2000 Presidential Intelligence (Book 1 Chapter 13)

Articles & Chapters
Book 1 (2000)
Book 1 (2000)


Presidential Intelligence


Dear Mr. President,


Now that you have won election as President of the United States of America, you must come to grips with what may well be the most fundamental topic pertinent to your success as our leader.  I refer to the need to make America a “Smart Nation”, a Nation that can dominate the intellectual high ground of the information age and in this way both preserve its security and also prosper as a community of individuals, tribes, states and commonwealths.


Being in favor of the Internet or information technology is not only inadequate; it is counterproductive if you do not also have a larger National Information Strategy.  As Paul Strassmann, former Director of Defense Information and one of America's most able minds likes to note, “Information technology makes bad management worse”.  Nor is this about budget priorities, for, as Arnie Donahue, the former Director for C4I in the Office of Management and Budget has noted, “There is plenty of money for … (national intelligence).”  This is about concepts, doctrine, and Presidential leadership.


Executive Summary


Intelligence qua warning and understanding will be the crux of tomorrow's world-wide struggle for power.  Power is shifting from states to groups, from muscle power to brain power.  All aspects of the President's role and relationships are being affected, with bureaucracy being among the first casualties of the Internet.  National Security and National Competitiveness each require extraordinary new leaps of both understanding and organization. 


The President is handicapped by the existing intelligence bureaucracy, and needs to take a strong leadership role in revitalizing and extending the concept of national intelligence in order to harness the distributed intelligence of the business, academic, media and individual experts in the private sector. 

There is an enormous gap between the people with power in government, and the people with knowledge in the private sector.  There are also major “bed-rock” issues pertaining to the basic and continuing education of the population and the family unit that sustains individuals over the course of their lifetime.  Fourteen specific intelligence reforms are described here and recommended for inclusion in a Presidential Directive and related legislation. 


No President has ever faced such a complex political, economic, social and technical environment.  Building upon a newly empowered and extended national intelligence community, Presidential leadership in establishing a Global Intelligence Council and a Global Intelligence Organization is recommended. In addition, a substantive restructuring of the Presidential staff is recommended to integrate national policy making across security, competitiveness and treasury boundaries, and to provide small staff elements for global strategy, national intelligence, and national research in direct support of the President and the President's immediate subordinates.


Only the President has the programmatic and political authority to serve as the leader of a truly national intelligence community, and to correct the severe deficiencies existing today within the government's intelligence bureaucracy.  Intelligence is an inherent responsibility of the Commander-in-Chief, and not something that can be delegated to a political appointee or to the bureaucracy.




Alvin Toffler introduced the term “PowerShift” in 1990.  His book can be considered a primer for those who aspire to govern anything in the 21st Century.  Here are just a few of his key concepts applicable to you: [1]


·        Knowledge is now the most salient aspect of social control and hence the most important foundation for national power.  “Knowledge is the crux of tomorrow's world-wide struggle for power.”

·        Power is shifting from states to groups, from muscle power to brain power.  “The old Second Wave factories needed essentially interchangeable workers.  By contrast, Third Wave operations require diverse and continually changing skills…And this turns the entire problem of unemployment upside down.” He goes on to note that any strategy for reducing unemployment (and maintaining America's competitive edge) “must depend less on the allocation of wealth and more on the allocation of knowledge.”


·        Conflicts of the future will revolve around the quest for knowledge.  The skirmishes and battles of the future will be decided by who can collect, analyze, and disseminate intelligence most effectively and efficiently. 


·        The relationships between politicians and bureaucrats, and between people and politicians, will change dramatically.  Bureaucracies will be among the first casualties within the new information environment.  Governments will become more decentralized and rely to a greater extent on private sector and other non-governmental organizations to fulfill traditional government responsibilities.


·        The end of the Cold War does not mean the end of violence.  If anything, we should look for the cultural “tribalization” of the world.  Irrational hate-mongering ideologies will persevere and require different kinds of political-military responses than we are capable of contriving today.


·        In order for nations to maintain their strategic edge, an effective intelligence apparatus will be a necessity.  In an environment where both the policymaker and the intelligence collectors are being inundated with information, there is a need to revolutionize intelligence—not only will espionage still be in demand, but economic espionage, and counterintelligence against hostile economic espionage, will be boom businesses.


·        The privatization of intelligence capabilities, including overhead imagery and signals collection, open source collection, and also the exploitation of advanced processing and dissemination technologies not now common within governments, will dramatically alter and influence government intelligence capabilities.


Challenge of Change


With Toffler's thoughts as an introduction, let us now review five specific aspects of the changing environment for governance that will challenge any President in the 21st Century—in the new millennium.


