Phi Beta Iota: Admiral Dennis Blair, USN (Ret) has signed off on the 2009 update and revision of the National Intelligence Strategy of 2005, and on balance we give it a solid C with the observation that there is no “break-out” in this documents. (Continued below the fold–A for school solution, F for real-world need, C over-all)
Phi Beta Iota: The document drops all of the language about expanding the consumer base, and loses much of the diplomatic value that Ambassador John Negroponte ensured was integrated into the 2005 first effort. From a strictly parochial point of view (Do Not Rock the Boat, Enhance Performance, No New Ideas) this is a solid A. From the point of view of someone who actually understands strategic reality, this is an F. This document puts forward some nice words, particularly with respect to Mission Objectives 3 (Strategic Intelligence and Warning) and 6 (Current Operations), and Enterprise Objectives 3 (Strengthen Partnerships) and 4 (Improve Information Integration & Sharing), but it is absolutely certain this well-intentioned Director of National Intelligence (DNI) will be an abject failure. We needed a strategy to get the ship off the rocks, not one designed to beautify the wreck in situ.
The document comes with a one-page fact sheet and a three-page Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), the latter being most interesting for the questions that were NOT asked by the person who actually created both the questions and the answers:
1) What role did consumers across Whole of Government play in devising this document?
2) What role did foreign governments, especially NATO/PfP governments, play in devising this document?
3) What role did the United Nations, Non-Governmental Organizations, or anyone else accessible with the assistance of the Departments of Commerce, Energy, and State play in devising this document?
4) What role did the Governors and their key staff play in devising this document?
5) What role did any of the other seven tribes of intelligence (Academia, Civil Society, Commerce, Law Enforcement, Media, Military, Non-Governmental (e.g. the Foundations) play in devising this document?
6) Have you heard of the ten high-level threat to humanity? Do you really think obsessing on the symptoms of Empire as Usual is helpful? Should you not not be striving to speak truth to power about the totality of the threats and opportunities so as to help reduce the costs of war and increase investments in peace and prosperity?
7) What do you tell the public when they ask why you are spending $75 billion a year on the 20% you can steal (but not process) only to produce less than 4% of what key decision-makers need?