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1ac – Intelligence Only

Contention _ is Human Intelligence



Information overload drains resources and trades off with targeted surveillance


Volz, 14

(Dustin, The National Journal, “Snowden: Overreliance on Mass Surveillance Abetted Boston Marathon Bombing: The former NSA contractor says a focus on mass surveillance is impeding traditional intelligence-gathering efforts—and allowing terrorists to succeed”, October 20, 2014, ak.)



Edward Snowden on Monday suggested that if the National Security Agency focused more on traditional intelligence gatheringand less on its mass-surveillance programs—it could have thwarted the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. The fugitive leaker, speaking via video to a Harvard class, said that a preoccupation with collecting bulk communications data has led to resource constraints at U.S. intelligence agencies, often leaving more traditional, targeted methods of spying on the back burner. "We miss attacks, we miss leads, and investigations fail because when the government is doing its 'collect it all,' where we're watching everybody, we're not seeing anything with specificity because it is impossible to keep an eye on all of your targets," Snowden told Harvard professor and Internet freedom activist Lawrence Lessig. "A good example of this is, actually, the Boston Marathon bombings." Snowden said that Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were pointed out by Russian intelligence to U.S. officials prior to the bombings last year that killed three and left hundreds wounded, but that such actionable intelligence was largely ignored. He argued that targeted surveillance on known extremists and diligent pursuit of intelligence leads provides for better counterterrorism efforts than mass spying. "We didn't really watch these guys and the question is, why?" Snowden asked. "The reality of that is because we do have finite resources and the question is, should we be spending 10 billion dollars a year on mass-surveillance programs of the NSA to the extent that we no longer have effective means of traditional [targeting]?" Anti-spying activists have frequently argued that bulk data collection has no record of successfully thwarting a terrorist attack, a line of argument some federal judges reviewing the NSA's programs have also used in their legal reviews of the activities. Snowden's suggestion—that such mass surveillance has not only failed to directly stop a threat, but actually makes the U.S. less safe by distracting resource-strapped intelligence officials from performing their jobs—takes his criticism of spy programs to a new level. "We're watching everybody that we have no reason to be watching simply because it may have value, at the expense of being able to watch specific people for which we have a specific cause for investigating, and that's something that we need to look carefully at how to balance," Snowden said.

The plan solves-

  1. Leads to the abandonment of wasteful, inefficient mass surveillance tactics in favor of targeted surveillance


Walt, 14

(Stephen M. Walt is the (real papa Walt) and Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University, “The Big Counterterrorism Counterfactual Is the NSA actually making us worse at fighting terrorism?”, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/11/10/counterterrorism_spying_nsa_islamic_state_terrorist_cve, November 10, 2014, ak.)



