The Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf – Forward Observer Shop

The Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf

A few folks mailed in questions about a required reading list for intelligence and community security. We’ll call it the Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf. (And, actually, if you have any questions about any kind of intelligence collection, analysis, or operations; Army FMs are a great place to start.) Below I’ll list some books I’ve read that I can recommend if you’re interested in some self-study and learning.



SHTF Intelligence: An Intelligence Analyst’s Guide to Community Security (my book)

Intelligence Collection: How to Plan and Execute Intelligence Collection in Complex Environments

The Human Skills (HUMINT)

Choice Theory (HUMINT; also my all-time favorite book)

10 Commandments of Counterintelligence (DOWNLOAD)

FM 34-52 Intelligence Interrogation (DOWNLOAD)

FM 2-22.3 HUMINT Collector Operations (DOWNLOAD)



SHTF Intelligence: An Intelligence Analyst’s Guide to Community Security (my book)

Intelligence Analysis: How to Think in Complex Environments

Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis

Thinking, Fast and Slow

FM 34-3 Intelligence Analysis (DOWNLOAD)

ST 2-50.4 Combat Commanders Handbook on Intelligence (DOWNLOAD)

FM 34-130 Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (DOWNLOAD)


This should be enough to get you going. As of this morning, I have 63 Gigabytes of manuals, documents, reports, and other publications covering intelligence, security, and defense topics. I’ll be uploading much of this to the Library section of the new training area.

By the way, we’re in the final days of our Early Bird sale for our online training. Your subscription will get you access to the current training modules and at least one new skill each month, the Mission Essential Task List (so you can ensure that your neighborhood watch, community security team, or preparedness group is proficient in the required skills and tasks), and it will also go to support our Mission Teams who will be providing intelligence support to humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts.

If you want access to this top notch community security and intelligence training, you can subscribe here.

If you want access to this training PLUS our three intelligence reports each week, you can subscribe here.

As always, I hope these books and PDFs are helpful for you to begin or continue your understanding of what intelligence looks like and how it’s performed for community security and during a disaster scenario.

Always Out Front,

Samuel Culper




Samuel Culper 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.

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