1.      Threat.  There are actually four threat “classes” that the President needs to be concerned about, but the President is inheriting a national security community that is moderately able to handle only one of these threat classes, the one that no longer exists: the high-tech brute nation-state intent on conventional or nuclear confrontation.  Neither the Department of Defense, nor the Departments of State and Justice, are suitably trained, equipped, and organized to deal with the other three major threat groups that are “exploding in our face” as we start the new millennium: low-tech brutes including terrorists and transnational criminals; high-tech brains that engage in either economic espionage or information terrorism and crime; and low-tech brains that engage in mass cultural warfare, religious zealotry, and more mundane global trade and environmental skirmishing.


2.      Players.  As outlined above, and also noted in Jessica Matthews' article for Foreign Affairs (January-February 1997), the players that Presidents have to contend with to devise and implement policy have changed dramatically from the days of Franklin Deleanor Roosevelt.  Governments can not understand, much less mandate outcomes for, the various issue areas without actively engaging non-governmental organizations.  This has two implications for national intelligence: first, that we must “target” these organizations as co-equal to traditional state-based ministries; and second, that we must share intelligence with these organizations in the same way that we have shared intelligence with other governments in order to establish consensual understanding.


3.      Money.  There will be less and less money for government, especially if government at the Federal level persists in wasting its funds on out-of-date and extremely expensive capabilities spanning the range of traditional government capabilities from warfare to welfare.  In this context, you have to make some dramatic—revolutionary—decisions about the realignment of the funds you do have in hand.  Two of your priorities must be the dramatic revitalization of the national intelligence community; and the realignment of a substantial—40%—portion of the Department of Defense budget to fund needed changes in new military capabilities as well as diplomatic and overt action overseas, and also counterintelligence and security law enforcement at home and abroad.


4.      Knowledge.  After the Gulf War Cable News Network (CNN) magnate Ted Turner is reputed to have told President George Bush he would never be shut out of the skies again.  Today commercial imagery and remote sensing capabilities are available for a fraction of the cost of the now badly out-of-date classified imagery architecture, and similar gains have been made across all of the disciplines.  In fact, the biggest problem today with respect to national intelligence is that it is, as the Aspin/Brown Commission stated so definitively in 1996, “severely deficient” with respect to its access to open sources of information.[2]  “The problem with spies is they only know secrets”.  The President and key decision-makers will remain desperately ignorant of history and culture, and desperately lacking in current and estimative intelligence support, if we don't fix the severe imbalances in the intelligence community.


5.      Technology.  The information technology underlying government operations was largely procured and expensed (on the hardware side) in the 1970's and 1980's, and we continue to spend 80 cents on the dollar to maintain legacy software systems—billions of lines of code—that have been accumulated and are long overdue for modernization.  As Stewart Brand of the Global Business Network has told me, the costs of Y2K compliance are “a mere whiff of the carnage to come.”  Worse, as the ability of the private sector to provide “extranet” options grows rapidly, we continue to invest in hundreds of government-owned and operated “intranet” solutions, while ignoring the fundamentals of data definition standards.  The simple fact about information technology investing today is that it should not be driven by hardware and software decisions but rather by access and data manipulation decisions across multiple national, cultural, and organizational boundaries. There is another related aspect, that of encryption.  As the value of data grows, the value of meta-data will grow exponentially.  Meta-data will not emerge, and its value will not be harvested, until the transnational private sector has access to the same level of unencumbered encryption that the National Security Agency now provides for Presidential communications.  The center of gravity for both national security and national competitiveness is in the private sector, and for this reason a truly Presidential strategy for meeting the challenges of the 21st century would free encryption; forego further major investments in government-owned hardware and software; and use government spending to inspire order of magnitude greater investments by the private sector in “extranet” solutions that allow you to share data securely with other national governments, state and local governments, and non-governmental entities.


National Security & Competitiveness in the 21st Century


The threat has devolved down to the individual level.  National Security must still provide for armed conflict between states as the ultimate arbiter of sovereign prerogatives, but as we found in the 1990's, we must allocate resources to, and be ever vigilant with respect to, armed and ruthless brute terrorists and transnational criminals; ethnic, religious and issue groups with global reach; and electronic espionage, electronic terrorism, and electronic theft.


In Chapter 6 I have summarized both the findings of the 9th Annual Strategy Conference sponsored by the Strategic Studies Institute of the Army War College, and also outlined my proposed budgetary realignments for the Department of Defense.  I reiterate only the latter here.


To assure National Security in the 21st Century, we must:


·        Reduce to 60% of the present DoD budget those funds earmarked for conventional and strategic nuclear warfare, while dramatically increasing the number of (smaller and simpler) naval, aviation, and ground platforms and also increasing the cumulative precision combat power that can be called upon by any individual combatant. 