The head of the British electronic spy agency GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, created a minor flap last week in an article he wrote for the Financial Times. In effect, Hannigan argued that more robust encryption procedures by private Internet companies were unwittingly aiding terrorists such as the Islamic State (IS) or al Qaeda, by making it harder for organizations like the NSA and GCHQ to monitor online traffic. The implication was clear: The more that our personal privacy is respected and protected, the greater the danger we will face from evildoers. It's a serious issue, and democracies that want to respect individual privacy while simultaneously keeping citizens safe are going to have to do a much better job of reassuring us that vast and (mostly) secret surveillance capabilities overseen by unelected officials such as Hannigan won't be abused. I tend to favor the privacy side of the argument, both because personal freedoms are hard to get back once lost, but also because there's not much evidence that these surveillance activities are making us significantly safer. They seem to be able to help us track some terrorist leaders, but there's a lively debate among scholars over whether tracking and killing these guys is an effective strategy. The fear of being tracked also forces terrorist organizations to adopt less efficient communications procedures, but it doesn't seem to prevent them from doing a fair bit of harm regardless. The fear of being tracked also forces terrorist organizations to adopt less efficient communications procedures, but it doesn't seem to prevent them from doing a fair bit of harm regardless. So here's a wild counterfactual for you to ponder: What would the United States, Great Britain, and other wealthy and powerful nations do if they didn't have these vast surveillance powers? What would they do if they didn't have armed drones, cruise missiles, or other implements of destruction that can make it remarkably easy (and in the short-term, relatively cheap) to target anyone they suspect might be a terrorist? Assuming that there were still violent extremists plotting various heinous acts, what would these powerful states do if the Internet was there but no one knew how to spy on it? For starters, they'd have to rely more heavily on tried-and-true counterterrorism measures: infiltrating extremist organizations and flipping existing members, etc., to find out what they were planning, head attacks off before they occurred, and eventually roll up organization themselves. States waged plenty of counterterrorism campaigns before the Internet was invented, and while it can be difficult to infiltrate such movements and find their vulnerable points, it's not exactly an unknown art. If we couldn't spy on them from the safety of Fort Meade, we'd probably be doing a lot more of this. Second, if we didn't have all these expensive high-tech capabilities, we might spend a lot more time thinking about how to discredit and delegitimize the terrorists' message, instead of repeatedly doing things that help them make their case and recruit new followers. Every time the United States goes and pummels another Muslim country -- or sends a drone to conduct a "signature strike" -- it reinforces the jihadis' claim that the West has an insatiable desire to dominate the Arab and Islamic world and no respect for Muslim life. It doesn't matter if U.S. leaders have the best of intentions, if they genuinely want to help these societies, or if they are responding to a legitimate threat; the crude message that drones, cruise missiles, and targeted killings send is rather different. If we didn't have all these cool high-tech hammers, in short, we'd have to stop treating places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Syria as if they were nails that just needed another pounding, and we might work harder at marginalizing our enemies within their own societies. To do that, we would have to be building more effective partnerships with authoritative sources of legitimacy within these societies, including religious leaders. Our failure to do more to discredit these movements is perhaps the single biggest shortcoming of the entire war on terror, and until that failure is recognized and corrected, the war will never end. Third, and somewhat paradoxically, if we didn't have drones and the NSA, we'd have to think more seriously about boots on the ground, at least in some places. But having to think harder about such decisions might be a good thing, because it would force the United States (or others) to decide which threats were really serious and which countries really mattered. It might even lead to the conclusion that any sort of military intervention is counterproductive. As we've seen over the past decade, what the NSA, CIA, and Special Ops Command do is in some ways too easy: It just doesn't cost that much to add a few more names to the kill list, to vacuum up a few more terabytes of data, or to launch a few more drones in some new country, and all the more so when it's done under the veil of secrecy. I'm not saying that our current policy is costless or that special operations aren't risky; my point is that such activities are still a lot easier to contemplate and authorize than a true "boots on the ground" operation. By making it easier, however, the capabilities make it easier for our leaders to skirt the more fundamental questions about interests and strategy. It allows them to "do something," even when what is being done won't necessarily help. Lastly, if U.S. leaders had to think harder about where to deploy more expensive resources, they might finally start thinking about the broader set of U.S. and Western policies that have inspired some of these movements in the first place. Movements like IS, al Qaeda, al-Nusra Front, al-Shabab, or the Taliban are in some ways indigenous movements arising from local circumstances, but they did not spring up out of nowhere and the United States (and other countries) bear some (though not all) blame for their emergence and growth. To say this is neither to defend nor justify violent extremism, nor to assert that all U.S. policies are wrong; it is merely to acknowledge that there is a causal connection between some of what we do and some of the enemies we face. But if some of the things the United States (or its allies) is doing are making it unpopular in certain parts of the world, and if some of that unpopularity gets translated into violent extremism that forces us to spend hundreds of billions of dollars trying to protect ourselves, then maybe we ought to ask ourselves if every single one of those policies makes sense and is truly consistent with U.S. interests and values. And if not, then maybe we ought to change some of them, if only to take some steam out of the extremist enterprise. What I'm suggesting, in short, is that the "surveil and strike" mentality that has dominated the counterterrorism effort (and which is clearly reflected in Hannigan's plea to let Big Brother -- oops, I mean the NSA and GCHQ -- keep its eyes on our communications) is popular with government officials because it's relatively easy, plays to our technological strengths, and doesn't force us to make any significant foreign-policy changes or engage in any sort of self-criticism at all. If we can solve the terrorist problem by throwing money at it, and enriching some defense contractors and former government officials in the process, what's not to like? If we can solve the terrorist problem by throwing money at it, and enriching some defense contractors and former government officials in the process, what's not to like? To be clear: I'm not suggesting we dismantle the NSA, fire all our cryptographers, and revert to Cordell Hull's quaint belief that "gentlemen [or ladies] do not read each other's mail." But until we see more convincing evidence that the surveillance of the sort Hannigan was defending has really and truly kept a significant number of people safer from foreign dangers, I'm going to wonder if we aren't overemphasizing these activities because they are relatively easy for us, and because they have a powerful but hard-to-monitor constituency in Washington and London. In short, we're just doing what comes naturally, instead of doing what might be more effective.
  1. That prevents tradeoffs with human-intel which is critical to overall US intel.


