FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. — Surprising some in the intelligence community, newly-released data show that Army intelligence estimates have become almost 300 percent more accurate after analysts began the practice of reading animal entrails.
“It’s a bit of a shock for some, but those of us who’ve been giving analysis in Afghanistan recently know from experience, it’s much better than the old methods,” said Master Sgt. Jed Begley, an instructor at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and former intelligence section leader for 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division.
“In theater, we knew right away that the entrails were working when our targeting packages starting yielding some actual arrests and kills,” he continued. “After my OIC wrote a couple of papers about it, the Army took notice and allowed us to do some proof-of-concept tests during [Combat Training Center] rotations.”
After Begley’s tests were complete, the data was parsed and sure enough, entrails were ranked the most effective and accurate source of actionable intelligence. The analyzed data show that entrails have increased accuracy of 63% over tea leaves, 86% over horoscopes, and 111% over the “consulting the bones” method as practiced by the High Aldwyn in the movie “Willow.”
Calls to Madam Cleo were still very productive, only losing out to the new entrails method by four percent.
Tied for dead last in productive intel analytic methods were Palantir and hard data, however.
Top Army officials are hesitant to place such an unconventional technique at the top of the collection pyramid, but many have privately admitted that entrail reading is too good to ignore. One confirmed that he has already informally asked a group of peers to look into the possibility of awarding intelligence analysts an additional skill identifier of Z9 “Haruspex,” the technical term for one who reads entrails.
“As a former brigade and division commander, I can tell you that the Intel estimates and targeting data were so bad, we would frequently just set Outlook to automatically delete the S-2’s emails,” said one current Army Chief of Staff, who asked to remain anonymous.
“But seeing the entrails-reading tests is a real eye-opener, and hopefully we can get it into doctrine and start teaching it to our analysts soon.”
For now, hunched over a stainless steel table borrowed from the medical examiner’s office, Fort Huachuca students learning haruspicy pay rapt attention to Master Sgt. Begley as he points out various portions of viscera spread across the surface. These students have been getting an informal “quick look” at the practice since TRADOC policy forbids formal instruction prior to doctrinization of a new concept. Despite the informal setting, however, the students have proven quick learners.
“Look at this kink in the small intestine, and how it complements the three chakra on the inside of the gut lining,” said Private First Class Tanna Yasmine, poking at the slimy tubing with her rubber-gloved hand. “You can tell that the Taliban is definitely ramping up for … ”
She broke off as another portion of entrails caught her attention, and she leaned close, examining it minutely and whispering under her breath.
“Oh, shit!” Yasmine exclaimed, straightening back up, eyes wide. “There’s gonna be a piss test tomorrow morning!”