Chapter 4


CI collection activities gather the information the commander needs to make decisions in support of the overall mission. CI activities help the commander shape the battlefield. The commander focuses the CI effort by carefully assigning missions and clearly defining the desired results. By orienting the unit's CI capabilities, the commander decides who or what are CI targets for collection activities. This chapter describes sources of CI information, control of sources, CI liaison, and touches on debriefings and CFSO.

CI agents conduct CI collection operations in support of the overall mission. CI agents are augmented by interrogators when they are available. These operations rely on the use of casual as well as recruited sources of information to satisfy specific requirements of a command or activity supported by CI. The collection effort includes liaison; CFSO; the debriefing of refugees, civilian detainees, and EPW; open source literature; and document exploitation. These operations use the techniques identified in FM 34-5 (S). AR 381-172 (S) covers the policy concerning CFSO. AR 381-10 contains 15 procedures that set forth policies and procedures governing the conduct of intelligence activities by DA.

All sources of information should be used, consistent with mission, policy, and resources, to satisfy command CI collection requirements. Several sources of information are discussed below:


All collection operations require keeping records on sources of information. This holds true for liaison contacts as well as casual or recruited sources. These types of operations require security and maintenance of source information in intelligence operations channels. This helps to preclude any compromise of sources or friendly methods of operation. This type of information, including biographic, motivational, and communications procedures, are best maintained in CI C 2 channels. Control of source information will not preclude passage of this type of information from one echelon to another for necessary approvals.

In handling source information, strictly adhere to the "need-to-know" policy. The number of persons knowing about source information must be kept to a minimum. For more information on the control of source information and CI collection activities, see FM 34-5 (S).


CI agents conduct CI liaison to obtain information, gain assistance, and coordinate or procure material. The nature of CI activities and the many legal restrictions imposed, including SOFAs or other agreements, make the collection of intelligence information largely dependent on effective liaison. CI agents use liaison to obtain information and assistance and to exchange views necessary to understand our liaison counterparts. During transition from increased tension to open hostilities, the liaison emphasis shifts to support the combat commander. CI agents must establish liaison with appropriate agencies before the outbreak of hostilities. Information and cooperation gained during this period can have a major impact on the effectiveness of both intelligence and combat operations. Liaison with foreign organizations and individuals normally requires foreign language proficiency.

Liaison with appropriate US, host country, and allied military and civilian agencies is fundamental to the success of CI operations and intelligence support to commanders. In many cases, full-time liaison officers (LNOs) or sections are necessary to maintain regular contact with appropriate organizations and individuals. In addition to national agencies, numerous local agencies and organizations also provide assistance and information.

A basic tenet of liaison is quid pro quo (something for something) exchange. While the LNO sometimes encounters individuals who cooperate due to a sense of duty or for unknown reasons of their own, an exchange of information, services, material, or other assistance normally is part of the interaction. The nature of this exchange varies widely, depending on location, culture, and personalities involved.

The spectrum of liaison tasks ranges from establishing rapport with local record custodians to coordinating sensitive combined operations at the national level of allied nations. Commanders with CI assets involved in liaison should provide the following guidance:

In CONUS, CI liaison provides assistance in operations and investigations, precludes duplication of effort, and frequently provides access to information not available through other CI channels. Agents should maintain a point of contact roster or list of agencies regularly contacted. Agencies normally contacted on a local basis include

The Office of DCSINT is responsible for liaison with the national headquarters of the intelligence community and other agencies for policy matters and commitments. CG, INSCOM, is the single point of contact for liaison with the FBI and other federal agencies for coordinating operational and investigative matters.

Overseas CI liaison provides support to a number of diverse US Government agencies. This support ranges from conducting tactical operations to fulfilling national level requirements generated by non-DOD federal agencies. Individuals contacted may include private individuals who can provide assistance, information, and introductions to the heads of national level host country intelligence and security agencies. Overseas liaison includes the overt collection of intelligence information.

Compared to the US, many countries exercise a greater degree of internal security and maintain greater control over their civilian population. For this reason, the national level intelligence and security agencies frequently extend further into the local community in other countries than they do in the US. Security agencies may be distinctly separate from other intelligence organizations, and police may have intelligence and CI missions in addition to law enforcement duties. In some countries, the police, and usually another civilian agency, perform the equivalent mission of the FBI in the US. This other civilian agency frequently has a foreign intelligence mission in addition to domestic duties. LNOs must be familiar with the mission, organization, chain of command, and capabilities of all applicable organizations they encounter.