Margolis ‘13

Gabriel Margolis – the author presently holds a Master of Arts (MA) in Conflict Management & Resolution from UNC Wilmington and in his final semester of the program when this article was published in the peer-reviewed journal Global Security Studies . Global Security Studies (GSS) is a premier academic and professional journal for strategic issues involving international security affairs. All articles submitted to and published in Global Security Studies (GSS) undergo a rigorous, peer-reviewed process. From the article: “The Lack of HUMINT: A Recurring Intelligence Problem” - Global Security Studies - Spring 2013, Volume 4, Issue 2http://globalsecuritystudies.com/Margolis%20Intelligence%20(ag%20edits).pdf



The United States has accumulated an unequivocal ability to collect intelligence as a result of the technological advances of the 20th century. Numerous methods of collection have been employed in clandestine operations around the world including those that focus on human, signals, geospatial, and measurements and signals intelligence. An infatuation with technological methods of intelligence gathering has developed within many intelligence organizations, often leaving the age old practice of espionage as an afterthought. As a result of the focus on technical methods, some of the worst intelligence failures of the 20th century can be attributed to an absence of human intelligence. The 21st century has ushered in advances in technology have allowed UAVs to become the ultimate technical intelligence gathering platform; however human intelligence is still being neglected. The increasing reliance on UAVs will make the United States susceptible to intelligence failures unless human intelligence can be properly integrated. In the near future UAVs may be able to gather human level intelligence, but it will be a long time before classical espionage is a thing of the past.

1ac - Civilian Casualties

Contention _ is Human Intelligence



Information overload drains resources and trades off with targeted surveillance


Volz, 14

(Dustin, The National Journal, “Snowden: Overreliance on Mass Surveillance Abetted Boston Marathon Bombing: The former NSA contractor says a focus on mass surveillance is impeding traditional intelligence-gathering efforts—and allowing terrorists to succeed”, October 20, 2014, ak.)



Edward Snowden on Monday suggested that if the National Security Agency focused more on traditional intelligence gatheringand less on its mass-surveillance programs—it could have thwarted the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. The fugitive leaker, speaking via video to a Harvard class, said that a preoccupation with collecting bulk communications data has led to resource constraints at U.S. intelligence agencies, often leaving more traditional, targeted methods of spying on the back burner. "We miss attacks, we miss leads, and investigations fail because when the government is doing its 'collect it all,' where we're watching everybody, we're not seeing anything with specificity because it is impossible to keep an eye on all of your targets," Snowden told Harvard professor and Internet freedom activist Lawrence Lessig. "A good example of this is, actually, the Boston Marathon bombings." Snowden said that Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were pointed out by Russian intelligence to U.S. officials prior to the bombings last year that killed three and left hundreds wounded, but that such actionable intelligence was largely ignored. He argued that targeted surveillance on known extremists and diligent pursuit of intelligence leads provides for better counterterrorism efforts than mass spying. "We didn't really watch these guys and the question is, why?" Snowden asked. "The reality of that is because we do have finite resources and the question is, should we be spending 10 billion dollars a year on mass-surveillance programs of the NSA to the extent that we no longer have effective means of traditional [targeting]?" Anti-spying activists have frequently argued that bulk data collection has no record of successfully thwarting a terrorist attack, a line of argument some federal judges reviewing the NSA's programs have also used in their legal reviews of the activities. Snowden's suggestion—that such mass surveillance has not only failed to directly stop a threat, but actually makes the U.S. less safe by distracting resource-strapped intelligence officials from performing their jobs—takes his criticism of spy programs to a new level. "We're watching everybody that we have no reason to be watching simply because it may have value, at the expense of being able to watch specific people for which we have a specific cause for investigating, and that's something that we need to look carefully at how to balance," Snowden said.

