The future of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is Multinational, Multifunctional, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing & Sense-Making (M4IS2).
The following, subject to the approval of Executive and Congressional leadership, are suggested hueristics (rules of thumb):
Rule 1: All Open Source Information (OSIF) goes directly to the high side (multinational top secret) the instant it is received at any level by any civilian or military element responsive to global OSINT grid. This includes all of the contextual agency and mission specific information from the civilian elements previously stove-piped or disgarded, not only within the US, but ultimately within all 90+ participating nations.
Rule 2: In return for Rule 1, the US IC agrees that the Department of State (and within DoD, Civil Affairs) is the proponent outside the wire, and the sharing of all OSIF originating outside the US IC is at the discretion of State/Civil Affairs without secret world caveat or constraint. OSIF collected by US IC elements is NOT included in this warrant.
Retired Army Brigadier General, with extensive UN and NATO experience. After a 38 year career, retired from the Canadian Forces in 2001. Currently work as an analyst in the Library of Parliament supporting the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence, the Senate Sub-Committee on Veterans Affairs and the Canada-NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Also pursuing a PhD in War Studies with the Royal Military College of Canada.
Phi Beta Iota: BGen Jim Cox, CA was the Deputy N-2 for the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) which is also the central headquarters element for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). If there is one person who can be identified as the “do-er” who took Capt Patrick Tyrrell’s paper on the need for NATO OSINT, and ultimately mandated, funded, and saw through the creation of the three core NATO conceptual publications on OSINT, it would be Brigadier Cox.
Without the leadership of then Capt Patrick Tyrrell, RN OBE, these handbooks would not exist today. He started the ball rolling, BGen Jim Cox, CA, then NATO and SHAPE Deputy J-2 organized a lecture to all the flag officers in charge of military intelligence, and finally directed SACLANT, then led by General William Kernan, USA, to create these first multinational doctrinal guides. Under the direct supervision of Admiral Sir William Pewone, RN, this was done over the course of two years. Below is the white paper and lecture that started it all.