Review: Analyzing Intelligence: National Security Practitioners’ Perspectives Second Edition

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Roger George

5.0 out of 5 stars A Status Quo Book, Improved from 1st Edition, Still Pulls Punches, October 30, 2014

This is a very fine book, not least because of its inclusion of Jack Davis (search for <analytic tradecraft> as well as Carmen Medina (see them both at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog ), but it must still be categorized as a status quo book. Despite improvements from the 1st edition the authors still pull some punches — I dare hope that by the 3rd edition — and the book is certainly worthy of going forward — they will get tougher, perhaps in a new final chapter — Where Did We Go Wrong, Who Did We Ignore, How Do We Get It Right Now?

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Oct 30

Search: The Future of OSINT [is M4IS2-Multinational]

COIN20 Trip Report

Paradise Found

The future of OSINT is M4IS2.

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.

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Nov 25

Worth a Look: The Infrastructurist

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Sewer Economics

Sewer Economics

Here is the bit that got our attention:

What’s the financial argument? You reap $7 dollars in economic rewards for every dollar you spend in basic sanitation. That makes it a really, really good investment. In the developing world, it may cost a couple hundred dollars to install a decent latrine, but think of what you save in terms of health costs and what you would otherwise lose when your workers are off with dysentery or whatever. And in developed world we’re learning that if you don’t continue investing in infrastructure you just going to pay a lot more later. It’s that simple.

Author Rose George

Author Rose George

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

We have added this site to the Righteous Site blogroll.  There are gems–and humor, throughout–that reflect a remarkable public intelligence in relation to national infrastructure.

What is clear is that “the numbers” that are presented to the public for any given public works project are those that favor the decision that has already been made, one based on corporate numbers that seek to spend public funds to create capabilities that extract profit from the public at public expense.

Public intelligence is how we get government back into the business of sserving the public rather than serving as the wealth transfer mechanism from individual taxation to corporate profiteering.

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Sep 6

Review: Analyzing Intelligence: Origins, Obstacles, and Innovations

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Of, By, and For USA Status Quo Bubbas–Essential but Very Partial

July 14, 2009
Roger Z. George
This is a very fine book, not least because of its inclusion of Jack Davis (search for <analytic tradecraft> as well as Carmen Medina (see her presentation to global audience via oss.net/LIBRARY), but in its essentials this is a book of, by, and for the status quo ante bubbas–the American bubbas, I might add.

If you are an analyst or a trainer of analysts or a manager of analysts, this is assuredly essential reading, but it perpetuates my long-standing concerns about American intelligence:

1) Lack of a strategic analytic model (see Earth Intelligence Network)

2) Lack of deep historical and multi-cultural appreciation

3) Lack of a deep understanding and necessary voice on the complete inadequacy of collection sources, the zero presence of processing and lack of desktop analytic tools, and the need for ABSOLUTE devotion to the truth, not–as is still the case, “within the reasonable bounds of dishonesty” aka “slam dunk”

4) Lack of integrity in so many ways, not least of which is the analytic abject acceptance of the false premise that the best intelligence is top secret/sensitive compartmented information–see the online CounterPunch piece on “Intelligence for the President–AND Everyone Else.”

Below are ten books I recommend as substantive complements to this book:
The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past
Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’
Fog Facts : Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin (Nation Books)
Lost Promise
The Age of Missing Information (Plume)
Informing Statecraft
Bureaucratic Politics And Foreign Policy
A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility–Report of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change
Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America

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Jul 14