The plan solves-

  1. Leads to the abandonment of wasteful, inefficient mass surveillance tactics in favor of targeted surveillance


Walt, 14

(Stephen M. Walt is the (real papa Walt) and Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University, “The Big Counterterrorism Counterfactual Is the NSA actually making us worse at fighting terrorism?”, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/11/10/counterterrorism_spying_nsa_islamic_state_terrorist_cve, November 10, 2014, ak.)



The head of the British electronic spy agency GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, created a minor flap last week in an article he wrote for the Financial Times. In effect, Hannigan argued that more robust encryption procedures by private Internet companies were unwittingly aiding terrorists such as the Islamic State (IS) or al Qaeda, by making it harder for organizations like the NSA and GCHQ to monitor online traffic. The implication was clear: The more that our personal privacy is respected and protected, the greater the danger we will face from evildoers. It's a serious issue, and democracies that want to respect individual privacy while simultaneously keeping citizens safe are going to have to do a much better job of reassuring us that vast and (mostly) secret surveillance capabilities overseen by unelected officials such as Hannigan won't be abused. I tend to favor the privacy side of the argument, both because personal freedoms are hard to get back once lost, but also because there's not much evidence that these surveillance activities are making us significantly safer. They seem to be able to help us track some terrorist leaders, but there's a lively debate among scholars over whether tracking and killing these guys is an effective strategy. The fear of being tracked also forces terrorist organizations to adopt less efficient communications procedures, but it doesn't seem to prevent them from doing a fair bit of harm regardless. The fear of being tracked also forces terrorist organizations to adopt less efficient communications procedures, but it doesn't seem to prevent them from doing a fair bit of harm regardless. So here's a wild counterfactual for you to ponder: What would the United States, Great Britain, and other wealthy and powerful nations do if they didn't have these vast surveillance powers? What would they do if they didn't have armed drones, cruise missiles, or other implements of destruction that can make it remarkably easy (and in the short-term, relatively cheap) to target anyone they suspect might be a terrorist? Assuming that there were still violent extremists plotting various heinous acts, what would these powerful states do if the Internet was there but no one knew how to spy on it? For starters, they'd have to rely more heavily on tried-and-true counterterrorism measures: infiltrating extremist organizations and flipping existing members, etc., to find out what they were planning, head attacks off before they occurred, and eventually roll up organization themselves. States waged plenty of counterterrorism campaigns before the Internet was invented, and while it can be difficult to infiltrate such movements and find their vulnerable points, it's not exactly an unknown art. If we couldn't spy on them from the safety of Fort Meade, we'd probably be doing a lot more of this. Second, if we didn't have all these expensive high-tech capabilities, we might spend a lot more time thinking about how to discredit and delegitimize the terrorists' message, instead of repeatedly doing things that help them make their case and recruit new followers. Every time the United States goes and pummels another Muslim country -- or sends a drone to conduct a "signature strike" -- it reinforces the jihadis' claim that the West has an insatiable desire to dominate the Arab and Islamic world and no respect for Muslim life. It doesn't matter if U.S. leaders have the best of intentions, if they genuinely want to help these societies, or if they are responding to a legitimate threat; the crude message that drones, cruise missiles, and targeted killings send is rather different. If we didn't have all these cool high-tech hammers, in short, we'd have to stop treating places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Syria as if they were nails that just needed another pounding, and we might work harder at marginalizing our enemies within their own societies. To do that, we would have to be building more effective partnerships with authoritative sources of legitimacy within these societies, including religious leaders. Our failure to do more to discredit these movements is perhaps the single biggest shortcoming of the entire war on terror, and until that failure is recognized and corrected, the war will never end. Third, and somewhat paradoxically, if we didn't have drones and the NSA, we'd have to think more seriously about boots on the ground, at least in some places. But having to think harder about such decisions might be a good thing, because it would force the United States (or others) to decide which threats were really serious and which countries really mattered. It might even lead to the conclusion that any sort of military intervention is counterproductive. As we've seen over the past decade, what the NSA, CIA, and Special Ops Command do is in some ways too easy: It just doesn't cost that much to add a few more names to the kill list, to vacuum up a few more terabytes of data, or to launch a few more drones in some new country, and all the more so when it's done under the veil of secrecy. I'm not saying that our current policy is costless or that special operations aren't risky; my point is that such activities are still a lot easier to contemplate and authorize than a true "boots on the ground" operation. By making it easier, however, the capabilities make it easier for our leaders to skirt the more fundamental questions about interests and strategy. It allows them to "do something," even when what is being done won't necessarily help. Lastly, if U.S. leaders had to think harder about where to deploy more expensive resources, they might finally start thinking about the broader set of U.S. and Western policies that have inspired some of these movements in the first place. Movements like IS, al Qaeda, al-Nusra Front, al-Shabab, or the Taliban are in some ways indigenous movements arising from local circumstances, but they did not spring up out of nowhere and the United States (and other countries) bear some (though not all) blame for their emergence and growth. To say this is neither to defend nor justify violent extremism, nor to assert that all U.S. policies are wrong; it is merely to acknowledge that there is a causal connection between some of what we do and some of the enemies we face. But if some of the things the United States (or its allies) is doing are making it unpopular in certain parts of the world, and if some of that unpopularity gets translated into violent extremism that forces us to spend hundreds of billions of dollars trying to protect ourselves, then maybe we ought to ask ourselves if every single one of those policies makes sense and is truly consistent with U.S. interests and values. And if not, then maybe we ought to change some of them, if only to take some steam out of the extremist enterprise. What I'm suggesting, in short, is that the "surveil and strike" mentality that has dominated the counterterrorism effort (and which is clearly reflected in Hannigan's plea to let Big Brother -- oops, I mean the NSA and GCHQ -- keep its eyes on our communications) is popular with government officials because it's relatively easy, plays to our technological strengths, and doesn't force us to make any significant foreign-policy changes or engage in any sort of self-criticism at all. If we can solve the terrorist problem by throwing money at it, and enriching some defense contractors and former government officials in the process, what's not to like? If we can solve the terrorist problem by throwing money at it, and enriching some defense contractors and former government officials in the process, what's not to like? To be clear: I'm not suggesting we dismantle the NSA, fire all our cryptographers, and revert to Cordell Hull's quaint belief that "gentlemen [or ladies] do not read each other's mail." But until we see more convincing evidence that the surveillance of the sort Hannigan was defending has really and truly kept a significant number of people safer from foreign dangers, I'm going to wonder if we aren't overemphasizing these activities because they are relatively easy for us, and because they have a powerful but hard-to-monitor constituency in Washington and London. In short, we're just doing what comes naturally, instead of doing what might be more effective.
  1. That prevents tradeoffs with human-intel which is critical to overall US intel.


