Personality Based Targeting

“Personality based targeting” has certain ring to it making targeted individual to pause and pay attention, even though it’s a part of big counterinsurgency military targeting doctrine that includes lethal and non-lethal options. There is little information about personality based targeting on Google – less than 100 hits if you discount unrelated information. Some of the hits are on resumes and intelligence analyst hiring sites requiring top secret clearances. Military sometimes uses shortened version “personality targeting” – it has more hits, but less than 10 on .mil domains. The F3EAD (Find-Fix-Finish-Exploit-Analyze-Disseminate) model was developed for personality-based targeting (local copy) and has been widely adopted as the principal targeting process for AtN (attack the network) targeting HVI (high value individuals). A high-value individual is a person of interest (friendly, adversary, or enemy) who must be identified, surveilled, tracked and influenced through the use of information or fires. A lot more information is available on F3EAD model as it’s not used only for personality based targeting, but regular counterinsurgency. So personality based targeting and F3EAD are not interchangeable. Also lets not dazzle ourselves with “high value” labels as changes in technology over the years changed a lot of things – if 20 years ago cell phone was affordable only to selected few, now every chav carries one.

Targeting networks include not only addressing threat capabilities, but also creating conditions for success among the population as a whole. Because networks exist and operate among the general population, target engagement requires a much greater level of precision to be successful. Conventional forces need to target individuals and populations in much the same manner as SOF have in the past. This approach is called personality targeting; other targeting concepts, such as time-sensitive targeting and high-value targets/individuals are related to this subject.

The intent of personality-based targeting is not always only kill/capture. Instead, this method focuses on identifying the individual as well as the population, determines his role within a network, and then seeks to influence him through all means available to the MAGTF.

Personality targeting increases the detail and amount of intelligence that must be produced in pursuit of a target. Managing this information requires categorizing targets in a standardized way so that actions on a given target can be synchronized across the echelons of command. The level of precise information required to operate effectively at attacking a network requires organizing the information in useable chunks. An effective method is to characterize personality targets by their functions in the network, the relative importance of those functions, and the target’s accessibility. Personality targeting reduces the opposition to its smallest form—the individual. Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Operations – file removed no archived copy available. File was hosted on USMC small wars center for irregular warfare server. I guess Orwell works in mysterious ways. There are two other files that got archived: Multi-Service Concept for Irregular Warfare (local copy) and District Stability Framework (local copy).

The exploit and analyze steps are often the “main effort” of F3EAD because they provide insight into the threat’s network and may offer new lines of operations. The information collected during the exploit and analyze steps restarts the cycle by providing leads to an observable and traceable network. (intelligence officer handbook (local copy))

Anyways I have very little understanding of military science and one also have to keep in mind the possible differences of theory and practice. The reason it’s interesting to explore these theories is because occupying army is not only fighting war on terror, but they are responsible for nation building as well, so they use all these strategies to fight (organized) crime, keep population stable and shape society by various means like irregular warfare, culture warfare, information operations, psyops, etc. We live in the times of global war on terror and war on drugs and organized crime so it’s not far fetch to assume that analogous softer mechanisms might exists in western world eg fusion centers, etc.. Knowing far reaching anti-terror laws are in western world and widespread abuse of them one can only wonder as to what we know and what we don’t know.

military intelligence
military intelligence

What caught my attention was a thread on gamers forum that mentioned “personality based targeting” (archive.og). Thread author (OP)  sort of makes fun of another intelligence analyst’s resume. The picture above about military intelligence is actually from one of his posts signatures. He is intimately aware with the term and sort of brags about it. He wouldn’t have posted it if he didn’t know that at least some of the members would understand what is he trying to say. Some members were dumbfounded so it’s a mixed bag forum and apparently some intelligence analysts do like playing computer games – they are young people:

lol hipster line in resume:

