Journal: Obama, Palestine, & Forces of History

Peace Intelligence
Chuck Spinney Recommends...

One of President Obama’s unintended achievements has been to bring the moral bankruptcy of the Orwellian-named Middle East Peace Process into sharp relief: By trying to bribe Netanyahu into returning to the bargaining table with an offer of 20 additional F-35 Fighters in return for a 90 day extension of a phony settlement freeze, and then seeing Netanyahu stuffing it to Obama, theater of the absurd came into full view.  Perhaps, however, the crisis is darkest before the dawn.  Jeff Halper (bio), an Israeli activist with American roots, lays out the possibility that Obama’s failure inadvertently opened the door for what would certainly be a messy and painful, but possibly successful game-changing scenario for way out of this intractable conflict.

I admire Halper and his good works, but I am not so optimistic.  All revolutions are pathways into the future  fueled by any interplay of chance and necessity; and therefore, their outcomes are, by definition, unknowable: apartheid in South Africa may have produced F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandella; but in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), it produced  Ian Smith and Robert Mugabe.  In Israel, apartheid has produced Binyamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman, and a unifying mixture of neofascism and narcissism on one side, but no one of Mandella’s moral stature or even an opposing unifying ideal on the other.  That said, Halper’s essay is very important and worth thinking about.  Chuck

Jeff Halper

Palestine 2011
By Jeff Halper
November 25th, 2010

Phi Beta Iota: This is an EXTRAORDINARY piece of balanced thinking, relevant to all who wish for peace and shared prosperity in the Middle East and elsewhere.  Gaza is Ground Zero for the moral and intellectual failure of US “national security” and foreign policy, and this one article puts it all into focus.

Read original article recommended by Chuck Spinney….

Jeff Halper is the Director of The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD).

Also recommended by Chuck Spinny:

The Drums of War Are Heard Again In Israel, By Ilan Pappe, GlobalResearch, 27 December , 2010

See Also:

Continue reading “Journal: Obama, Palestine, & Forces of History”

Journal: DNI Sand-Bagged by Triad & Self

Advanced Cyber/IO, Collaboration Zones, Communities of Practice, InfoOps (IO), Intelligence (government), Key Players, Methods & Process, Officers Call, Policies, Real Time, Reform, Strategy, Threats
Mario Profaca Recommends...

DNI Clapper Needs to Know

The Weekly Standard, DEC 29, 2010

In fact, the more we learn about what the plotters were up to, as well as the efforts to stop them, the more troubling the DNI’s ignorance becomes.

Three facts, in particular, have emerged that make this lapse inexcusable.

First, the State Department says the plotters had the U.S. embassy in London in their sites. On Monday, a Foggy Bottom spokesman confirmed that the embassy was on the plotters’ “targeting list.”

Second, according to the Guardian (UK), the alleged would-be terrorists were arrested “after several months of surveillance and monitoring by police and MI5 officers.”

Third, the UK press has reported that the plotters were, at the very least, inspired by the notorious al Qaeda cleric Anwar al Awlaki. … Awlaki is currently one of the most wanted terrorists in the world.

Read complete article….

Phi Beta Iota: The DNI has been sand-bagged by three people and himself.  Neither John Brennan (kitchen DNI at the White House), Leon Panetta (cheerleader for the CIA), or Michael E. Leiter (lawyer fronting the National Counterterrorism Center) appear to have any direct interest in seeing Jim Clapper succeed.  Unfortunately, Jim Clapper has also sand-bagged himself by accepting “business as usual” and contenting himself with improvements on the margins–doing the wrong things righter.  There is not a single piece of the US secret world that is working the way it should, in part because the entire mess lacks the legitimacy derived from relevance, and in part because the one thing Jim Clapper could have done on his own authority–the creation of an Open Source Center and an embedded Multinational Decision Support Centre–he has not done.   Since the obvious needs to be spelled out, here are the two reasons why the OSC/MDSC are essential: 1) to begin providing the 96% of the decision-support not now provided to everyone including the President but explicitly not provided by classified to anyone below the President including policy, acquisition, and operations action officers; and b) to create the baseline for evaluating the Return on Investment (RoI) for the mis-begotten pieces of the secret world that are not, by any stretch of the imagination, worth the $90 billion a year they are costing us now.  If there were one person among the seniors actually capable of making a difference, it should have been Jim Clapper.  Happy New Year…

See Also:

2010: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Trilogy Updated

Search: The Future of OSINT [is M4IS2-Multinational]

Reference: 21st Century Enlightenment

About the Idea
Jon Ramer

21st Century Enlightenment – RSA Animate – Compassionate Action Network

Matthew Taylor explores the meaning of 21st century enlightenment, how the idea might help us meet the challenges we face today, and the role that can be pla…
11 Minutes

Phi Beta Iota: This is a very thoughtful piece of work with a marvelous combination of words and ongoing graphic depictions, an extremely good way to spend 11 minutes.

