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Measurement and Signatures Intelligence

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Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT) are an intelligence discipline in the United States (US) defense. MASINT handles both practical and analytical intelligence information, which is acquired by intensive analysis of data. They use   certain scientific sensors to find any distinguishing characteristic allied with the data source or the transmitter (Pike & Aftergood, 2000).  MASINT information can be relied upon by international policy makers to determine whether other nations adhere to the agreed treaties such as; anti-drug trafficking and arm treaties (Military Intelligence Group).

In the real world, MASINT was applied on the operational level in the anti-drug trafficking. Drug trafficking is a criminal act and most times it was associated with weapon trafficking. The terrorist made use of the money obtained from selling drugs to purchase fire arms as well as funding their operations. MASINT was used to determine the source and the flow of drugs across the US and the world. The technology used in these operations, used the satellite sensing systems. These systems measures and record the radiations from various objects and plants. This information was analyzed to determine if these areas may contain illegal drug plants. The MASINT helps the surveillance team and soldiers to complete their operations in a safe and technical manner. This is due to the use of global positioning tools, which can accurately determine the exact point an enemy, being human or illegal plants were located.

In 2005, a search was conducted to determine bhang fields in California. This was after the Mexican drug rings relocated their plants growing activities in the states. The operation was conducted using aerial surveillance and helicopters. At the initial stage, it was possible to determine the plant fields, since the ground was prepared in uniform. However, when the growers became aware of the possibility of being spotted, they started mixed farming, where the illegal plants were planted together with the legal to suppress them from being spotted (Knox, 2011).

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