Military intelligence

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Military intelligence (abbreviated MI, int. Commonwealth, or intel. U.S., or J2 U.S.), is a Combat Support Arm or branch of military service which supports the combat commanders' decision making process by providing intelligence analysis of available data from a wide range of sources. To provide that informed analysis the commanders information requirements are identified and input to a process of gathering, analysis, protection, and dissemination of information about the operational environment, hostile, friendly and neutral forces and the civilian population in an area of combat operations, and broader area of interest. Intelligence activities are conducted at all levels from tactical to strategic, in peacetime, the period of transition to war, and during the war.

Most militaries maintain a military intelligence capability to provide analytical and information collection personnel in both specialist units and from other arms and services. Personnel selected for intelligence duties, whether specialist intelligence officers and enlisted soldiers or non-specialist assigned to intelligence may be selected for their analytical abilities and intelligence before receiving formal training.