Personal from Robert Steele. Although this search yields some links, we’d like to do a little better for you. Here are a few observations:
1) If you are only working with 20% of the relevant information, you cannot connect dots that lie outside that 20%. We live in a complex globalized environment in which everything is connected, and if you cannot do all information in all languages all the time, while also managing human intelligence to leverage all humans, all minds, all the time, you are toast. The US Government generally, and the US Intelligence Community specifically, are still back in the 1950’s to 1970’s in terms of mind-set, isolation from reality and open sources, and so on.
2) The top-down unilateral command and control communciations, computing, and intelligence (C4I) infrastructure is so severely handicapped as to be largely worthless in terms of estimate intelligence, warning, or rapid reaction. Haiti is a classic example of how badly the US Government performs when it cannot connect to reality on the ground–the hard rains come in May, the USA has wasted 30 days by focusing on the evacuation of Americans rather than the stabilization and reconstruction of Haiti–what this means is that in April and May the US Coast Guard may well be over-whelmed with a boat exodus–because at the strategic level, our command authority could “command” individual boats and flights, but it could not “connect” to reality and see the obvious: fix Haiti, or watch them swarm toward US shores. We invaded Haiti once before to stop a boatlift, it seems we learned nothing from that experience.
3) The supplement and alternative to command and control communications is informal communications using all other means, Twitter, Facebook, and Wiki pages being an obvious example–all of them open. The greatest problem with both secrecy and a unilateral C4I system is that it shuts out 80% ofthe dots and the 95% of the world that owns those dots. Where Facebook is beating the secret unilateral systems is in “smart referrals.” People announce what they are interested in, and the stuff starts coming at them from all sides. In the 1980’s we called these flagwords, and they were only as useful as the dumb constrained system they were part of–Twitter and Facebook have taken flag words to a whole new level that the US Government simply cannot match.
4) I have to praise the CIA Mid-Career Course and in particular the Analysis Exercise. That brilliantly crafted educational and training activity scarred me for life in a good way: the message traffic is less than 20% of the information you need, even assuming “the system” has everything you need, which it does not. This exercise taught me that walking around and talking to all stakeholders, including those being ignored by the White House, was the ONLY way in which to augment the delimited formal message and database system–going after face to face exchanges of information that is both not in the official traffic and perhaps not published at all, but intuited, known, speculative, is the “art” part of analysis.
5) When and how the dots are connected also matters. Still today, with the 80 unintegrated databases within the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), and across the secret world where the best analysts waste a quarter of their time trying to access unfriendly databases (like sticking your hand into a basket full of mixed fruit, trying to “feel” the grape or the plum or the banana, rather than having all the fruit laid out on one table with everything visible at once). One of General Mike Hayden’s signal contributions was to recognize that the dots all need to be visible from point of ingestion rather than at the “finished” analysis level. We are not even close today, and as best we can tell, the 80% that the CIA’s clandestine service knows is still locked up in OPINTEL cables rather than in TDFIRs, and the 80% that the US Embassy Country Teams send back in hard copy is still not scanned and visible….the list is long.
6) Changes to the Earth that used to take 10,000 years now take three years. We are moving rapidly toward needing both real-time science and real-time governance. and no one in the US Government or the US secret world has any idea how to get there at the same time that Twitter and INSTEED and others are “doing it.”
7) Remember that “management” consists of people doing the same thing each year over and over again for the past 30-40 years, isolated from reality, from modern tools, from uncleared individuals except those willing to drink the kool-aid, commit treason, or take the payment for contracted services. They do not know what they do not know. They especially do not know how to Find, Get, or Buy, only how to Task and they absolutely do not accept the ten high-level threats as a strategic construct, or the relevance of policy and budget harmonization as needed outcome.