Joel Lawton

Joel Lawton <> ( is a former member of the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System (HTS). His work with HTS included working in the U.S. and two tours to Afghanistan, where he conducted socio-cultural research management, collection, and support; as well as open-source intelligence analysis and qualitative data collection and analysis. Joel served in the USMC, deploying to southern Helmand Province in 2009 in support of combat operations. Further, Joel is an advocate of qualitative analysis and its use in military intelligence collection efforts. He currently works as an intelligence analyst for the Army, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

The purpose of this article is to help tactically deployed soldiers engage in problem solving through conversational interviewing and application of qualitative methods.

The importance of network analysis and socio-cultural understanding within the military intelligence community and how it was used to capture Saddam Hussein.

This paper examines threat insights as they pertain to each of the Long-Range Investment Requirements Analysis investment categories.

The use of qualitative analysis within the Army intelligence community can help remedy certain capability gaps in obtaining locally nuanced information.

The purpose of this paper is to explore cognitive errors leading to poor strategic-level U.S. military decision making and policy adoption.

The IC largely fails to plan and take into consideration sociocultural facets typical to a population within the purview of a unit’s operational environment.