A Green Beret’s Guide To Developing Local Intelligence Networks: “Allies and Assets”

by | Apr 6, 2015 | Emergency Preparedness, Green Beret's Guides | 57 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    Jeremiah Johnson is a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne) and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).


    “…There is no place where espionage is not used.”
    ( Sun-Tzu, “The Art of War,” 13:14, The Employment of Secret Agents)

    Good Day to you, SHTF readers!  We’ve just concluded several pieces on home defense.  At the behest of Sixpack and Talon 1776 who requested pieces on clandestine movement techniques and offensive operations (repectively), I present this article for a precursor.  The best foundation for offensive operations in general is rooted in sound intelligence, and sound intelligence is not only found: it is made.

    Look at this site.  Those of you who read my last article (Defensive Techniques 102) saw what I mentioned toward the close: to use this site.  The exchange of information and ideas is critical to development of comprehensive strategy.  Read the comments section; really read them.  You have the basis for a network of reliable information and intelligence outside of the norm.  Such is Rule Number 1:  Discount no piece of true information as useless.  The reason?  Even if the data is not usable at the moment, it may yet tie into subsequent intelligence.

    The minds are there, in the comments section: fine minds, from a diverse group of thinkers, veterans, and people from all walks of life.  You must become an analyst, weighing the information you find and deciding on whether to use it to your advantage in whatever situation you may face.  You must sift through the articles and the comments and use the information: store it, categorize it, and remember it.  Comes a day, and a day is coming where all we have written here – writers and commentators alike – will eventually be declared “illegal” by the Statists pushing toward their goal: totalitarian control in its entirety.

    The government controls the mainstream media, either directly (through bureaucratic edicts and regulations, such as the FCC’s “fairness” doctrine), or indirectly by those nabobs and oligarchs who vend their falsehoods (lies and obfuscations of fact mislabeled as “news”) to garner favor with the ruler and follow his slant.  Sites such as these are the last bastions of true freedom of the press and peaceable assembly (albeit electronically).

    Lord Acton wrote, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” and this holds true in the normal scheme of things; however, it truly referred to the press of a state fawning up to the ruler and abandoning its sacred (yes, sacred) duty to present factual and objective journalism to the citizenry.  SHTF is one of those bastions.  Gather intelligence, sift the relevant data, and use it to exchange ideas and be “facilitators of information” to one another.

    Now what about your locale?  How do you develop good intelligence locally?  Who can you trust, and who is reliable on such matters?  In short, your intelligence sources will be broken down into two categories: Allies and Assets.  The first is fairly self-explanatory; the second needs to be examined in depth.  Both are critical in the formulation of your pre and post-SHTF-activities.

    Allies are just that: your network of family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers whom you trust and have established relationships with through the years.  Allies will (as with all people) have different levels of reliability as varied as the human race.  You must coordinate your efforts with them and “triage” them on some sort of scale of reliability and trustworthiness.  Some may have good intentions but tend to talk too much.  Others may say few words but also take few actions.  They are allies because of the established relationship.  They may be able to help you on some things but are limited on others.  Allies can tell you the “Basic Big Six,” the who, what, when, where, how, and why of things happening in your locale.

    These allies can be developed to provide you with specific information.  An example is such:  Jerry the crane operator tells you that he saw a fleet of 10 Chinese cargo ships unloading at Dundalk Marine Terminal in Baltimore and the most he has ever seen in his 30 years there is 2 ships.  If you had spoken with him before, you might have been able to prep him (develop him) with information you wanted:  What were the company names on the ships?  Were the ships registered?  Were the containers?  What were the numbers for each?  Did you notice what was being transported and were there variances between what you saw and what was listed?

    These are the types of details you need your allies to obtain for you.  The prime challenge you face is to gauge the accuracy and reliability of the ally and to task him accordingly to obtain information you need.  A file on each ally will be necessary in your long-term operations; you can code it and protect their actual identity.  I recommend keeping the files in hanging files format, alphabetized, in a lockable metal file box with a gallon of gasoline and a lighter or matches next to it.  In the event of compromise, take it outside and burn the files in its very own burn container.  Or you can rig it up to turn into a “toy,” as I have outlined for you in my diagram entitled, “JJ’s Jerk-in-the-Box” toy, operated with a jar of brake fluid and a tray of powdered HTH (Calcium Hypochlorite), the two in tandem to enable a “vanishing act” of your files at a temperature greater than 4,000ºF.

