Making Intelligence Relevant

I recently found a whitepaper the name of which startled me:  “Fixing Intel:  A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan”.  Startling in the frankness of its analysis, startling in the clarity of the remedies it calls for, and most of all startling in its applicability to my own field of business research and analytics.

Impressive credentials aside, its authors speak from deep hands-on knowledge.   General Michael T. Flynn served in Afghanistan for three decades as an intelligence officer, Captain Matt Pottinger served under Flynn in Afghanistan, and Paul Batchelor works at the Defense Intelligence Agency.  They have all walked the walk.

An alarming assessment

Flynn report shadow“Eight years into the war in Afghanistan,” begins the candid January 2010 assessment, “the U.S. intelligence community is only marginally relevant to the overall strategy.”  The authors go on to quote General Stanley McChrystal, then head of NATO and US forces in Afghanistan: “Our senior leaders—the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, Congress, the President of the United States—are not getting the right information to make decisions with.”

If you are (as I am) a ‘value-oriented taxpayer’—aware that the US currently spends over $80 billion in intelligence each year, one-third of that military intelligence—you’d justifiably find this alarming.  It helps explain why, now ten years into that conflict, we are facing a less-than-optimal conclusion.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Latest Posts

  • Topics

  • Archive

    • collapse2017 (2)
    • expand2016 (8)
    • expand2015 (7)
    • expand2014 (10)
    • expand2013 (12)
    • expand2012 (9)
    • expand2011 (5)
    • expand2010 (9)
    • expand2009 (9)
    • expand2008 (11)
    • expand2007 (13)
  • About this site

    COMPETING IN THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY is written by Timothy Powell, an independent researcher and consultant in knowledge strategy. Tim is president of The Knowledge Agency® (TKA) and serves on the faculty of Columbia University's Information and Knowledge Strategy (IKNS) graduate program.

    ===================

    "During my more than three decades in business, I have served more than 100 organizations, ranging from Fortune 500s to government agencies to start-ups. I document my observations here with the intention that they may help you achieve your goals, both professional and personal.

    "These are my opinions, offered for your information only. They are not intended to substitute for professional advice."

    ===================

    We typically publish monthly on or about the 15th of each month, subject to our client workload. Use the RSS feed links below to subscribe to posts and/or comments. Better yet, follow us on Twitter @twpowell to be notified of new posts and related developments.

    Thanks for reading! Please mention us to others and add your non-spam comments and suggestions -- we value your input.

    ===================

    COMPETING IN THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY is sponsored by the Knowledge Value Chain® (KVC), a methodology that increases the value and ROI of Data, Information, Knowledge, and Intelligence.

    The contents herein are original, except where otherwise noted. All original contents are Copyright © TW Powell Co. All rights reserved.

    All KVC trademarks, trade names, designs, processes, manuals, and related materials are owned and deployed worldwide exclusively by The Knowledge Agency®. Reg. U.S. Pat. & TM Off.

    ===================

    E SCIENTIA COPIA. Knowledge is the Engine of Value.