  • golson3 | Posted on Feb. 1, 2012, 4:11 p.m. “While assigned to 2-136 IN BN at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, created a streamlined personality based targeting process resulting in the development, capture, prosecution, and conviction of 15 high value targets, before warrant based targeting was standard procedure.”
  • Blackjack946 | Posted on Feb. 1, 2012, 5:10 p.m. So what are you trying to say? Are you saying that the military based its intelligence program off your design or it was just simply a coincidence and you were doing this before the military was?
    If its the latter, don’t worry about including it on your resume. It won’t make a difference. That’s something to mention in an interview instead.
  • golson3 | Posted on Feb. 1, 2012, 5:12 p.m. Not really a coincidence. I just realized that this was a better course of action in the long term before the rest of the community caught on to it. Taking dirtbags off of the battlefield (semi) permanently instead of just detaining them with no evidence and letting them be released 4-5 months down the road, right back into the fight, and with many new connections and knowledge gained during their incarceration. Maybe it is best left for an interview, but I gotta put something in the “selected achievements” area. Oddly, the ones I have from normal day to day operations in the US are much more impressive.Think I might add how I kept them locked up as well. I even blocked one guy from getting out 5 months after I left Iraq. Little bastard spit in my face, so I was kind of personally invested in it.

One can only speculate what kind of methods are used to take “dirtbags off battlefield (semi) permanently”, but he also mentions about day to day operations in US. It’s hard to say what he meant – if it’s about him being on US soil and working on Iraq intelligence or working on US targets. But for analyst his own location isn’t important – target’s location is the key. It is candid conversation that can easily represent something completely different.

In another thread (archive.org) he shares funny labels for targets. He is not naming operations as they are classified, but target label apparently isn’t:

  • golson3 | Posted on Nov. 29, 2011, 5:20 a.m. Just got “Objective Stanky Leg” approved. The commander is not amused, but its too late, as its been approved by higher.
  • golson3 | Posted on Nov. 29, 2011, 7:01 a.m. Neptune Spear is a reference to the SEALs. Naval Special Warfare’s emblem has an eagle on an anchor holding a pistol and a trident.
    Also, I’m not naming operations. Objectives in this sense are personality based. Because the bad guys use so many different aliases, and many of them use the same name, its become standard practice to give them an objective name. Names have to be kind of out there these days, as we’ve been at this for 10 years and we’re not supposed to use the same one twice.
  • golson3 | Posted on Nov. 29, 2011, 7:19 a.m. On deck:OBJ Chicken Noodle Soup
    OBJ Harlem Shake
    OBJ Laffy Taffy
    OBJ Cupid Shuffle
    OBJ Crank Dat
    OBJ Lean Wit It
    OBJ Rock Wit It
    OBJ Walk It Out
    Also:OBJ Put a Ring on It
    OBJ Movin Like Bernie
    OBJ Cha Cha Slide
    OBJ Tootsee Roll
    OBJ Cabbage Patch
    OBJ Humpty Hump
  • Professional Troll | Posted on Nov. 30, 2011, 1:41 a.m. BalisticWarri0r posted…These must be pointless objectives. No commander wants to sign off on a high profile objective name that is stupid. Especially if said objective is being monitored by brigade or division level.Code names are used specifically so that they can be mentioned without fear of revealing TS/SCI information.
  • golson3 | Posted on Nov. 30, 2011, 6:43 a.m.
    Or any classified information, really.

In the thread about clandestinely fighting splinter terrorist groups (archive.org) he gives this cryptic message – not clear if he is talking about his targets or war on terror itself:

When you pick crappy friends and don’t think about 2nd and 3rd order effects of your actions, you kind of dig yourself into a hole, and climbing out of that hole is expensive.

Again it’s hard to describe the process or goal of intelligence analyst preparing Powerpoint slides on targets (his job) and if it’s in any case related to targeted individuals at large. He is just a little, but important bolt that is part of this big mechanism. But it’s interesting to look at F3EAD cycle with nonlethal effects and see how it applies to TI’s as it suffers from few flaws that can apparently result in targeting for the sake of targeting (local copy). There are also voices that promote using F3EAD as process in law enforcement: 1 – dead link since National Policing Improvement Agency has been dismantled and absorbed into other departments. There are 186 other scary documents archived: https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.npia.police.uk/en/docs/* . If you look at missing persons intelligence officer job “competencies” you have to be in some sort of parallel universe not to think that UK police resembles psych-wards something along the lines “one flew over cuckoo’s nest”.
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