·        Apply 20% of the existing DoD budget to Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (SOLIC), with one quarter of that amount (5% of the total existing DoD budget) earmarked for military support to Department of Justice transnational crime and economic espionage operations.


·        Apply 10% of the existing DoD budget to Department of State operations including a dramatic revitalization of our Peace Corps and the capabilities represented by the Agency for International Development and the U.S. Information Agency. [3]  We must also devise new capabilities for engaging in what I have defined as “information peacekeeping,”[4] while also passing legislation to nurture the growing private sector capability to engage in overt actions promoting democracy and capitalism.


·        Apply 10% of the existing DoD budget to Department of Justice operations including the creation of a new Federal Bureau of Investigation division dedicated to the protection of U.S. intellectual property and U.S. business contracts world-wide.


Such a restructuring of our National Security program will have substantial positive implications for the Reserve and National Guard, which will have a greater role than ever before in dealing with the three new classes of threat; and for the relationship between the government and the private sector, as the latter will have to undertake measures in its own defense, while also engaging in new information-sharing and counterintelligence coordination activities.


National Competitiveness in the 21st Century requires the President of the United States of America to depart from conventional wisdom and understand that Nations do not “compete” with one another as much as they must strive to “attract” the best and the brightest individuals from all over the world.

To assure National Competitiveness in the 21st Century, we must:


·        Forego any more attempts to restrict, encumber or otherwise handicap encryption in the private sector.  Legislation should be passed that makes it a crime for any federal agency, explicitly including the National Security Agency, to seek from any private corporation any form of assistance that in any way reduces the effectiveness of the encryption available in the private sector.  This is the only way that America can guarantee to the smart individuals of the world that in America, and through the use of American information technology, the fruits of their intellectual labor will be protected.  This is a reverse “brain drain” magnet issue that you cannot overlook.


·        Establish a National Information Strategy that provides tax and financial incentives to all publishers who place all of their content online, while making it more and more attractive for individuals to self-publish but still be part of a global indexing system; accelerates standards for sharable software and data, to include legislation that requires Microsoft and all other software producers to stabilize and make public their Application Program Interfaces (API); and provides a legal framework for nurturing the creation of a national “extranet” in which individuals and organizations can store their data remotely with full privacy assurances, while leveraging meta-data visualization and exploitation technologies that are most beneficial when applied to masses of data from multiple parties.


·        Undertake a Digital Marshall Plan to bring the rest of the world, and especially the countries of Africa, Latin America, and the underdeveloped portions of Asia, but also including the American underclass that does not own or use computers, into the 21st Century's information environment.  Only in this way can America simultaneously set the stage for its global information superiority, while also addressing the emerging schisms between information haves and information have-nots.


·        Refocus national, state, and local governance on the education of the individual and the sustenance of the nuclear family with two parents who between them have one full-time job (not two) and can provide their children and community with one full-time care giver and community participant.  A wiser man than I once said “An educated citizenry is a nation's best defense. This is the bed-rock foundation for a Smart Nation.


National Intelligence Redefined


The U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) emerged from the demands of World War II.  The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) grew from the original Office of Strategic Services (OSS), itself a result of a central coordination group that emerged as a response to Pearl Harbor.  Over time, as new opportunities and challenges emerged, we found ourselves with a National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), a National Security Agency (NSA), a National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), and a variety of standing armies for intelligence collection and production at the tactical and theater levels, in the form of uniformed and civilian forces created by the services, and Joint Intelligence Centers at each of eleven Unified & Specified Commands.


Somewhere in the course of creating this vast $30 billion a year community, “intelligence” became synonymous with “secrets”.  This is understandable, in part because the Cold War caused the IC to focus on one major threat, the Soviet Union, and the bulk of all information about the Soviet Union was classified because the Soviet Union was a “denied area” and all of our information had to be obtained by clandestine human or covert technical means.  It is not, however, advisable for the next President to permit this grave misdirection to be perpetuated.


There are two other very undesirable facts of life associated with the growth of the IC. 


First, because of our natural American penchant for technical solutions, when the former Soviet Union blocked our attempts to obtain information through human clandestine means, we resorted to technical means and ultimately allocated over 90% of our intelligence spending to technical collection.  In fact, we collect so much that we process less than 10% of what we collect….this is very wasteful.


Second, only the CIA remained a relatively independent agency under the direct control of the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI).  Everything else became part of the Department of Defense (DoD), and hence relatively unresponsive to guidance from the DCI.  Put another way: the DCI continues to lack the programmatic authority necessary to make trade-offs between collection and production, between technical and human, between secrets and non-secrets.


In short, “national intelligence” today is obsessed with secrets, is predominantly about technical collection, and is not under the direct control of the DCI.


