Intelligence Primer: How to Inform Policy

Articles & Chapters

Intelligence Primer: How to Inform Policy

Robert David Steele
Adjunct Faculty
Marine Corps University
Cleared for Publication 16 March 1992

NOTE: For reasons unknown, this version did not include endnotes. It draws heavily on the work of Jack Davis and Greg Treverton. Proper credit to them can be found in ON INTELLIGENCE: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World, Fairfax, VA: Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, 2000.

1992 National Intelligence Council: Open Source Task Force–A Vision for the Future

Director of National Intelligence et al (IC), Historic Contributions, History of Opposition

1992 was a good year.  Everyone tried to do the right thing, but the forces of passive aggressive opposition were over-whelming.  Within the military, only the U.S. Marine Corps took this seriiously, and within the U.S. Intelligence Community (more like an archipelago) only the Defense Intelligence Agency–and within that agency only one man, Paul Wallner, took this seriously.  Everywhere we went, “nice to have, not invented here, certainly not interested in redirecting funds” was the refrain.  Below is a decent effort by decent people.

First Real Effort
First Real Effort

1992: USMC Critique of CIA/FBIS Plan for Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)

History of Opposition

After four years of advocacy by the US Marine Corps, in 1992 the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) agreed to take action on Open Source Intelligence (OSINT).  As would be natural, the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) was asked to provide a report on behalf of a Joint Open Source Task Force.  As is the custom at CIA, everything having to do with OSINT is classified.   Below is the UNCLASSIFIED Marine Corps evaluation of the Final Report.  So very little has changed within CIA and FBIS in 20 years that most of this evaluation–and especially those aspects of this evaluation pertaining to the CIA/FBIS (or Open Source Center/OSC) ability to a) understand the military and b) meet military needs, remain valid as a starting point for discussing how DoD and other elements of the US Government not now satisfied by CIA or OSC, should address their needs for OSINT in support of policy, acquisition, and operations.

USMC Critique
USMC Critique

Winn Schwartau: “Digital Pearl Harbor” Testimony to Congress, 27 June 1991

IO Deeds of War, IO Impotency
Winn Schwartau

Winn Schwartau Congressional Testimony Digital Pearl Harbor, 27 June 1991

Hearing before the Subcommittee on Technology and Competitiveness of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives, 102nd Congress, 1st Session, June 27, 1991 [No. 42].

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