Answers on OSINT for India 25 – Continued Mediocrity & Mis-Understanding


Sir please check page 9. The author cites you but also makes an unnecessary claim that OSINT goes though the generic intel cycle. This may misinform the readers.

PDF (59 Pages): 2010 RIEAS Minas on OSINT

Dear Colleague,

Very unusually for any academic paper, this young fellow has the integrity to cite me and — evidently without knowing that I wrote it — the NATO OSINT Handbook. at length.  While his paper is deficient in many respects, not least of which he missed the top twelve references on the topic including my websites with 800 contributions for top OSINT practicioners, it is far better than most, including the crap produced by notional PhDs in the UK system. For an elementary overview — while failing to cite the single most important chapter I ever wrote, Steele, Robert. “Open Source Intelligence (Strategic),” in Loch Johnson (ed.), Strategic Intelligence: The Intelligence Cycle, Westport, CT: Praeger, 2007, Chapter 6, pp. 96-122, it is generally acceptable.  It is a lazy work drawing heavily on the two volumes I produced for NATO, the second being the NATO OSINT Reader but the author shows promise.

On the point you raise, my point as cited, that OSINT is the result of the combination of legally and ethically acquired materials with the proven process of intelligence, remains foundational in nature.

What the young man fails to understand — which is not surprising given the mediocrity and mis-understanding characteristic of all intelligence agencies and all private sector producers of “OSINT” is that it is not OSINT if it does not respond to a specific requirement from a specific decision-maker or decision-making body. It is not “OSINT” unless it answers a specific question of import needed to make a strategic, policy, acquisition, operational, or tactical decision.

The secret world does not produce intelligence qua decision-support. It produces a limited quantity of very mediocre classified information while engaging in very expensive covert operations not approved by legislatures, inclusive of child trafficking, drug trafficking, blackmail, torture, drone assassination, and regime change.

My must current work on where I wish to go is below.

Smart Nation Vision – By Invitation


Answers on OSINT for India

Note: Short URL for the entire series including new posts is

See Also:

Answers @ Phi Beta Iota

Opt in for free daily update from this free blog. Separately The Steele Report ($11/mo) offers weekly text report and live webinar exclusive to paid subscribers, who can also ask questions of Robert. Or donate to ask questions directly of Robert.