    (Click here for full-sized diagram)


    Now for the other intelligence category: the assets.  IGA’s (Intelligence Gathering Assets) each require a file.  The acronym I wish to show you is CARE-FW:

    C – Characteristics:  Gender, height, weight, age, marital status, occupation, religion, habits, and general character traits

    A – Access: The asset has access to what fields/sources of information you are:

    1. Currently seeking, or 2.  May need in future operations  [Is this asset a government employee?  An executive in the defense contracting industry?]

    R – Reliability:  This can be assessed initially (as an estimate), and then later gauged in accordance with performance.  [Is the information accurate?  Is it provided in a timely manner, in the manner specified?]

    E – Encouragement: What is the asset’s motivation to gather intelligence for you? Six reasons for encouragement are as such:  money, a cause, revenge, drama, social interest, “romantic”/sexual interest.

    Rule: 1 or more of these six reasons motivates all IGA’s, singly or in combination.

    F – Factors:  Miscellaneous factors that come into play that will weigh whether or not the intelligence is reliable and that determine how the asset can best be employed.

    W – “Winds of Change”:  all of these facts and data can change in an instant!

    Rule:  Today’s asset for you can be tomorrow’s informer against you!

    You will need to exercise the greatest of caution regarding any asset you use or develop for whatever reason.  Remember, readers, never expose your plans, resources, and network to an asset, and keep exposure to a minimum for an ally.  This basic outline will help you to start and formulate your own plan.  The aforementioned outline is by no means exhaustive and you can tailor it to your needs.

    Rule:  Never allow assets to meet one another or know of one another.  Never.

    Rule:  An asset may become an ally after years of scrutiny; however, an asset is not an ally.

    When an asset is meeting you to provide you with information, tell him to meet you at one point, a specific location (point A), giving him a 5-minute “window” to meet you.  Have the location watched by an ally.  You and your ally need to sync watches.  Within that 5-minute window (when the asset is stationary), switch the meeting point to a location with only one route to reach it 2-3 miles distant (point B).  Your ally (communicate with Motorola’s) then needs to tail the asset and watch to see if the asset is followed along the route to point B.  If so, pull your ally out and cut all communication to the (now former) asset.

    Never drive your vehicle to within 1 mile of the meeting location with an asset.  Reach the location by a circuitous route, and return to the vehicle in like manner but by a different route.  Note down everything about the asset in your file:  the date, time, what he wore, what he ate or drank, and all of the conversation.  With time, bits and pieces will begin to unfold and your notes will provide you with a reliable snapshot photo of his character and usefulness.  These are adverse times we are living in, and we must be wise beyond our wits in order to defeat the forces arrayed against us, against freedom-loving, Constitutional American patriots.

    This article is for informational purposes only and does not give any consent or direction, explicit or implied, by SHTF’s writers or staff, to act upon the information in any manner that may violate local, state, or federal laws.

    Develop your allies and assets.  Remember the files!  If something happens to you, you can potentially establish contacts for the use of your family and closest allies.  These are adverse times, but if you stay strong in your mind and focused, you can plan accordingly and develop a good local network of intelligence sources.  Remember, adversity doesn’t build character: it reveals it.  Let the adversity of the times we are in be a guide in helping you to assess your sources of intelligence.

    “Subtle and insubstantial, the expert leaves no trace; divinely mysterious, he is inaudible.  Thus he is master of his enemy’s fate.”
    (Sun Tzu, “The Art of War,” 6:9, Weaknesses & Strengths)

    Readers, fight the good fight, develop expertise, and help one another every day.  We can stand firm if we believe in one another and ourselves.  I believe in you guys and gals and I learn from you, as well.  Have a great day!

    Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne).  Mr. Johnson is also a Gunsmith, a Certified Master Herbalist, a Montana Master Food Preserver, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).  He lives in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with his wife and three cats. You can follow Jeremiah’s regular writings at SHTFplan.com.

    This article may be republished or excerpted with proper attribution to the author and a link to www.SHTFplan.com.

    Related Reading:

    A Green Beret’s Guide To Low-Budget Home-Defense Techniques 101: “Early-Warning Systems and Fortifications”

    A Green Beret’s Guide To Low-Budget-Home-Defense Techniques 102: “Defensive Positions”

    Rapid Fire!: Tactics for High Threat, Protection and Combat Operations

    The Prepper’s Blueprint: Prepare For Any Disaster


    It Took 22 Years to Get to This Point

    Gold has been the right asset with which to save your funds in this millennium that began 23 years ago.

    Free Exclusive Report
    The inevitable Breakout – The two w’s

      Related Articles


      Join the conversation!

      It’s 100% free and your personal information will never be sold or shared online.


      1. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.

          • Gay marriage/bestiality = same thing. Both are unnatural. Both are equally without morals. Both are mentally unstable.

        • I keep telling you bastards we need to organize a ham radio SHTF band plan but I am ignored as always.

          • Dont take it personal acid etch. They never post any actually useful stuff. That is against the rules.

          • Acid; you don’t think that isn’t being monitored by the government also? They know who the hams are and where they are.

          • Etch-a-sketch, you insult everyone here, constantly, with some of the foulest language possible, and yet you just can’t understand why none of us “bigoted old shitbags” and “bunch of fucking imbeciles” want to include YOU in a RADIO group?

            Good grief man, use that brain for something besides a hat rack! You try to separate yourself from everyone else…and you’ve succeeded perfectly.

          • Acid Etch, this is a much better site for your comms questions and stop insulting people. You’ll get much better results that way.


        • In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path!

        • Jeramiah is mentally ill. Why would anyone meet with me? No one likes me:-). That fact saves me a lot of money from moochers. My advice is to stay home and touch yourself and not meet with super secret agent wan-a-bees.

          • I found a couple of nuggets in this article, that I can use, thanks. Having researched and exposed informants in my younger days, I can say that keeping your assets filled with misinformation is a good thing.

            Tell them one thing, but do another. The easiest way to get rid of a snitch, is to feed him believable-sounding misinformation that would be of real value to his handlers, intel that he ultimately takes back to his handlers for evaluation.

            The first time his handlers act on bad intel and get royally burned for it, they will handle that snitch for you.

            I would suggest that the best tool to judge the trustworthiness of your asset, is BAD INFORMATION.

            Unreliable informants don’t last very long in the game…especially when they embarrass their handlers.

        • The logic always seems to be to buy everything you will need. But only banksters and their enforcers can afford that. So is this artical only for crooks to prepare?

          Besides if the banksters forget to hoard something then they just raise taxes or get a bail out. They get money for free and slaves have to work for money. Lets face it, when the SHTF happens the psyhcotic cops will make your life miserable by serving themselves and their rich masters. Tell a fed that his retirement benefits are at stake if he doesnt kiss banker feet and protect fed money printing then watch him turn into a Sgt Friday dragnet slurp gremlin. Enforcers get all their benefits from tax slaves so why would they ever stop squeezing the slaves. That was’t a question.

        • No do not trust any religious book of fablea. Ita all a hoax to get you fleeced and killed. Only Trust yourself. You will never let you down, unlike religion, which is a pack of lies. Nobody has ever been saved or given everlasting life. Stop being a stoopid gullible sheep set up for fleecing. People on this earth are soofucking stupid.

      2. NOW the site is back to worthwhile posts. “Buy gold” not mentioned anywhere. Thanks, Mac.

        • Don’t overlook silver. It’s more undervalued than gold. It’s also smaller in value per ounce. Who can give you change for a gold coin worth $1300 if you need a few bags of food? The very rich like gold because it is a more compact form of wealth than silver. Which, is also why Obama may make a move on gold, just as Roosevelt did, though there is far less gold in civilian hands in the US these days. For all their trouble and bad press they would likely net very little real wealth. It would be like spitting in Obama’s ocean of debt!

