Draft Chapter for Strategic Intelligence
For this reason we include very brief but vital sections at the end of this chapter on OSINT and electoral reform, governance reform, and budgetary reform. OSINT is the ultimate resources for citizens to hold their government accountable, and to protect their civil liberties over time.
Although CIA has done some fine work on global threats, and I particular like the work done under John Gannon as Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis & Production (Global Trends 2015, which led to Global Trends 2020),42 on balance the U.S. Intelligence Community has failed abysmally at strategic warning because of some fundamental operational and philosophical failures.43
Operationally, despite fifty years of extraordinarily generous funding for multi-billion dollar satellite systems, the U.S. Intelligence Community still cannot do wide area surveillance, real-time change detection, or “the last mile” inclusive of seeing into urban area, under jungle canopy, and into the deep ravines of mountainous terrain.
Philosophically U.S. Intelligence has been a disaster in strategic terms. The cult of secrecy limited “intelligence” to “secrets for the President” and left everyone else, from Cabinet-level leaders to military acquisition manager and operational commanders, to Governors and Mayors, completely without “decision-support.” Perhaps worse, the U.S. Intelligence Community has refused to recognize the seven tribes of intelligence, shutting out, for the most part, state and local officials with overseas knowledge, business travelers, academics, non-governmental observers, journalists, labor union leaders, religious travelers, and so on. The obsession with government secrecy over public sharing has cost this Nation fifty years of time—the one strategic factor that can not be bought nor replaced44—and at least 3 billion souls of good
Version 2.4 dated 7 April 2006