Operational benefits derived from CI liaison include

Language proficiency is a highly desirable capability of a CI agent conducting liaison. It is easier to deal with a liaison source if the LNO can speak directly to the source rather than speak through an interpreter. Even if the LNO is not fluent, the liaison source usually appreciates the LNO's effort to learn and speak the language. This often enhances rapport.

Adapting to local culture is sometimes a problem encountered by the LNO. Each culture has its own peculiar customs and courtesies. While they may seem insignificant to US personnel, these customs and courtesies are very important to local nationals.

Understanding a country's culture and adhering to its etiquette are very important. What is socially acceptable behavior in the US could very well be offensive in other cultures. Knowing the local culture helps the LNO understand the behavior and mentality of a liaison source. It also helps in gaining rapport and avoiding embarrassment for both the liaison source and the LNO. In many cultures, embarrassing a guest causes "loss of face." This inevitably undermines rapport and may cause irreparable harm to the liaison effort.

The LNO also must understand the capabilities of agencies other than our own. Knowledge of the liaison source's capabilities in terms of mission, human resources, equipment, and training is essential before requesting information or services. Information exchanged during the conduct of liaison is frequently sanitized. Information concerning sources, job specialty, and other sensitive material relating to the originator's operations may be deleted. This practice is common to every intelligence organization worldwide and should be taken into account when analyzing information provided by another agency.

The LNO may have to deal with individuals who have had no previous contact with US agencies and who are unsure of how to deal with a US intelligence agent. The LNO must remember that to the liaison source, they represent the people, culture, and US Government . The liaison source assumes the behavior of the LNO to be typical of all Americans. Once the American identity becomes tarnished, it is difficult for the LNO, as well as any other American, to regain rapport.

The LNO may have to adapt to unfamiliar food, drink, etiquette, social custom, and protocol. While some societies make adjustments for an "ignorant foreigner," many expect an official visitor to be aware of local customs. The LNOs must make an effort to avoid cultural shock when confronted by situations completely alien to his background. The LNO also must be able to adjust to a wide variety of personalities.

Corruption is the impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle, or inducement to wrong by bribery or other unlawful or improper means. In some countries, government corruption is a way of life. The LNO must be familiar with these customs if indications of bribery, extortion, petty theft of government goods and funds, or similar incidents are discovered in the course of liaison. When corruption is discovered, request command guidance before continuing liaison with the particular individual or organization. Regardless of the circumstances, exercise caution and professionalism when encountering corruption.

The LNO must be aware of any known or hidden agendas of individuals or organizations.

Jealousy between agencies is often a problem for the LNO. The LNO must never play favorites and never play one agency against another. Occasionally, due to the close professional relationship developed during liaison, a source may wish to present a personal gift. If possible, the LNO should diplomatically refuse the gift. If that is not possible, because of rapport, accept the gift. Any gifts received must be reported in accordance with AR 1-100. The gift can be kept only if you submit and get approved a request to do so. The same restrictions also apply to the LNO's family.

Records and reports are essential to maintain continuity of liaison operations and must contain information on agencies contacted. It is preferable to have a file on each organization or individual contacted to provide a quick reference concerning location, organization, mission, and similar liaison-related information. Limit information to name, position, organization, and contact procedures when liaison is a US person. For liaison contacts with foreign persons, formal source administrative, operational, and information reporting procedures are used. Guidance for these procedures is in FM 34- 5 (S).


Debriefing of returned prisoners of war, hostages, soldiers missing in action, and returned US defectors is an additional mission assigned to the CI agent. The purpose of these debriefings is to


CFSO evolved out of low-level source operations (LLSO), defensive source operations (DSO), and tactical agent operations (TAO). LLSO are still accomplished by non-CI teams charged with these types of missions. See FM 34-5 (S). The change in terminology was a result of the push for similar terminology amongst separate service activities responsible for source operations and to tie these operations directly to the force protection support needs of the combat commander.

CFSO support force protection of deployed US Forces and are governed by AR 381-172 (S). CFSO are conducted when directed by the theater CINC or Army component commander or their senior intelligence officers, and are conducted and supervised by CI officers and agents with appropriate linguist support from HUMINT collectors-interrogators.

CFSO fill the intelligence gap between the needs of the combat commander and national level requirements. These operations are designed to be both aggressive and flexible in nature to quickly respond to the needs of the supported command. CFSO are focused to collect force protection information on local terrorists, saboteurs, subversive activities, and other hostile activities affecting the security of deployed US Forces.

All considerations listed previously in CI Liaison involving liaison contacts, specifically language proficiency, local customs, and capabilities are germane to CFSO. For more information on CFSO, see AR 381-172 (S) and FM 34-5 (S).