Margolis ‘13

Gabriel Margolis – the author presently holds a Master of Arts (MA) in Conflict Management & Resolution from UNC Wilmington and in his final semester of the program when this article was published in the peer-reviewed journal Global Security Studies . Global Security Studies (GSS) is a premier academic and professional journal for strategic issues involving international security affairs. All articles submitted to and published in Global Security Studies (GSS) undergo a rigorous, peer-reviewed process. From the article: “The Lack of HUMINT: A Recurring Intelligence Problem” - Global Security Studies - Spring 2013, Volume 4, Issue 2http://globalsecuritystudies.com/Margolis%20Intelligence%20(ag%20edits).pdf



The United States has accumulated an unequivocal ability to collect intelligence as a result of the technological advances of the 20th century. Numerous methods of collection have been employed in clandestine operations around the world including those that focus on human, signals, geospatial, and measurements and signals intelligence. An infatuation with technological methods of intelligence gathering has developed within many intelligence organizations, often leaving the age old practice of espionage as an afterthought. As a result of the focus on technical methods, some of the worst intelligence failures of the 20th century can be attributed to an absence of human intelligence. The 21st century has ushered in advances in technology have allowed UAVs to become the ultimate technical intelligence gathering platform; however human intelligence is still being neglected. The increasing reliance on UAVs will make the United States susceptible to intelligence failures unless human intelligence can be properly integrated. In the near future UAVs may be able to gather human level intelligence, but it will be a long time before classical espionage is a thing of the past.

