Robert Steele: Intelligent Management of Intelligence Agencies, and the New Craft of Intelligence

Robert David STEELE Vivas

I have begun drafting my portion of the new Handbook of Intelligence Studies (Routledge, 2013), it is a chapter early on entitled “The Craft of Intelligence.”  I pick up where Allen Dulles and Sherman Kent left off.  My graphic on Intelligence Maturity captures the essence of my thinking at the strategic level, but of course there is more to come, including the desperate need to restore integrity to all that we do.

In 1988 I ghost-wrote for the Commandant of  the Marine Corps an article that he enhanced and signed, “Global Intelligence Challenges in the 1990’s.”  At that time my focus was on the difference between the conventional threat and the emerging unconventional threat.

Now my focus is on the purpose and process of intelligence as decision-support.  We must — we will — move from secret intelligence for the few to open intelligence for the many; from expensive centralized largely worthless intelligence to free and low-cost distributed intelligence relevant to every person at every level on every issue; from intelligence as window-dressing for channeling $80 billion a year to banks and corporations, to intelligence as an integral element of every aspect of a Smart Nation.

Today Owl sent me a link to an article, Philip E. Tetlock and Barabara A Mellers, “Intelligent Management of Intelligence Agencies,” American Psychologist, 2011, pp. 1-12.  I  respect Owl, so I printed it and read it twice.

This article is completely out of touch with reality and the authors have not bothered to familiarize themselves with the literatures pertinent to their endeavor.  Out of 89 cited sources 12 are non-intelligence-related prior publications of the lead author, 1 is a prior publication of the second author, and 11 are ostensibly about intelligence but truly marginal selections.  So 12% sources on the subject, 13% self-citation, and 75% escoteric psycho-babble irrelevant to the actual challenge.  As an intelligence professional, I am offended that two ostensibly erudite individuals would dare to publish this trype without even a semblance of understanding of the subject under discussion.

See Also:

Robert Steele: The Craft of Intelligence – OLD vs. NEW

Here are a few comments and additional links:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off on Robert Steele: Intelligent Management of Intelligence Agencies, and the New Craft of Intelligence
Feb 10

Mini-Me: End of the Delusional UAV Era

Who? Mini-Me?

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) rose to prominence in an era of uncontested budget growth (including a borrowed trillion dollars a year) and uncontested airspace.  That era is now over.

There will still be a place for mico-UAVs, especially in direct support of small unit operations, but neither the US military nor the US secret intelligence world consider infantry solutions to be “expensive enough” to be worth doing well.

For those who lack the sophistication to hack control over a UAV and force its undamaged landing, Electromagnetic Pulse rays remain the generic counter-measure that will proliferate rapidly.


Point and Shoot...

Pakistan: Any unmanned aerial vehicles, including US UAVs, entering Pakistani air space will be treated as hostile and shot down per a new defense policy, a senior Pakistani official said on 10 December.

Comment: Pakistani forces lack the capabilities to execute the directive as announced, but the loss of one or two drones would be enough to curtail the program because of the expense from multiple aircraft losses. The program is not sustainable in contested airspace. This declaration has been coming for a very long time.

Algeria-US-France: For the record. US and French unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will not be allowed to fly over Algeria’s southern airspace to counter weapons smuggling from Libya, according to El Khabar newspaper. Algeria will increase its reconnaissance of UAV air surveillance operations.

Comment: The Iranians will be quick to disseminate any insights they developed in downing a US reconnaissance drone. Algeria might not yet have Iran’s insights but it is showing that it is open to Iranian help.


See Also:

DefDog: Iran Hijacks US Drone Shows Film + RECAP

Dolphin: Their Drones, Our Drones, and EMP Rays

Comments Off on Mini-Me: End of the Delusional UAV Era
Dec 13

Howard Rheingold: Understanding Search Algorithms

Howard Rheingold

Digital Literacy: Search Algorithms are Mechanical Turks

John Jones

DMLcentral, December 8, 2011

One of the most pervasive features of computing culture are algorithms, the sets of processes or instructions contained in computer code that determine how a particular task will be completed. While algorithms power everything from your automatic coffee maker to your smart phone, because they are frequently hidden from their users, it can be easy to ignore these algorithms and their impact on how we gain access to information.

