1998 (2) Winter

Planning Satellite Reconnaissance To Support Future Military Operations

By Thomas Behling and Kenneth McGruther


The nation’s intelligence agencies face a dual challenge: how to come to grips with presidential tasking to become more directly supportive of current military operations, while also adjusting to a new national military doctrine that is still being developed. The presidential order was issued in 1995. The new military doctrine, Joint Vision 2010, was issued in 1996 and amplified in 1997 in a document called “Concepts for Supporting Joint Operations.” Meanwhile, the global planning structure to replace the Cold War paradigm, including the role the Intelligence Community (IC)  should play, still is unfolding.

The fundamental premise of JV2010 is that the operational commander will enjoy information superiority–the ability to see and hear virtually everything of importance in any engagement. It may be a decade or more, however, before the military sufficiently understands the implications of the new doctrine to impose the associated intelligence requirements for targeting, damage assessment, simultaneous operations, and the like.

This raises some difficult problems.

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