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The Present Situation in Darfur

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Introduction

The present situation in Darfur bears a striking similarity to the condition in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The circumstances are leading to continuous insurgency, and Al Qaeda influence is increasing every day. The border patrolling by the armed forces is not sufficient and often local residents cross it without resistance. While both of the locations are geographically different, this article highlights much of the lessons and similarities learned from Afghanistan war.

Al Qaeda expanded network of terrorism is posing a serious threat to America’s prestige and gives sleepless nights to Federal government and intelligence organizations. Recent America’s planning to pull out troops from Afghanistan will further strengthen the image of Al Qaeda. Earlier Taliban freedom fighters were successful in rebelling against the occupying of American troops, just as the Mujihadeen succeeded in repelling the Soviets in the 1980’s. In any case, this opportunity and propaganda will not be beneficial to rebel groups of Darfur, Sudan considering the minimal risk to the peace keeping organizations as they have gained substantial public recognition.

This article provides a number of similarities between the two nations, examine the operations of multinational peacekeeping organizations and further analyze the involvement of intelligence organizations that are struggling to bring peace and stability in Darfur.

Discuss what intelligence organizations need to be established to support peacemaking operation

In the wake of the Cold War, regional and local conflicts, the most brilliant techniques for settling existing disputes have come to the forefront thus causing a deep concern to many countries. The peacemaking efforts show that in peace making operations led by a coalition of governments, the task of securing intelligence for such operations is gaining ever growing importance.

What kinds of intelligence campaigns can promote the peacemaking operation? The intelligence at the operational, tactical and strategic levels are significant and strategic level is always the first priority as it determines the appropriate way of dealing with the circumstances by contributing exact information of the area from a military/ political perspective.

For example, first it is essential to know from where rebel leaders are operating, and the strength of their force, the kinds of weapons they possess, if combined forces plan to attack Darfur and launch the similar operations as they did in Afghanistan. After the completion of this exercise, it is possible to attack rebels by bombing their place of hiding if their hiding is at a distance from refugee camps and humanitarian relief is possible.

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A critical situation also may arise as these rebels may be conducting their operations from refugee camps, but this possibility is contradictory in itself as quite often Sudan government military aircrafts are bombing these refugee camps. On confirmation of rebel’s location, fighter aircrafts can be deputed to rescue the refugees.

Although UAVs have the ability of remaining in the air for longer periods of time than traditional aircraft, a thorough knowledge of what is happening all around will be essential to ascertain priority targets and how to organize their targeting activities and ultimate destruction.

This situation invites  dynamic participation of intelligence organizations in these regions before involving military action in Darfur.

One of the America leading intelligence organizations National Geospatial Agency (NGA) is worldwide famous for combat operations and provides assistance in solving the nation’s security issues. Its objective consists of collection, distribution and analyzing geospatial intelligence require for internal and external security of the nation. This agency can be sent to Darfur as the first and key contributors.

Further CIA possesses a solid HUMINT specialization of collecting information and deals with such overseas situation, and their information will be vital for successful operation in combined operations. Moreover, they would not be the first ones since the operations are already in progress.

National Security Agency, popularly known as NSA specializes in electronic and satellite communications of American military intelligence. The security agencies of Army, Navy, and Air force can further exploit NSA in combating rebels’ communications.

Terrorism and insurgency are often extremely difficult to differentiate and with Bin Laden roots in the area, it is possible to conclude that there is the probability of Al Qaeda presence in the neighborhood and possibility to attack USA in much similar way as happened in case of Afghanistan.

FBI possesses the deep roots in history of America of successful combating terrorist activities. Their help is further beneficial in protecting the nation from terrorist attacks and also protect the nations against foreign intelligence operations and espionage.

The whole set of intelligence information would be an asset to Department of Defense, when it ultimately makes a decisions to launch military action, and all intelligence organizations including DIA would join battle field in military operations.

