ROBERT STEELE: There is only one person who is both totally committed to President Donald Trump and who has the brains and the balls to be the next Director of National Intelligence. His name is Mike Flynn. The time has come for him to come back into the fight.
Here are the five reforms he can implement in service to the President with results well in time to impact on the 2020 election:
This is the author’s preliminary draft of the second of three monographs focused on the future of the US Army as an expeditionary force in a complex world that is rapidly decentralizing while also facing major development challenges. This second monograph (the first presented a notional Grand Strategy for discussion) presents the holistic analytic model and the resulting strategic generalizations from the Marine Corps’ original study, Overview of Planning and Programming Factors for Expeditionary Operations in the Third World (Marine Corps Combat Development Command, March 1990). The model is neither complete nor current – it is a starting point for reflection. A new comprehensive model is needed that supports Grand Strategy not only across the D3 – Defense, Diplomacy, and Development – planning and programming domains, but across Whole of Government (WoG) as well, and ideally, also into the multinational and “eight tribe” conceptual space as well – future operations demand the full integration of both estimative intelligence and operational inclusion of all elements of society, not just government – military.
Intentional Community is an inclusive term for ecovillages, cohousing communities, residential land trusts, communes, student co-ops, urban housing cooperatives, intentional living, alternative communities, cooperative living, and other projects where people strive together with a common vision.
This web site serves the growing communities’ movement, providing resources for starting a community, finding a community home, living in community, and creating more community in your life.
NUUK, Greenland — The eight Arctic nations pledged Thursday to create international protocols to prevent and clean up offshore oil spills in areas of the region that are becoming increasingly accessible to exploration because of a changing climate.
The Arctic Council — the United States, Russia, Canada, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden — said the protocols would be modeled on a separate agreement signed here in Nuuk on Thursday to coordinate search-and-rescue operations over 13 million square miles of ocean.
Phi Beta Iota: This is potentially world-changing, but pedestrian at this time. Legal and logistics arrangements institutionalize old ways of doing things–slow, expensive, often inappropriate ways. Much more exciting would be for the nations to agree to create an Arctic M4IS2 Centre, perhaps based in Copenhagen or in Oslo, with an emphasis on sustainable energy and climate change to begin with, but rapidly filling out to provide holistic analytics across all threats and helpful to the harmonization of spending across all policies. Such a center could be innovative from the first day if it includes all eight tribes of intelligence in its organizational and outreach schema, creating a model for both the United Nations and for each of the continental political organizations.
Humanity and technology continue to co-evolve at an ever increasing pace, leaving traditional institutions (and mindsets) calcified and out of date. A new paradigm is emerging, where everything is increasingly connected and the nature of collaboration, business and work are all being reshaped. In turn, our ideas about society, culture, geographic boundaries and governance are being forced to adapt to a new reality.
While some fear the loss of control associated with these shifts, others are exhilarated by the new forms of connectivity and commerce that they imply. Transactions and interactions are growing faster and more frictionless, giving birth to what I call a “superfluid” economy.
Business will not return to usual. So let’s discuss 4 key concepts to help us better understand the shifts that are underway:
1. Quantifying and mapping everything
2. Everyone has access to the internet
3. Self-organizing expands
4. Peer-to-peer exchange changes the future of money
SAN FRANCISCO — Inside a darkened theater a viewer floats in a redwood forest displayed with Imax-like clarity on a cavernous overhead screen.
The hovering sensation gives way to vertigo as the camera dives deeper into the forest, approaches a branch of a giant redwood tree, and then plunges first into a single leaf and then into an individual cell. Inside the cell the scene is evocative of the 1966 science fiction movie “Fantastic Voyage,” in which Lilliputian humans in a minuscule capsule take a medical journey through a human body.
There is an important difference — “Life: A Cosmic Journey,” a multimedia presentation now showing at the new Morrison Planetarium here at the California Academy of Sciences, relies not just on computer animation techniques, but on a wealth of digitized scientific data as well.
OCHA, UNOSAT and NetHope have been collaborating with the Volunteer Technical Community (VTC) specifically CrisisMappers, Crisis Commons, Open Street Map, and the Google Crisis Response Team over the past week.
The CrisisMappers Standby Task Force has been undertaking a mapping of social media, news reports and official situation reports from within Libya and along the borders at the request of OCHA. The Task Force is also aiding in the collection and mapping of 3W information for the response. UNOSAT is kindly hosting the Common Operational Datasets to be used during the emergency. Interaction with these groups is being coordinated by OCHA’s Information Services Section.
The public version of this map does not include personal identifiers and does not include descriptions for the reports mapped. This restriction is for security reasons. All information included on this map is derived from information that is already publicly available online (see Sources tab).
In the midst of this transition in Libya, one of the most devastating earthquakes in centuries hit northern Japan, causing one of the most destructive tsunamis in recent memory. Just hours after the earthquake, a member of Japan’s OpenStreetMap community launched a dedicated Crisis Map for the mega-disaster. A few hours later, Japanese students at The Fletcher School (which is where the Ushahidi-Haiti Crisis Map was launched) got in touch with the Tokyo-based OpenStreetMap team to provide round-the-clock crisis mapping support.