Below I provide two alternative definitions, the first of “intelligence” and the second of “national intelligence”.  As a twenty-five year veteran of the U.S. defense and intelligence community, I feel quite confident that any President, Cabinet Secretary, or CEO will appreciate the following practical real-world definitions:


·        Data: the raw image, signal, or text from a primary event.


·        Information: the combination of various forms of data into a generic form that is of interest to more than one person and hence suitable for broadcast.


·        Intelligence: information that has been deliberately discovered, discriminated, distilled, and delivered to a single specific decision-maker or decision-making group in order to facilitate a serious decision with political, economic, or social consequences.


The IC does not think or act in these terms.  The IC today focuses on distinctions between different kinds of secrets and different kinds of classified “intelligence” that are really nothing more than classified information.


Now let us consider what is meant by “national intelligence”.  Today the practical understanding of national intelligence would include only those agencies and service elements that are directly focused on the handling of classified information.  This would include the national agencies charged with collecting and exploiting secret images (NRO and NIMA), collecting and exploiting secret signals (NSA), and various organizations focused on all-source analysis, including the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Intelligence and Research Bureau (INR) of the Department of State, the four military service intelligence organizations, and—depending on who is doing the definition—the counterintelligence segment of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the secret elements of the various Department of Energy laboratories, and a few bits and pieces that are still not visible to the public.


This definition falls woefully short as we prepare to enter the 21st Century, the century of the “knowledge worker” or “gold collar worker”.


Consider the following diagram, first developed by myself while driving back with Alvin Toffler from a very disappointing meeting with the most senior defense intelligence leaders, all of whom wanted to stay in their tiny little “military intelligence” box as they understood it.


Policy Intelligence

Law Enforcement Intelligence





Business Intelligence/Open Source Intelligence/Academic Intelligence

Mass & Niche Media Intelligence

Citizen Intelligence—Intelligence “Minuteman”

Basic, Advanced, Corporate, & Continuing Education


Figure 66: Elements of a Truly “National” Intelligence Community


The insight that Alvin and I shared that day was that the nature of bureaucracy—the pigeon-hole nature of bureaucracy—had swamped whatever concept of “national intelligence” might have existed over the history of the IC, and that it was time to begin articulating a new vision of national intelligence, one that fully embraced both the needs and the knowledge of the “distributed intelligence” of the Nation.


In the 1990's, when the Cold War ended and Silicon Valley became more important than Wall Street, we witnessed both the death of bureaucracy as the epitome of government power and policy-making, and the ascendance of the Internet and non-governmental organizations.  It is now both possible, and necessary, to integrate all of the elements shown in Figure 66 into a new truly national intelligence community.


What Is To Be Done At Home


I have written throughout this book about the need for intelligence reform and in chapter 12 about the specifics of how much money should be cut from what programs in order to create other new programs.  My intent here is to list in outline form fourteen specific Presidential decisions that must be integrated into a single Presidential directive as well as supporting legislation—a new National Security Act of 2001 (the language for which is provided in the next chapter).


1.      Authority.  Establish the position of Director-General of National Intelligence (DGNI) within the Executive Office of the President.  Retain the Director of Classified Intelligence (DCI) while also establishing a new Director of Public Information (DPI) to coordinate open sources and methods available within the government and from private sector parties.  Transfer programmatic authority for all national-level programs now in the defense budget to the DGNI with the DCI as the day-to-day manager of all classified collection and production activities.


2.      Collection.  Create the Technical Collection Agency (TCA) recommended by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), and also a new separate Clandestine Service Agency (CSA) that is based outside of Washington and eschews official cover.  Establish two collection management authorities: one under the DGNI to determine what requirements should be assigned to classified collection instead of open source collection; and one under the Assistant Director of Classified Intelligence for Collection (ADCI/C) to determine what classified capabilities should be tasked and with what priorities and at what expense.  Implement the recommendation of the Aspin/Brown Commission that requires government agencies to collect their own open source information.


3.      Analysis.  The President should mandate two fundamental initiatives:

  1. Elevate the National Intelligence Council (NIC) to the Office of the DGNI and expand it to comprise a total of 60 positions, with five new five-person teams responsible for direct support to foreign affairs, military defense, finance & commerce, law & order, and ecology & culture.
  2. Rename the CIA and revitalize it as the new National Intelligence Agency (NIA), with the following six substantial enhancements to its all-source capabilities:

(1)    Provide funding for the immediate hiring of 200 world-class published experts at the mid-career level.

(2)    Provide funding for the immediate hiring of 1,000 world-class published “external associate analysts” to serve as a combination of open source monitors, surge support all-source analysts, and competitive intelligence (Team B) alter egos.

(3)    Integrate half of the National Collection Division (NCD), the Office of Information Resources (including the library and book acquisition divisions), and an external/foreign liaison section into a new Office for Open Sources (OSS) with a substantial increase in financial and personnel resources as well as a priority claim on direct support from the DPI.  Transfer FBIS to USIA.

