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Intelligence

Information Operations: Putting the 'I' Back Into DIME


Information Operations: Putting the 'I' Back Into DIME - Cover

Authored by Mr. Robert D. Steele.

February 2006

84 Pages

Brief Synopsis

In the past year, Information Operations (IO) has matured from an early emphasis on the protection of critical infrastructures and against electronic espionage and is now more focused on content and on interagency information-sharing. The value of information--all information, not only secret information--and the value of global monitoring in all languages, 24/7, has been clearly established by the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence (USDI). This monograph defines and discusses three IO elements: Strategic Communication (the message); Open Source Intelligence (the reality); and, Joint Information Operations Centers (the technology). It concludes with a strategic overview of the various conceptual and technical elements required to meet modern IO needs, and provides a requirements statement that could be tailored to the needs of any Combatant Commander, service, or agency.

Summary

The end of the Cold War and the emergence of terrorism; radicalized religion; the proliferation and commoditization of weapons of mass destruction (WMD); and the increased informational and economic power of Arabia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela, among others, have brought Information Operations (IO) to the forefront of the unified national security strategy.

In the past year, IO has matured from an early emphasis on the protection of critical infrastructures and against electronic espionage, and is now more focused on content and on interagency informationsharing. The value of information—all information, not only secret information—and the value of global monitoring in all languages, 24/7, have been clearly established by the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence (USDI).

This monograph defines and discusses three IO elements:

• Strategic Communication (the message);
• Open Source Intelligence (the reality); and,
• Joint Information Operations Centers (the technology).

These elements are further discussed in relation to six “IO-heavy” mission areas:

• Information Operations generally;
• Peacekeeping Intelligence (reactive);
• Information Peacekeeping (proactive);
• Early Warning (conflict deterrence, proactive counterterrorism);
• Stabilization and Reconstruction Operations; and,
• Homeland Defense and Civil Support.

The monograph concludes with a strategic overview of the various conceptual and technical elements required to meet modern IO needs, and provides a requirements statement that could be tailored to the needs of any Combatant Commander, service, or agency.

Recommendations.

Executive. The creation of a National Information Council (NIC), coequal to the National Security Council (NSC) and the National Economic Council (NEC), is necessary if the White House is to both harness the distributed intelligence of the nation and the world, and also achieve its objectives in public diplomacy, strategic communication, interagency information-sharing and collaboration, the renaissance in public education, and the resurrection of national research.

Congress. Intelligence and information-sharing are inherent critical aspects of all government operations. Each congressional committee should create a Subcommittee on Intelligence and Information Operations (I2O). The chair and ranking minority member of each of these subcommittees, or their designated representatives, should in turn comprise a new Special Committee on I2O that has oversight over the national Open Source Agency, information operations across all federal agencies, and a special relationship with the respective Intelligence Committee, which shall continue to focus on classified sources and methods.

White House. Expand the extraordinary Earth Science information-sharing initiative to include the sharing of information about disease, crime, poverty, and other nontraditional threats to our national security and prosperity.

Director of National Intelligence. Free the Open Source Agency (OSA) from U.S. intelligence community affiliation or direct oversight. Instead, follow the expert recommendation that it be a sister agency to the Broadcasting Board of Governors under Department of State auspices. Fully fund the Open Source Information System–External (OSIS-X) as a commercial venture open to all legitimate governments; nongovernmental organizations; and private sector corporations, universities, and groups.

Department of State. Establish an Office for Information-Sharing Treaties and Agreements. This small office of perhaps 10 individuals, led by accredited diplomats, would negotiate information-sharing treaties with nations and information-sharing agreements with organizations, with the immediate objective of extending data and information standards to all participants. Integrate all Embassies into information-sharing mode.

