Senior US intelligence leaders are starting to doubt whether ‘experts’ are the best forecasters of emerging risks. Regina Joseph, however, has other culprits in mind. Familiar cultural and bureaucratic obstacles may be more to blame for the foresight training and analysis problems intelligence agencies face today.
Jack Davis Comments: Jack Davis: Modern Analytic Tradecraft
ROBERT STEELE: The write-up by Regina Joseph is excellent, and her work at New York University shows promise. However, the approach of the US IC continues to be severely lacking on multiple fronts. Of course the experts don’t get it right when they are spoon fed marginal secrets, deprived of access to all open sources, lack the tools for visualizing all relevant information in time and space, and are not allowed to talk to those outside the narrow circle of authorized parties. I continue to be stunned that CIA’s leadership allows the clandestine service to tell the Open Source Center they are not allowed to talk to foreign experts, only their own translators. While I am glad to see some validation of what I first began writing about in 1988 and briefed formally at the first Open Source Solutions conference in 1992 — the idea of a Smart Nation — the University of Pennsylvania effort while laudable is less than 5% of what I have had in mind for a quarter century. If the US IC ever wants to get this right, they know where to find me. In the meantime, my life’s work is free on this website, one simply has to have a passion for learning instead of going through the motions.