Robert David STEELE Vivas
SHORT URL: http://tinyurl.com/Steele-Analysis
I was thinking this morning about how little has changed since I was a founding member of the Advanced Information Processing and Analysis Steering Group (AIPASG) and also a member of the Information Handling Committee (IHC) for the US secret world (late 1980′s early 1990′s).
I note in passing my continued dismay as I see — year after year — papers that address the problem without doing their homework. In relation to just two of the eight factors below (proessing), I note that one paper, “Top Ten Needs for Intelligence Analysis Tool Development“(Batelle, 2009) did a nice day’s work without ever discovering the original four requirements documents (CIA, USMC, 1989). Worse, I am seeing papers today about to be published, that themselves take the 2009 article at face value without having a clue that there is so much more work that has been done….and been ignored by intelligence community seniors. Everyone goes through the motions. NGA means well but it will never accomplish what it claims to be already be doing. Ask them when their cave will be at the White House. At OMB. At CIA or DIA. At a theater command. In Afghanistan. The truthful answer is “not in my lifetime.”
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NGA’s ideas are very expensive non-inter-operable, bandwidth-impossible, non-scalable day dreams. Saying — as was said today at AFIO — that the NRO is responsible for all the big data hard stuff — the pipes, the speeds, the feeds — is an unprofessional cop-out. Even the idea of reversing the 75-25 ratio between legacy government software and COTS is wrong headed — only open source everything is affordable, interoperable, and scalable. What NGA leadership does not know about nuts and bolts is troubling. If the next USDI goes down this path, our analysts will continue to be the redheaded step kids locked in the closet with a sock in their mouth — and our strategists, policy-makers, acquisition managers, and operational commanders will continue to be (as Mike Flynn was and remains) screwed by a system that cares more about keeping the money moving than it does about serving our troops and those that train, organize, and equip our national capabilities. CrisisMappers, humanitarian UAVs, non-US commercially-created geospatial, and unfettered multinational open sources are all part of the solution — and are all banned from discussion within the US secret world.
When things are not going well, until you get the truth out on the table, no matter how ugly, you are not in a position to deal with it. Bob Seelert, Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide (New York)
Below is my rough take on where the US Intelligence Community stands today on analytic excellence. The green outside the IC borders represents all of the possibilities that are actively and inexpensively present.
I worked with four quadrants, as is my custom.
Quadrant A: Source Diversity and Source Integrity
Quadrant B: Processing Big Data and Processing Desktop
Quadrant C: Analyst Education & Training and Analyst Outreach
Quadrant D: Analyst Access to Deciders and Deciders Integrity
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