Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Operations in Afghanistan

From the RUSI-VI online Zoom webinar by MWO Neil M. Fletcher (Ret’d), CD recorded on Wednesday, 20 January, 2021.

The recent transition of threats from large conventional forces to decentralized non-state actors in counter-insurgency campaigns such as Afghanistan, has increased the requirement for effective and reliable human sources of info. HUMINT is an int capability derived from info provided by human sources. It is the oldest form of int collection and its contribution to recent ops demonstrates its effectiveness as a force multiplier. HUMINT is critical to understanding how threat actors function within today’s operational environments, including gaining an appreciation of social norms, customs and values, patterns of life, and opinions. This enables the CAF to better predict, prevent and protect against a threat actor’s activities. MWO (Ret’d) Neil M. Fletcher developed this presentation from his experiences during training as a source-handler (1998), two deployments and a technical assistance visit with JTF Afghanistan (between 2006 and 2010), and as a member of the CAF HUMINT unit, JTF-X, between 2007 and 2011.

Neil M. Fletcher is a CAF veteran with more than 36 years of service. He served nine years in the PPCLI, including five as a combat int op and 27 years as a member of the Int Branch. Neil was employed in all three major Int disciplines: Imagery, HUMINT, and Signals. Overseas deployments include Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, the UK, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan and as a member of NATO’s Joint Force Command Headquarters in the Netherlands. The author’s memoir Military Intelligence Operator is available at Bolen Books, as well as other local book stores.

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