Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) activities are standing agenda items for a nation's military and naval forces. Their conduct is a core, enabling, and 'business as usual' function. Data and information collection, from all sources, is critical for the planning and conduct of military and naval operations.
Intelligence may be argued as the 'making sense of' a situation. Intelligence may aid tactical interpretation, or it may aid an operational perspective. Alternately, an intelligence product could be the outcomes of interpretation or perspective. Intelligence has a 'triality', it is noun, verb and adjective. No matter its application or tense, 'intelligence' seeks to aid a commander's reasoning for deducing an appropriate course of action.
Surveillance is the systematic observation of an area over time using whatever means to hand. Surveillance conjures up broad areas being watched by a variety of 'assets' over a long duration. Surveillance operations allow the status quo to be recognised, with 'events by exception' receiving focused attention.
Reconnaissance, similar in function to surveillance, concentrates upon a given area / location, for a given time, for a given purpose.
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