By Doron Pely
Foreign Policy in Focus, February 22, 2013
Here’s an amazing fact: None of the world’s vaunted intelligence organizations boast a single “Peace Intelligence” division. Defense and offense are two major strategic aspects of each country’s governance, and national intelligence organizations expand enormous resources to produce and disseminate intelligence aimed at improving each country’s defensive and offensive postures.
Our political masters keep telling us that making and maintaining peace is one of their top strategic goals. Why then do we invest nothing at all at collecting, studying, assessing and exploiting peace-related intelligence?
It just doesn’t make sense.
Theoretically, politicians, decision makers, and other consumers of intelligence reports should strive to get the broadest possible analysis and recommendations. Incorporating high-quality, peace-related intelligence into the daily briefing portfolio of any governing and executing body will achieve just that.
Yet we are told that political and operational decision makers encourage the intelligence producers to come up with impoverished binary (Go/No Go) operational products. In the new Israeli documentary The Gatekeepers, six former heads of Israel’s internal intelligence services say exactly that (and much more).
I am not talking about intelligence organizations’ obsession with studying real or imagined peace movements because they view such movements as potentially subversive, destabilizing, or lawless. What I am suggesting is exactly the opposite – the creation of dedicated “peace intelligence” departments that will try to determine to what extent peace action in “target” countries constitutes an opportunity, not a threat.
Here is a proposal for a “Peace Intelligence” division that will improve the work of any intelligence organization. It would consist of several sections.
ROBERT STEELE: This is a very well-intentioned idea, as well-intentioned as the Department of Peace that was recently proposed in the US Congress. Both are examples of trying to do the wrong thing righter. Using the USA as an example, adding both of these to the existing corrupt system that treats the Department of State as a liaison service for the 40 of the 42 dictators that we love, and the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security as pig troughs for contractors — with 50% of every federal dollar DOCUMENTED as waste across Agriculture, Energy, Health, “Justice” and so on — will simply add to the waste.
More experienced professionals, publicly visible since 1969, have been calling for the radical redirection of intelligence away from secrets for the president and toward open source intelligence (decision-support) for everyone. I am one of perhaps 1,000 pioneers in this area, most represented at the portal Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog.
Ada Bozeman has written:
(There is a need) to recognize that just as the essence of knowledge is not as split up into academic disciplines as it is in our academic universe, so can intelligence not be set apart from statecraft and society, or subdivided into elements…such as analysis and estimates, counterintelligence, clandestine collection, covert action, and so forth. Rather … intelligence is a scheme of things entire. (Bozeman 1998: 177)
Exactly right. I am writing a new book, INTELLIGENCE with INTEGRITY: Enabling Hybrid Governance with Open-Source Decision Support, and I have also posted the new logo for our global campaign going forward, it can be seen and is explained in the top (sticky) post at Phi Beta Iota. My forthcoming chapter, by agreement with the publisher available at my website in preprint, further elaborates on my views developed over the past 30 years.
Short URL to PREPRINT: http://tinyurl.com/IntelCraft21
Citation: Robert David Steele, “The Craft of Intelligence,” in Robert Dover, Michael Goodman, and Claudia Hillebrand (eds.). Routledge Companion to Intelligence Studies (Oxford, UK: Routledge, 31 July 2013)
I am in the process of being considered for a funded invitation to address the intelligence conference in Wales, and would be very glad if others in London and elsewhere were to chip in to ease the financial burden on the Wales group, as I would be very glad to present the third era of national and multinational intelligence at multiple locations across the UK, if there is any interest.
In the end, education, intelligence, and research must be melded into a single scheme of the mind entire — creating Smart Nations, a World Brain, and a Global Game. IMHO.