Ben Benavides, retired US Army master trainer, is as good as it gets in Army OSINT, but not widely enough known. He should be in charge of creating the Army OSINT Handbook and training program, AFTER we put CIA in its place and establish that overt HUMINT is OSINT and cannot be constrained by those who refused to be serious about overt human sources (CIA also forbids its own Open Source Center from talking to overt Subject Matter Experts (SME). Really. We do not make this stuff up.
Only 44 pages from start to finish (including endnotes and a comprehensive list of suggested additional readings), this guidebook is filled with practical advice, concise case studies and quotes from practitioners about the risks and rewards inherent in negotiating a ceasefire.
It is my pleasure to announce the publication of The Pentagon Labyrinth: 10 Short Essays to Help You Through It. This is a short pamphlet of less than 150 pages and is available at no cost in E-Book PDF format, as well as in hard copy from links on this page as well as here and here. Included in the menu below are download links for a wide variety of supplemental/supporting information (much previously unavailable on the web) describing how notions of combat effectiveness relate to the basic building blocks of people, ideas, and hardware/technology; the nature of strategy; and the dysfunctional character of the Pentagon’s decision making procedures and the supporting role of its accounting shambles.
This pamphlet aims to help both newcomers and seasoned observers learn how to grapple with the problems of national defense. Intended for readers who are frustrated with the superficial nature of the debate on national security, this handbook takes advantage of the insights of ten unique professionals, each with decades of experience in the armed services, the Pentagon bureaucracy, Congress, the intelligence community, military history, journalism and other disciplines. The short but provocative essays will help you to:
identify the decay – moral, mental and physical – in America’s defenses,
understand the various “tribes” that run bureaucratic life in the Pentagon,
appreciate what too many defense journalists are not doing, but should,
conduct first rate national security oversight instead of second rate theater,
separate careerists from ethical professionals in senior military and civilian ranks,
learn to critique strategies, distinguishing the useful from the agenda-driven,
recognize the pervasive influence of money in defense decision-making,
unravel the budget games the Pentagon and Congress love to play,
understand how to sort good weapons from bad – and avoid high cost failures, and
reform the failed defense procurement system without changing a single law.
The handbook ends with lists of contacts, readings and Web sites carefully selected to facilitate further understanding of the above, and more.
ROBERT D. STEELE is a retired Marine Corps infantry and intelligence officer and also qualified as an S-1/Adjutant, with service at all levels from platoon to Service Headquarters. After four years active duty (the balance in the Individual Ready Reserve) and a decade in the clandestine service of the Central Intelligence Agency (including three tours overseas focused on terrorist and extremist targets), he resigned from the CIA to accept a Marine Corps invitation to be the senior civilian responsible for creating the Marine Corps Intelligence Center (today a Command) and served as the study directory for the flagship study, Overview of Planning and Programming Factors for Expeditionary Operations in the Third World. He resigned from the Marine Corps civil service in 1993 to lead the modern Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) revolution, and is the author of the DIA, NATO, and SOF OSINT Handbooks, as well as personally responsible for training 7,500 officers from 66 countries. His latest book, INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability, outlines a course of action for creating public intelligence in the public interest across all organizations, beginning with the United Nations. Mr. Steele founded OSS.Net, Inc. and Earth Intelligence Network, the latter a 501c3 public charity, and is the foremost proponent for a Swedish concept enhancing Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, and Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making (M4IS2). Mr. Steele holds graduate degrees in international relations and public administration from Lehigh University and the University of Oklahoma. He has also earned a certificate in intelligence policy from Harvard University and a diploma in defense studies from the Naval War College.
SSI Publications by Mr. Robert D. Steele
EDIT: None of these are “handbooks” in the classical sense of the word, but all are strategic guides that set the standard for holistic approaches to human intelligence, information operations, and analytic intelligence.
The author explores the centrality of Human Intelligence in meeting the needs of the U.S. Army, as well as the Department of Defense, and the whole of government, for relevant information and tailored intelligence essential to creating a national security strategy; for defining whole of government policies that work in harmony; for acquisition of the right capabilities at the right price in time to be useful; and for operations, both local and global.
In the Age of Information, the primary source of National Power is information that has been converted into actionable intelligence or usable knowledge. Information Operations is the critical ingredient in early warning, peacekeeping, stabilization & reconstruction, and homeland defense.
