Robert Steele: EU Rejects Idea of a European Secret Service – Right Decision, Wrong Question, Missed Opportunity

Advanced Cyber/IO, Ethics, Government, Peace Intelligence
Robert David Steele
Robert David Steele

EU Rejects Idea of a European Secret Service – Right Decision, Wrong Question, Missed Opportunity

Defence and Intelligence Norway, 26 June 2016

DOC (5 Pages): Steele EU Rejects Secret Agency, Wrong Question (20160612)

On 10 June 2016 the European Union (EU) Interior Ministers turned down the idea of creating a common European secret service to deal with counter-terrorism and security issues.[1] This important decision – and the considerable flaws in how the question was raised and to whom, were not well reported to European citizens by European media.

Wrong Question

The question, “should Europe have a secret service,” is the wrong question. The correct question serving all Europeans, would have been “should Europe have an (Open) EU Inter-Agency Decision-Support Centre.”  The obsession with secrets (which are a method, not actually producing decision-support) and terrorism (which is a tactic, not a threat, killing far fewer than bad doctors or drunk drivers) is a sign of national insanity. A more balanced approach is needed.

There are ten high-level threats to humanity – and by extension to every European. I list them below with the observation that the secret intelligence services ignore all but two of these threats (inter-state conflict and terrorism), and focus exclusively on secret sources and methods, ignoring the 80% or more of the sources and methods that are not secret.[2]

01 Poverty
02 Infectious Disease
03 Environmental Degradation
04 Inter-State Conflict
05 Civil War
06 Genocide
07 Other Atrocities (e.g. trade in women and children)
08 Proliferation
09 Terrorism
10 Transnational crime (including cyber-crime)

Wrong Audience

The above ten high-level threats cannot be addressed by Ministers of the Interior acting alone. They are threats that demand the integrated informed action of all Ministers – they demand Whole of Government evaluation and Whole of Government programs. They particularly demand a robust foreign policy and a robust international development process that stops support to dictators,[3] stops elective wars by the Americans, and keeps all those illegal immigrants happy at home – in other words, poverty that that we allow elsewhere, eventually leads to poverty at home in Europe, compounding the poverty we create ourselves with bad decisions that favor banks and corporations over citizens.

The correct question, “should Europe have an EU Inter-Agency Decision-Support Centre,” should have been addressed to each of the different councils of ministers  — I list below the twelve core policy areas required to address the ten high-level threats  – and should have been scheduled as a Presidential/Prime Ministerial decision with inputs from all Ministers, not a decision by one set of Ministers.[4]

01 Agriculture
02 Diplomacy
03 Economy
04 Education
05 Energy
06 Family
07 Health
08 Immigration
09 Justice
10 Security
11 Society
12 Water

Wrong Sources & Methods

Until European Parliaments and citizens recognize that secret intelligence is the rogue elephant in the room – too often subsidized by the Americans with quid pro quos that violate European privacy, rights, and security without the knowledge of Parliaments while failing to provide decision-support for 80-90% of the vital topics[5]  – and instead demand proper attention to open sources and methods[6] – European policies and European budgets will continue to be uninformed and often corrupt. Decisions will be made on the basis of secrets that are more often than not lies; or in favor of corporations paying for those decisions, rather than on the basis of evidence openly acquired, processed, and analyzed in the public interest.

Recently the EU ministers responsible for research and innovation made a perfect decision on a supporting pillar for an EU Inter-Agency Decision-Support Centre: they agreed that by 2020 all scientific articles in Europe must be freely accessible as of 2020 so as to achieve optimal reuse of research data. This is called Open Access.[7]

Open Access is one of three primary sub-sets of Open Decision-Support (the other two are Open Document and Open Research). Open Decision-Support is in turn one of nine major “Opens” in Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE). The others are Open Data, Open Governance, Open Health, Open Infrastructure, Open Manufacturing, Open Provisioning, Open Software, and Open Space.[8] To achieve integrated cost-effective EU capabilities requires that the EU invest in all of the opens, together.

The EU has been leading the way in Open Software for governance, and now leads the way in Open Access but not Open Decision-Support or the other opens individually, or OSEE as an integrated whole.

The Long-Term Big Picture

Achieving sustainable development in Europe so that future generations can have a high quality of life without the 50% waste characteristic of industrial-era processes[9] or while avoiding the imminently catastrophic harm to the Earth caused by scientific reductionism and the avoidance of responsibility for true costs (ecological, moral, social), requires an Open Source (Technologies) Agency (OSA) that can be replicated in other countries.[10]

What the EU does for itself is 20% of the long-term solution. 80% of the long-term solution demands that we pivot the rest of the  West and make it possible for the five billion poor to achieve stable prosperity and peace at home (i.e. they should not want to immigrate illegally into Europe). That requires a thoughtful diplomatic strategy that on the one hand stops supporting dictators and elective wars that only profit the banks, and on the other hand, shifts spending priorities from defense over-invested in proprietary and expensive technologies, to development pioneering open inexpensive technologies – one tenth the cost, one hundred times the sustainability.

An OSA could have two Bureaus: an Information Bureau and an Innovation Bureau.

The Information Bureau would fund and support an EU Inter-Agency Decision-Support Centre and information-sharing network that goes outside government to enable real-time but secure sharing on all topics among all eight “tribes” of information (academic, civil society, commerce, government, law enforcement, media, military, non-government/non-profit), along with a School of Future-Oriented Design & Hybrid Governance and a World Brain Institute to advance the integration of holistic analytics with  true cost economics.

