Placement, Access & Exposure


by Sam Culper III

The starting point of this article should be that intelligence drives the fight, and intelligence requirements drive intelligence gathering.  Without intelligence, operations aren’t prosecuted effectively.  Intelligence tells warfighters where to go, and what or who to look for and/or kill.  Intelligence drives the fight, therefore the fight is not driven without the collection and analysis of intelligence information.  On the flip side, an organization with no warfighters, or with the inability to project force, has no real use for actionable intelligence that drives operations.  Organizations need both in order to win battles and wars.  Good intelligence is just as important as having the riflemen capable of neutralizing threats.  No changes are effected without both.

Since these topics have come up a couple times in the past week, I figured this is as good a time as any to address them specifically.  Placement, access and exposure are all concepts imminently important when collecting information from human sources, or Human Intelligence (HUMINT).  Without a human source’s placement, access and exposure, there is no facilitation of accurate intelligence information.  If cucumbers aren’t planted in your garden, then you will not harvest cucumbers from your garden.  If beer is not put in your refrigerator, then there’s no way you will retrieve a cold beer from the refrigerator.  Accurate information doesn’t magically appear; human sources are exposed to information and it’s the HUMINT collector’s job to identify and retrieve that information.  Without that exposure to the target information, HUMINT collectors can’t obtain that target information.  More on this later…


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