Building a Constituency for the Director of National Intelligence

Advanced Cyber/IO, Analysis, Augmented Reality, Budgets & Funding, Collaboration Zones, Communities of Practice, info-graphics/data-visualization, InfoOps (IO), Intelligence (government), Key Players, Methods & Process, Open Government, Policies, Reform, Strategy, Threats

Richard Wright

Decision-support (intelligence) is the ultimate objective of information processes. One must carefully distinguish between data which is raw text, signal, or image; information which is collated data of generic interest; and intelligence which is information tailored to support a specific decision…

Robert David Steele Vivas  On Intelligence (AFCEA, 2000)

As noted in an earlier Journal entry (Assessment of the Position of Director of National Intelligence December 27 2010), the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is an unclaimed orphan among the senior U.S. intelligence managers while the Office of DNI (ODNI) is an unwelcome member of the so-called Intelligence Community (IC).  The current DNI, General James Clapper (USAF ret.) is a good man in a bad job. He conspicuously does not have the ear of his most important constituent, the President of the U.S. (POTUS) or the support of the President’s most important intelligence advisor John Brennan.  So how can the DNI carve out a niche for himself and his office that will enable him to build a Washington D.C. based constituency that may even include the POTUS ?

Even a cursory examination of the principal agencies of the IC, will reveal that none of them are producing strategic intelligence. CIA maintains that its intelligence analysts (most less than five years in service) are too pressed by the need to develop current intelligence to engage in the in depth analysis and research required to produce strategic intelligence. State INR the only other intelligence center really capable of producing strategic intelligence tells much the same story.  The once widely influential National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs), primary vehicles for strategic intelligence, are no longer highly regarded guides to policy formulation.

Yet according to one of the most important thinkers on intelligence analysis, Sherman Kent, strategic intelligence provides, “the knowledge which our highly placed civilians and military men must have to guard the national welfare” (emphasis added). Put another way, strategic intelligence can be described as accurate and comprehensive information that is needed by decision makers to formulate policies or take actions to protect our national interests.

Continue reading “Building a Constituency for the Director of National Intelligence”

Reference: Cyber-Intelligence–Restore the Republic Of, By, and For…

About the Idea, Advanced Cyber/IO, Articles & Chapters, Blog Wisdom, Collective Intelligence, Cultural Intelligence
Click to Enlarge

This week’s Book post, Infinite Wealth for All, set the stage for this week’s Politics post, which focuses on The New Craft of Cyber-Intelligence–a blending of advanced public intelligence and advanced Information Operations (IO). Let’s start with a great Mashable piece, 4 Predictions for the Future of Politics and Social Media, from which I have remixed the graphic showing the two-party tyranny sniffing at social media.

Continue reading “Reference: Cyber-Intelligence–Restore the Republic Of, By, and For…”

Journal: Ten Black Swans for 2011

Commercial Intelligence
Berto Jongman Recommends...

Ten Black Swans for 2011

By Christian A. DeHaemer | Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Energy & Capital

1.  China real estate bubble pops.

2.  Spain defaults

3.  Decade of natural gas

4.  Uranium companies surge

5.  China clings to dollar, riots ensue

6.  Farm land jumps in price

7.  Dow has four 10% corrections in 2011, ends year up 9.7%

8.  The year of the electric car

9.  Dead tech revival (Intel, IBM, CISCO, Corning)

10.  Fidel Castro dies

Read the substantive comments associated with each of the above….

Journal: Election Gone Wrong Fuels Tension in Kabul

08 Wild Cards
DefDog Recommends...

KABUL, Afghanistan — The inauguration of a new Parliament in just weeks threatens to worsen ethnic tensions and instability and to drive an important part of President Hamid Karzai’s political base into the arms of the insurgency, Afghans and foreign officials warn.

Instead insecurity, disaffection and fraud, particularly in the south, left the country’s largest and most important ethnic group, the Pashtuns, with sharply reduced representation. The results have been vigorously disputed for three months and have pushed the country to the brink of a constitutional crisis.

Now a range of Afghan officials and losing candidates say the election could have much the opposite effect from what many here had hoped. Seating the new Parliament, they warn, could fuel the insurgency and even the kind of ethnic strife that might lead to civil war.

“Step by step Pashtuns will say we are not represented, the government does not care about us, our people are not in government, and step by step they will join the enemy,” warned Jamil Karzai, a former member of Parliament and cousin of the president.

Read NYT article….

Saurabh Das/Associated Press Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections in September left Pashtuns with sharply reduced representation.

Search: four preconditions for revolution


The results were surprisingly bad.  <preconditions of revolution> is a little better but still not great.  Here is the meat you were looking for plus some. The bottom line on revolution is that it results from scarcity compounded by corruption.  The USA is in a pre-revolutionary situation today, with all the preconditions present, lacking just a precipitant.