Discuss how national intelligence organization would support multinational operations

This paper now considers how national intelligence organizations activities can support multinational operations in Darfur. History shows that human intelligence has always been a powerful source in providing an early warning concerning enemy plans. This information is useful in designing future military action, thus, nullifying the actions of an enemy. The tremendous availability of intelligence activities such as spy satellites, hot air balloons and UAV provides confirmed observations and activities of the enemy to battlefield commanders. HUMINT further provides useful resources of extracting enemy’s strength, activities, and action plan, and with its support, it is possible to formulate a military strategy in Darfur. In the present scenario of Darfur, HUMINT would be again a reliable platform in a similar way as in a case of Afghanistan. 

Multinational Intelligence

The Darfur operation is a joint operation with the involvement of “Big Five” powers such as US, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zeeland and Australia. Information sharing strongly depends upon division of the areas among participating nations as observed in the case of Afghanistan, where different regions are in possession of different nations and different divisions of their military. The USA Defense Department, responsible for the joint operation provides intelligence support to Army, US Navy and Air Force for carrying a joint combat and their individual operation. The elements of intelligence require information sharing and processed intelligence for carrying a multinational exercise. Then, the multinational operation also requires an appropriate way of sharing information as much as possible without compromising ways, capabilities or sources such as HUMINT, SIGINT, IMINT. Sometimes, during the military operation these HUMIT sources can create a problem as it happened in Afghanistan.

HUMINT collectors of the American Army were jointly working with the Polish HUMINT in the same region of Afghanistan, and they both possess information of same sources without recognizing participation of each other.

This problem is similar to “circular reporting”; in such a case, a single source authorizes itself because multiple intelligence informers are not able to communicate methodically with each other. It was possible for the American Operational Teams (AOT) to neutralize sources within the US HUMINT system, but there was no sight of international HUMINT. One of the simplest and easiest methods is to contact Polish collectors and question them directly. The US army followed this quest and observed that Polish side had an interest in protecting their sources. Identifying the name of sources or town where he operates can create a possibility of death sentence for the source.

Thus, there is a need of an international version of American operational management that provides insight of international HUMINT operations to prevent such sorts of incidents from occurring again. On the issue of sharing of information, a communication network needs to be set up among all national intelligence agencies and multinational forces.

Besides, from the reports of various media, still there is an excessive insufficiency of intelligence communications between combined, multinational forces that require an urgent solution while aiding joint, multinational operations. 

Combined Intelligence

In the history, of the United States, numerous intelligence collection platforms, known as ICP have served the nation in many capacities. In the early history of America, President George Washington was a competent source handler and much of his intelligence skills are still in practice today. It is worth observing that George Washington was also an insurgent commander during the period of Revolutionary War that resulted in independence of America. Later, during the period of civil war, hot air balloons captured the photographs of the battle field, paving a way for IMINT. During the cold war and post World War, SIGINT helped to intercept communications furnishing valuable anticipation of enemy action, and use of MASINT assisted to locate communist command centers.

These days, in conflicts, rebels use civilian infrastructures, mix into citizens so their identification is impossible, and they attack some prime targets, whenever there is a right opportunity. This chameleon like hiding hinders static IMINT satellite photography as it is ineffective beyond certain topography familiarization and cannot track enemy movements. In such a case, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles covers the obstacles with accurate overhead surveillance. 

Rebels’ communication technology is extremely “low-tech”. In a cold war, quantity of electronic signals and transmissions to intercept is extremely high; therefore, SIGINT ceased to be the key element of the intelligence collection. Moving forward into such operating environment in Darfur, HUMINT has become primary functional means of collecting information as the enemy deploys compartmentalized elements and de-concentrate leadership that perform missions within its organization. The only linkage between their cells is the people surrounding them; usually these people due to security reasons may not be even familiar with everyone in their own groups. Before anyone could hold the area, NGA had already sent geospatial intelligence by providing satellite photography and political/terrain maps.

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