The Innovation Bureau (with a global network of applied scientists and engineers including many volunteers) would have a division for each of the nine open technologies categories, with initial emphasis to be placed on Open Provisioning – free energy, unlimited desalinated water using free energy, the rapid completion and global deployment of the Global Village Construction Set including pressed-brick shelters (the ultimate affordable housing), decentralized composting, and aquaponics – sustainable agriculture without pesticides.

An Even Better Question

In light of the above – and with dismay that this question will have to wait for the next round of EU inter-ministerial meetings – an even better question is:

“Should the EU have an Open Source (Technologies) Agency that includes an EU Inter-Agency Decision-Support Centre?’

Such a question demands that each of the Ministerial working groups be fully-engaged, to include a proper briefing for each on the proper definition of intelligence as decision-support (the outputs) rather than spies and secrecy (the inputs for the deformed intelligence bureaucracies we have today); and a full understanding of what it means to integrate holistic analytics, true cost economics, and Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE) across all threats, all policies, all budgets. This is a decision the Presidents and Prime Ministers must make on behalf of the total public.

Dare to want it all – at one tenth the cost of what we do now, with 100X the sustainability.

[1]EU interior ministers reject idea of creating European secret service,” Kuwait News Agency, 10 June 2016. A similar decision – also the wrong question to the wrong “deciders.” was made in 2004, per Patrick E. Tyler, “Ministers in Brussels Reject Idea of a ‘C.I.A.’ for Europe,” New York Times, 19 March 2004.

[2] These ten threats, in this order, are as identified by the United Nations High-Level Threat Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change, reporting out in their free online PDF and published book, A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility (United Nations, December 2004). Every Member state without exception appears to have ignored this superb endeavor. An executive overview is provided online at Robert David Steele, “Reference: 10 High-Level Threats to Humanity,” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 27 October 2010.

[3] Most citizens and many ministers do not appear to understand the true cost to Europe of supporting dictators and elective wars and regime change by the Americans. The following book reviews offer some insights: Review: Breaking the Real Axis of Evil–How to Oust the World’s Last Dictators by 2025; Review: Killing Hope – US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II; Review: The Eagle’s Shadow–Why America Fascinates And Infuriates The World; Review: The Sorrows of Empire–Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic; Review: Why the Rest Hates the West–Understanding the Roots of Global Rage.

[4] These twelve policies – by no means exclusive – are common to all US presidential “mandate for change” transition plans over the past quarter century, as examined by Earth Intelligence Network in 2006. An executive overview is provided online at Robert David Steele, “Reference: 12 Core Policy Domains ,“ Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 1 November 2010.

[5] General Tony Zinni, USMC, at the time Commanding General of the US Central Command then engaged in two wars and twelve “engagements” qualifying for Joint Task Forces, is on record as saying that secret sources and methods provided him with, “at best,” 4% of what he needed to know. “Graphic: Tony Zinni on 4% “At Best”,” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 7 December 2010; and “Tony Zinni: Background & Confirmation of the 4% “At Best” Quote on Secret versus Open Sources, “ Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog, 30 December 2012.

[6] The seminal work on the utility of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) or Open Decision-Support, at a fraction of the cost (1% to 5%) of secret intelligence, is provided by Steele, Robert. “Open Source Intelligence (Strategic),” in Loch Johnson (ed.), Strategic Intelligence: The Intelligence Cycle, Westport, CT: Praeger, 2007, Chapter 6, pp. 96-122.

[7]All European scientific articles to be freely accessible by 2020,” The Netherlands EU Presidency 2016, 27 March 2016. See also Robert David Steele, “On Open Letter to All European Ministers,” Defence and Intelligence Norway, 2 June 2016.

[8] The most concise overview is provided by the Peer to Peer Foundation (P2P) Wiki, Category:Open Source Everything, created 3 June 2015 by agreement with Michel Bauwens, founder of P2P. A media summary that captured the public imagination is Hafez Ahmed, “The open source revolution is coming and it will conquer the 1% – ex CIA spy,” The Guardian, 19 June 2014; a less noted but simpler media review is provided by Daniel Araya, “Interview: Former CIA Officer Robert Steele Discusses Why We Need an Open Source Revolution,” Futurism Magazine, 2 December 2015. Related works on Applied Collective Intelligence are free online.

[9] Cf. Agriculture: Nadia Arumugam, “UN Says Europe Wastes 50% of Fruit and Vegetables – and America Isn’t Must Better,” Forbes (4 October 2012), Dana Gunders, “Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill,” National Resources Defense Council (August 2012); Energy: Barry Fischer, “US Wastes 61-86% Of Its Energy,” CleanTechnica (26 August 2013); Health: Michael Galper et al, “The price of excess: Identifying waste in healthcare spending,” PriceWaterhouseCoopers (April 2008); Military: Scot Paltrow, “Behind the Pentagon’s doctored ledgers, a running tally of epic waste,” Reuters (18 November 2013), Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, “The US spends more on defense than the next eight countries combined,” Peter G. Peterson Foundation (13 April 2014), Perry Chiaramonte, “War on waste: Pentagon auditor spotlights US billions blown in Afghanistan,” Fox News (28 July 2014); Water: Robert David Steele, “Water: Soul of the Earth, Mirror of Our Collective Souls,” Huffington Post (7 January 2011).

[10] A complete and illustrated memorandum suitable for sharing with Ministers, Presidents, and Prime Ministers is provided by Steele, Robert. “Memorandum for the Vice President, “SUBJECT: Supporting the President’s Interest in 2015 Defense, Diplomacy, and Development Innovation – the Open Source (Technologies) Agency, Digital Deserts, & Global Stabilization,” Oakton, VA: Earth Intelligence Network, October 8, 2015.