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Draft Chapter for Strategic Intelligence

imposes enormous time, manpower, and dollar costs when something needs to be shared and the sharing must be coordinated.  The default condition of the secret world is “do not share.”  

3.  Legacy Systems.  As John Perry Barlow noted in an article in Forbes,45 if you want to see the last remnants of the Soviet Empire, go visit the CIA and look at their computer systems.  The U.S. Intelligence Community as a whole is still mired in 1970’s technology managed by 1950’s mind-sets, totally out of touch with 21st Century information networks, both machine and human.

OSINT is going to be the catalyst for M4IS and strategic sharing.  OSINT is the only discipline that can easily distribute the collection, processing, and analysis burden across all coalition nations (e.g. the ninety nations comprising the U.S. Central Command coalition), and also the only discipline whose products can easily be shared with non-governmental organizations as well as state and local authorities all over the world who will never qualify for “clearances.”  It will be our challenge in the next eighteen years to develop an alternative global intelligence community that relies almost exclusively on “good enough” open sources, and that consequently forces the secret world into proving its “added value” in relation to cost, risk, and time, on every topic, every day.

Emerging Prospects

Apart from increased public access to the Internet, inclusive of electronic mail, the deep web, and the dramatically increased availability of free multi-media communications and information sharing capabilities, several factors are supportive of a displacement of secret sources and methods by open sources and methods:

Version 2.4 dated 7 April 2006

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