, including the US.

How to Teach Intelligence for Peacekeeping Operations

Finally, there must be some teaching mechanism put into place whereby the lessons learned from previous peacekeeping operations are preserved and taught

to the next generation of American intelligence personnel participating in peacekeeping operations so that we do not repeat the same mistakes as we have in the past. Moreover, this facility should be international in scope and makeup, since American intelligence personnel must learn what it is like to work in a multinational environment. This capability sadly does not exist at the present time.


1 This quote is taken from (accessed in January 2003).

2 James S. Corum, ‘Air Power and Peace Enforcement,’ Airpower Journal, 4 (1996) pp.17-18.

3 Major Harold E. Bullock, USAF, Peace by Committee: Command and Control Issues in Multinational Peace Enforcement Operations (Maxwell AFB: School of Advanced Airpower Studies, June 1994).

4 Norman L. Cooling, ‘Operation Restore Hope in Somalia: A Tactical Action Turned Strategic Defeat,’ Marine Corps Gazette, September 2001, p. 92.

5 David Martin and John Wolcott, Best Laid Plans: The Inside Story of America’s War Against Terrorism (NY: Harper & Row, 1988), p. 105; James Perry Stevenson, The $5 Billion Misunderstanding (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2001) p.39n; ‘New Evidence Ties Iran to Terrorism,’ Newsweek, November 15, 1999.

6 Bullock, Peace by Committee.

7 Confidential interviews.

8 Confidential interviews.

9 Confidential interviews.

10 Confidential interview.

11 Bullock, Peace by Committee.

12 HRH General Khaled bin Sultan with Patrick Seale, Desert Warrior (NY: HarperCollins, 1995), p. 203.

13 Confidential interviews.

14 Captain Robert Culp, ‘TF 1-26 Intelligence AAR - Bosnia’, undated, located at (accessed in January 2003).

15 Bullock, Peace by Committee.

16 Helene L. Boatner, ‘Sharing and Using Intelligence in International Organizations: Some Guidelines,’ National Security and the Future, Vol. 1, No. 2, Summer (2000).

17 Cooling, ‘Operation Restore Hope in Somalia’, p.92.

18 Speech, Ludwig Mundt, International Intelligence History Study Group, Seventh Annual Meeting, June 8-10, 2001, Haus Rissen, Hamburg, Germany.

19 Confidential interviews.

20 Bullock, Peace by Committee; Cooling, ‘Operation Restore Hope in Somalia’ p. 92.

21 Cooling, ‘Operation Restore Hope in Somalia’, p.92.

22 Cooling, ‘Operation Restore Hope in Somalia’, p.92.

23 Culp, ‘TF 1-26 Intelligence AAR - Bosnia’.

24 CWO2 Leonard H. Holden, ‘Counterintelligence: A Decade of Change,’ Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin, 3 (1999); Culp, ‘TF 1-26 Intelligence AAR – Bosnia’.

25 Bullock, Peace by Committee.

26 Confidential interviews.

27 Confidential interview.

28 Major Jeff Jennings and Captain Jennifer Gaddis, USA, ‘Intelligence Support to Law Enforcement in Peacekeeping Operation’, undated, located at 02/jennings&gaddis.htm (accessed in January 2003).

29 Bullock, USAF, Peace by Committee: Command and Control Issues in Multinational Peace Enforcement Operations (Maxwell AFB: School of Advanced Airpower Studies, June 1994).

30 William E. DeMars, ‘Hazardous Partnership: NGOs and United States Intelligence in Small Wars,’International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 2 (2001) pp.193-222.

31 Confidential interview.

32 Confidential interviews.

33 US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Handbook for Joint Urban Operations, May 17, 2000, p. III-26.

34 Boatner, ‘Sharing and Using Intelligence in International Organizations’.

35 Confidential interviews.

36 Bullock, Peace by Committee.

37 Cooling, ’Operation Restore Hope in Somalia’,p.92.

38 Bullock, Peace by Committee.

39 Boatner, ‘Sharing and Using Intelligence in International Organizations’.

40 Boatner, ‘Sharing and Using Intelligence in International Organizations’.

41 United Nations, Department of Peacekeeping Operations, The Comprehensive Report on Lessons Learned from United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM), April 1992 - March 1995, undated, p.20, located at (accessed in January 2003).

42 Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the United States Intelligence Community, Preparing for the 21st Century: An Appraisal of US Intelligence (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office 1996), p.129.

43 Commander Charles A. Williams, USN, Intelligence Support to U.N. Peacekeeping Operations (Washington, DC: Industrial College of the Armed Forces 1993) p.14.

44 Williams, USN, Intelligence Support to U.N. Peacekeeping Operations, p.14.

45 A.S. Henry et al., Peacekeeping: Final Report on National Defense Headquarters Program Evaluation E2/90 (Ottawa: Program Evaluation Division 1992), p.241.

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