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The existing US definitions of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) are severely deficient at multiple levels.  See the official definitions below the line.  Here is a proper definition devised with Joe Markowitz and others who actually know something about the discipline.

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is decision-support (an output not an input) that integrates open sources and methods including all forms of direct human knowledge elicited by intermediaries without subterfuge.  It combines direct access to indigenous humans, gray literature, and the deliberate exploitation of both published and unpublished (field) human experts, advanced multi-disciplinary and multi-domain processing and integration or deconfliction, and advanced visualization and other methods for communicating context and insight to the supported decision-maker(s).  OSINT is not the same as Open Source Information (OSIF), which is where the official definitions are now–publicly available information, nor is it the same as Open Source Data (OSD) or Validated Open Source Intelligence (OSINT-V), which can only be produced by an all-source analyst generally not a contractor.  OSINT is a human intelligence function, not a technical intelligence function.

OSINT has been superceeded as the center of gravity for the future of intelligence by M4IS2: Multinational, Multiagency, Multidimensional, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making.  90% of M4IS2 is not secret, not expensive, and not federal or controlled by any government.  Outside the wire both OSINT and M4IS should be controlled by the J-3 via Civil Affairs (Human) and Information Operations (IO).  Secret bureacracies (including “cyber-commands”) do not have the knowledge, mind-set, or reliability to manage OSINT and M4IS2 interactions with all manner of humans in every clime and place.  Inside the wire, the J-2 becomes the integrator of all-source information, and Civil Affairs and IO become advisory functions to the J-3 on non-kinetic options.

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Search: osint vs humint

Official Definitions:

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Jul 14

Reference: USDI Open Source Intelligence Instruction

Categories: DoD

Full 12 Pages Online

Phi Beta Iota: Also known as dodi 3115.12, august 24, 2010.  While the document displays some tiny hints that someone somewhere is thinking, it is largely bureaucratic pap that sanctifies the existing dysfunctional status quo, to include an SES as a branch chief rather than as the head of a new Department, DO, co-equal to DH and DI and DX. The only glimmer of progress is in requiring a consolidated defense program, but even this will be mangled and prolonged. This is a bean-counter instruction, not a real-world instruction intent on providing OSINT support to policy, acquisition, and operations.

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2008 IJIC 21/3 The Open Source Program: Missing in Action

Graphic: Herring Triangle of Four Levels Need & Cost

2009 DoD OSINT Leadership and Staff Briefings

2009: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Trilogy

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

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Aug 30

Journal: MILNET Selected Headlines 28 Jan 10

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CIA Finds a Productive Employee

Capabilities Of U.S. Intelligence Agencies Questioned

Congressional critics have singled out the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), established as part of a sweeping intelligence overhaul after the September 11 attacks.

“I do not (have), nor do I believe the DNI as currently constructed has, all of the authorities to move all of the information in a way that will maximize the likelihood of detecting these plots,” NCTC Director Michael Leiter told the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee.

Phi Beta Iota: Of course the DNI does not have the authorities he needs.  That’s the plan.  If intelligence were as effective as it is capable of being, we could cut the budget back to $25 billion or so, and redirect the savings to education and research, ultimately creating a Smart Nation and a World Brain.  See the last item, Fact Check: How State of Union Compares With Reality, and our comment there.

Indonesia Pulling Down Statue?

Obama in Free Fall

After Van Jones, Anita Dunn, the Skip Gates mess, the “tea-bagger” slurs, the attacks on Fox News, the Copenhagen dashes, the bowing, the apologizing, the reordering of creditors, the NEA obsequiousness, the lackluster overseas-contingency-operation front, the deer-in-the-headlights pause on Afghanistan, the pseudo-deadlines on Iran, Guantanamo, and healthcare, the transparency and bipartisanship fraud, and dozens of other things, Obama simply does not have the popularity to carry unpopular legislation forward. Indeed, he is reaching a point where he may poll more negatively than his agenda does. “Let me be perfectly clear” and “make no mistake about it” are now caricatures.

Phi Beta Iota: We are not in favor of bashing the President.  This paragraph is a tiny manifestation of the enormous anger across America as the 30% of the voters that elected Obama join with the 70% of the voters that did not vote for him (half of those did not vote at all) to realize that Dick Cheney was not the end of the line, Obama is.  The two-party system is not working.  It is not representative, it remains corrupt.  We coiuld free Obama, but like the lightbulb in the shrink joke, he has to want to be free.  Obama could be the George Washington of the 21st Century if he would pass Electoral Reform and lead the entire Nation

Reality in 2002--Little Change Since

Cut The Pentagon, Too: Why Obama’s spending freeze should apply to (most of) the military

Like the budgets of all bureaucracies, but much more so, the Pentagon is stuffed with entrenched interests, parochial barons, and internecine rivalries.

There is no good reason to exempt the Pentagon’s budget from this discipline.  Of course, there are plenty of good reasons to exempt parts of the defense budget from a strict spending freeze.

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Jan 28