Scenario _ is Intelligence …


Insert Intelligence Impacts

Scenario _ is Civilian Casualties



Independently, “signature strikes” are inevitable – but lack of human intel boosts civilian death tolls.


Margolis ‘13

Gabriel Margolis – the author presently holds a Master of Arts (MA) in Conflict Management & Resolution from UNC Wilmington and in his final semester of the program when this article was published in the peer-reviewed journal Global Security Studies . Global Security Studies (GSS) is a premier academic and professional journal for strategic issues involving international security affairs. All articles submitted to and published in Global Security Studies (GSS) undergo a rigorous, peer-reviewed process. From the article: “The Lack of HUMINT: A Recurring Intelligence Problem” - Global Security Studies - Spring 2013, Volume 4, Issue 2http://globalsecuritystudies.com/Margolis%20Intelligence%20(ag%20edits).pdf



UAVs are the ultimate intelligence platform. "One of the most significant military developments in the last 10 to 15 years has been that of the unmanned aerial vehicle, which has evolved from the simple drone with limited capability to today's sophisticated aircraft, which, for some roles, particularly Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), is now the platform of choice."68 UAVs have replaced satellites and manned aircraft as the favored platform for intelligence collection. UAVs can be outfitted with equipment that allows them to collect SIGINT, MASINT, and GEOINT. They have also been armed with missiles to allow them to collect intelligence, fly around while it is being analyzed, and then conduct strikes based upon the decisions of policy makers. This nexus of intelligence and technology is like a new toy for a small child. The President, the CIA, and the entire intelligence community have become infatuated with the capabilities of these constantly evolving tools of war.69 The main idea behind the development of UAV technology was to reduce the number of lives risked to collect intelligence and to deliver strikes with accuracy. “However, it is the relatively low cost of drones compared to that of modern combat aircraft that will drive the proliferation of drones over the next decade. More basic drones cost less than 1/20th as much as the latest combat aircraft and even the more advanced drones that feature jet propulsion and employ some stealth technology are less than 1/10th the cost.”70 While military budgets around the World are cut, UAVs will be viewed as a viable alternative to manned aircraft for many missions. UAVs have several major advantages over traditional aircraft that make them valuable assets in modern conflicts. A UAVs greatest advantage is their very long endurance. Some versions of the Predator UAVs can maintain flight for over thirty hours. This advantage means that UAVs have more flight time than that of traditional aircraft, which enables them to observe and track a target for many hours at a time before deciding whether to strike. “This makes drones an ideal surveillance and striking weapon in counterinsurgency or counterterrorism operations, where the targets are usually individuals rather than objects.”71 UAVs have several vulnerabilities to go along with their advantages. UAVs are susceptible to air defense systems because they are very slow. “Even the jet-powered Avenger recently purchased by the Air Force only has a top speed of around 460 miles per hour, meaning that it cannot escape from any manned fighter aircraft, not even the outmoded 1970s-era fighters that are still used by a number of nations.”72 UAVs are also vulnerable to manned fighter aircraft and jamming. Manned aircraft are much faster than UAVs and the pilots can respond more rapidly to air combat situations than the current technology allows the operators of UAVs to do. “Remotely piloted aircraft are dependent upon a continuous signal from their operators to keep them flying, and this signal is vulnerable to disruption and jamming.”73 This cyber vulnerability has been exploited by insurgents and governments in several instances. Several years ago the Iranians downed a RQ-170 sentinel UAV and essentially pilfered it for intelligence information and technology.74 UAVs have been used in targeted strikes and signature strikes against insurgents in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. “The primary focus of U.S. targeted killings, particularly through drone strikes, has been on the al-Qaeda and Taliban leadership networks in Afghanistan and the remote tribal regions of Pakistan. However, U.S. operations are continuing to expand in countries such as Somalia and Yemen.”75 Targeted, or personality, strikes utilize all forms of intelligence available, including HUMINT. Targeted strikes utilize HUMINT because they are used to target top tier leadership of terrorist organizations; a specific person. As terrorist organization leadership tends to shy away from communications and may conceal themselves from detection by GEOINT methods, HUMINT is the remaining discipline which must be used to identify targets. Signature strikes are based on MASINT. They do not usually rely on HUMINT, but instead use signatures ascribed by analysts to determine whether or not a strike is permissible. Based upon information collected by MASINT, signature strikes are “the type of drone strike in which no specific individual is identified, but rather a target is chosen based on the observed behavior, or ‘signature,’ of people on the ground.”76 However there has been some dissent amongst the state department and administration pertaining to signature strikes. “Some State Department officials have complained to the White House that the criteria used by the C.I.A. for identifying a terrorist ‘signature’ were too lax. The joke was that when the C.I.A. sees ‘three guys doing jumping jacks,’ the agency thinks it is a terrorist training camp, said one senior official. Men loading a truck with fertilizer could be bombmakers — but they might also be farmers, skeptics argued.”77 What these skeptics are alluding to is that unlike personality strikes, signature strikes have no corroborating HUMINT to support the operation. The absence of HUMINT has been a consistent factor in the absence of intelligence failures throughout the history of the CIA. The absence of HUMINT has resulted in an increase of unintentional civilian casualties, which will turn the tide of public support against UAV strikes in time. “TBIJ reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562-3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474-881 were civilians, including 176 children. TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228-1,362 individual. Where media accounts do report civilian casualties, rarely is any information provided about the victims or the communities they leave behind.”78 “The bulk of CIA's drone strikes are signature strikes.”79 Due to the fact that a majority of UAV strikes are signature strikes which rely solely on MASINT, the CIA and U.S. intelligence community appear to be falling into the same pattern that has plagued intelligence operations for over sixty years. They are putting technical means of intelligence ahead of HUMINT, and if history is indicative of any kind of pattern will eventually suffer a massive intelligence failure due to this choice. The pattern that emerges when reflecting upon intelligence failures of the 20th century shows that no single form of intelligence collection does well by itself. HUMINT is especially detrimental to overlook or ignore because covert actions are often subject to bad information, CI, and mismanagement from policy-makers. The U.S. fascination and focus on technical methods of intelligence has made some operations especially susceptible to CI and other forms of failure when areas of HUMINT are not addressed. This problem has come to an apex in the form of UAV technology and the implementation of signature strikes. UAVs can contain GEOINT, SIGINT, and MASINT capabilities and can therefore immediately operate based upon technical intelligence. The United States has focused on the technical methods of intelligence gathering, and once again HUMINT is missing. Signature strikes are not based upon HUMINT, which brings to mind the various intelligence failures that failed to incorporate HUMINT into their modus operandi.

