Gamers' Corner


Future War

Written by David Schatzman

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Basic Intelligence
Any group that cannot gather information on the enemy or potential threats is blind. The sovereigns of all ages kept spies aside them, sometimes called special agents. At the time, it was the most effective way to gather information on the nearby nations, as well as within their own. Indeed, counterintelligence is always the most important issue since an enemy from within is deadlier than one from without. Besides, leaders are too much aware than their lives are at stake and they have to watch out for assassins and conspirators.

They also had to keep in touch with the outside world, of course. Most often conspiracies against a government or leader were arranged by an agent of a nearby nation. In addition, the spy could inform its sovereign of agitation, weaknesses or plans in other camps. This way, one could know when to attack or defend.

This role of Intelligence Services mostly remained the same. They have first to ensure there are no threats from the inside, then from the outside. They watch out enemy intentions and seek out opportunities for actions against them. However, they are obviously more organized. They are no longer only spies and independent informants, but rather experts in many fields. They gather various bits of information from multiple channels, even the most insignificant ones. This is made easier by the fact information is more widely available worldwide.

Another new role of Intelligence is the analysis of this information. This is where most experts come into play. They study all details and guess what conclusions can be made out of the synthesis of these. Sometimes one detail that appears insignificant alone makes much more sense when combined with others. For example, small troop movements alone are not significant; on the other hand, should they gather all at the same place secretly, it could mean the enemy is going to attack soon, as secrecy is of no use for maneuvers.

This is where another kind of analysts enters the scene. Those have to deduce intentions of the enemy regarding the accumulated data. They first determine whether the information can be trusted; it can indeed be a lure in order to provoke wrong reactions, or to test the capacity of foreign intelligence services, both of them being commonplace. It is however possible that the threat is real. This is intention's job to make the difference.

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