Good Intentions, Some Misrepresentation, July 5, 2008
Arnaud de Borchgrave
The basic idea being executed by CSIS is sound: identify top experts and get them to discuss the terrorist threat and particularly how it is morphing and developing.
Unfortunately, CSIS does not do citation analysis, and builds its networks the same way the US intelligence community does, drawing on a limited number of individuals known to the expert in charge.
Also unfortunately, CSIS does not do multi-lingual capture and analysis, something the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS)/Open Source Center (OSC) is finally trying to get a grip on, but they lack the expert linguists across the 12 variants of Arabic and the other 32 languages necessary to fully map socio-economic and ideo-cultural mass movements and micro-gangs.
At 84 pages this rates four stars for good intentions. In the comment I provide a URL for the Earth Intelligence Network. At the menu item labeled EarthWiki, the Amazon reader can see the top authorities identified by citation analysis for all ten of the high-level threats facing humanity (terrorism is ninth, and not as a threat but rather for its potential in causing mass casualties).
Marginal Across the Board–26 pages of pablum, July 5, 2008
Arnaud De Borchgrave
I went to the meeting at which this was handed out, and left when I realized that most of those in attendance were retirees or students, and this book managed to discuss a topic I and 749 others have been pioneering since 1988, without ever once mentioning anyone else’s effort.
I am not easily outraged, but this “immaculate conception” is on the one hand, encouraging (it only took CSIS 20 years to catch up with the rest of us) and on the other, infuriating because the arrogance and myopia of those who put this booklet (note the page count–26 pages) forward is unbounded on the one hand and so narrow on the other as to be clinically blind.
NewsFlash: Singapore is the only country that listened to me when I did my world tour in 1994, and they are well on their way to being the first “smart nation” but they are making the common mistake of believing in technology as a substitute for creating the world brain with real humans. The Nordic countries are close behind, and have pioneered Multinational Multiagency Multidisciplinary Multidomain Information Sharing (M4IS) and public sense-making (24 of us are pioneering public intelligence in the public interest)
CSIS has enormous potential that is failing to contribute to the public dialog because they lack the discipline and humility to reach out to multi-cultural pioneers. Hubris is fatal.