(4)    Restore the Office of Imagery Analysis (OIA) and the National Photographic Intelligence Center (NPIC) to the NIA from NIMA.

(5)    Realign resources from NSA to create an Office of Signals Analysis.

(6)    Realign resources from appropriate organizations to create an Office of Measurements & Signatures Analysis.


4.      Open Sources. Without further ado, honor the recommendation of the Aspin/Brown Commission with respect to open sources by earmarking no less than $1 billion dollars a year to the DGNI for execution by the DPI.  These funds, to be taken from within the existing totality of the U.S. intelligence budget, comprise less than one half of one percent of what we spend on national defense each year, and will cover the cost of resolving the existing unfunded deficiencies of the policy, acquisition, operations, and intelligence communities for open source information including commercial imagery and Russian military maps of the Third World.


5.      Community.   We must have a DGNI that can bring together all elements of the truly national intelligence community at the same time that we give the DGNI/DCI team statutory authority over funds, training, security standards, research & development, and all forms of external liaison across all elements of the U.S. Intelligence Community.


6.      Embassies.  We need to keep the spies out of the Embassies; move inter-agency analysis teams into secure spaces within each Embassy, and earmark at least $50 million a year from within the $1 billion a year OSINT budget for the purchase of local knowledge under legal and ethical terms.


7.      Peacekeeping.  Both the United Nations and the newly expanded North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as well as the Partners for Peace confront us with requirements for new forms of intelligence—that is to say, intelligence that is not classified but is to the point—as well as new forms of electronic communications and computation that do not require a trillion-dollar legacy “system of systems” to join.  We urgently need to develop a global “extranet” that can accommodate multiple levels of security, an infinite variety of constantly changing information-sharing alliances, and a new level of global intelligence burden-sharing on topics that are incontestably important to all: preventing genocide and mass atrocities, trade in women and children and toxic dumping in Africa, to name just three.  In partnership with the United Nations and NATO, with a US-UK axis as the foundation, we should immediately fund and manage a prototype “extranet” for intelligence and information sharing at multiple levels of security and in multiple languages, using only web-based tools.


8.      Business.  The FBI does not have a division dedicated to the protection of intellectual property and the integrity of U.S. business interests.  We need such a division, with three arms: one to focus on global counterintelligence in defense of U.S. business contracts and intellectual property; one to focus on infrastructure protection at large to include the integrity of private sector encryption; and one—based on the existing but modest center—to focus on hot pursuit in cyberspace.  I would stress, however, that legislation is required to establish standards of “due diligence” for the business sector, which cannot be protected from its own negligence.

9.      State & Local.  As the Oklahoma City bombing and the recent scare over terrorists already inside our borders and planning for millennium events demonstrate, we need to fully integrate our state & local authorities within our larger national intelligence community.  The process of intelligence—requirements management, collection management, source discovery and validation, multi-source fusion, compelling presentation—works, and we must transfer this process and related information technologies down to the state & local levels.  We must have a seamless national intelligence architecture that reaches from the streets of New York to the jungles of Indo-China, one that does not allow criminals and terrorists to slip between our legal and database “seams”.  At the same time, we must do more to educate our citizens, including loyal ethnic and religious groups that have adopted America as their home.  Today, for example, there is no “hotline” across the Nation for reporting suspicious activities in relation to millennium terrorism—we need one and it must be multi-lingual and culturally sensitive.


10.   Encryption.  NSA is still seeking to limit private sector encryption and to negotiate secret back doors with major vendors of computing and communications equipment.  This dog will not hunt.  In the age of information, the center of gravity for both national security and national competitiveness is in the private sector, and it is the integrity of private sector communications and computing that will decide if our Nation remains the foremost  global power in the 21st Century.  America must be the one place in the world where smart people can develop smart ideas while being fully confident that the fruits of their labor will be protected in our electronic environment.  We must not handicap and seek to penetrate our own business software—to do so is to undermine our own national security and national competitiveness.


11.   Covert Action.  I have found no better observation to cover this area than that found in The Blond Ghost by David Corn.  Citing Ted Shakley's deputy in Laos, Bill Blair, he quotes him as saying “We spent a lot of money and got a lot of people killed, and we didn't get much for it.”  Similar comments, sometimes entire books, call into question most of our violent and largely incidental actions in this arena.  There is a place for “one on one” covert action, but I believe that all paramilitary capabilities should be transferred to the U.S. Special Operations Command.  At the same time, we should significantly improve our clandestine support to this Command as well as other theater commands, by establishing operational Stations dedicated to each theater and co-located with the theater Headquarters.