Revolutions occur in the following domain areas: political-legal/military, socio-economic, ideo-cultural, techo-demographic, and natural-geographic.  Preconditions are different from precipitants.  Preconditons can cross-pollinate but a precipitant is the spark.  Take a careful look at the first graphic–generally a concentration of wealth, an inattentive elite, a breakdown of ideo-cultural confidence, and a demographic crisis (major unemployment plus an epidemic) are four that come to mind as especially troubling.

Graphic: Pre-Conditions of Revolution

1992 MCU Thinking About Revolution

1976 Thesis: Theory, Risk Assessment, and Internal War: A Framework for the Observation of Revolutionary Potential

Review: Theory, risk assessment, and internal war–A framework for the observation of revolutionary potential

Review: Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements

Search: davies j 1969 curve

Search: rm maciver the web of government summary

Search: smart nation intelligence reform electoral reform national security reform

Journal: In Money-Changers We Trust

03 Economy, 07 Other Atrocities, Budgets & Funding, Commerce, Corruption, Cultural Intelligence, Government, Money, Banks & Concentrated Wealth, Power Behind-the-Scenes/Special Interests, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy

Chuck Spinney Recommends...

In Money-Changers We Trust

TruthDig Posted on Dec 28, 2010

By Robert Scheer

Two years into the Obama presidency and the economic data is still looking grim. Don’t be fooled by the gyrations of the stock market, where optimism is mostly a reflection of the ability of financial corporations—thanks to massive government largesse—to survive the mess they created. The basics are dismal: Unemployment is unacceptably high, the December consumer confidence index is down and housing prices have fallen for four months in a row. The number of Americans living in poverty has never been higher, and a majority in a Washington Post poll said they were worried about making their next mortgage or rent payment.

In a parallel universe lives Peter Orszag, President Barack Obama’s former budget director and key adviser, who even faster than his mentor, Robert Rubin, has passed through that revolving platinum door linking the White House with Wall Street. The goal is to use your government position to advance the interests of your future employer, and Orszag and Rubin’s actions in the government and then at Citigroup provide stunning examples of the synergy between big government and high finance.

Read more….

See Also:

Reference: 2011 Brave New Dystopia

Search: US fraud tri-fecta

Journal: Special Operations Forces Vital in War

Marcus Aurelius Recommends
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Very hard to disagree with anything this article says.    ((HOWEVER)), increasing special operations forces (SOF) is constrained by a set of iron laws, the five “SOF Truths”:
1.  Humans are more important than hardware.
2.  Quality is more important than quantity.
3.  Special Operations Forces cannot be mass produced.
4.  Competent Special Operations Forces cannot be created after an emergency occurs.
5.  Most special operations require non-SOF assistance.
To put a fine point on it, if we try to crank up the pipeline now, we may not get significant benefit before the Presidentially-mandated disengagement point for Afghanistan.  Then, we could find ourselves, as we did after Vietnam, over-resourced with special operators.  Some of us can remember standing on a PT field at Fort Bragg every morning in 1976-77-78 and receiving the latest play-by-play as to whether our Special Forces Group was going to be deactivated in the post-Vietnam drawdown.  Other elements of the US Government can relate similar experiences.
If there is a bright side to this, IMHO, it would be that there does not today appear to be the antipathy toward SOF on the part of conventional forces that existed during the Vietnam era.  A former colleague, well known for competence and dedication to some of you, visited his Army assignments officer while assigned as an A-Detachment commander in the 10th Special Forces Group, then at Fort Devens, MA.  His assignments officer told him, “… see, you’re not soldiering. …”  I think that is less of a problem today, but I’m not sufficiently sanguine to believe that the knife fights will not recur as resources tighten while conflicts and attendant requirements persist indefinitely.

USA Today
December 27, 2010
Pg. 6

Special Ops Forces Vital In War

U.S. increases the elite troops to meet demand

By Tom Vanden Brook, USA Today

Phi Beta Iota: Not mentioned in the article are the fact that Private Military Contractor (PMC) firms have been allowed to rape, pillage, and loot the ranks of Special Forces.  Retaining highly-qualified individuals and outsourcing indiscriminately are a contradiction.

Journal: Taliban Address in Turkey?

08 Wild Cards
DefDog Recommends...

An address for the Taliban in Turkey ?
Reuters, Dec 28, 2010

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has supported a proposal to open an office for the Taliban in a third country such as Turkey.  Such a move could help facilitate talks with the  insurgent group on reconciliation and reintegration of members back into society, and Kabul was happy for Turkey to be a venue for such a process, he said last week, following a trilateral summit involving the presidents of Turkey and Pakistan.

The question is while a legitimate calling card for the Taliban would be a step forward, the insurgent group itself shows no signs yet of stepping out of the shadows, despite the best entreaties of  and some of his European backers. The Taliban remain steadfast in their stand that they won’t talk to the Afghan government unless foreign troops leave the country. More so at the present time when U.S. commander General David Petraeus has intensified the battle against them and the Taliban have responded in equal measure.

Read full article online….