It never occurred to me, when I lost the first bureaucratic battle on Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) in 1992, that my innate sense of integrity [do the right thing] would lead me to resign from the Marine Corps civil service in 1993 as a very young GM-14, and spend not five, not ten, but twenty years wandering in the wilderness helping over 66 governments and over 7,500 mid-career officers get a grip on sources and methods the traditional secret services refused to consider and the traditional consumers of intelligence did not know how to do. Of all my student bodies, the USA was the worst, remaining ignorant at the leadership level, helpless at the follower level–butts in seats, no brain required. Hence, as we approach a historic turning point, the possibility that we might have a Secretary of State and a Secretary of Defense that can actually get a grip on reality together, I thought it might be useful to offer up three things I have learned during my 20-year walk-about:
The Hourglass Strategy: Healing the Americas with Intelligence & Integrity
Robert David STEELE Vivas, CEO, Earth Intelligence Network
Mr. Steele grew up in Latin America, returning as a clandestine case officer, and then going on to teach governments across the region how to leverage Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). He is the #1 Amazon reviewer for non-fiction, reading in 98 categories, and has been described in the media as a serial pioneer and an unsung hero helping create the future. If implemented, ethical evidence-based decision-support becomes the foundation for a completely new innovative and positive OAS in the Americas.
The USA and the OAS have lost their way. The formation of CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) was ignored, just as President Barack Obama ignored the value of the book Open Veins of Latin America when it was given to him by President Hugo Chavez. The seven sins of American foreign policy, beginning with ignorance and ending with arrogance, persist. Meanwhile, in Asia – and reinforcing the future of CELAC – President Obama was politely sent home with a sound rejection of his proposed and obviously predatory Trans-Pacific Partnership; instead, a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is being established. The Western Hemisphere including the Arctic should be but is not Priority One for the USA and OAS. The fact is that the USA and OAS lack a strategy, lack coherent policies, and lack harmonized spending strategies for embracing, nurturing, and devising mutually beneficial diplomatic, informational, military, and economic (DIME) programs. This is a global short-coming best addressed first in relation to the Americas.
Telling the truth to those who have replaced intelligence with ideology and integrity with loyalty to something other than their Republic is most difficult and more often than not will get you fired, because those without integrity tend to be promoted in corrupt systems, and they see clearly the threat to their world-view — and their perks — of someone who persists in pointing out that the truth at any cost reduces all other costs.
Below is a complement to my earlier posting of 15 November 2012: 2012 Robert Steele: Addressing the Seven Sins of Foreign Policy — Why Defense, Not State, Is the Linch Pin for Global Engagement.
Reform can be job and revenue neutral from state to state and district to district — and is of course subject to Congressional oversight via the authorization and appropriations process. Below are seven truths about the US military that I would like to see introduced into the hearings on the confirmation of the next Secretary of Defense, and ideally also tasked to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), where the senior specialist for each of the major services is capable of validating my views.
Citation: Robert David STEELE Vivas, “The Human Factor & The Human Environment: Concepts & Doctrine? Implications for Human & Open Source Intelligence,” Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog (12 December 2012).
UPDATE 16 Dec 2012: Added NATO OSINT Series, pointer to other OSINT Handbooks. Added Thomas Briggs: Reflections on OSINT in Support of HUMINT
There is one consideration I would like to discuss with you. While exploring for many years how to address the need for the military to understand all areas and aspects of the human environment, I had the opportunity to listen to many members of the intelligence community speaking about their role in achieving that understanding. I used to have the traditional military idea that it was the role of intel to provide the information and much of the knowledge. Along the way, they got me to doubt this view. Finally, they convinced me that the intel community, as we still know it today, is not a supplier of this understanding, but a customer. Understanding the human environment is a product stemming from Open Sources Information, but not from military intelligence. Intel’s role might be, based on the understanding made available by others, to develop the specific products suiting its specific goals : targeting and counter intelligence.
As a general statement, no one nation has put this together — the Mediterranean countries have the skills and mind-set, the Sandanavian countries have the motivation and interest, and the Americans have the money — but the three “sets” are not coming together at this time.
Thank you for all the material you are producing.
Long Answer with Graphics to Four Part Question Below the Line
Updated 21 Dec 2012 1800
Short Persistent URL for This Post: http://tinyurl.com/UN-21-Intel
I had occasion to look at the Report of the Secretary General on the Work of the Organization, and thought this would be a good time to integrate some of what I have learned from working directly with the United Nations (UN), and what I believe could be helpful to the UN as it contemplates “next steps” into the 21st Century. My thoughts are deeply rooted in my perception of how badly governments have failed at governance, and how dysfunctional the Industrial Era approach to bureaucracy and information channeling has become. As the world prepares to migrate to hybrid forms of public governance, the UN’s Industrial Era forms of organization and delivery are an impediment to its future viability. That is a challenge I would like to address, treating the UN as the logical hub for my emergent theory and practice of Public Governance (a mosaic) replacing Public Administration (a stovepipe) in the 21st Century.
