On January 28th, 2019, Meagan Bennett, David Kneeland, and James Wenninger from the Intelligence Studies Project’s (ISP) Professional Research Project Interagency Performance in Counterterrorism Operations: Implications for the “Gray Zone” briefed roughly seventy-five Texas Army National Guard leaders and soldiers from the 636th Military Intelligence Battalion in San Antonio in preparation of future mobilizations.
Leaders from the 636th MI Battalion attended the ISP Forum in the fall of 2018, where the project’s preliminary findings were first revealed. The MI soldiers recognized the value of the research and saw the potential benefit in briefing their fellow leaders and soldiers on some of the project’s key findings and recommendations. Following the event, leaders from the 636th reached out to ISP staff to coordinate a briefing.
During their presentation on January 28th, the ISP students highlighted the role of technology in the gray zone and some of the challenges associated with fighting adaptive, technologically-minded adversaries. They also emphasized the importance of adopting an enterprise leadership approach to the 636th MI Battalion’s mission. After an interactive scenario and spirited discussion, the ISP students provided tools and methods for doing so at various levels of rank or responsibility. Additionally, the team highlighted the necessity of interagency and inter-organizational cooperation in the field of intelligence for operations in counterterrorism and future gray zone threats. Last, the students warned of the dangers of toxic leadership traits and offered strategies for spotting and productively addressing such issues.
The presentation was well-received by the audience and several requests for additional information were made by soldiers and leaders in attendance. ISP students came away from the experience with an appreciation for how their research applied to real-world military training missions and soldiers professional development.
On behalf of the student briefing team and the Intelligence Studies Project, they would like to thank the 71st Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade and the 636th Military Intelligence Battalion for their part in making the presentation a success.