What Purpose Does Intelligence Serve?
Intelligence is paramount to winning.
Intelligence helps us win adversarial campaigns by providing inside information not otherwise available.
Whether Military, Criminal, Political or Economic – the role of intelligence is to collect information that can be used for an advantage to succeed over an adversary.
Intelligence is a fundamental proponent of warfare, and has been for thousands of years.
Military strategist Sun Tzu wrote; ‘Thus, what enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men is foreknowledge.’
…And so, it’s by knowing your enemy’s plans, and acting accordingly that will provide success in any adversarial battle.
Today the term ‘warfare’ might seem exaggerated in some contexts, but the same principals that once applied to military campaigns, are still relevant in contemporary context of politics, law enforcement, security, economic and military strategy.
Today we are more reliant than ever on the use of Intelligence to provide insight and assessment about who our enemies are and what they’re doing.
We live in an adversarial world where we each want to ensure our survival.
The process, actions and activities of Intelligence provides us with advantages over our competitors. Advantages that allow us to prosper.
So, is it fair that we all spy on each other..? The truth is that if we didn’t spy on our adversaries we leave ourselves exposed and vulnerable.
Espionage, the trade of stealing secrets is quoted as being ‘the second oldest profession, with fewer morals than the first’… Whether you like it or not, individuals share common goals of survival and prosperity. We align ourselves with the common interests of our neighbours and our country to ensure our own individual prosperity and survival. Intelligence provides us advantages to achieve these goals.
Intelligence, serves to prevent, protect and safeguard our own interests at the expense of our adversaries.
There will always be people who will want to exert their influence over us. Humans, like animals, are territorial creatures. War, (in some form or another) has always existed and seems inevitable. Whether the issue is a state sponsored claim to foreign soil, or an illegal criminal group looking to expand their territory – there will always be those who mean to exploit our weakness to promote their own agenda.
The practice of intelligence serves to provide us an advantage or foreknowledge, to predict the plans of our adversaries, and defeat them before they can defeat us.
This is why we need intelligence.