Intelligence Analysis

Most preppers (me included) have a tendency to get caught up in “big picture” current events. That is, the happenings, the events, the tendencies and direction of our nation as a whole / or even international – global.

It’s easy to become emotionally charged up on the great issues that may or will affect us as a nation (or world) in the long run. And that’s okay! In fact it’s your civic duty to become educated about these issues and get involved to the extent that you can.

However here’s the problem:
We spend too much percentage of our time on this level of intelligence analysis.

Too much compared with what?! Good question! And that’s the purpose of this article…

*The source of the following principles is listed below.


The 3 Levels Of Intelligence Analysis

1. Tactical
2. Operational
3. Strategic

A simple way to define this is as follows:

TACTICAL = Close by
STRATEGIC = National / Global


Tactical Intelligence

That which is immediately important to us.

– Home
– Neighborhood


Operational Intelligence

The area where we can identify larger trends.

– Regional
– County
– State


Strategic Intelligence

The strategic level is the largest in scope.

– National
– Global


Why Does It Matter?

Better time management of your intelligence gathering!

According to *Samuel Culper, a former military intelligence NCO and civilian intelligence analyst, his rule of thumb is 60/30/10.

60% Tactical
30% Operational
10% Strategic

*Samuel Culper is the author of “SHTF Intelligence – An Intelligence Analyst’s Guide To Community Security”.

I have read his comprehensive guide which is the catalyst for this article.

If you have a mindset or interest in intelligence gathering (from an analyst’s perspective) you can get this (very technical) guide from ReadyMadeResources:
( Check it out here )

Again, with regards to gathering & tracking information we tend to spend too much of our time focusing on big ‘strategic’ issues. What we should be doing is being more diligent about and with our immediate sphere – our home, our neighborhood, our locality.

Why? Because if and when the SHTF, what WILL MATTER MOST is your local situation. There’s not much that you comparatively can do to affect (or that which will affect you) regarding big national or regional issues. Local however is another story…

Having tactical local intelligence will be paramount to your security and your decision making as you move forward through the event, SHTF, or just life in general.

While the ‘stuff’ that’s going on nationally (or regionally) may eventually affect you locally (which is why it’s important to know and understand those levels), it is very important to have a grip on your own area of operations – your home – your neighborhood – your town. These things will affect you first, and most!


Gather Intelligence

The methods that we might use to gather tactical, operational, and strategic intelligence may include a variety of techniques. The important thing is for someone (or more than one) in your group to do it. If there is no ‘group’ then you should devote some of YOUR time towards this.

Tactical is the most important. It’s literally your small local geographical sphere of operations. Within this sphere is its own geography, terrain, your own home and property. There are other people with their homes and properties. Businesses, stores, buildings & structures, roads. There’s a town government. Services. Local law enforcement. Emergency personnel. Etc..

These people within your tactical sphere have their own opinions, beliefs, political leanings, motivations, their own readiness (or lack of), their own influence among the community.

How much do you know about your own neighbors? Your town?

The more you know about the people within your locality, the better prepared you will be (knowledge wise) about the specifics that may affect you, be it good, bad, or indifferent.

Lots of this subject has to do with your own well being and security. It starts with intelligence. Having a tactical security plan is beyond the scope of this short article. However it will be VERY important to have tactical intelligence in order to have a better security situation. Focus on local.

Chances are that you’re not in direct contact with sources beyond your locality. Regional, state, and national information intelligence gathering will likely be from external sources. These may include mainstream news outlets, alternative news outlets, social media, websites, internet, print, over-the-air radio, and others.

It is important to know what’s happening outside of your locality. But don’t focus too much of your time on operational and strategic intelligence compared with time spent understanding your own tactical location.

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