After conducting an 18-month study, this Task Force concluded that the cyber threat is serious and that the United States cannot be confident that our critical Information Technology (IT) systems will work under attack from a sophisticated and well-resourced opponent utilizing cyber capabilities in combination with all of their military and intelligence capabilities (a “full spectrum” adversary). While this is also true for others (e.g. Allies, rivals, and public/private networks), this Task Force strongly believes the DoD needs to take the lead and build an effective response to measurably increase confidence in the IT systems we depend on (public and at the same time decrease a would-be attacker’s confidence in the effectiveness of their capabilities to compromise DoD systems. This conclusion was developed upon several factors, including the success adversaries have had penetrating our networks; the relative ease that our Red Teams have in disrupting, or completely beating, our forces in exercises using exploits available on the Internet; and the weak cyber hygiene position of DoD networks and systems. The Task Force believes that the recommendations of this report create the basis for astrategy to address this broad and pervasive threat.
Phi Beta Iota: Defense can drop to $300 billion a year without any major issues. All it takes is integrity across the board. Military retirement–as with CIA and FBI and Secret Service retirement–is long over-due for severe change. In the military only 4% of the force suffers 80% of the casualties, and that is the only part of the force that merits early retirement while also correcting the criminal neglect of ill and disabled veterans that continues today. It merits observation that in the absence of a population strategy and policy, no retirement program can be said to have a strong foundation.
This book remains the single definitive reference on the Smart Nation Act as developed by Robert Steele in support of Congressman Rob Simmons (R-CT-02). As pointed out in Hamilton Bean’s recently published book, No More Secrets: Open Source Information and the Reshaping of US Intelligence the Open Source Agency (OSA) has become the subject of competing visions–on one side, those who favor accountability, effectiveness, transparency, and respect for the public…..on the other, those who favor corruption, profitable waste, secrecy, and the exclusion of the public.
Most recently, INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability provides the strategic, operational, tactical, and technical contexts for leveraging both Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) and Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making (M4IS2) in order to create a prosperous world at peace–and at one third the cost of what the USA spends on war today.
If an OSA is created–it can only be a success under diplomatic auspices as OMB has twice agreed (provided the Secretary of State asks for it as a sister agency to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), it could–it should–host the Multinational Decision Support Centre (MDSC) as proposed to DoD and implicitly called for in several Defense Science Board (DSB) reports. The MDSC could be located in Tampa, Florida, as the Coalition Coordination Centre has been, but staffed by intelligence professionals instead of logistics professionals.
Put most simply, an OSA restores intelligence and integrity to the entirety of the US Government, and changes everything about how we do policy, acquisitions, and operations. It restores the Republic.
Military operations in Afghanistan rely too much on intelligence gathered by unmanned drones, often exclude important publicly available data and do not focus enough on the recruitment of human agents, a Pentagon report says.
The report by the Defense Science Board, a panel that advises the Pentagon, says that the defense budget does not properly direct funding for open-source intelligence collection – information available to the public and gathered from a wide variety of sources, including academic papers and newspapers.
“Overall, these problems tend to exclude valuable sources of social and behavioral science data, including human geography,” according to the report.
It also says analysts often are overwhelmed by the volume of data collected by ball-shaped sensors outfitted on the bottom of military aircraft and from high-tech camera and radar pods placed on blimps and sometimes even telephone poles. While the technology has helped pinpoint and kill enemy combatants and to detect cellphone conversations on the battlefield, its created a “a crisis in processing, exploitation, and dissemination” of the information.
Phi Beta Iota: There is NOTHING NEW here. All of this was in General Al Gray’s seminal article, “Global Intelligence Challenges in the 1990’s” (American Intelligence Journal, Winter 1989-1990) and in the original modern intelligence reform book, ON INTELLIGENCE: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World (AFCEA, 2000). Joe Markowitz continues his polite urgings on the importance of open source intelligence, but in this corrupt environment he is as effective as Brent Scowcroft with Dick Cheney. The Department of Defense is OUT OF CONTROL. It lacks intelligence and integrity. This will not change until we get a Secretary of Defense committed to intelligence and integrity; OR we get an honest President, a Congress that fulfills its Article 1 responsibilities, and an Open Source Agency that can empower the public the way that Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Mason all agreed was necessary if the Republic were to be preserved.
See the General Accountability Office (GAO) report on the DoD “grid” of the future as being unaffordable, unachievable, unrealistic in its aspirations, and generally a waste of the taxpayer’s money. This is a great report, especially for the techno-inclined, and it has exactly one phrase that sums it all up but is not fully appreciated: “We are no longer network-enabled, we are network dependent.” So this report begs the question, why are we persisting in trying to fund, build, and maintain unilateral secret systems that do not allow multinational and interagency information-sharing and sense-making? Why are we not addressing the complexity, congestion, and easily disrupted global commerce grid upon which we rely so heavily? [See Stephen Carmel’s brilliant presentation on this point.}
This report is so out-of-character for the Defense Science Board (DSB), and yet so vital to the emerging concept of “full-spectrum” Human Intelligence (HUMINT), that we consider it a “must read.” It may well be one of the most important DSB reports of the decade. It inventories the mish-mash of endeavors that presume to collect, process, analyze, and exploit intelligence about humans and their social networks. Reading between the lines, it is clear that a) DoD has no idea what it is doing in this area; and b) DoD has no bench, anywhere. The report is beautifully put together and provides a fine high-level review of the importance of leadership, inter-agency sharing and understanding, internal education, the importance of recovering lessons learned from the past and not lsing the hard-earned lessons re-learned. We’ve had this report printed, it will be read more than once. Of greatest interest from a Public Intelligence point of view as well as a HUMINT point of view (see our draft paper HUMAN INTELLIGENCE (HUMINT): All Humans, All Minds, All the Time), is the repeat–that’s important–they are repeating prior recommendation in prior repor(s) of the need for a Center for Global Engagement. The downside is that this will become another Human Terrain Team (HTT) turd in the punchbowl. However, if it were handled properly, as a sister element to the emerging Defense Intelligence Open Source Program (DIOSPO), and it were fully multinational as briefing to the Coalition Coordination Center (CCC) in Tampa, then it might be a huge help to the Secretary across all fronts including acquisition and Whole of Government Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Campaigning (PPBC).
There are five bottom-lines on remote sensors, this report addresses four of them:
1. Managing sensors together adds value that cannot be achieved from advances in technology.
2. Meta-tagging the data at source (something we recommended in 1988) enables a huge jump in both sensor processing and inter-sensor sense-making.
3. All satellites are vulnerable to laser attacks generally, Chinese attacks specifically.
4. Close-in matters more as hard targets get harder, deepeer, and more nuanced.
The report does not appear to address the complete lack of “full spectrum” processing. We excel at “one of” multi-media integration efforts, we still cannot integrate all information in all mediums all the time, and especially not in near-real-time.
Strategic Communications became the buzzword of the decade, along with Information Operations (IO), and it is still sorting itself out. We have a problem: you cannot manipulate perceptions much out of whack with reality–reality has a way of being pervasive, intrusive, compelling, and inevitable. Still, this report was very important in part because it demonstrated how very little we know about the human beings and the societies we are trying to influence. There are other contradictions, one of them humourously depicted to the left here, from our Strategic Communicators in SWA.