Journal: Ivory Tower Musings on Intelligence-Sharing

Academia, Cultural Intelligence, Methods & Process
Full Op-Ed Online

Why intelligence-sharing can’t always make us safer

By Jennifer Sims and Bob Gallucci

Friday, January 8, 2010; A19

Phi Beta Iota: This Op-Ed is stunningly irrelevant to the problem at hand: a secret intelligence community that over-emphasizes cash inputs and secret remote collection, and simultaneously fails to exploit machine-speed all-source geospatially and time tagged processing, multi-lingual open sources, or analysts that actually know anything  in the way of historical, cultural, and linguistic context.   Intelligence-sharing–as the CIA Mid-Career Course teaches so very well–is a cultural trait that ultimately can only be achieved by humans who know each other, walk around, and frequently engage in informal non-bureaucratic non-mechanical interaction.  We’re not there.  The alternative below is what was done when Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski (two sides of the same coin) tried to be their own intelligence analyst, with the futher unprofessional crime of not sharing what they gathered with their intelligence support team.  As Ellsberg lectured Kissinger, this ultimately made him “like a moron,” a phrase that will be instantly pushed back by those who have “bought in” to the Potemkin Village (or what Chuck Spinney calls “Versailles on the Potomac”) but instantly embraced by those who live in the real world and understand Whole Systems.

Three representative sentences from their Op-Ed:

To win against a networked adversary, the intelligence community must share critical information with decision makers but not always with every element of its own community first.   . . . . . . .

Yet if this instance suggests that single, timely tips can be enough, psychological research suggests that intelligence-sharing can be downright bad.   . . . . . . .

To win in network warfare, then, decision makers must think of themselves as collectors and analysts, too.

Phi Beta Iota: The new book,INTELLIGENCE FOR EARTH, with chapters loaded as they are finished in first draft, is both a captone work about decades of work by hundreds that this Op-Ed ignores, and a primer for leaders who wish to get intelligence (decision-support) tuned up for the transnational non-state and often human-created but global non-human threats identified in priority order by the UN High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change in their report A More Secure World–Our Shared Responsibility–Report of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change.

See also:



Journal: Intelligence World Close to a Paradigm Shift?

Reference: Fixing Intel–A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan

Journal: Director of National Intelligence Alleges….

Search: Intelligence and the Viet-Nam War

Search: Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield

Journal: Obliviousness–and Lies–Kill Own’s Own

Review: Anthropological Intelligence–The Deployment and Neglect of American Anthropology in the Second World War