A Decision on the Palantir US Army Dust Up Looms
Palantir Technologies like many Silicon Valley-type firms, takes its inspiration from logical reasoning (our software is great, therefore, the US Army should use it, not DCGS which is not great), Google methods (do not ask permission, apologize later), venture capital infused advisors (we are the masters of the universe), or Larry the Cable guy (git ‘er done).
I personally think it may be too late for Palantir to repair its relationship with some units of the US government.
Phi Beta Iota: What some may not realize is that this is also a confrontation between Special Operations Command (SOCOM) acquisition leaders who made a decision in awarding a $200M contract to Palantir because Palantir has from the first focused on hiring Special Operations personnel as field sales representatives; and US Army acquisition leaders, also with Special Operations backgrounds, who understand — as we have reported here over time — just how hollow Palantir is — it does not play well with others and it is not the answer the to US Army's need. Neither is i2/DCGS. The US Army was told in 1994 that it needed to focus its communications and computing (and hence also, processing and analysis) system on all sources of information, including all those sources outside the wire, and the US Army refused to listen. Today, a quarter century after the Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) revolution started, both DoD and the US IC are still getting it wrong — they simply cannot grasp the difference between controlled secrecy and assured security, and they refuse to believe that the 96% of the information held by others outside the wire is relevant. This is irresponsible and it will continue to kill our own. Special Operations (as in the 1st Special Operations Command as well as SOCOM) can and should be the heart of US Army “alternative C4I” going forward, but sadly, the knowledge is lacking at all levels and there is no evidence that SOCOM or 1st SFC is going to get it right anytime in the next decade or two.
2015 Robert Steele – Foreword to Stephen E. Arnold’s CyberOSINT: Next Generation Information Access