One day we hope to see each State, Commonwealth, Tribe, County, and Municipality realize they need their own unique intelligence strategies tailored to their strategic, operational, tactical, and technical challenges. The aggregate of all of those bottom-up strategies will, we speculate, turn the national intelligence on its head and get it back to basics. Smart Nations make intelligence with integrity the central architecture for what Ada Bozeman calls “the thing entire.”
Assuming that the DNI is now thinking about creating his own new strategy, we volunteer the full strength of the Phi Beta Iota network. Just send an email to Robert Steele, whose TS has been reinstated, at robert.david.steele.vivas AT gmail DOT com. It would be a pleasure to help out with this task.
Phi Beta Iota Editorial Comment (DOI: 11 August 2009)
The Foreword acknowledges that 21st Century adversaries tend to be non-state actors using off-the-shelf capabilities, while not mentioning but implicitly acknowledging that the U.S. Intelligence Community (US IC) is trained, equipped, and organized only to focus on hard-target state actors whose capabilities development process takes decades.
The most important aspect of Ambassador Negroponte’s Foreword is his recognition, in his words:
“The first order of business for U.S. national intelligence, therefore, is to inform and warn the President, the Cabinet, the Congress, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and commanders in the field, domestic law enforcement and homeland security authorities in the heartland, and our international allies.”
OSINT, properly funded with its own program line, is the ONLY way the DNI can achieve the scope and depth of the support promised by the above but not in any way shape or form fulfilled by the CIA’s Open Source Center, which has made promises it did not understand and could not keep.
OSINT is a “hybrid” discipline, and the DNI must work with the consumers as well as the producers to assure that OSINT capabilities are both funded and fenced as sub-disciplinary or consumer-internal capabilities, AND managed as a Whole of Government program that is neither exclusively within the secret world budget nor left to the scattered and often ignoranant managers across the consumer community. The multinational implications are obvious and will never be achieved without diplomatic and Civil Affairs engagement as the lead stakeholders in multinational information sharing and sense-making.
From a Mission perspective this document is too politicized, focusing on terrorism and proliferation (we must remember that the USA sells five times more arms than the next nearest member of the UN Security Council) which are political threats, not real threats. The ten high-level threats to humanity identified by LtGen Dr. Brent Scowcroft, USAF (Ret) and other members of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change should be the proper focus on a national intelligence strategy, placing terrorism and proflieration in proper perspective as threats nine and seven, respectively.
From an Enterprise perspective this document put forward laudable goals that will never be achieved unless and until the DNI acknowledges that at leasst 80% of the information needed to do all-source intelligence is not secret, not in English, and not online. Only a properly constructied OSINT discipline with its own program line and full access to ALL multinational partners both governmental and non-governmental, will enable the DNI to actually BE the nation’s top intelligence officer–otherwise he is just managing a lost ship hard aground on the past.
The calle for strategic planning and evaluation process does not yet exist, and will not exist until the DNI recognizes that consumers are a third of the solution and multinational non-governmental partners are the other third. You cannot integrate what you cannot embrace, and you cannot be effective working with 20% of the relevant information.
Updated 18 March 2013: Emphasis added to last line, and three graphics inserted with this comment and more links. Since John Negroponte we have had two other DNIs — Mike McConnell and Dennis Blair — and now have Jim Clapper, who appears to have survived the transition, but who remains vulnerable to John Brennan over-reaching from CIA to retake the DCI role. Our views on restructuring the White House and intelligence and reintegrating human and open source intelligence are in the links below. We have a new stable China, an Argentine Pope and an Argentine Chef de Cabinet at the United Nations, Turkey is rising and Iran is standing pat — now is the time to bring to bear all of the intelligence and integrity we can muster. We’ve blown it twice before: after WWII we went off on a self-inflicted 50 year wound; after the Berlin Wall went down we invented the Global War on Terror is a successful attempt to maintain a perpetual war society. What is different today is that we are bankrupt. Intelligence with integrity is a substitute for violence, wealth, land, labor, time, and space. Now is the time to be creative — to include creative destruction — and rise like the Pheonix, stronger and smarter than before. Counterintelligence — utterly ruthless counterintelligence against traitors and the corrupt among us, should be, with Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), Open Source Everything (OSE), and M4IS2, one of the pillars of a transformed US Intelligence Community. The Hourglass Strategy — healing the Americas as our first priority, while securing the Arctic, makes a great deal more sense than the pivot to Asia. Reducing the size of govvernment while still creating a 450-ship Navy, a long-haul Air Force, and an air-liftable Army makes a great deal more sense than playing Russian roulette with sequestration and continuing resolutions that perpetuate corruption. All it takes is intelligence with integrity.