          Virtually all silver mined annually is used by industry. There is little excess laying about in the vaults of banks or rich people. If there is ever a real economic recovery, silver will be invaluable.

          The majority of silver used to be used in the photography business. Cameras went digital, silver prices plummeted. Prices recovered when the solar panel industry began using silver in significant quantities. Solar panels are not going away.

      3. First if I may comment on this project “Jade Helm”. One thing that big brother is good at is Disinformation, so if they do have covert operation they may not even be in the seven States that have been mentioned. Also no Civilian Militia or any other Patriot Group should in any way interact with this operation, it would only give Them enhanced training. So should this actually take place in you area, just be very Observent and Record all that takes place. And JJ thanks for your articles they are very informative and practical for everyday use. Trekker Out.

      4. I just watched “American Oddyssey” on NBC after “A.D., The Bible Continues”

        After watching that show and reading this article, I should think that the American Military knows that they are used as assets by many in the upper echelon of their chain of command.

        • First of all, “Trust No-One” Next is OPSEC. When you leave your compound take off your camo safari hat and put on that ball cap. Grayman. When you get home from prepping shopping leave your preps in the vehicle until dark then unload them. Snoopy neighbors love to watch what you are doing.

          • What you wear, advertise, say, or how you carry yourself can reveal a lot to others about you and can make you a target. Staying gray, even in peacetime, means no open display of political affiliations or anything that might let others know what you might have. That means no Gadsen or Come and Take It stickers. No Insured by Glock on the window or similar warning signs against trespassers on your house. Don’t brag, say you will and won’t do, or post pictures of guns and gears on social media. No gear, military stuf, propaganda laying around in plain sight in an apartment (should be SOP for renters). No camo unless they’re a need for it. No loose lips.

            Military or military-looking clothes, appearing like a combatant, having things that can get you accused of espionage, having propaganda on you during wartime (and open display of weapons in some instances) can get you harassed, arrested, or killed depending on who catches you with it and if they consider you an enemy.

      5. Sites like this are very good for sharing and gleaning info and we talk much about Opsec, which is a real concern. And as we know it’s no joke, the NSA and other Operators do monitor these sites as they do all communication. So feel free to spill all you want about yourself, but in the course of replying to other comments be careful of what you say, and as for assets I have a few that are very valuable, and I have to watch what I say some times to keep from comprising them, they are valuable and not really complicit in what they are sharing with me. Trekker Out. Don’t Injure Your Friends!

        • When I used the term Assets in my other comment I was talking about People. Also, I was listening to the Hannity Show today and he had a guest host. And he was already trying to put down Ted Cruz as not being a Humorous Conservative like President Reagan was. Ted is just a little to Serious of a Conservative. My thoughts are maybe we need someone who is Serious, about what is happening to our Country. Trekker Out.

          • His wife worked for Goldman Sachs. Took a leave of absence so her lapdog, err, husband could run for prez. Fuck Ted Cruz.

            Still stuck on the left / right thing huh?

            • Dick Chenney kind of quit Halliburton so he could run for war monger VP. But those no bid contracts to Hal sure piled up quite nicely. Collusion? All a bunch of whore criminals.

            • Townsaver, I cannot disagree more about Ted. He has forgotten more about the constitution than most will ever know. He’s an upstanding individual and I could personaly give a rats ass who his wife worked/works for. Bottom line, until someone better comes along, he’s got my vote!!

            • Townsaver! Left/Right? I know what Ted stands for. And your vocabulary supersedes you intelligence. Who do you suggest. Trekker Out.

            • Expecting a check from Karl Rove, are we?

