Settling An Intelligence Turf War
By Walter Pincus Washington Post November 17, 2009 Pg. 29
Early last week, several long-festering bureaucratic issues that had arisen between Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair and CIA Director Leon Panetta had to be settled by national security adviser James L. Jones, through some Solomon-like decisions.
Phi Beta Iota: The “turf war” to which Pincus refers is that between the Diretor of National Intelligence (DNI), and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Firstly, the DNI will remain neutered for so long as he does not have Program authority over the aggregate budget of the secret world ($75 billion a year producing 4% of what the President needs to know, and nothing of note for anyone else). These turf wars are cosmetic in nature. Secondly, The intelligence war that has NOT been fought inside the beltway is the war between secret sources & methods (vastly overfunded) and open sources & methods (possibly funded up to $3 billion a year, but so badly managed and so scattered as to make the secret world look compulsively coherent in contrast). The DNI is fighting the wrong fight–what he should be doing is what we recommended to Admiral McConnel in our one-page memorandum brokered by Admiral Studeman: create the Open Source Agency using non-reimbursable DoD funding, under diplomatic auspices, and the minute it reaches Full Operational Capability (FOC), use it as a benchmark to force Return on Investment and Objective Performance metrics on the secret world. The Secretary of Defense desperately needs a defense open source intelligence program that can unscrew his policy, acquisition, and operations while also providing unclassified decision support to all multinational and non-governmental operations associated with stabilization & reconstruction. In a nut-shell, the ONE area where the Secretary of Defense, the Secrtary of State, the Secretaries of the other minor departments (Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, for example) AND the DNI can all agree and benefit, is with respect to the creation of an OSA as recommended by the 9-11 Commission, BUT outside the IC and feeding the IC without being eaten by the IC. See 2009 DoD OSINT Leadership and Staff Briefings
for the micro-picture, and 2006 THE SMART NATION ACT: Public Intelligence in the Public Interest; 2006 INFORMATION OPERATIONS: All Information, All Languages, All the Time; and2002 THE NEW CRAFT OF INTELLIGENCE: Personal, Public, & Political for the big picture, as well as the supporting books, 2003 PEACEKEEPING INTELLIGENCE: Emerging Concepts for the Future and 2008 COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace. Two other books are planned but on hold pending clarification of the global economic situation.