***Funding HUMINT isn’t enough – data overload independently hamstrings strike effectiveness


Harris, 11 – Freelance business and technology writer. Also writes for Entrepreneur, InformationWeek, San Jose Magazine, Government Technology, Public CIO, U.S. Banker, Digital Communities Magazine, Converge Magazine, and the San Jose Business Journal. (Chandler, “Data Overload Bogging Down Military”, Clearance Jobs, 1/24/11, http://news.clearancejobs.com/2011/01/24/data-overload-bogging-down-military/)//KTC

As the amount of data from drones and other surveillance technology has risen 1,600 percent since 9/11, military personnel are becoming overwhelmed and making mistakes. A recent incident in Afghanistan highlighted this problem, as a drone operator mistakenly attacked a gathering that killed 23 Afghan civilians. The military cited “information overload” as the cause of the mistake and said the incident could’ve been prevented “if we had just slowed things down and thought deliberately.” The mountains of data have created a new class of wired warrior that sifts through the information sea and, at times, determine what targets to hit and avoid. At Langley Air Force Base’s $5 billion global surveillance network, military personnel review 1,000 hours of video, 1,000 high-altitude spy photos and hundreds of hours of “signals intelligence”, which are usually cellphone calls. Yet the sheer amount of data that needs to be absorbed and used to make decisions has pushed many soldiers to their mental limit. “There is information overload at every level of the military — from the general to the soldier on the ground,” said Art Kramer, a neuroscientist and director of the Beckman Institute, a research lab at the University of Illinois.

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