      6. I lean more towards a KISS platform,,
        I suppose some here would be in the sort of situation where all this stuff JJ wrote about could come into play, but really IMHO,, just keeping it together for the day to day stuff is a more likely scenario,,,
        The most likely intel anyone will be dealing with will be crime(s), popo or military movement, food sitch, and who in your neighborhood is losing it or about to,
        And for myself at least definitely wont be keeping any hard files on anything, not even my own shit, and certainly not on others,,, thats just asking for trouble even if your just a wanna be secret agent guy or gal,,,
        Interesting and odd times we be living in,,,,

        • Kula you don’t have to be a secret agent guy, you maybe supprised at the people that you come into contact with on a day to day basis, that maybe an Asset, who knows it maybe it could just be the TV cable guy. Assets are where you find them. Trekker Out. Pray For Peace, Prepare For War!

          • Yea, ok,,
            I suppose, but
            I just sorta wonder an asset for what????
            Im keepin my head down like i always do, this and a few other forums are the extent of my exposure, and most likely TPTB see me as a harmless lunatic!
            Nothing to see here, lets look elsewhere, and i like it like that

        • We live in very interesting times, the best of times, the worst of times….

      7. Anarchist cookbook device FTW!

        Now this is what I am talking about! Practical solutions for real problems.

        Expect to have your house raided for even reading this article.

        • I wonder how many idiots will burn their own house down by playing with that stupid device. Hahaha assuming it even works. Braintards

      8. Secret Agent Man. Secret Agent Man.

        They’re giving you a number.

        And taking away your name.

      9. I rode a motorcycle to the beach for Easter weekend. In the rain. At 55 degrees.

        All I see is fucking fat people at the beach. Even at a Hooter’s at the beach the whores are all flabby dressed in booty shorts and low cut tops. You aren’t “curvy” bitch. “Curvy” is when a bitch does a shitload of squats and lunges and has a good booty a guy wants to put his face in. And society needs to fat shame men a hell of a lot more. Fucking fat guts hanging out of their shirts. I fucking HATE fat people. Nobody should ever even talk to them unless they have to for work. I don’t think I saw a single fuckable human all weekend, and that’s coming from me.

        30% of the population is obese, and the vast vast majority is fucking fat. Don’t you people feel any shame to put on a business suit with your fucking fat belly straining the buttons?

        I am fit, flirtatious, and I dress very well in expensive clothes. You know how your teen keeps telling you if you don’t dress in the right clothes you’re a loser? They’re fucking right. Take a look at people when you go out. They dress like fucking slobs.

        Take some more pride in yourself.

        Fucking old people. Waste of oxygen.

      10. The Wreck of the Hillary Fitzgerald

        The legend lives on, from the Chippewa on down, of the big fake they call Hil’ry Gumi;Hil’ray’s emails, it is said, were a bound to be shred, when transparency really turns gloomy.
        With her load of BS ore, 26 thousand emails or more, the Hil’ray server was emptied;

        The public and the truth were a bone to be chewed, when the lies of November came early;
        Hil’ray’s server was the pride of the of the Communist side, coming back from fund raisers in Wisconsin;
        As big liars go, she was bigger than most, with her fibs and deceits well-seasoned.

        Including some terms shaking down firms, for money from LA to Cleveland;
        then later that night when the BS bells rang outta sight, could it be yet more lies they’d been feelin’?
        The lies in the wires made a tattle-tale sound, when the techs did their email a-slashin’;

        When afternoon came, Hil’ray was bleating again, with the force of a hurricane west wind.
        When suppertime came the old IT guy came on deck, sayin’ fellas there’s more lies to feed ya;
        at 7 PM Hil’ray’s main campaign caved in, he said fellas is been good to know ya.
        Hil’ray’s spin meisters wired in, they had water comin’ in, and her tissue of lies was in peril.

        And later that night, when their lights went out of sight, came the wreck of the Hil’ray Fitzgerald.

        Does anyone know where the love of truth goes, when lies turn our faces so dour? The bloggers all say, Hil’ray’d be raking in hay, if she put 15 more tall tales behind her.
        Th’server might have split up or it might have capsized; but it sure rolled deep and took water;

        And all that remains are the blank emails and the games of Hil’ray and her Wall Streeter bankers
        Old Bill Clinton rolls and Hil’ray flings, in the rooms of her ice water mansions. Harry Reid steams an old liars dreams, and Pelosi’s pronouncements ring hollow;

        And further below, the lamestream media all know, they take in what the leftist can send them.
        But as the big liars go, the public now knows, Hil’ray will lie in November.