Department of Defense. Rapidly establish JIOCs within each Combatant Command (COCOM) as well as a DoD JIOC, while establishing two new Combatant Commands: one for I2O, and one for Stabilization & Reconstruction. Integrate the Strategic Decision Support Center envisioned by Captain Scott Philpott, USN, into COCOM I2O. Redirect the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) toward the oversight and orchestration of Big War. COCOM I2O should have oversight of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Defense Technical Information Service (DTIC), and the varied Departmental-level intelligence organizations as well as authority over the JIOCs at each COCOM similar to that retained by the services over ground, sea, and air components. Deliberately attend to the I2O needs of policy, acquisitions, logistics, and operations with OSINT as the source of first resort (always copied simultaneously to the relevant all-source intelligence provider). Place the National Guard under the operational oversight of the U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), and begin the process of redirecting the Guard toward a true Home Guard role in which they have specialized units for medical, fire, police, and disaster-relief engineering that are equally suitable for homeland security duties as well as support for global stabilization and reconstruction operations.

General Services Administration (Office of Intergovernmental Solutions). Sponsor a summit and an ongoing Wiki web site on the four “opens” that will energize information-sharing in the future:

a. Open Source Software
b. Open Source Information
c. Open (Electromagnetic) Spectrum
d. Open Hyperdocument System (OHS)

Department of Commerce. Issue an antitrust waiver for a private sector OSINT skunkworks that will fully integrate and test all avail-able open sources, softwares, and services. This will do for IO/OSINT what the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCC) initative sought to do for artificial intelligence under Admiral Bobby Inman. This skunkworks will accelerate the development of open common standards for information-sharing that will be truly worldwide, with the added advantage of developing commercial alternatives for the sharing of secret information across national, cultural, and government to nongovernment boundaries on a by-name, by-paragraph basis.

Department of Justice. Propose to Congress legislation that would mandate the open disclosure and stability of Application Program Interfaces (API) within all software purchased by the government and offered for sale within the United States. API are the equivalent in cyberspace of a common railway guage such as was required to make national rail a reality. Demand that all software have transparent stable API by 2008, or be banned from the Federal marketplace.

Open Source Agency. Execute the 100-day start-up plan, which (already drafted) is easily doable by drawing on the OSINT pioneers across the U.S. Army and in other services. The plan includes:

1. IO/OSINT training program employing resident, mobile, and remote learning
2. IO/OSINT help desk, 24/7, multi-lingual
3. IO/OSINT global translation web in all languages that will support 911 calls
4. IO/OSINT historical and cultural “Manhattan Project”
5. OSIS-X with DoD first, then NATO, then each COCOM’s coalition partners
6. OSIS-X free access to all NGOs and academic institutions
7. Create a living directory of top 100 experts on each country and topic.
8. Create Texas Early Warning Center
9. Create New York Corporate Warning Network
10. Digital Marshall Plan using residual capability in abandoned satellites
11. Subsidize the Security Affairs Support Association (SASA) in developing executive seminars in information-sharing and intellectual property management—then create the University of the Republic as a fee-based means of fostering informationsharing across organizational boundaries.

U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. Focus on recruiting, training, and nurturing an Army and a Marine Corps of self-starters, each able to master at least one foreign language, each able to master Eastern fieldcraft, stealth, and patience, and each able to leverage their innate intelligence, communicated intelligence, information superiority, interagency planning and operations, and precision delivery of water, food, medicine, and munitions where required, in order to stabilize and reconstruct any environment, at home or abroad. It is brainpower, not firepower, which will win the 100-year six-front war upon which we are now engaged.

U.S Navy and U.S. Air Force. Focus on creating a 450-ship Navy capable of global distributed operations in littoral waters, and on being able to carry out two Berlin Airlifts simultaneously, one with organic air and one with conscripted air. Speed of presence, triggered by early warning, not massed fires over time, is what matters now.

U.S. Public. You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you. We are at total war. Thomas Jefferson had it right: “A Nation’s best defense is an educated citizenry.” IO and OSINT, at root, are about educating and legally and ethically engaging every person of good will in the honorable tasks of protecting our nation and enhancing our prosperity.


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