The White House does not understand this and the mandarins fear it. The minute OSINT becomes fully operational, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) should begin demanding 20% cuts in the secret disciplines and in contractor “butts in seats” that are in violation of the inherently governmental nature of secret intelligence. This is not to say those individuals should be laid off, only put on the government payroll if needed, at one third the price we pay now to bloated contractor bureaucracies.
The view on the left is a view from one lacking the deep broad experience to challenge the secret mandarins. It is a subservient position that is both detrimental to the whole of the secret world, and incompatible with external multinational operations.
OSINT is a “hybrid” discipline that is simultaneously:
1. A full-fledged discipline in its own right demanding of its own Program, requirements and collection management system information technology architecture, multilateral global treaties and agreements vastly exceeding the bilateral ones characteristic of the secret world; and terms of reference that default to inclusion rather than exclusion.
2. A supporting discipine for each of the traditional secret disciplines, BUT one that must be fenced because the traditional discplines have clearly demonstrated they do not understand and cannot manage OSINT to good effect in spotting, assessing, and validating, in tip-off, in contextual reinforcement, etcetera.
3. A supporting discipline for each of the consumers of traditonal intelligence, who receive very little return on the taxpayer investment; AND a supporting discipline for all of the consumers, including Congress and the Departments of government outside the traditional national security arena (e.g. Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Veteran’s), all of whom know virtually nothing about OSINT, have virtually no real access to world-class OSINT, and are not likely in the near term to allocate or protect OSINT resources. Lest this be doubted, the last time Robert Steele spoke at the Department of State, they bragged that they had four OSINT analysts. Four–for the entire Department.
OSINT has become synonymous with subsevience to the secret government world, one reason why we have moved on to embrace Public and Collective Intelligence. From this day forward, the latter are fully independent of the secret world–we will trade the raw open source feed for money and unclassified sense-making; the secret world can have its open source feed and managers of the secret world can use the open source baseline to challenge the secret mandarins for performance and value improvements, but the secret world will never again be allowed to corrupt, constrain, or contain the emerging discipline of Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making (M4IS2).
With help from a talented person who must remain anonymous at this time, this was crafted years ago at a time when we thought Intelink-U would be allowed to mature and handle 90 or more countries. It is still stuck at 11 and has zero ability to ingest the multiple firehoses that are easily assembled today.
Pioneered by LtCol Beavers and others in Bosnia, this remains the single most brilliant depiction of what all of our inter-agency task force networks should like like. This is not rocket science, it just requires integrity, intelligence, and imagination on the part of each Commander.
This remains the intellectual property of Robert Steele and is the core concept for ultimately creating a World Brain and EarthGame that engage all human minds and connect all humans to all information in all languages all the time.
Both the Open Source Information System – External (OSIS-X) and Intelink – X will be United Nations “virtual clouds” that achieve a degree of assured security that is good enough through to the secret level, and thus able to engage all in what the Swedes call Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making (M4IS2).
The US secret intelligence community will never be able to fulfill the National Intelligence Strategy ambitions to provide decision-support to all who need it, so long as they are bonded to the old model of high-side default. A United Nations model of low-side default is the only possible means of achieving pervasive multinational information-sharing and sense-making, all of which can be fed to the high-side in near-real-time, none of which may be mis-directed or constrained by the high-side. OSINT is a free and independent discipline whose center of gravity lies outside the wire and outside the control of any government.
This was the basic OSINT cell recommended to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 1990. We still need to get to where every Agency and every major Command and every partner across each of the other seven tribes of intelligence has such a cell, and they are all linked in a global Open Source Information System – External (OSIS-X) that is NOT controlled by the USA.
Inspired by Steve Denning, former Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO) of the World Bank, this graphic tells the story of OSINT in contrast to the traditional disciplines.
Still today, here’s how the secret world plays the game:
HUMINT recruits a player to drop or catch the ball on command, but communications are so slow they inevitably screw it up.
SIGINT has listening devices in the dug-out, and tries to call the game from what is said there.
IMINT used to take an image of the field every three days, now they have a drone overhead and if they don’t like the look of things, put a drone into the crowd (missing the umpire, who was the target).
MASINT tries to sniff the ball leaving the glove, and when that fails asks for billions more.
OSINT uses Twitter to both follow the score and compile impressions of each player–it’s called crowd-soourcing.
The OSINT Marketplace will not fully develop until we constrain the corruption within the military-intelligence-industrial complex that substitutes “butts in seats” with clearances and precioius little else to offer, for tangible substance that can be easily shared across all boundaries. Butts in seats are a waste of time-energy. We must also stop paying more than once for anything, which requires a coherent requirements system, harmonzied contracting–we cannot even get one agency to have one OSINT contracting officer uber alles–and an OSINT “cloud” repositiory.
Jan Herring, then National Intelligence Officer (NIO) for Science & Technology (S&T) was the first modern OSINT pioneer, along with George Marling and other S&T analyts. After he retired he devleoped this triangle as part of his training offered via the Academy of Competitive Intelligence, still the best institution around.
First presented in Canada in 1994, this was the first depiction of how out-of-date the existing government intelligence communities are. They are hierarchical Weberian stove-pipes out of touch with reality and anyone who is actually steeped in reality.
The old intelligence paradigm is on the left–a very controlled hierarchical stovepipe process that is best characterized as twelve-month planning cycles followed by three-month writing cycles and eighteen-month editing cycles. Most of what we produce is too late, not right, and not useful.
The new intelligence paradigm makes the acme of skill “knowing who knows” (with a tip of the hat to Stevan Dedijer) and the ability to put a consumer with a question in touch with a source (or multiple sources) who can create new tailored knowledge in the instant.
This slide, less the bulls-eye that still does not exist, was created by the Collection Requirements & Evaluation Staff (CRES) of the Directorate of Intelligence (DI) at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in the mid to late 1990’s. It is still more or less on target, which should give the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) something to think about–MASINT is a bust, HUMINT is inept, and OSINT is underfunded. Time for leadership.