A Knowledge Taxonomy for Army Intelligence Training: An Assessment of the Military Intelligence Basic Officer Leaders Course Using Lundvall’s Knowledge Taxonomy
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Purpose: The events of September 11, 2001 and the succeeding wars in Iraq and Afghanistan changed intelligence requirements from those of the Vietnam era and the cold war. As a result, intelligence training was modified to keep up with matters such as globalization and counterinsurgency operations. This dynamic operational environment thus necessitates constant evaluation of intelligence training practices. This research has two purposes. First, it explores the different types of knowledge involved in military intelligence training. Second, it uses Lundvall's Knowledge Taxonomy to assess the types of knowledge acquired through intelligence training at the Military Intelligence Basic Officer Leader's Course (MIBOLC). The four evaluated knowledge categories are know-what, know-how, know-who and know-why. Method: In conjunction with Lundvall's knowledge taxonomy, this research uses four working hypotheses to explore the different types of knowledge that intelligence training provides to company-grade Army intelligence officers. While initially based on the taxonomy, the working hypotheses contain intelligence-related topics found in the literature supporting the postulated knowledge categories. Each working hypothesis contains sub-hypotheses that are used to supplement or reinforce their corresponding expectation. A case study methodology is used to assess the types of knowledge acquired at the MIBOLC. The data-collection techniques used in this research are document analysis, structured interviews, and direct observations. Findings: The results strongly support the existence of know-what and know-how knowledge training at the MIBOLC. Know-who and know-why knowledge training is also present but only in limited to adequate amounts. While the course provides a foundation for conducting intelligence analysis, two areas of instruction need improvement: fostering interpersonal relations and developing higher order thought processes. These findings are in line with Major General Flynn's 2010 assessment of intelligence operations in Afghanistan, where population-centric information gathering and adaptive thinking better support counterinsurgency operations (2010, 5,15). Improving the areas of know-who and know-why will support current operations by placing more emphasis on people and on how to think critically and adaptively. These findings apply to intelligence leaders at the United States Intelligence Center and to Brigade Combat Team commanders and intelligence officials. Improving know-who and know-why knowledge at the school-house and tactical levels will provide junior officers the ability to critically analyze the central intelligence aspect of counterinsurgencies, the people. Not improving know-who and know-why knowledge will limit an intelligence officer's abilities and therefore perpetuate a reluctance to view counterinsurgency operations in a holistic manner.