One of the areas where algorithms have the most impact is on our information search and retrieval practices. Online search is dominated by complex searching algorithms, the most well-known of which is Google’s PageRank. While there are many different ways of thinking about these search algorithms, from the standpoint of digital literacy it is fascinating to see the extent to which these alogrithms have been accepted as reliable stand-ins for other forms of information seeking. One reason for this substitution is that they are, on the whole, quite good at finding and serving us the information that we want. Another is the long-standing cultural assumption that computers (and many other forms of technology) are objective means of accessing information.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off on Howard Rheingold: Understanding Search Algorithms
Dec 9

DefDog: InfoWeek Holds Retirement Party for Microsoft


Discussed this the other day with a couple of like minded folks, one noted that his Apple devices are synched when he walks into the house, his son’s is synched with all his school work when he enters a classroom.  There is little use of Word or like minded products, the school uses YouTube, Twitter, etc.

With the advent of iPad into the business market (the Air Force just
jettisoned its paper flight manuals for pilots and replaced them with

Blue screen of death fades into the sunset.  Enjoy.

Microsoft Office, Enjoy Your Retirement

This nearly 30-year-old product should be headed for the sunset villa in this age of smartphones, cloud computing, and Facebook.

By Eric Lundquist   InformationWeek
December 05, 2011 08:30 AM

Please join me for the retirement party for the productivity software suite.

Our good friend word/spreadsheet/presentation has been an exemplary employee, even as he gained a few pounds as contact management, calendaring, and all sorts of other bits and pieces of the office routine were piled on. And while we can have fun arguing about which was the first such software product (Framework in 1984, Lotus Symphony at about the same time), we can all agree that Microsoft Office started occupying the corner office in 1989. So thank you very much for your service. Here’s your gold watch. Now go play some golf.

It’s hard to believe that a nearly 30-year-old product is still synonymous with office productivity during a period that has included the rise of the Internet, smartphones, cloud computing, and Facebook. So with the retirement party over, what’s the shape of the new office suite?

Read full article.

Phi Beta Iota:  Microsoft is now officially brain-dead.  The departure of Ray Ozzie was its final heart attack.  OpenBTS, Twitter,, and Wiki-think Wiki-work are all moving in interesting directions.  Microsoft was an industrial-era “stand-alone” approach to human productivity, and it retarded the world for decades because of its hostility to third-party vendors and its constant mutation of Application Program Interfaces (API) as predatory toll-booths.

See Also:

2012 Reflexivity = Integrity: Toward Earth/Life 4.0

2010 M4IS2 Briefing for South America — 2010 M4IS2 Presentacion por Sur America (ANEPE Chile)

2008: World Brain as EarthGame (Full Text Online for Google Translate)

Open Source Agency: Executive Access Point

Reference: Advanced Cyber-IO (First Cut)

Reference: The Web as Epoch B Leadership

Review: The World Is Open–How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education

Robert Steele: Microsoft Operation Cloudburst

Worth a Look: 1989 All-Source Fusion Analytic Workstation–The Four Requirements Documents

Comments Off on DefDog: InfoWeek Holds Retirement Party for Microsoft
Dec 8

Robert Steele: Twitter Burns Google / Facebook

Robert David STEELE Vivas

This is fascinating at multiple levels.  Neither Google nor Facebook have been effective at helping humans “make sense,” now it appears that Twitter–perhaps combined with–just might be a hair away from creating the skeleton of the World Brain.

Twitter Just Fired A Cannonball At Facebook And Google+

Matt Rosoff

Business Insider, 8 December 2011

Twitter is revamping the service with personal Twitter profile pages, a new timeline that includes rich media and other related informationembedded into tweets, and easier search for information based on @ symbols (usernames) and hash tags.

Talking at Twitter’s unfinished new headquarters building in San Francisco, founder Jack Dorsey and CEO Dick Costolo explained that the changes are meant to make Twitter more accessible to everybody.

Their three goals:

  • Expose the “universe within every tweet.” Tweets aren’t just 140 characters — there’s also context like retweets and replies, and embedded content like videos, images, and songs. Today, accessing this material still feels like opening a “side drawer,” said Costolo.
  • Make Twitter less obscure to use. Today, the @ and # symbols are too obscure — people don’t know what they mean. This contributes to a lot of people visiting Twitter but not really participating actively. The redesign surfaces these symbols and makes them the gateway to find out more infrmation about people and topics on the surface.
  • Share it with everybody. The world has 7 billion people. Most of those people are “not yet on Twitter,” said Costolo. The redesign will roll out to mobile devices simultaneously, and is streamlined to load up to 500% faster.

The trick is doing this without adding too much complexity. As Dorsey put it, “simplification is the key here.”


Comments Off on Robert Steele: Twitter Burns Google / Facebook
Dec 8