This monograph is the third in the Strategic Studies Institute’s “Studies in Asymmetry” Series. In it, the author examines two paradigm shifts–one in relation to the threat and a second in relation to intelligence methods– while offering a new model for threat analysis and a new model for intelligence operations in support to policy, acquisition, and command engaged in nontraditional asymmetric
This is an absolutely world-class document, and to the best of our recollection, the single best formulation we have seen. The perspectives, insights, professional approach, and over-all treatment of the challenges of the future are truly first class, and superior to CIA’s Global Trends and other such offerings in relation to the needs of the military.
It does have flaws that are not the fault of the author’s or the Command, but of the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, neither of whom know anything at all about Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). Supplemental Observation
The document missed Indonesia as a demographic powerhouse; does not fully understand water; understates the DoD share of the US budget by 50%; ignores Operations Other Than War (OOTW) and especially the vital role that the military can play with the Army Civil Affairs Brigade as a hub, ignores multinational outreach in other than liaison terms, and under-studies defense acquisition which is not a hiring problem, it is a mind-set and information problem.
Despite these flaws, which are beyond the control of the author’s since they did not receive any intelligence support worthy of the name, this is a phenomenal document with enormous potential for the future of Whole of Government Operations across the spectrum of high-level threats from Poverty to Crime.
It’s time to drain the DoD intelligence swamp, that will actually fix acquisition and support to operations in the real-world at the same time.
Phi Beta Iota: Although we assume there must be some isolated success stories, we have not heard any. The Human Terrain Team (HTT) is nothing more than Civil Affairs done properly, and from all accounts, from the most vicious to direct observation, HTT is a badly managed, badly conceptualized, badly staffed program that is a cancer on the good name of Civil Affairs. The program should be terminated at the same time that the Army Civil Affairs Brigade is made OpCon to a new Stabilization & Reconstruction (S&R) Field Activity with a brigadier general in command and a ban on all lawyers and security officers–both S&R and Civil Affairs should be honest enterprises in which those in touch with the public do not need clearances.
This handbook is nothing more than a Chaplain’s Rice Bowl. It has nothing to do with what we were hoping for, Religious Engagement. For that, see the two references below by Capt Doug Johnston, USN (Ret), still the Top Gun on the topic. JCS needs to completely rewrite this publication, triple it in breadth and depth, and get a grip on religious engagement tactics, techniques, and procedures before, during, and after operational engagement.
Utterly Brilliant Synthesis, Vital First Step–US Violates Every Single Principle
December 18, 2009
United States Institute of Peace
This book is a six-star special and will be so rated at Phi Beta Iota, the Public Intelligence Blog, where I cluster like non-fictions books in 98 categories, one of which is Stabilization & Reconstruction.
At its most fundamental this is without question the most extraordinary sensible and useful synthesis of all possible documents devoted to the subject, offering up a truly remarkable–just an amazing–framework for study and for planning.
The publisher failed to make full use of the Amazon tools for showing the Table of Contents at a minimum, and this error should be corrected immediately. Inside the Book is also recommended. I would normally reduce the book to four stars for its failure include all those outside the “traditional” national security community; for its lack of an index, and for its ignorance of most relevant books outside the narrow circle of stabilization & reconstruction groupies. However, this is such an incredibly gifted, intelligent, and meticulous presentation of vitally important information that I leave it at six star special, beyond five stars.
Still, to not be able to see in an index every page for key words like “water” or “intelligence” is infuriating.
First, an overview of the contents, vastly more simple than the complex array of information presented in sub-sets of conditions, guidance, approach, and then elements.
+ Introduction + Strategic Framework for Stabilization and Reconstruction + Cross-Cutting Principles + High-Level Trade-Offs, Gaps, and Challenges + Fundamentals of a Comprehensive Approach + End States —Safe and Secure Environment —Rule of Law —Stable Governance —Sustainable Economy —Social Well-Being + Appendices A. Resources List B. Participants in Review Process C. Summary of Strategic Frameworks Surveyed D. Snapshot of COmpoments from Overarching Resources E. Acronyms and Glossary of Selected Key Terms (incomplete, another annoyance that needs to be corrected)
Phi Beta Iota: The US Intelligence Community (both civilian and military) still has not accepted the fact that 60% of its effort should be focused on Global Coverage (e.g. the Third World and the non-military high-level threats to humanity) and on relevant information and tailored intelligence necessary to support Stabilization & Reconstruction Operations as well as what General Al Gray, USMC (Ret), then Commandant of the Marine Corps, called “peaceful preventive measures.” See also: