Military Intelligence: the ultimate oxymoron to most people, whether civillian or in the armed forces. Being a Military Intelligence soldier myself, I find this reputation my branch has been given justly undeserved. A layman looking from the outside assumes that our function is to find the enemy so that the actual killers can do their bloody handed work. This nearsighted view is horribly off base.

Imagine a box 100 kilometers by 100 kilometers. Now, fill it with sand. Upon this sand place five thousand soldiers, one-hundred tanks, twenty-four artillery pieces, thirty air defence systems, and three hundred support vehicles. Now, find them all and tell me what each single person is doing now, what they plan to do in the next twenty four hours, and give me three suggestions on how we can best defeat them. In the tactical environment this is what we have to deal with. Now, we have a variety of systems at our disposal for finding said enemy, but the raw data alone tells us little. That intelligence has to be pieced together and an assesment made. And, if your assesment is wrong, US soldiers die. If you're right, then the enemy soldiers die.

In other environments, Military Intelligence catalogues the armaments of countries, studies their doctrine, and analyzes the political agendas of their leaders. Friend or foe, we have to be prepared for anything. We also do analysis of drug operations in foreign countries, border crossings in our own country, and a variety of other missions. All in all, Military Intelligence boils down to making and educated guess as to what is going to happen. You just can't call up the enemy commander and ask what he's got planned on his calendar, now can you?

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