Below the line is the document I have drafted in full text, followed by a number of links that are not in the document.
SHORT URL TO SHARE WITH OTHERS:
I am delighted to find some of my earlier work being looked at with new eyes.
Intelligence for the President–and Everyone Else: How Obama Can Create a Smart Nation and a Prosperous World at Peace (CounterpPunch, Week-End Edition,Feb 29 – Mar 02 2009)
Fixing the White House and National Intelligence (International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 23/2 2010)
Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/Steele-IG
Executive Reading (Printable 10-Pages):
2013 Steele Reflections on Inspectors-General 1.7
Updated 6 October 2012 Version 1.7
When I was selected for an interview to be the Defense Intelligence Senior Leader (DISL) for Human Intelligence (HUMINT) at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), it was General Ron Burgess, USA and Ms. Tish Long that decided whether to accept panel recommendations or not. [Today DIA is under new management — one can only hope that General Mike Flynn, USA, has it in him to clean house, restructure, and start being effective at providing decision support to policy, acquisition, and operations, leveraging what he can control: use MASINT as the bill-payer, and execute full-spectrum HUMINT in M4IS2 mode, while flushing the DI. I continue to believe an Open Source Agency is needed, but NOT under intelligence auspices.]
I learn from every experience, and was inspired by Peter W. in particular, then Chief of Staff for DIA/DH, to the point that after my interview I went home, sat down, and wrote the following in one sitting (polishing it considerably over the weeks to follow). I am including the pre-publication approval letters below because I understand there are still köyün delisi out there who think that just because I have been under non-official status these past 20 years, I have somehow forgotten my obligations.
The single most important graphic in the above work is shown here to the side.
Today I want to focus on one of the fifteen HUMINT slices, the Inspector-General (IG). Although some progress has been made in developing Inspectors General for every agency and department, and in creating networks of Inspectors General both across the federal government and internationally, I do not believe the fundamentals of the Inspectors General have evolved properly, and therefore consider most Inspectors General to be doing the wrong things righter (reactive micro audits) instead of the right things (proactive holistic meta-training and education — integrative program formation).
The role and responsibility of the Inspector General (IG) should be reframed, to encourage the critique of programs from an additional perspective. For IGs in national security, in national competitiveness, and in national intelligence (including education and research) that perspective should hold up as a standard that the IG communicates well to policy makers, acquisition managers, and operational commanders; at the same time that the information provided is relevant to whole-of-government action, serving whole-of-nation interests, with inter-agency and inter-agency transparency allowing for error detection and correction. Such a perspective is assumed to be the responsibility of those higher in a hierarchy, but that is a mistake. It is a perspective that can be applied at all levels, and in fact can only be effective if it is applied at all levels. IGs might be better at applying this perspective exactly because they are in the middle – able to connect operational knowledge with national interest. Just as the General Accountability Office (GAO) changed from Accounting to Accountability, so also must Inspectors General now follow suit: my vision empowers IGs and those they support by enabling a holistic and integrity forcing function to operate across all boundaries….in addition to inspecting they are sensing, engaging, empowering, educating, and above all, ensuring that the public interest is addressed in a coherent holistic honest manner at every level (strategic, operational, tactical, and technical). Beyond an order of magnitude increase in the IG’s value within their individual relative domains, there is an opportunity at the grand strategic level. The ultimate task of a 21st Century IG, in my personal view, is to work as a body whole across all boundaries, to assure the public that its government will always seek righteous ends, administer cost-effective ways, and live within our means, the public means. St.
Table of Contents
- Historical Gravitas of the Inspector General
- Inspector Generals Today (Focus on the USA)
- Dr. Russell Ackoff’s Wisdom — Bright Light for Inspectors General
- Intelligence is Irelevant
- Communications is Broken Beyond Repair
- Irrelevant Noise
- The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Does Not Manage
- Inspectors General as the Seed Crystal for Elevating Intelligence with Integrity
- What Is the Big Picture?
- Appreciating Waste in the USA Today – 50% of Every Tax Dollar
- What is Our Starting Point? Intelligence with Integrity, Championed by Inspectors General
- “Strategic Decrepitude” — Hell’s Front Door
- What Is To Be Done?