12.   Overt Action.  David Ignatius, writing in The Washington Post in the 1980's, got it right: overt action—the kind of action taken every day by Allen Weinstein's Center for Democracy—is the essence of effectively stimulating lasting improvements in political and economic freedom.  We need a combined government-private sector program that dramatically enhances our Peace Corps, expands our Agency for International Development, and restores our U.S. Information Agency—and related initiatives—at the same time that we provide tax and other incentives for private sector overt action.  We need to do this for one simple reason: good will at the indigenous local level is the major ingredient in protecting both our Embassies and U.S. forces deployed overseas.


13.   Mission.  The U.S. intelligence community culture and its existing leadership appear committed to the idea that their mission is to collect and produce secrets.  I disagree.  I believe their mission is to inform policy, acquisitions, and operations leadership, and that they cannot do this effectively if they continue to cut themselves off from the history, context, and current intelligence available from open sources.  I am also concerned by the counter-part premise on the part of the consumers of intelligence, who have all abdicated their responsibility for collecting and processing open source intelligence because they think—in grave error—that the U.S. intelligence community is going to deliver whatever they need, on time and in a neat package.  At the same time, in an era when power is shifting to non-governmental organizations (NGO) and no government can understand—much less mandate—outcomes, without the active cooperation of the NGOs, we need to accept the fact that our mission now is not just to inform our own government, but also our public, foreign leaders and foreign publics, and key NGO leaders and employees.  Intelligence—unclassified intelligence—can and should be the heart of the matter when confronting 21st century challenges to global-national-local security as well as prosperity.  Spies and secrets are important elements of what we are about, but they are only a means to the end—the mission of the national intelligence community, however defined, is to inform policy.


14.   Pogo.  “We have met the enemy and he is us.”  Only four Presidents have fully appreciated the value and purpose of national intelligence: Washington, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Bush.[5]  We are abysmally ignorant as a Nation of what it takes to comprehend the pervasive and complex challenges facing us.  We are reluctant to accept the fact that it takes time, money, and talent to understand “externalities”—not just the spread of weapons of mass destruction but the vanishing aquifers here at home and the internationally destructive consequences of unchecked culturally-enervating movies and television.[6]  We desperately need a President willing and able to serve as the leader of a truly national intelligence community.  Intelligence is an inherent function of command, and cannot be relegated to a subordinate. The best Presidents have been personally and directly involved in the strategic management of national intelligence.


Global Intelligence Burden-Sharing


As a further aid to Presidential decision-making, I believe the time has come to create a Global Intelligence Council (GIC) and a Global Intelligence Organization (GIO).


The Global Intelligence Council should be an international body responsive to the United Nations but not within its authority or budget, responsible for global intelligence policy and global decisions about burden-sharing with respect to open source collection, selected classified collection missions, and burden-sharing with respect to joint intelligence production activities of mutual interest.


The prevention of genocide and mass atrocities, the reduction of trade in women and children, and the elimination of toxic dumping in Africa are all examples of worthy global intelligence projects.

This body should be the focal point for orchestrating a matching $1 billion investment from all other nations into open source intelligence collection and production.  The U.S. should commit to making the products from its own investments in open sources available to all those who providing matching funds, however modest, with the same expectation.


Under this approach, and with the active participation of each of the theater commanders-in-chief with regional responsibilities, we would immediately implement “Global Coverage” with daily, weekly, and “as required” reporting spanning the full range of countries and topics represented in the Foreign Intelligence Requirements and Capabilities Plan (FIRCAP).  This information, drawing on the considerable capabilities of selected private sector organizations such as Dow Jones Interactive, the Economist Intelligence Unit, and others, would be accessible by all participating or authorized individuals through the “extranet” that provides for information-sharing at multiple levels of security with an infinite variety of “by name” working groups.


In addition, at some future date after trust and confidence has been gained in the Global Intelligence Council, there should be a Global Intelligence Organization.  This should be an affiliated international body responsive to the GIC but never associated with the United Nations, responsible for overseeing, coordinating, and managing joint clandestine and technical endeavors that integrate—often in isolation from one another—covert capabilities made available by participating nations.


At its best, the GIO will create and manage three international Stations—one in Pretoria focused on Africa, one in Santiago focused on Latin America, and one in Canberra focused on Asia.  U.S. satellites, indigenous case officers, and combined US-UK-AUS and indigenous analysis teams will focus on those specific issues that are indisputably of common interest: terrorism, counter-proliferation, crime & narcotics, and trade in women and children,  to name just four issues of universal concern.


Intelligence as Education


One of the most gripping insights to hit me while attending the conference on “Intelligence and the End of the Cold War”, a conference personally led by President George Bush,[7] pertained to the vital role of intelligence as a form of education for policy-makers.  At the same time, I realized that we have failed over the years to create a proper framework for educating our own intelligence professionals as well as our policymakers regarding the role and value of intelligence, and also have failed to educate our public to the levels needed to create a truly knowledgeable and national intelligence community across the boundaries shown in Figure 66.