Over 4,000 reports have been mapped in just 6 days. That’s an astounding figure. Put differently, that’s over 600 reports per day, or one report almost every two minutes for 24 hours straight over 6 days. What’s important about the Japan Crisis Map is that the core operations are being run directly from Tokyo and the team there is continuing to scale it’s operations. It’s very telling that the Tokyo team did not require any support from the Standby Volunteer Task Force. They’re doing an excellent job in the midst of the biggest disaster they’ve ever faced. I’m just amazed.
In a recent trip to China, I discovered something of the direction of the national policy of that country towards the development of the Internet. In a speech in Wuxi, the Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao spoke of the drive to build the “internet of things” and provided the interesting equation:
Internet + Internet of Things = Wisdom of the Earth
The parallels between this statement of policy and the GeoWeb are striking. The GeoWeb has been viewed from a vareity of perspectives, a few of these are:
As the integration of all business processes that deal with the physical world, i.e. that deal with our understanding of, and action in/on, the physical world.
As a Web of interconnected documents that describe the physical world.
As a Web of systems by which we control and manage our actions and interact with the physical world.
As a planetary accounting system that helps us all understand the “state of things” at the local, regional, and global level – whether that be the state of arctic polar bear habitat, or that of crowding in the city of Mumbai.
As a sort of Digital Nervous System for the planet that alerts us to changes in the state of our world.
Berto Jongman is one of the top Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) pioneers. Word Press search has its good and bad features. Good is that it updates instantly. Bad is that it prefers simple searches e.g. <Jongman map> without the brackets. Neutral is the fact that for older references, you will have to wade through every more current reference that cites the older reference. If there were an Open Source Agency, the first three things it would do would be to commission an update of this map integrating all ten high-level threats; create a global intelligence, policy, and budget council for each of the thirty factors using citation analysis and making it multinational; and create the EarthGame with Policy-Budget Citizen Outreach.
Social entrepreneur challenging conventional wisdom
Samasource–microwork (small digital tasks that can be done on an inexpensive computers).
Building 21st Century assembly line that can break down massive tasks (e.g. updating addresses for Google maps, or translating emergency messages from Creole to English). Won contracts with Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft.
15% premium for socially-conscious companies, AND competitive on cost, quality, and turnaround time.
Small scale digital tasks did not exist before.
Transforming lives, especially women, young men, and refugees. $5 a day is very much better than local norms, and buys an active English-speaking brain with hands able to do quality work.
IMPORTANT: Developing world is out-pacing USA and West generally in extending Internet infrastructure to the poor–centers created, humans come in, also doing viewing (Gorgon Stare, take note!), creating logs of store videos on shopper buying habits, anything that can be noticed and logged by a human–$5 a day.
Phi Beta Iota: We could not, in a million years, have found a better “off-set” to the USAF Gorgon Stare program. This micro-tasking, combining human brains and hands with Internet access, is one of the most profoundly intelligent and socio-economically useful ideas we have seen in our lifetimes (there are 800 of us here). BRAVO.
The American Way of War: If You Can See Everything, Can You Know Anything?
With Air Force’s new drone, ‘we can see everything,’in today’s Washington Post (attached below) is a good example of how the high-cost addiction to techno war is running amok. One thing ought to be clear in Afghanistan: A tiny adversary armed with the most primitive weapons, and a command and control system made up of prayer rugs and cell phones, has brought the high tech US military to a stalemate … or even worse, the looming specter a grand-strategic defeat, because we are becoming economically and morally exhausted by the futility of this war. It does not matter whether it is President Obama presiding over a vapid strategic review or a low ranking grunt on point in Afghanistan — the central problem facing the United States in Afghanistan is the absence of what the Germans call fingerspitzengefühlor the feeling in the fingerprints needed for an intuitive feel for or connection with one’s environment.
As the American strategist Colonel John Boyd (USAF Ret.) showed, fingerspitzengefühl is absolutely essential to the kind of synthetic (as opposed to analytic) thinking that is necessary for quick, relevant, and ultimately successful decision making in war, where quick decisions and sharp actions at all levels must be made and harmonized in an ever-present atmosphere of menace, uncertainty, mistrust, fear, and chaos that impedes decisive action.
To paraphrase Clausewitz, these difficulties multiply to produce a kind of friction, and therefore, even though everything in war is simple, the simplest thing is difficult. Clausewitz considered friction is the atmosphere of war. Nevertheless, according to the Post, the Air Force is about to deploy to Afghanistan a “revolutionary airborne surveillance system called Gorgon Stare, which will be able to transmit live video images of physical movement across an entire town.”
Quoting Maj. Gen. James O. Poss, the Air Force’s assistant deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, “Gorgon Stare will be looking at a whole city, so there will be no way for the adversary to know what we’re looking at, and we can see everything.” Nirvana. While the Post dutifully reports a smattering of opposing views, it misses the ramifications of the central idea epitomized by General Poss’s confident assertion: namely, how the American ideology of techno war assumes it can negate the human need for fingerspitzengefühl on a battlefield.
