Title: 'Surging' for the Iraqi Elections

Release Date: 2017-09-13

Document Date: 2005-02-10

Description: The Iraq Issue Management Team at NSA headquarters developed a support plan for the January 2005 election, which included an Iraq Elections Desk and web page and summaries of signals intelligence and relevant assessment, with sanitized SIGINT reporting shared with relevant non-SCI [sensitive compartmented information] cleared personnel.

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(U//FOUO) 'Surging' for the Iraqi Elections
FROM: SIGINT Communications
Unknown
Run Date: 02/10/2005

(S) NSA was widely praised for its support to the Iraqi elections held on January 30th, with all
elements performing at the top of their game. Contributing to this success were some
innovative procedures that the Agency put in place ahead of time. Here's how it came about:
(S//REL) In the latter half of December, as it became clear that the elections would indeed be
held on schedule, the Iraq Issue Management Team began planning for the big day. First they
considered "lessons learned" from previous events, such as the Afghan elections and NSA's
support to PHANTOM FURY, the military operation in Fallujah. Next, they enlisted an "election
coordinator" --
USMC -- to spearhead preparations.
(S//REL)
was a great choice for this role, as he had recently returned from a 90+
day tour at CSG Baghdad, where he gained an in-depth understanding of the customers' needs.
He assembled an Election Support Team composed of representatives from all concerned target
offices, NSOC, Customer Relationships, etc. This team met almost daily to develop the support
plan.
(S//REL) Here's what was done:
The NSOC Crisis Action Cell (CAC) staffed a 24/7 Iraq Elections Desk in NSOC . In
addition to responding to queries and requests, the desk issued Iraq Elections Updates
every 12 hours to a select distribution.
The existing Summary Desk in NSOC put out an Iraqi Elections SIGINT Summary
every 12 hours between 27 January and 4 February, surging on Election Day with a 4hour summary in support of theater customers.
An Iraq Elections webpage was established on both NSANet and Intelink, by web
developers in NSOC and the Intelink office. Watch personnel at the Meade Operations
Center (which doesn't usually have a dedicated Iraq mission) joined the effort by
updating the webpages every two hours. The pages included all relevant SIGINT, as well
as customer Information Needs, and even open source information. The pages received
about 5500 hits from people seeking information.
S2's MENA (Middle East North Africa) Product Line put together a temporary desk to issue
SIGINT assessment reports , much sought-after by customers.
Sanitized (e.g. SECRET-level) SIGINT reporting was transferred onto SIPRNet for easy
access by non-SCI cleared personnel in theater.
By making creative use of the talents of the CAC and MOC watch personnel, the plan allowed
subject-matter experts to focus on producing intelligence (over 100 reports a day) and
responding to specific queries.
(S//REL) Customers had a variety of ways to get information: they could go directly to the right
NSA point-of-contact with a question, could check the Iraq Elections webpage for information, or
they could call the NSOC desk. This approach worked very well. One tactical customer in theater
described NSA's election support as "great," adding "NSA mobilized for the coverage and did a
very good job!" He especially praised product report summaries, the push-pull approach of
getting information out (via the NSOC updates and the Elections web page), and the release of
intelligence at the REL IRAQ level.

(S) These procedures will likely be activated at least twice more this year -- for the November
2005 drafting of a constitution and the December seating of a national assembly in Iraq... and
can serve as a model to follow for other future events.

"(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet
without the consent of S0121 (DL sid_comms)."

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DERIVED FROM: NSA/CSSM 1-52, DATED 08 JAN 2007 DECLASSIFY ON: 20320108

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