Journal: DoD Mind-Set Time Lags Most Fascinating

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Pentagon Shifts Its Strategy To Small-Scale Warfare

By August Cole and Yochi J. Dreazen

Wall Street Journal  January 30, 2010  Pg. 4

The shift in strategy sets up potential conflicts with defense contractors and powerful lawmakers uneasy with the Pentagon’s growing focus on smaller-scale, guerilla warfare.

In particular, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has come to think that the Pentagon’s traditional belief that it needed to be able to fight two major wars at the same time was outdated and overly focused on conventional warfare. The new QDR moves away from that model, a mainstay of U.S. military thinking for more than two decades, in favor of an expanded focus on low-intensity conflict.

Phi Beta Iota: This is most fascinating; it is also not the last word.  Here is the timeline in short and long versions.  Short:  22 years from advance guard to leadership; 12 years from internal think tanks to leadership; probably further delay from leadership acceptance to bureaucratic implementation: another 20 years.

1988: Commandant of the Marine Corps Al Gray and the USMC Intelligence Center figure it out.  General Gray publishes “Global Intelligence Challenges in the 1990’s,” American Intelligence Journal (Winter 1989-1990).

1992: USMC seeks redirection of one-third of the National Intelligence Topics (NIT) to Third World.  Across the board stone-walling by other services and the US Intelligence Community.

1993: The French think deeply about the future of defense.  One contribution invited by the Office of the Prime Minister is On Defense & Intelligence–The Grand Vision.

1994: National Research Council invites a briefing on the U.S. Army’s new multi-billion dollar proposed communications investment for the future.  Steele’s briefing points out that the Army is assuming every bit will be generated internally and there is no need for information exchanges outside the high-side grid.  This is more or less the beginning of the collapse of the DoD Global Grid as a series of defense intelligence and communications managers refused to contemplate the reality that most of the information we need is outside the wire, outside the high-side grid.

1995: GIQ 13/2 Creating a Smart Nation: Strategy, Policy, Intelligence, and Information

1995: The French General Staff sponsors a conference on War and Peace in the 21st Century.  Robert Gates and Robert Steele are two of the four Americans featured.  Gates dismisses the Steele briefing publicly with the words “I’m not even going to touch that.”

1996: DIA/JMITC commissions first Open Source Intelligence Handbook.  Ignored by rest of DIA.

1997: General Peter Schoomaker, USA, then CINCSOC USSOCOM, get a briefing on OSINT, gets it instantly, and orders both the creation of J-23 and the teaching of OSINT in every SOF schoolhouse.  Today J-23 is the only competent operational OSINT element in the USG with global reach and full-spectrum access.

1998: U.S. Army Strategic Studies Institute and the annual Army Strategy Conference “get” asymmetric warfare.  The conference is reported out in JFQ The Asymmetric Threat: Listening to the Debate.

1998: Intelligent consideration of cyber-threats in context peaks, as does the promotion of information peacekeeping.  Neither is profitable for the beltway bandits that thrive on government-ordered waste.

1998: US Naval Institute accepts First to Fight, but not Fighting Smart: A Skeptical Assessment of Naval Force Effectiveness in the 21st Century, withdrawn by author and published as a Defense Daily Network Special Report (no longer online).   2008 U.S. Naval Power in the 21st Century is the current version.

1998: Australian Ministry of Defense organizes a national Whole of Government conference on Open Source Intelligence as it applies to regional concerns and sharing. OSINT Executive Overview (Australia, October 1998).

1999: DIA receives and ignores two presentations, Tough Love at DIA for SASA andWeb-Based Concept for a Global Information Sharing Environment

2000: U.S. Army Strategic Studies Institute publishes the book, Organizing for National Security, including  Chapter 12, “Presidential Leadership and National Security Policy Making,” pp. 245-282.

2000: North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) commissions both a briefing for all of its intelligence flag officers and colonels commanding (65 or so including Partnership for Peace military intelligence leaders) and a series of doctrinal publications on Open Source Intelligence (OSINT).  This remains the gold standard today for lack of serious interest within DIA or CIA subordinates to the Director, who has specifically called for Multinational Engagement and been ignored (as of 29 Jan 2010).

2001: U.S. Army Strategic Studies Institute publishes the book, Revising the Two MTW Force Shaping Paradigm, including Chapter 9: “Threats, Strategy, and Force Structure: An Alternative Paradigm for National Security“, pp.  139-163.  The longer version with more detail but without the editorial value of Dr. Steve Metz, is also online.

2002: NSA received invited keynote briefing on need to focus on substance over signal.  NSA in Las Vegas The New Craft of Intelligence: What Should the T Be Doing to the I in IT?

2002: The Dutch, along with the Swedes pioneers in peace intelligence, sponsor the conference “Peacekeeping and Intelligence: Lessons for the Future.”  They were not going to publish the results.

2003: The book is published by Robert Steele and OSS.Net, Inc. as PEACEKEEPING INTELLIGENCE: Emerging Concepts for the Future, including Chapter 13: “Information Peacekeeping & the Future of Intelligence: The United Nations, Smart Mobs, and the Seven Tribes” pp. 201-225

2004: Italian Ministry of Defense commissioned a series of briefings on the failure of 20th century intelligence and the future of 21st century intelligence, and published ON INTELLIGENCE: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World in Italian with a preface from the past President of Italy.

2004: Work begins to create a stronger Civil Affairs and White Hat response within the U.S. Army.  Special Operations Forces OSINT Handbook (Strawman) is provided with a day of instruction.

2004: LtGen Dr. Brent Scowcroft, USAF (Ret) and the other members of the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change, publishA More Secure World–Our Shared Responsibility–Report of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change uniquely, for the first time in history, the ten high-level threats are prioritized.  DIA ignores this.

2006: Briefing to the Coalition Coordination Center (CCC) Leadership at the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM)–Multinational Intelligence: Can CENTCOM Lead the Way? Reflections on OSINT & the Coalition

2007: United Nations “Class Before One” Infomation-Sharing and Analytics Orientation

2008: U.S. Army Strategic Studies Institute and the annual Army Strategy Conference “get” need for Whole of Government planning, programming, and budgeting (something the Office of Management and Budget stopped doing in the 1970’s).  2008 Rebalancing the Instruments of National Power–Army Strategy Conference of 2008 Notes, Summary, & Article posted for the public.

2009: Perhaps We Should Have Shouted: A Twenty-Year Restrospective

2009: DoD OSINT Leadership and Staff Briefings

Bottom line: Unless the Secretary of Defense develops a Defense Open Source Intelligence Porgram (DOSP) that can give him a better grip on reality–one that can be shared–than the secret mandarins seeking to maintain the wasteful and often fraudulent status quo, he will fail in moving the elephant.  OSINT is an operational lever for rebalancing everything from policy and acquisition to operations both of war and peace.  Most people simply do not understand that.

DoD, and DIA, are stagnant.  The fastest way to refresh both DIA and DoD is to move DIOSPO up to a DO and direct report, make in an operational network, not a paper-pushing staff element, and use information and intelligence the way they are supposed to be used: as force multipliers.  We are not supporting the troops in the field, the acquisition managers, the theater staffs, or the policymakers to the fullest extent possible.