Robert Steele: Decision Memorandum for LTG Mike Flynn – Consolidating & Catapulting Defense and National Open Source Methods

Advanced Cyber/IO
Robert David Steele
Robert David Steele

DOC (3 Pages): 01-decision-memorandum-five-non-exclusive-options-2-2

MEMORANDUM 2.2 dated 25 June 2014

Subject: Consolidating & Catapulting Defense and National Open Source Methods

Executive Summary

Defense and national endeavors in the Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) arena are expensive (at least $1B a year according to a USD(I) prior OSINT point of contact), fragmented, wasteful, and also insufficient – ignoring 80% of the potential from human oral history and direct analog access, while still lacking in the fundamentals of broad multi-lingual access and geospatial registration of all data. In the case of the Central Intelligence Agency Open Source Center (CIA/OSC), contacts with overt subject matter experts (SME) are explicitly forbidden by the clandestine service. In the case of defense intelligence, there is no single point for the management of all “fifteen slices” of human intelligence (HUMINT), only four of which are classified. In general, OSINT is being treated as a technical Internet surfing exercise, when the surface web (what Google can see) is a fraction of the deep web, and the web is in turn a tiny fraction of all that can be known legally and ethically.

Five options are presented for consideration by the Director – three of those options can be executed internally by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) while two require staffing across the Services and theaters toward a Secretary of Defense (SecDef) decision. The five non-exclusive options are:

01 DIA Funds Small Pilot at NDU $5M Funds exploration, conference, workshops, travel
02 DIA Funds Strong Pilot at NDU $25M Western Hemisphere Center base, Inter-American Defense Board (IADB) as partner
03 DIA Funds DIA/DO Center or Directorate $25M Focus on multinational information-sharing and sense-making, Department of State as partner
04 DIA Proposes Defense Open Source Activity (DOSA) $75M Starts with inventory of estimated $1-2B a year scattered expenditures, consolidates, eliminates redundancy, applies savings to new capabilities
05 DIA Proposes Joint Defense-State national Open Source Agency (OSA) $125M Option pre-approved by Office of Management and Budget (OMB), requires SecDef approval, supports Presidential desire to identify do-able cuts while creating 450-ship Navy, long-haul Air Forces, and air-mobile Army; gives DoD decision-support across all mission areas while also enhancing DoD influence over Whole of Government capacity-building in relation to foreign threats and challenges (e.g. need for civilian surge capacity).

This memorandum explores the substantive pros and cons of the five options. Two additional memoranda discuss location and cost implications of each of the five options. The balance of the Director’s Book provides a draft of the Smart Nation Act; point papers on the need for an OSA, the South American case, and the NATO case; two DoD OSINT briefings; and three background chapters on the evolving craft of intelligence, open source intelligence, and new rules for the new craft of intelligence.

Discussion. The five options are not exclusive to one another – more than one can be chosen.

OPTION A: NDU Pilot Project, $5M

Description. Within the existing Memorandum of Agreement (MOA-022-234), from end-of-year unallocated funds, transfers $5M from DIA to NDU to fund the direct hire of one OSINT Top Gun, and a mix of conferences, workshops, investigative endeavors, and publications intended to demonstrate the educational, intelligence, and research value of open sources and methods not now fully exploited.


·        Simple, inexpensive, no waves


·        Low impact potential

OPTION B: NDU/IADB Multi-Year Pilot Focused on Western Hemisphere, $25M

Description. Within the existing Memorandum of Agreement transfers $25M in end of year funds from DIA to NDU to fund the direct hire of one OSINT Top Gun and a very strong program of multinational engagement that incentivizes the IADB and the Members of the Organization of American States (OAS) in creating a Multinational Decision Support Centre (MDSC) and network; a multinational and multi-sector OSINT requirements process, information-sharing protocols, and multinational analytic agreements; and a pilot project for an open source analytic toolkit building upon UnityNet concepts pioneered by the NDU Center  for Technology and National Security Policy (CTNSP). Allocating $1M to IADB will assure rapid buy-in by Chilean General Werther Araya Menghini, who assumed Chairmanship on 13 June 2014. He sponsored meeting in Chile in 2010 at which the M4IS2/OSE[1] concept was briefed.


·        Relatively inexpensive

·        Adds multinational aspect with IADB

·        Potentially includes all eight networks[2]

·        Creates a tangible center and network

·        Creates a tangible analytic tool-kit


·        Neglects other vital regions

·        Neglect defense-wide consolidation

·        Neglects national/global opportunity

OPTION C: DIA OSINT/Open Source IT Directorate or Center, $25M, with or without DoD OS Program

Description. Within DIA, realigns $25M in end-of-year funds to a potential new Directorate first housed within DIA/DH toward the day it can become DIA/DO, or as a “hybrid” innovation center that both optimizes human open source discovery and exploitation and the discovery and integration of open source information technologies for multinational multiagency information-sharing and sense-making.


·        Allows next director to start with a base

·        Sets stage for DoD-wide inventory over a year

·        May achieve savings from consolidation


·        Avoids taking on the full problem now

·        Internal resistance likely

·        Will not accelerate innovation in near term

OPTION D: DOSA, DoD consolidation of $1B

Description: Proposes to the SecDef a complete inventory of all existing DoD investments in both OSINT and in open source information technologies (both capabilities and gapped requirements), followed by the creation of DOSA as a Joint Chiefs of Staff activity. DOSA would be divided into strategic, policy, acquisition, and operations support units, and be charged with radically enhancing the provision of evidence-based decision-support to SecDef, the Service chiefs, and the theater commanders. It would also be charged with providing open source decision-support relevant to shaping Whole of Government, particularly civilian gaps in capabilities needed for conflict prevention and for stabilization & reconstruction.


·        Helps SefDef consolidate & achieve savings

·        Forces issue of OSINT support to strategy, policy, acquisition, and operations as DoD-wide functions

·        Allows DoD-wide focus on open source information technology in relation to all of the joint mission areas


·        May be resisted by existing program managers

OPTION E: OSA, Smart Nation Act, $125M IOC toward $2B FOC

Description: Creates a national OSA with four major elements: a Whole of Government capacity to provide decision-support to every Executive agency and department along with their Congressional oversight committees (shared view of the challenges and costs); a domestic capability to unify and enhance the ability of the eight information networks to share information and analysis toward enhancing state and local prosperity; a Multinational Decision Support Centre and related activities such as the School of Future-Oriented Hybrid Governance and the World Brain Institute directly relevant to reinventing intelligence so as to re-engineer the Earth – instilling holistic analytics and true cost economics as the foundation for ethical evidence-based decision-support across all boundaries.


·        Legacy for SecDef and President

·        Addresses public anger over secret intrusion

·        Only option that does Whole of Government

·        Only option that harnesses domestic networks

·        Only option that can go fully multinational

·        Immediate impact on theater strategies

·        Immediate impact on Service acquisition

·        Immediate impact on theater operations

·        Possible impact on Cabinet policies

·        Beneficial to Congressional oversight

·        Avoids internal DoD resistance

·        Avoids CIA’s self-imposed handicaps


·        Requires staffing and legislation

[1] M4IS2: Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making

OSE: Open Source Everything.

[2] Academic, Civil Society (including Labor and Religion), Commerce, Government, Law Enforcement, Media, Military, Non-Government/Non-Profit.

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