        In a musty old hall in DC we prayed, for the restoration of the Constitution;
        the church bell chimed, it rang 29,000 times for each email lost on the Hil’ray Fitzgerald

        • I’ve allways loved that song!! GOOD ONE Test.

        • Son of Gordon Lightfoot? I loved his songs and ballads. You are very creative!

        • That was great Test!

      11. Forget Ted.
        Take the guess work out of it and vote for Hillary.

        Bring it on down.

      12. create your own shorthand personal code

        just be careful that the info you collect and write down for reference record can’t be used against you or your family as a weapon or leverage by private citizen or the zog dhs gestapo.

        develop your own personal code writing and keep the cypher key separate in a place only you know.

        • Just use pig latin. Ouya reya etardedray.

          • how about this …

            ‘ouya esuckuos dedickus!’

            • Smart, now you get it! Urdta uncherpa!

      13. What you teach your allies can someday be used against you if an ally is a traitor, and whatever equipment the traitor got from you could also be someday used against you.

      14. Great article, J.J. However as I have said before it’s all the “friends and allies” that you truely have to beware of. I have found that you can live somwhere for 40 years and you’re still not “From Around Here” But those same people cry for your help on a daily basis!!

        • Now that is truly spoken. I doubt prejudice (renamed racism) will ever go away. Too many people think they are more holy than thou.

      15. J.J., Excellent article. Solus Lupus – you mentioned a “shorthand code” that you could utilize. Try using a “one time use” pad. Base it upon a book, article, some arcane item that you are familiar with. In using either Citizen’s Band or Amateur radio communications (yes, I realize that these can be jammed or intercepted and monitored) the “one time use” pads can come in extremely handy.
        Just my 00.25 worth.

        • Keep in mind the difference between a code and a cipher. Codes use everyday expressions to transmit secret meaning.

          One-time pads are ciphers, and require much time and effort to be expended at both ends of the communication.

          • Very true…decipher can be sped up with limited “X-Y” prearranged table. Just thinking ahead. But excellent observation!

          • Astute observation. In the late 1990’s, I experimented with varying levels of encryption (using FreeBSD that I compiled as the host system, knowing that Windows was compromised), and encryption algos found on USENET & IRC. When I used a particular 2048 bit encryption, a test email took a week to reach it’s destination. Someone was interested. I also tried Steganography as a vehicle for hiding messages, but never found a way to test if anyone had bothered to look “beneath the skin” of the nude model photos I used. Encoded pictures uploaded to the Cloud as a drop would be an interesting variant. Euskara might offer a promising base for a code, but I don’t know any Basques to aid in the venture.

      16. To anyone recording with their phones, makes sure you encrypt yours and if possible stream your vids to the cloud.

        • for encryption in phones you might want to look at silent circle. Not affilated in any way, i have been looking into them lately. just haven’t pulled the trigger on getting one yet.

      17. I live in a very small town. I find that town meetings are a good place to learn about your neighbors. The ones who try to force tax increases for their pet projects by shouting others down are good to avoid. The ones who maintain their cool under pressure and present reasoned arguments are worth getting to know. They could become assets and allies in the future.

      18. I don’t pretend to be an expert so might seem stupid but I’m curious – the deficit is now declining. It isn’t going up $1 trillion, $500 billion anymore.

        Does it mean the collapse is less likely to happen or just a blip and will not make a difference?

        I probably shouldn’t believe that stats too.

        God bless you all

      Commenting Policy:

      Some comments on this web site are automatically moderated through our Spam protection systems. Please be patient if your comment isn’t immediately available. We’re not trying to censor you, the system just wants to make sure you’re not a robot posting random spam.

      This website thrives because of its community. While we support lively debates and understand that people get excited, frustrated or angry at times, we ask that the conversation remain civil. Racism, to include any religious affiliation, will not be tolerated on this site, including the disparagement of people in the comments section.