NATO Strategic Foresight Wrap-Up

#OSE Open Source Everything, Commercial Intelligence, Earth Intelligence
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ROBERT STEELE:  My own wrap-up comments are below.


Two levels down from state through organizations to individuals.

Information power is now the primary power


Education of the individual is central challenge — including appreciation of history and true cost.

Legitimate grievances are early warning and can no longer be ignored.

Open source everything engineering is central to providing humanity with energy, water, food, and shelter (provisioning).


Understanding true cost of what we have now and what we could substitute is foundation for all future deliberations.

Open source everything engineering is essential baseline for both evaluating legacy and planning technology investments across all domains — not just information technology but mobility, weapons, etcetera.


There is no shortage of resources — what we are doing is wasting most resources and avoiding the use of intelligence with integrity — as we are failing to empower the single unlimited resources we have, the human brain.

Defense spending needs to go down by 30% to 50% but this does not mean that we cannot also have a strong defense (e.g. for the USA a 450-ship Navy, a long-haul Air Forces, and an air mobile Army, while closing all bases overseas).

Our focus must be on the five billion poor and their needs for open source provisioning, open source manufacturing, and so on.


NATO lacks its own intelligence capability — one that is able to define requirements, collect largely open source information not available from the member states, and do multinational analysis that the member states refuse to do (they favor bi-lateral secret exchanges).

See Also:

Answers: Steele for NATO Strategic Foresight


True Cost Economics. When evaluating any specific strategy, policy, acquisition, or operational plan, it is helpful to think in terms of total true cost. True cost includes not only the financial cost, but the ecological cost and the social cost. Depleted uranium imposes a huge ecological costs. Specific operations, especially those that fail, create huge social costs including illegal refugees.

Open Source Everything Engineering. When planning for multinational informaton-sharing and also multinational coalition operations, not just in the present but far into the future, it is important to think about interoperability and affordability of systems. Many poor countries cannot afford the advanced and proprietary communications and computing — or mobility and weapons — systems that NATO routinely acquires. In the future, simpler may be better, and open source best of all. Open source communications are not only cheaper and better on a military to military basis, but also affordable and interoperable among the “eight tribes” of information (in addition to the military: academic, civil society, commerce, government including local, law enforcement, media, non-government/non-profit).

Strategic Generalizations. In thinking about future mobility systems and weapons systems acquisitiion, in addition to true cost and and open source everything engineering, it would be most helpful for NATO to repeat (but update) the study I directed for the Marine Corps, Planning and Programming Factors for Expeditionary Operations in the Third World. This study first identified the specific countries we expected to be sent to. Then it identified civil, military, and natural factors to be examined. What we found in the natural arena that surprised us included three important factors:
01 aviation temperature is hot and humid, not warm and humid (which is what the Americans build to). This means that the airplanes we buy today will fly half as far, carry half as much, and loiter half as long as we expect them to.
02 bridge loading is 30 tons in many places. this means that all systems that weigh more than 30 tons may be blocked by inadequate bridges.
03 line of sight distance less than 1000 meters almost everywhere except for 6 Arab countries. this means that major investments made to achieve further stand-off distances may not be warranted.

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