4. Basic Principles of Intelligence Operations.
Although the product of intelligence operations in the Army varies with the requirements of the
operational environment, certain basic principles guide the conduct of all intelligence operations. Some
of these principles are:
a. Intelligence Operations and Tactical Operations are Interdependent.
Intelligence operations within the Army are an integral part of the operations of all units. The mission
success of any unit will be directly affected by the intelligence which the unit develops and by how the
unit uses the intelligence.
Staff agencies which prepare and issue operational orders and those with responsibility for intelligence
operations must work as one. In this manner, orders and plans can reflect available intelligence. Full
advantage of available knowledge of the situation and of enemy capabilities and vulnerabilities can then
be taken. Responsibility for coordination rests jointly upon intelligence and other agencies, such as the
b. Intelligence Must Be Useful and Timely.
Intelligence must increase knowledge and understanding of the particular problem under consideration
so logical decisions can be reached. The best intelligence is valueless unless it reaches the user in
time to serve as a basis for appropriate action. Adherence to this principle may involve some sacrifice
of completeness and accuracy in the intelligence product. The commander must be made aware of the
trade-off between accuracy and timeliness so a preference in requests for intelligence can be made.
c. Intelligence Operations Must Permit Flexibility in Procedures.
Standard procedures generally make intelligence operations more effective, if the established
processing does not lead to routine acceptance of the resulting intelligence. Routine acceptance can
cause increased vulnerability to enemy deception. Intelligence operations are based upon reason and
judgment. Procedures must be flexible to meet unexpected requirements. Procedures which cannot
be changed to meet the requirements of a given situation generally lead to failure.