This report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. As the U.S. rebalances towards the Asia-Pacific, strategists and force planners will grapple with how to best pursue American policy objectives in the region. Financial constraints will limit their available means, placing additional importance on the creative use of existing resources. However, concepts rooted in years of counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations—if unquestioningly transferred to the Asia-Pacific—risk becoming cognitive strictures that limit strategic imagination. This monograph aims to broaden joint force thinking on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). It begins by defining ISR and differentiating it from intelligence writ large. Next, borrowing from airpower theory, it explores the relationship between ISR and strategy, concluding that ISR is an astrategic activity that may bring about strategic effects in three fundamental ways—by informing strategy-making, by enabling necessary tactics, and by favorably shaping the operational environment. The paper then examines each ISR way against available historical evidence. Recommendations to improve the efficacy of ISR in the Asia-Pacific and beyond complete the essay. The project introduces several novel concepts, including ISR's astrategic character, ISR's three ways to cause strategic effect, ISR diplomacy, and ISR's observer-effect.
This compilation includes a reproduction of the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.
Collecting to Win: ISR for Strategic Effect * 1. Introduction * 2. Intelligence and ISR * 3. Strategy and ISR * 4. ISR for Strategic Effect * 5. ISR to Enable - Collection, Tactics, and Strategy * 6. ISR to Shape - ISR Diplomacy and the Observer-Effect * 7. Recommendations
This monograph examines the ways of ISR in the context of the Asia-Pacific rebalance. It begins by defining relevant terms and differentiating ISR from intelligence writ large. Next, borrowing from airpower theory, it explores the relationship between ISR and strategy, identifying three fundamental ways that ISR activities may cause strategic effect. The essay sketches each ISR way in some detail and surveys historical evidence to refine the concepts. The penultimate section recommends improvements to U.S. military doctrine and ISR employment in the Asia-Pacific. A summary concludes the paper. In the final analysis, ISR may cause strategic effects in three ways—by collecting to inform strategy-making; by collecting to enable the execution of strategy; and, by favorably shaping the operational environment directly. If this essay adds modestly to a more expansive and nuanced understanding of ISR, it will have succeeded.