The Congressional Research Service (CRS) publishes unclassified informational documents for Members of the US Senate and US House of Representatives. It generally avoids prescriptive or critical commentary, but when it seeks to alert Congress to serious problems, it raises “questions for consideration.”
By Robert David Steele, MA, MPA, NWC
CEO, Earth Intelligence Network (501c3)
This month has seen the publication of two very critical documents, one on defense reform and one on the US secret intelligence community.
Goldwater-Nichols at 30: Defense Reform and Issues for Congress, April 20, 2016.
- “Why, after the expenditure of nearly $1.6 trillion and over 15 years at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, has the United States had such difficulty translating tactical and operational victories into sustainable political outcomes?”
- “Why, despite the expenditure of over $600 billion per year on defense, is the readiness of the force approaching critically low levels, according to military officials, while the number of platforms and capabilities being produced are generally short of perceived requirements?”
- “Why, despite tactical and operational adaptations around the world, is DOD often seen as having difficulty formulating strategies and policies in sufficient time to adapt to and meet the increasingly dynamic threat environment?”
The U.S. Intelligence Community: Selected Cross-Cutting Issues, April 12, 2016
- “Should the IC be expected to monitor every corner of the world every hour of the day?”
- “What authorities are needed to enhance cooperation with outside experts?”
- “Are the new principles of transparency sufficient? Can the DNI do more to promote transparency across the IC?
All three of the questions that lead the CRS report on the U.S. Intelligence Community are an indictment of a quarter century of expensive secret technical collection that has produced nothing of value, and a validation of my life’s work. It is now broadly understood that the U.S. secret intelligence community has failed to do “Global Coverage;,” has failed to support the need for waging peace at the same time that it has been complicit in waging elective wars rooted in many lies; and is completely out-of-touch with outside experts who are not U.S. citizens, do not have U.S. security clearances, and generally do not respect the U.S. Government and are reluctant to share information with the U.S. Government.
Below are three of my publications from 1989-1991. No one wanted to listen.
- Gray, Al (Ghost-Written by Robert Steele), “Global Intelligence Challenges in the 1990’s,” American Intelligence Journal, Winter 1989-1990, pp. 37-41.
- Steele, Robert. “Intelligence in the 1990’s: Recasting National Security in a Changing World,” American Intelligence Journal, Summer/Fall 1990, pp. 29-36.
- Steele, Robert. “Applying the ‘New Paradigm’: How to Avoid Strategic Intelligence Failures in the Future,” American Intelligence Journal, Autumn 1991, pp. 43-46.
This is where we are today on defense intelligence in the USA.
- Steele, Robert. “On Defense Intelligence: Seven Strikes,” CounterPunch, July 2, 2014.
When General Al Gray, USMC – then Commandant of the Marine Corps – tasked my Colonel and me to create the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA) in 1988, he was focused on force structure. The American defense model is dysfunctional – it is rooted in “budget share” across the services – lacking a grand strategy there is no “sense” to how we structure the various services – and “government specifications cost plus,” which eliminates good engineering in favor of the most expensive logistically-demanding solutions.
I designed and led the first-ever strategic analytic modeling exercise for creating a common-sense force structure for global expeditionary operations, and many of our findings are still relevant. Below is my official study for the Marine Corps – note the Strategic Generalizations – and three recent publications.
- Steele, Robert with BDM Corporation, Overview of Planning and Programming Factors for Expeditionary Operations in the Third World, Quantico, VA: Marine Corps Combat Development Command, March 1990.
- Steele, Robert. “The National Military Strategy: Dishonest Platitudes,” CounterPunch, July 6, 2015.
- Steele, Robert, “American intelligence and national defense 2.0,” OpenDemocracy, November 10, 2015.
- Steele, Robert. “A National (American) Grand Strategy: Evidence-Based, Affordable, Balanced, Flexible,” Oakton, VA: Earth Intelligence Network, October 31, 2015.
The new U.S. national military strategy is going to be classified “Top Secret” – I can only speculate that the Pentagon has decided it can no longer tolerate the peals of derisive laughter about the shallow and largely unprofessional “strategy” that it produces as a bureaucratic exercise. The last “grand strategy” review in the USA was sponsored by President General Ike Eisenhower, “Project Solarium.” The Quadrennial Defense Reviews summarized in the CRS document cited above are bureaucratic exercises that make changes on the margin.
The rest of my publications are free online at http://robertdavidsteele.com, with my most recent work focused on Applied Collective Intelligence at http://tinyurl.com/Steele-Future. I pray that the good sensible people of the Nordic countries will contemplate the possibility that what the world needs now is intelligence with integrity such as has been lacking from the other Western powers, but could easily be created by a Nordic Intelligence Centre in cooperation with The Defence and Intelligence Magazine – and network that is committed to the truth at any cost as a means of lowering all other costs.