In 1988 a global campaign started at the Marine Corps Intelligence Center (MCIC) with the discovery that 80% or more of what the Marine Corps needed to do policy, acquisition, and operations support for this unique expeditionary and constabulary force, was not secret, not expensive, but also not known to anyone in Washington, D.C. Thus was the modern discipline of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) inspired.
This is year 21 in a 25 year fight for the public interest, and although the USA remains “severely deficient” (as stated by the Aspin-Brown Commission in 1996), the US secret world refuses to act on the findings that also called for OSINT to be a “top priority” for both funding and for DCI/DNA attention. Neither of the last have been forthcoming, and it can be fairly said that until an Open Source Agency is established, as called for on pages 23 and 423 of the 9-11 Commission Report, the USA will continue to spend $75 billion a year on the 20% it can capture with secret sources and methods (less than 5% of which is actually processed, i.e. 1% of the totality), all to produce, “at best” 4% of what the President and many others now not served “need to know.”
The Nordic nations, and Sweden in particular through the Folke Bernadotte Academy, have led the way in conceptualizing M4IS operational and intelligence networks:
Multinational: all countries regardless of their “membership” in any particular bloc
Multiagency: all agencies explicitly embracing all those outside the narrow national security domain
Multidisciplinary: in the intelligence world, this means the disciplines as illustated above, generally clandestine human intelligence (HUMINT), signals intelligence (SIGINT), imagery intelligence (IMINT) now called Geo-IMINT to factor in geospatial intelligence separate from images; and so on.
Multidomain: Domains in this context are equivalent to disciplines in the academic world. As Tom Atlee and so many others have observed, the fragmentation of knowledge, and the chasm between those with power and those with knowledge, are unnecessarily destroyed our Earth and leaving future generations will larger challenges than any moral community should allow.
Information-Sharing: The Nordics, and increasingly also Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg (BENELUX) have pioneered “liberal” information-sharing, but have not achieved machine-speed sharing nor direct connectivity nor shared processing, sharing collection management, or shared sense-making.
Sense-Making: We persist in honoring the Swedes, and specifically Col Jan-Inge Svennson, Land Forces, SE (Ret), with articulating the power of this concept, to which we have added sense-making–a global bottom-up cloud that cannot be shut down anytime the US Government is angry at the Internet, and that permits both machine-speed sharing including automated plotting on digital maps, and the harnessing of millions of volunteers–tens of millions of volunteers via Telelanguage (now an open source software)–so as to by-pass the machine obstacles of working as a matter of routine in 183 languages. “Put enough humans on it, no question will lack for a sensible answer.”
These ideas and many others are converging. Here is a depiction of what a Multinational Decision Support Centre (MDSC) might do in relation to four distinct categories of client from a fully independent Open Source Agency (OSA) that can provide unclassified decision support to all countries, all organizations, and individuals as appropriate, without the security and legal hand-cuffs that prevail in the secret world.
WARNING NOTICE: The U.S. Government should be but is not acutely aware of the fact that if this is created outside the U.S. Government without financial dependence on the U.S. Government, that will have consequences, the most important of which will be to make the US largely irrelevant as an information sense-making player in the real-world, where information that can be shared is the fulcrum for educating and enriching billions so as to create a prosperous world at peace that does not tolerate corruption or despotism in any form.