The Paradox of Open Source: An Interview with Douglas J. Naquin
Click above to buy the article (encouraged).
International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence
Volume 27, Issue 1, 2014
PDF (16 Pages): Bean Interview of Naquin Clean
Letter from Robert Steele
PDF (3 Pages): IJIC Steele on Bean-Naquin As Published
Full Text of Letter Below the Fold
I appreciated a chance to review this article in pre-print. Most startling to me were the areas of agreement between Naquin and myself. We agree on the IC not altering its thinking. We agree that the IC leadership (both strategic and operational) is incapable of making serious trade-offs from unprocessed secret collection to fully-developed OSINT. We agree that the secret disciplines are stove-piped and out of touch with holistic decision-support needs for Whole of Government PPBES. We agree that OSINT tradecraft exists and matters very much. We agree that a more distributed business model for OSINT is essential for supporting national security, to which I would add national competitiveness.
I now realize that Naquin chose to survive within a very bad system, rather than lead the break-out that was needed. I am a front-line user of all-source today in Afghanistan, and pleased to confirm that for non-kinetic situational awareness 80% of what makes the cut is from OSC and external open sources – for kinetic and non-kinetic targeting OSINT is much less useful and classified sources do not shine either. On the basis of my direct experience I have become a huge fan of OSC for what it does do so well within the severe constraints under which it operates. Henceforth I will champion the liberation of OSC from CIA, into the Open Source Agency (OSA) that a handful of professionals have fought for since 1969. As Arnie Donahue of OMB said at OSS ’92, “there is plenty of money for OSINT.” What is lacking is leadership across the board. NATO and SOCOM need an OSA, as do the President and the USG at large.
Here are a few thoughts that diverge from Naquin’s thinking, as well as others such as Lowenthal.
01. Intelligence is about decision-support, the outputs. To define intelligence on the basis of inputs or secrecy is to diminish, distort, disrupt, and ultimately destroy the evolving craft of intelligence.
02. Open Source Everything (OSE) is the only affordable, inter-operable, scalable approach to the technical challenge of connecting dots to dots, dots to people, and people to people. An OSA will set the gold standard for intelligence (decision-support), and help create a smart nation and a world brain.
03. Naquin led the OSC to the end of the beginning. I continue to lead a global informal network toward the larger end: unifying the eight tribes of intelligence and achieving M4IS2.
04. OSINT is HUMINT. It is not a technical discipline. OSINT is about “knowing who knows” as Stefan Dedijer shouted out at OSS ’92. It is not about the volume of digital or analog information to be processed, but rather about harnessing the distributed human intelligence of the Whole Earth.
05. Sharing, not secrecy, is “root” for 21st Century intelligence (decision-support).
06. Intelligence (decision-support) is an inherent function of government, not contractors. I have no problem with micro-outsourcing. I do consider “butts in seats” to be a monstrous betrayal of the public trust. The money spent on butts in seats this past decade has in my view been been a total waste — we gave up two decades during which we could have created a Smart Nation and a World Brain conducive to a prosperous world at peace.
07. Collective intelligence and integral consciousness are vital concepts the US IC still does not get.
1. My two-page memoranda, one on the OSA and one on three challenges facing NATO, are easily found at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog (http://phibetaiota.net) under the NATO OSINT page (http://tinyurl.com/NATO-OSE), along with the historic contributions from over 800 international authorities speaking at fifteen open conferences that ended in 2006 when an explicit promise made to me was broken.
2. Academic, Civil Society, Commerce, Government, Law Enforcement, Media, Military, NGO/Non-Profit.
3. Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making.
References for the Future of Intelligence:
2010 The Ultimate Hack Re-Inventing Intelligence to Re-Engineer Earth (As Published)
2013 The Evolving Craft of Intelligence [As Published]
2013 Intelligence Future [Briefings]