General Poss’s confidence suggests quite clearly he believes seeing everything enables one to know everything. This a stunning theory of knowledge. It is also a classic example of the American military’s unquestioned belief that complex technologies coupled to step-by-step analytical procedures can negate the friction of combat to solve any problem in war. Lifting the fog of war is, in fact, a phrase frequently used in contractor brochures touting the efficacy of these technologies. This reflects theory of knowledge — really an unquestioned ideology — that views war as fundamentally a procedural problem of methodical analytical thinking, as opposed to its messy reality of being in large part an art of synthetic thinking.
Phi Beta Iota: The US Government continues to be chaotic in part because its civilian leaders simply do not know what they do not know. They have the best of intentions, but have been promoted into a new world far removed from the world imprinted on them in their formative years. There are four ways to address global engagement needs:
1. With government employees performing inherently governmental functions. PROBLEM: The US Government has become hollow, with most of the experienced personnel scheduled for retirement in 2012 (if they don’t retire we lose what is left of the middle), and the bulk of the population, e.g. at CIA, having less than six years experience and being phenomenally ignorant of the real world. An inter-agency cadre for D&D does not exist.
2. With contractors hired to government specifications on a cost plus basis. This is what killed the Pentagon–decades of engineering responsive to military specifications on a cost plus basis, with no accountability anywhere. As we have seen in Iraq and elsewhere, individual instances aside, contractors are generally too expensive, very under-qualified, and often a major political risk hazard. They also loot our qualified manpower–in both intelligence and special forces, we have lost too many good people to bad jobs with too much money.
3. Multinational government task forces in which we plan, program, and budget for using the US military as a “core force” to provide intelligence, operations (mobility, logistics), and communications, and we default to unclassified information-sharing and sense-making. This allows culturally and linguistically qualified individuals to work at the highest levels of performance for the lowest per capita cost.
4. Multinational hybrid task forces in which we plan, program, and budget for using the US military as the “core force” to provide intelligence, operations (mobility, logistics), and communications, and we default to unclassified information-sharing and sense-making. This increases by a factor of SEVEN the number of culturally and linguistically qualified individuals to work at the highest performance levels for the lowest per capita cost with the greatest possible flexibility in covering all needs–the “eight tribes” (academia, civil society, commercial, government–all levels, law enforcement, media, military, non-governmental) become a “whole” force, using shared information and shared mostly unclassified decision support (intelligence) to achieve both a common view of the battlefield, and to most efficiently connect micro-needs in the AOR with micro-gifts from an infinite range of givers.
The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review is at least 20 years too late. It means well. It is both delusional and incomplete. Delusional because no one part of government can become effective until the Office of Management and Budget (OmB) learns to manage again, and incomplete because State simple does not “get” bona fide multinational operations or recognize the “eight tribes.” There is a small seed crystal here, one that could flourish if the Department of Defense (DoD)–or any significant element of DoD such as the US Army–were to “flip the tortilla” and recognize that the greatest contribution DoD can make in the next 20 years is to get a grip on reality, get a grip on open spectrum, open source intelligence, and open source software, and serve as the “center” for Whole of Government planning, programming, and budgeting, toward the end of creating a prosperous world at peace via low-cost low-risk multinational hybrid task forces that use information and intelligence as a substitute for wealth, violence, time, and space.
NOTE: On some systems links above appear to be underlining, they are actually links.
The International Council for Science (ICSU) is spearheading a consultative Visioning Process, in cooperation with the International Social Science Council (ISSC), to explore options and propose implementation steps for a holistic strategy on Earth system research. Five Grand Challenges were identified during step 1 of the process. If addressed in the next decade, these Grand Challenges will deliver knowledge to enable sustainable development, poverty eradication, and environmental protection in the face of global change.
The details of the Grand Challenges are contained in the document ‘Earth System Science for Global Sustainability: The Grand Challenges’, representing input from many individuals and institutions.
INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL FOR SCIENCE – PRESS RELEASE
Thursday 11 November 2010
Scientific Grand Challenges identified to address global sustainability
Paris, France—The international scientific community has identified five Grand Challenges that, if addressed in the next decade, will deliver knowledge to enable sustainable development, poverty eradication, and environmental protection in the face of global change. The Grand Challenges for Earth system science, published today, are the result of broad consultation as part of a visioning process spearheaded by the International Council for Science (ICSU) in cooperation with the International Social Science Council (ISSC).
The consultation highlighted the need for research that integrates our understanding of the functioning of the Earth system—and its critical thresholds—with global environmental change and socio-economic development.
The five Grand Challenges are:
Forecasting—Improve the usefulness of forecasts of future environmental conditions and their consequences for people.
Observing—Develop, enhance and integrate the observation systems needed to manage global and regional environmental change.
Confining—Determine how to anticipate, recognize, avoid and manage disruptive global environmental change.
Responding—Determine what institutional, economic and behavioural changes can enable effective steps toward global sustainability.
Innovating—Encourage innovation (coupled with sound mechanisms for evaluation) in developing technological, policy and social responses to achieve global sustainability.