ASL – Lesson Three: Politics and Security – Forward Observer Shop

ASL – Lesson Three: Politics and Security

Hello, and welcome to to Lesson Three of Area Study Live.

In Lesson Three, we’re going to focus on two areas:

  1. Politics & Governance
  2. Law Enforcement, Military, & Security


Due-Outs for Week 3 (of 4):

  1. Complete Week 1’s assignments
  2. Complete Weeks 2’s assignments
  3. Map Out Local and County Politics
    1. Influential politicians *
    2. Political Action Committees *
    3. Special Interest/Grassroots groups *
    4. Voter information (if possible)
  4. Map Out Local and County Governance
    1. City officials (Elected & Unelected) *
    2. City government *
    3. County government *
    4. City/county judicial system *
    5. Federal facilities *
  5. Map Out Local Law Enforcement
    1. Elected officials
    2. Appointed officials
    3. Jurisdiction
    4. Communications frequencies
    5. Table of Organization & Equipment (TO&E)
    6. “Order of Battle”
  6. Map Out Local Military
    1. Reserve/National Guard *
    2. Active Components
    3. Unit Types & Locations
    4. “Order of Battle”
  7. Map Out Local Security Services
    1. Private security companies *
    2. Military contractors *

* Identify social media and other public relations outlets


This week, we’re focusing on the Political and Security layers of the area. Many of these people and groups will be outside your AO and AI, however, their decisions and efforts could greatly affect you.

You will notice that I have an asterisk beside many of these items. We want to find out how they disseminate information. If they have social media or another online presence, then we can probably automate the collection of those communications. We’ll talk about how to do that tonight.

1033 Program:

Additionally, we’ll use a military concept called Table of Organization and Equipment, or TO&E. I’ll step you through how to find that, if that’s available online. We’ll also be discussing “Order of Battle,” usually referred to as “OB” or “OrBat”. For your reference, here’s the outline:

Nine OB Requirements:

1.  Composition

2.  Disposition

3.  Strength

4.  Tactics

5.  Training

6.  Logistics

7.  Combat Effectiveness

8.  Electronic Technical Data

9.  Miscellaneous Data

Mike Shelby is a former military intelligence NCO and contract intelligence analyst. He spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now the intelligence and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Name *