FA is normally pap but this one stands out.
Foreign Affairs, March/April 2013
FA: What lessons did you learn in your Iraq and Afghanistan tours?
SM: In Iraq, when we first started, the question was, “Where is the enemy?” That was the intelligence question. As we got smarter, we started to ask, “Who is the enemy?” And we thought we were pretty clever. And then we realized that wasn’t the right question, and we asked, “What’s the enemy doing or trying to do?” And it wans’t until we got further along that we said, “Why are they the enemy?”
SM: And although to the United States, a drone strike seems to have very little risk and very little pain, at the receiving end, it feels like war. Americans have got to understand that. If we were to use our technological capabilities carelessly–I don’t think we do, but there’s always the danger that you will–then we should not be upset when someon responds with their equivalent, which is a suicide bomb in Central Park, because that’s what they can respond with.
And further on:
SM: The whole point of war is to take care of people, not just to kill them. You have to have a positive reason that protects people or it’s wrong.
SM: But if you go back in history, I can’t find a covert fix that solved a problem long term.
ROBERT STEELE: There is a great deal of meat in the article and I encourage direct access online via the above link. The above quotes are the epitaph for the US Government’s current approach to both domestic and foreign strategy, policy, acquisition, and operations — lacking in intelligence with integrity. Both US citizens and most foreigners have legitimate grievances against the USA for what has been done in our name and our expense for invalid and usually fabricated reasons rooted in deep secrecy and deep corruption. Until the US Government is able to do whole of government strategy, policy, acquisition, and operations based on ethical evidence-based decision-support, it will be nothing more than a dictator in drag, a mockery of all the the Republic is supposed to represent. Those whom the Gods wish to destroy they first make stupid. We’re there.
Daniel Ellsberg speaking to Henry Kissinger: The danger is, you’ll become like a moron. You’ll become incapable of learning from most people in the world, no matter how much experience they have in their particular areas that may be much greater than yours” [because of your blind faith in the value of your narrow and often incorrect secret information].
Bob Seelert, Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide (New York): When things are not going well, until you get the truth out on the table, no matter how ugly, you are not in a position to deal with it.
Ben Gilad: Top managers’ information is invariably either biased, subjecive, filtered or late. . . . Using intelligence correctly requires a fundamental change in the way top executives make decisions.