Surfing the web with reservists….as published in Military Intelligence, July-September 2015.
PDF (4 Pages): (U)_OSINT_Battle_Rhythm_(MIPB_Jul-Sep_15)
Since the end of the Cold War, and especially over the last 10 to 12 years with the reduction of military and civilian staffs at combatant commands and national agencies, more and more “real-world” intelligence production at operational and strategic levels is being assigned to RC intelligence units. This strategic intelligence production is vital for Army components at combatant commands to accomplish the Army’s mission of “winning in a complex world.”
ROBERT STEELE: This is a very sad very accurate depiction of how shallow and inept the US/NATO approach to “OSINT” is — US butts in seats skimming the surface of the digital cesspool. 2013 comments by the former Deputy N-2 for NATO, BGen James Cox, on what he would do — given the failure of the US/NATO shallow approach to date — are here. Broader NATO innovation ideas centered on Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making (M4IS2) are here. My April 2016 presentation to a European government (military and national service) is here. Note the focus on humans spending money in the field. The advanced stuff is here.
The article is part of what is wrong with Army intelligence today. It was written by a dude who started out life in the Army other than intelligence. “transitioned to MI” and then became an expert (because of what?). As a civilian he is a FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst (whatever that means) in New Jersey. He is educated, but to what purpose? He has an undergrad degree in History (and Russian) but his Masters is in Human Resources….I am sure he thinks that he can analyze information, however, he has no military courses that would suggest that (Army Officers do not receive any analytical training, they are supposed to be managers)
as the MI Transition Course is designed to make them understand what MI does not how it is done. As to the article itself, what a bunch of baloney.
Go back a few years when you were supporting Rob Simmons 434th Military Intelligence (MI) Detachment (Strategic) in New Haven. I was stationed at the ARSIC at Ft. Dix. Our job was to provide a real world environment for Reserve and National Guard units (but not including the STRATMIDS) to obtain access to classified information to maintain their skills. They were “obligated” to attend our training six times a year. Most of them had to travel and thus we only had them for about 10 hours total time. Originally we had a very well done Training Support Package to use which we updated to run off of a database. You provided us with tasking and we answered based on the information within the database. That didn’t go over well because if you didn’t know how to task you got nothing. In the past everything had been given to them…..so they didn’t learn what their capabilities were and how to use them. The commanders didn’t like the fact that their guys couldn’t do their job so they began to boycott our training….saying the cost of travel was too much. They would rather have them sit around the Reserve Center and do nothing or have formations so the commander could look at this troops.
When I moved to Ft. Sam Houston we integrated the Reserves with the Active Duty guys, it was much easier. When we would go to Ft. Hood the soldiers spent their time in the motor pool. When asked about contingencies we were told they would get all they needed from the CORPS G2….when we talked to the CORPS G2 he said he didn’t have anything since the subordinated units didn’t do any intelligence work. They never understood that it was a ground up feed that enabled a top down push….the reason, unqualified MI Officers..and it continues today. Except they now expect computers to do analysis and that Palantir if the answer….even if you don’t know what questions to ask (and they don’t).
ROBERT STEELE: The system is hollow. The IC OSINT managers are ignorant and timid, they dare not challenge the secret program managers (CIA’s Open Source Center, for example, is not allowed to cultivate Subject Matter Experts (SME), by order of CIA’s Clandestine Service that claims all HUMINT while being incompetent at most HUMINT. Similarly NSA’s OSINT and DIA’s OSINT are pathetic shadows of what they might be if they had the integrity to properly exploit all humans in all languages in all places, with the money to do street-level exploitation ($25 to $250 to $2500, not the grotesque multi-million dollar sweet-heart deals given to beltway bandits today). IC OSINT today is corrupt and retarded, and will remain that way until the Europeans or the BRICS create the gold standard and begin publicly challenging the lies and mis-statements of the Americans on a daily basis.