The Importance Of Military Intelligence

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“Now the reason the enlightened prince and the wise general conquer the enemy whenever they move and their achievements surpass those of ordinary men is foreknowledge.” (Sun Tzu & Griffith, 1968, p. 144). Military intelligence can be the most decisive element in wartime operations. History has proven that actionable intelligence can lead less capable forces to victory. Military intelligence deserves to be a top priority in the operational environment (Elder, 2007). In fact, many operations completely depend on accurate intelligence to complete the mission. This heavy dependence on intelligence amplifies the consequences of a failure. This places further emphasis on the importance of accurate intelligence handling. Correct analysis and interpretation of collected information is the key to successful intelligence. False assumptions and underestimating the enemy will lead to serious consequences. This is exactly what United States (US) intelligence agencies did leading up to the Tet Offensive. The Tet Offensive was a widespread intelligence failure with catastrophic results. (U) The Tet Offensive was a series of coordinated attacks on major cities and US forces during the Vietnam War. Ho Chi Minh lead the strikes in an attempt to force the United States to negotiate or withdraw from the war. The attacks began on January 31st, 1968, on the first day of a Vietnamese holiday known as “Tet” (U.S. Involvement in the Vietnam War, n.d.). Tet is the most celebrated holiday in Vietnam.
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