            Four educational initiatives come to mind for any President to consider:


1.      University of the Republic.  We need a place where the emerging and installed leaders of the academic, business, media, non-profit, and government communities can come together to reflect on strategic issues and form “cohorts” that are then more easily able to communicate across organizational and cultural boundaries.


2.      Learning to Learn.  We need to deconstruct our entire educational approach and restore both the fundamentals of reading, writing, and arithmetic, and also the on-going capabilities of learning to learn and learning to work with information tools at earlier ages.


3.      Continuing Education.  In combination with advances in medical technology that will dramatically extended life spans and force retirement ages out into the 70's, 80's and eventually the 90's, it is imperative that we establish new modes of dual-tracked education and employment.  The draft must be restored to provide a common foundation of service (not necessarily under arms and with domestic community service as an option) and also stabilize our youth, and we must require that all employers, with incentives from all governments, provide for the continuing education of their employees.


4.      Community Education.  We have lost the ability to teach one another through community service and volunteer activities.  The Boy Scouts of America, to take one example, are dying because two-income families are refusing to make the personal investment of time needed to nurture their own children within the character-building architecture offered by the Scouts.  We need to get back to the one-income family and to find new ways of permitting both parents to consider part-time work or alternating sabbaticals that yield parent hours to the community and its children.


Presidential Leadership in the Information Age


No previous President has faced such a complex political, economic, social, and technical environment.  Without going into all the details, many of which are covered in my paper on presidential leadership and national security policymaking,[8] it is appropriate here to set forth several recommendations regarding the organization of the National Security Council (NSC) staff.  Experienced officers are generally agreed  that my earlier views on having a Presidential surrogate to serve as Secretary-General for National Security, with super-Cabinet status and oversight over Defense, Justice, and State, are unlikely to be effective because only the President has the necessary gravitas as well as the legitimate political power to render judgment at a cross-departmental level.  I will therefore focus here only on the suggested enhancements to the Presidential staff.


At the highest level, I have four recommendations:


·        Integrate the National Security Council (NSC) and the National Economic Council (NEC) to create a single combined staff, the National Policy (NP) Staff.  More on this in a moment.


·        Create a co-equal but very small staff section for Global Strategy (GS), much as suggested by David Abshire in his book-length discussion of why such a staff is needed at the Presidential level.[9]


·        Create a co-equal but very small staff section for National Intelligence (NI), establishing the DGNI position previously recommended, together with the elevated NIC responding directly to the NP and GS staff with whom it will be co-located.


·        Create a co-equal but very small staff section for National Research (NR), establishing the position of Director-General for National Research.[10]


The National Policy element is not central to this discussion except as a top consumer, after the President and the Cabinet, of intelligence services.  It merits comment, however, that good intelligence is not helpful in the face of bad policy, and bad policy often flows from the way we are organized. 


It is no longer prudent to focus the bulk of the President's core staff on “national security” as defined during the Cold War.  Indeed, presidential decisions today require enormous finesse and the balancing of national security, national competitiveness, and national treasury issues, simultaneously and in consonance with one another. 


Hence, for national intelligence to be most effective, I would like to see the National Policy staff divided into three divisions, each with a Deputy Director General for National Policy, and Associate Deputy Director Generals for each of the named areas of Presidential policy interest.






National Competitiveness



High Intensity Conflict

National Education


Low Intensity Conflict

Sustainable Growth

Global Assistance


Natural Resources

Internal Revenue



Electronic Systems

Figure 67: Proposed Structure for the National Policy Staff


Over-All Illustration of a “Smart” Presidential Staff


Figure 68:  Illustration of Restructured Presidential Staff


“Country desks” and regional responsibilities should remain within the various Departments of government.  No single country should merit special handling at the Presidential level.


What I hope will emerge from such a restructuring of the existing staff would be a matrixed policy, planning, and programming process that explicitly coordinates security, competitiveness, and treasury investments in relation to one another, while introducing a structured global strategic thinking capability and substantially improving direct intelligence support to the President.


A situation like Kosovo, for example, would have inspired, several years beforehand, a deliberate calculation of the costs of bombing as well as other ex post facto resettlement and rebuilding costs, and would have charted a preventive campaign intended to avoid the genocide and mass atrocities while keeping the cost to the USA modest.


Such a staff approach would place a high value on understanding and utilizing non-military sources of power, while also leveraging the capabilities and contributions of other actors including non-governmental organizations.


The detailed recommendations regarding the Global Strategy and National Research staff elements can be found in the original reference.[11]  The details of how a President might improve National Intelligence are all in this book.