Your Aide Memoire came to my attention today. Apart from wishing you every success, I thought to contribute a few ideas.
01 The new meme that has replaced Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) — I taught this to 90 countries including all NATO/PfP and six UN missions in Lebanon — is M4IS2 (Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making).
02 Government is the least important of the eight communities (I used to call them tribes) of information and intelligence (decision-support). The eight communities in alphabetic order are academia, civil society including labor unions and religions, commerce, government, law enforcement, media, military, and non-government/non
03 Governments have failed to be relevant or progressive for two reasons: first, they confuse intelligence (decision support or the outcomes) with secrecy (the method or inputs); and second, most government do not actually make evidence-based decisions, but rather decisions of convenience driven mostly by a mix of ideology and corruption–decisions that favor the special interests of the few against the public interest of the many.
It is fashionable now to talk about data as the new oil (or dirt), and to proclaim breathlessly that the ever-increasing masses of data allow for ever more wonderous things to be done including my personal favorite, situational awareness.
However, no one is yet serious about holistic analytics (which also implies a holistic collection management strategy and a clear definition of both what is to be collected and what is to be done with anomalous data encountered in passing). Neither is anyone serious about True Cost Economics, Man-Machine Translation, Global Near-Real-Time Crowd-Sourcing (for observations, translations, and culturally-grounded interpretations) or M4IS2 (Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making).
I cannot help but recall my briefing to the National Research Council in 1994, when I was asked to comment on the US Army’s multi-billion dollar communications plan for the future. I pointed out the obvious: the US Army was assuming that all data would be generated from within the US Army or other US Government systems, and was making no provision for ingesting and digesting data from the 99% of the data sources outside the US Army. Of course they blew me off then, and they still do not get it today, 22 years later.
This is an updated version of the 2002 original, “Citizen in Search of a Leader.” We are now in Epoch B. Instead of leaders, we need facilitators, and the leadership comes from within the larger collective as it achieves ethical transparent consensus.
Summary of Qualifications
America needs a facilitator that is balanced, thoughtful, integrative, supportive of dissent and debate, and above all, educated enough to craft a national strategy for security and prosperity that will stand the test of time. I want a facilitator who is at least as committed to the future of my children as to the passing security and prosperity of the moment. Individuals obsessing on being elected or re-elected need not apply.
In my view as a citizen, there are four areas where the right individual, as a team builder rather than a personal icon, could help America restore its balance. These four areas are: 1) electoral reform, 2) intelligence reform, 3) global issues & national security reform, and 4) governance reform inclusive of corporate ethics and accountability.
I would sum up the objective of all four reform initiatives with the phrase: “Creating a Smart Nation, Of, By, and For the People.”
Al Jazeera, 21 March 2011
Revolutions are caused by human agency; not telecommunications technologies, scholar argues.
To listen to the hype about social networking websites and the Egyptian revolution, one would think it was Silicon Valley and not the Egyptian people who overthrew Mubarak.
Via its technologies, the West imagines itself to have been the real agent in the uprising. Since the internet developed out of a US Defense Department research project, it could be said the Pentagon did it, along with Egyptian youth imitating wired hipsters from London and Los Angeles.
Most narratives of globalisation are fantastically Eurocentric, stories of Western white men burdened with responsibility for interconnecting the world, by colonising it, providing it with economic theories and finance, and inventing communications technologies. Of course globalisation is about flows of people as well, about diasporas and cultural fusion.
But neither version is particularly useful for organising resistance to the local dictatorship. In any case, the internet was turned off at decisive moments in the Egyptian uprising, and it was ordinary Egyptians, mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, who toppled the regime, not the hybrid youth of the global professional classes.
Nothing new about globalisation
Are there other tales of globalisation, perhaps those told by rebels and guerrillas?
ROBERT STEELE: Revolution is about the combination of three things: grotesque imbalance combined with evolutionary psychology of a public to the point that the cognitive dissonance is paradigm shattering; a precipitant or catalyst, and the Davies J-Curve, a “sense” on the part of sufficient numbers that there is light ahead, that they might actually win.
When they come–relatively infrequently–revolutions are best supported with information and civil affairs capabilities. A massive public intelligence effort to help the people, the true custodians of their own commons, understand where the wealth is, where the opportunities are, whom to hold accountable; combined with a precision civil affairs effort, ideally manned by individuals who are ethnically and spiritually homogeneous with those they are helping, are the two best things well-intentioned external powers can provide.
