How to gather intelligence and act on it?
Last week the first breed of Bayraktar* drones began their duty. This was very important for Turkish Intelligence authorities. We have been using American and Israeli drones for our border security. Turkish drones were a very big necessity because drones are the best platforms to gather intelligence.
According to Defense System Magazine, the United States is continuing to invest in these proven platforms for intelligence collection. The U.S. Defense Department said in February, when each branch released their budgets for the next year, that the U.S. Air Force would be purchasing 29 additional remotely-piloted Reaper drones and the U.S. Army would be purchasing additional Gray Eagle drones, the service's version of the Predator. Recent operations in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and continued operations in Afghanistan have forced Washington to continue to procure these vital systems for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) purposes.
But the heavy reliance on machine-based intelligence-gathering may have come at a cost in the quality of military intelligence overall. In an article for Global Securities Studies in 2013, Gabriel Margolis pointed out that "[t]he technical affluence of the United States has permeated the intelligence community and continues to contribute to the intelligence failures of the CIA because of American reliance on technology over human sources."
Advanced satellite and unmanned systems, both of which keep soldiers out of harm's way, has allowed for the military and covert organizations to shy away from human intelligence-gathering, or at the very least, rely on it less. Today, "UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] have replaced satellites and manned aircraft as the favored platform for intelligence collection,"...