Strategic vs Tactical Intelligence

Topics: Terrorism, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Military intelligence Pages: 5 (1468 words) Published: July 28, 2012
In today’s society, we have come to give up some of our rights as Americans due to the tragic events of September 11, 2001. It makes you wonder sometimes how much different, if any, society or our rights might have actually even changed because of this. Our country has put so much funding towards creating new Federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security which is entirely devoted to monitoring potential terroristic threats, current or future, upon American soil. Which brings me to this, how has Strategic and Tactical Intelligence helped with staying “on top” of the enemy. Civil liberties activists point to a series of privacy and civil rights flaps associated with fusion centers. They say the public is kept in the dark about what databases analysts are searching, what information they are gathering and what drives their priorities (Dilanian, 2010). Homeland Security Department officials and fusion center officers say they pay close attention to civil and privacy rights.

There are some differences between the two of them. Strategic Intelligence is a type of intelligence the “includes gaining or developing information related to threats of terrorism or crime and using this information to apprehend offenders, harden targets, and use strategies that will eliminate or mitigate the threat” (Schmalleger, 2010). In contrast to strategic intelligence, tactical intelligence deals with the here and now. It provides decision makers with the necessary information to watch for changes in the company's current operating environment and helps them discover new opportunities. Tactical intelligence deals with real time, offering analysis of current competitive conditions within the particular marketplace or industry. Rather than planning, tactical intelligence addresses the action steps that must be taken to achieve the company's strategic objectives. This level of intelligence focuses more on the resources available for achieving strategic goals with quality results, such as people, time and money. A company's tactical planning helps it to make the most efficient use of resources, both for achieving objectives as well as handling any risks and challenges involved in carrying out strategic plans. Some examples of tactical intelligence are: Information that a known terrorist intends to take a particular flight, so that he can be arrested; (2) Information that a terrorist organization is storing weapons in a particular location, so that a police raid upon this location can be authorized and carried out; (3) Information that terrorists are planning to attack a particular building on a particular day, so that vehicles and people approaching this building can be searched for weapons or explosives; (4) Identification of an individual as the link among various cells of a terrorist organization, so that surveillance of this individual and identification of his contacts will lead to a short list of people to investigate; (5) Identification of a particular bank account as a vehicle for terrorist financing, which could support a variety of useful counterterrorist actions. Some characteristics of tactical intelligence are: (a) it must be used quickly, or it loses its value; (b) its sources are fragile, meaning that if the terrorists learn enough about a tactical intelligence source they can eliminate it; (c) it becomes valueless if the terrorists learn that we know it before we use it; (d) in many cases, there can be serious disagreements about how best to use the intelligence, or even whether preservation of a critical source dictates that a particular item of tactical intelligence should not be used at all. Because of these characteristics, tactical intelligence is generally shared only when sharing is absolutely essential for effective action (Sharfman, 2004).

And as far as strategic intelligence is concerned, it is concerned with understanding the threat environment in order to optimize tactical operations (Heberlein, 2002). It is...
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