There are two other recommendations to make with regard to Presidential leadership in the age of information:


1.      Somewhere, perhaps within DoD but even better as an independent element, we must establish an integrated Net Assessments Division and an integrated Operations Division that combine necessary personnel from Defense, Justice, and State so as to effectively oversee both routine programs and crisis response in an integrated manner that is fully responsive to Presidential intent.


2.      Somewhere, perhaps within the University of the Republic or the Global Knowledge Foundation, we should place responsibility for nurturing a global as well as a national and state and local program for significantly elevating the quality of academic and corporate and media research and reporting.  America has become a “dumb Nation” in many ways, and a revitalized truly national intelligence community with a strong educational role and a committed President may well be the fastest way to bootstrap our diverse population into the future.

Summing Up


Intelligence qua warning and understanding is the crux of tomorrow's world-wide struggle for power.  Power is shifting from states to groups, from muscle power to brain power.  The Presidential challenges of the future will all revolve around information.  This is changing the relationships between the President and the bureaucracy and between the President and non-governmental organizations.  Only four Presidents in our history have understood national intelligence: Washington, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Bush.


National Intelligence must be redefined away from secrets and toward the more fundamental mission of informing policy and most particularly, the President.  At the same time, recognizing the growing power of non-governmental organizations, a truly national intelligence community must be formed by harnessing the distributed intelligence of the business, academic, media, and individual experts outside of the government.


No President has faced such a complex political, economic, social, and technical environment. Fourteen specific steps related to intelligence and national security are recommended for a new Presidential Directive and enabling legislation needed to revitalize the U.S. national intelligence community.  A substantive restructuring of the National Security Council and National Economic Council is recommended, so as to afford the President a National Policy staff that fully integrates national security, national competitiveness, and national treasury calculations; with three additional small staff increments: a Global Strategy staff, a National Intelligence staff, and a National Research staff, all co-located with and in direct support of the National Policy staff and the President.  Global leadership initiatives include a Global Intelligence Council, a Global Intelligence Organization, a Global Knowledge Foundation, and a Digital Marshall Plan.


            And now we turn to Congress and its authorities in this matter.

[1] Alvin Toffler, PowerShift: Knowledge, Wealth and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century (Bantam Books, 1990).  These points are drawn from an original seven-page book review by (then) 2ndLt Michael J. Castagna, USMC.

[2] Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the United States Intelligence Community, Preparing for the 21st Century: An Appraisal of the United States Intelligence Community, 1 March 1996.

[3] Although the U.S. Information Agency has been integrated into the Department of State, this was a mistake, and this book proposes that USIA be restored as an independent foreign affairs agency, reinforced with the transfer from CIA of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, and henceforth serve as our primary overt collection and dissemination vehicle for public diplomacy.

[4] As discussed in detail in Chapters 9 and 10.

[5] As documented in Professor Christopher Andrew, EYES ONLY: Secret Intelligence  and the American Presidency from Washington to Bush (HarperCollins, 1995) and his personal presentation to my Global Information Forum conference in 1997.

[6] As one who benefited from living in Singapore during several of my formative years, I have a personal appreciation for the benefits of Lew Kuan Yew's leadership.  His views on family and culture, as drawn out by Fareed Zakaria in “Culture is Destiny: A Conversation with Lee Kuan Yew”, Foreign Affairs (March/April 1994) are very provocative and could inspire a confident and open-minded President to explore ways of inviting this globally-respected leader to help the White House address the complex issues of family, education, community, and cultural cohesion that every President must place at the top of their domestic agenda.

[7] This event was co-sponsored by the Bush School at Texas A&M and the Center for the Study of Intelligence at CIA.  It took place in College Station, Texas 18-20 November 1999.  The author's summary of the event, and thoughts on its meaning, have been published in “Reflections on Intelligence and the End of the Cold War”, COLLOQUY (Security Affairs Support Association, December 1999) and are available at www.oss.net/Papers/white/TexasReflections.doc.

[8] “Presidential Leadership and National Security Policymaking”, funded paper for the 10th Army Strategy Conference, April 1999, published on 17 November 1999 www.defensedaily.com/reports/securpolicy1099.htm and also in Word document format at www.oss.net/Papers/white/S99Paper.doc.

[9] David M. Abshire, Preventing World War III: A Realistic Grand Strategy (Harper & Row, 1988).

[10] This is not the place for a discussion of America's desperate plight with respect to original scientific research, nor to discuss the very grave deficiencies in how our government funds research.  Suffice to say that this is a strategic issue that merits direct Presidential oversight, and that taken together, National Policy, Global Strategy, National Intelligence, and National Research finally give the President the necessary staff focus for actually guiding America into a secure and prosperous future.

[11] Supra note 8.

Financial Liberty at Risk-728x90