Thursday, April 10, 2008

Open Source Intelligence: A Strategic Enabler Of National Security (ISN)

I have known Chris Pallaris, the Executive Editor at the International Relations And Security Network (ISN), for a little over a year and have always found him to be intelligent and articulate on intelligence and international relations topics. He has demonstrated this skill once again in his recent short paper on the value of Open-Source Intelligence.

There is little here that will be new to an experienced intelligence professional but that does not appear to be the article's intended audience. Instead, I think that Chris seeks to inform and (to put it bluntly) influence those strategic decisionmakers who don't know what they are missing by failing to pick up on the RIA ("Revolution in Intelligence Affairs").

In this respect, this short (3 page) article succeeds admirably. Chris outlines the strengths and weaknesses of OSINT clearly and concisely and even provides a sketch of what he thinks would constitute a robust and cost-effective OSINT Center.

Worth the read but, more importantly, worth passing to those who make decisions about intelligence budgets.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This most recent article joins a long line of articles on the value of open source dating back to the 1947 testimony of Gen Vandenberg. I imagine Robert Steele is asking "has anyone read what I have written". Other than what has been said about the efforts of JPRS/FBIS little seems to be known of the open source programs that were conducted in the IC. The most recent report from CRS on open source is completely silent on a 20+ year program managed by DIA in support of the DoD S&T intelligence production agencies. The fact that the same things have been said about the value of open source for 60 years indicates some fundamental problem in source usage by analysts.