Along with precision information–which no government is capable of today for failure to invest in the open source tri-fecta–comes precision stabilization & reconstruction assistance, of 21st Century Civil Affairs–a civil affairs cadre for a multiniational endeavor that is C4I heavy, truly multinational, and focused on delivering just enough just in time “peace from above.” That too is beyond the capability of any government today, not for lack of capacity, but for lack of mind-set.
2012 is a year of Awakening. The traditional colonial powers can remain comatose as they are now, or they can push the “re-set” button and actually participate in what could be the greatest renaissance of humanity in modern history.
Updated 1 November 2012 to add core graphic: Graphic: Ethical Evidence-Based Decisions. Updated 13 April 2012 to add new book: THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth & Trust. Updated 8 March 2012 to add underlying philosophical reference: 2012-03-08 GOD MAN INTERVAL Reformatted & Linked. Updated 6 December 2011 to add this seminal reference: Journal: Politics & Intelligence–Partners Only When Integrity is Central to Both. Updated 3 October 2011 to add Steven Johnson and Werner Ekard contributions on integrity. Updated 1 October 2011 to add excuses from colleagues, and a riposte.
1. Integrity is not just about honor–it is about wholeness of view, completeness of effort, and accuracy or reliability of all of the elements of the whole.
2. Industrial-Era Systems do not adapt because they lack integrity and continue to pay for doing the wrong things righter–the Pentagon is a classic example of such as system.
3. In the 21st Century, intelligence, design, and integrity are the triad that matters most. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is the non-negotiable starting position for getting it right, and this is crucially important with respect to the sustainability of the Earth as a home for humanity.
4. Integrity at the top requires clarity, diversity, and BALANCE–it makes no sense for a Secretary of Defense to continue to screw over the 4% that take 80% of the casualties, spending 80% of the Pentagon budget on the 20% that do not take casualties (occupants of really big expensive things that do not actually go into harm’s way).
5. Integrity can be compounded or discounted. It is compounded when public understanding demands political accountability and flag officers ultimately understand that they have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution, not support the chain of command. It is discounted when flag officers are careerists, ascribe to rankism, and generally betray the public interest in favor of personal advancement.
6. Integrity is ultimately a natural attribute of large groups, and emerges from self-organizing over time. The Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom is one example; the break-up of the Balkans another; the pending secession of Hawaii and Vermont from the United STATES of America a third. Legitimate grievances give the aggrieved the moral high ground–this is a power no government can repress.
7. Universal access to connectivity and content is a means of accelerating both public access to the truth, and the power of the public to off-set “rule by secrecy,” which inherently lacks integrity across the board.
EXCUSES most commonly heard:
1) I work for the government, we serve the public, I consider myself part of the government, not part of the public, and indeed, choose not to vote or otherwise be active as a citizen.
2) The public elects the politicians, they appoint the leadership, serving the chain of command is how one serves the public.
1) Citizenship trumps occupational role. Every employee is supposed to be a citizen first, a public servant second. They swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution, that includes a responsibility to protect the public from predatory government actions – the recent assassination of a US citizen without due process is a reprehensible example of what happens with uniformed officers and civil servants become morally disengaged.
2) Information asymmetries between the public and the government are such that a democracy demands whistle-blowers and open government. Rule by secrecy is a form of tyranny, a means of avoiding accountability, and ultimately a clear and present danger to the Constitution, the Republic, and the public interest. Because of their Oath, it can be said that government employees have a special responsibility to detect and confront fraud, waste, and abuse – and certainly to disobey and declare illegal orders and plans or programs inconsistent with the Constitution, such as wars not authorized by Congress, or assassinations not based on the rule of law.
In brief, all of our government employees have been “coping out” and failing to live up to their fullest potential as citizens and human beings. To be silent and complacent is to be a slave, not a citizen. Any employee of the government that fails to think about the Constitution and their role in defending the Constitution at every level on every day across every issue area, is failing to honor their Oath of office.
Interestingly, the fraud of Al Gore and the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) combine with the total ineptitude of the Nobel Peace Prize “Committee” to jointly demonstrate that the fragmentation of scientific, economic, and political knowledge has now become catastrophic, and that “top-down” elite organizations such as the Nobel Preace Prize Committee pretends to be, are so ignorant of reality as to be counter-productive. Below is an illustration of our current vision. As we suggested recently to key United Nations officials and a select number of Ambassadors in Washington, D.C., crisis is an opportunity for innovation. Brazil, India, China, and Russia certainly understand this. In Copenhagen, the leaders can choose to bury the IPCC and commit instead to creating the World Brain Institute with an embedded Global Game that connects all human minds to all relevant information in all languages all the time.