In Brief: Clarifying the Concept of “Partnership” in National Security
Specialist in International Security
May 4, 2012
Phi Beta Iota: This 12 page document is hugely important at multiple levels. Strategically it makes clear that an important concept is not yet properly defined, understood, or leverages. Operationally it raises the vital–but unanswered–question of what any partnership implies or explicitly demands in relation to C4I: shared communications, computing, directive or voluntary command and control, and of course information-sharing, intelligence (decision-support) burden-sharing, and harmonization of spending and behavior through a shared view (shared information and intelligence) of the challenge and a shared role among the stakeholders in developing “commander’s intent.” The concept of “going local” is fundamental, and also not properly defined–nor the information-sharing and intelligence-sharing implications addressed. Finally, the report–a truly articulate contribution–avoids (understandably) the really strategic question: if and when all of this can be made to work against a non-existent threat (terrorism, which is a tactic not a threat), imagine what it could do if we trained, equipped, and organized Whole of Government to actually address the public interest across the ten high-level threats by harmonizing how we manage the twelve core policies?