I have noticed one particular characteristic of OSINT which is that any OSINT process involves two actions, namely, intelligence collection and then intelligence analysis. I have observed that OSINT collection process is technical and requires thorough understanding of different technologies, softwares and methodologies while intelligence analysis depends more upon the analyst’s judgment.
This brings us to breaking OSINT into two components- the technical one that relates with collection of OSINT and the non-technical one relating to analysis. Can this be depicted with the help of the following diagram?
OSINT is HUMINT. The Americans pursuing OSINT via social media are both stupid and corrupt — like the drunk looking for the car keys under the street light because that is where the light is. The Americans are also lazy and lack deep cultural knowledge in part because they default to US citizens with clearances. For example, there are roughly 1,400 top notch Muslim professors in the USA, the last time I looked CIA was taking to 14 of them and none outside the USA. They are not willing to engage with hundreds of thousands of human sources and are making a complete mess of all fifteen slices of HUMINT/OSINT as depicted below:
OSINT is not technical. It is human. On the right side of your graphic, I like much of what you have here. At root we have eight deficiencies that apply to technical collection and human collection, processing, and analysis.
This is the end to end process for dealing with OSINT:
Please note that the process starts with a QUESTION. The US secret intelligence community is shit in part because they don’t do requirements definition with clients who need to make a decision. They are still trapped in the collect what you can collect, never mind whether it could be collected more inexpensively with OSINT or whether we already have it — FIND if you already have it; GET from someone you know; BUY from commercial providers; STEAL only if you must.
You really should buy and read the below, I don’t have time to repeat 30 years thinking just to bring you along.
PRINT: Steele, Robert, REINVENTING INTELLIGENCE: 30 Years in the Wilderness (Trump Revolution 46) (Amazon CreateSpace, Earth Intelligence Network, 2019).
KINDLE: Steele, Robert, REINVENTING INTELLIGENCE: 30 Years in the Wilderness (Trump Revolution Book 46) (Amazon Kindle, Earth Intelligence Network, December 2019).
FREE ONLINE: None; individual items online.
You should also download and read the NATO OSINT series, although seriously outdated the Hanbook is still the best around for strategic orientation.
Here are other Handbooks.
- Handbooks (70)
When you are ready to make the case for OSINT to your chain of command, here are three graphics that will help but you should certainly look at the USDI Attachments including the two DoD briefing at https://tinyurl.com/PBI-Invite.
With abiding regard,