Political Unrest Illustrates Importance of Intelligence Classes For Successful Intelligence Careers

Social and political revolutions are currently trending throughout the Middle East and North Africa. While some revolutions such as Egypt and Tunisia have been “relatively” peaceful, revolutions in countries such as Libya have created a possible greater humanitarian crisis. U.S. lawmakers are under attack for either doing too much or too little to assist seekers of freedom within these countries – mirroring the persistent debate among isolationist versus interventionist foreign policy theories. Regardless of the theory to which they ascribe, these lawmakers must understand the tactical and broader strategic situation surrounding Middle East upheaval. Specialized intelligence analysts are vital for U.S. decision-makers as they provide key intelligence and analysis that help leaders make wise decisions. Given this recent turmoil, one could argue that professionals focused on their intelligence careers must continue to sharpen their analytical skills by taking intelligence classes and other relevant training in order to effectively aid government policy-makers. This article provides an overview of the U.S. response to the current political upheaval in Libya and then illustrates how intelligence analysts can benefit from continued intelligence classes and advanced training in order to provide accurate intelligence.

U.S. Response to Libya

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen appeared before the House Armed Services Committee in March to discuss the conflict in Libya and the U.S. response. Both Gates and Mullens defended the Obama administration stance on providing a moderate level of aid to the Libyan rebels in the form of a “no- fly zone” and cited the possible humanitarian crisis ensuing from Gaddafi regime violence as one important reason for action. The Obama administration believes inaction on this front could have a more destabilizing influence on the broader Middle East. Gates and Mullen also mentioned that the Libyan rebel forces consisted of groups of people with different agendas and that currently the U.S. government does not have a high degree of visibility on that front. These comments brought about questions from Representatives about the level of involvement by Al Qaeda in Libyan opposition and some discontent among the committee members on this possible terrorist threat.

Relevance of intelligence classes

Recent reports indicate CIA operatives are providing ground intelligence to NATO forces on the level of Gaddafi support as well as the makeup of the Libyan rebels. These operatives, as well as the intelligence analysts that make sense of this information, must have every analytical tool available to provide quality analysis to the governments that rely upon them. Intelligence classes are vital for the continued success of these intelligence analysts as they advance within their intelligence careers. With continued education, intelligence analysts can learn to think strategically about a situation and apply their knowledge of historical facts and current trends to properly analyze the situation. Many intelligence classes are also geared towards specific area or leadership studies, which are in great demand, as the recent Armed Services hearing suggests. Gates and Mullen utilized intelligence gleaned from field agents and then processed by intelligence analysts in order to quell some of the concern over Libyan opposition. The intelligence analysts focused specifically on Libya have noted that Libyan tribes are typically hostile to non-endemic agents such as Al Qaeda, and thus, U.S. support for the Libyan opposition does not appear to unintentionally support the very groups the U.S. is trying to combat.

Arab opposition movements, such as the Transitional National Council, contain a wide variety of people with different backgrounds. While many are doing their part to battle injustices from Gaddafi and other dictatorial leaders, the United States and other countries providing some type of passive assistance to rebel forces must focus on gathering intelligence to determine whether particular elements of opposition forces truly pose a threat to the struggle against terrorism worldwide. Military and political leaders thus rely heavily upon intelligence analysts, and these analysts must continue to develop their skills through advanced intelligence education to stay relevant in their intelligence careers.

Author Bio: Dan Sommer works for Henley-Putnam University, a leading educational institution in the field of Strategic Security. For more info on Henley-Putnam University, intelligence classes, intelligence careers, call 888-852-8746 or visit us online at http://www.Henley-Putnam.edu

Category: Education
Keywords: intelligence classes, intelligence careers

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