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Read a few things this week that gave me pause on the subject of intelligence.

Kent’s Imperative – “Network analysis in historical contexts

The Small Wars Council – ” Blackwater Brass Forms Intelligence Company

Bill Sizemore – “Blackwater brass forms intelligence company

Total Intelligence Solutions, inc.

The longitudinal implications here are very interesting.

First, the privatization of American professional intelligence by companies former CIA and other IC veterans is the ” white” mirror-image of the ” black” downsizing and privatization of Eastern Bloc intelligence professionals during the 1990’s where you had ex-KGB mafiya clans and ex-Yugoslav pros running international safecracking rings.

The cream of this group ( typified by TIS) will always be closely tethered to the official IC by virtue of steady Federal contracts and media scrutiny. The problem is going to be with the marginal PIC’s of uneven or uncertain performance which, before too long, will be found in some decidedly “gray” areas in order to maximize profit ( or sustain financial solvency).

The antics of the subpar quarter are what may bring about loud calls for regulating an industry that exists primarily because of the prior legal constraints and bureaucratic compliance that has calcified the official IC. This in turn will lead to the use of unofficial, sub rosa, networks that are pulled together ad hoc and paid off of the books, possibly by private sources.

Assuming this is not being done to a considerable extent already.

3 Responses to “”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I was going to comment on the Kent’s Imperative blog on where his examples were wrong regarding the methodology of network science from a social perspective, but the blog doesn’t allow commentary from the outside. Which is very pre-9/11 intelligence like.

    The blog states “there is a distinct paucity of material which examines and evaluates the tradecraft itself” then goes on to say ” … What work has been done focuses on mathematical theory and computer sciences aspects – critically important in its own context, but less than useful in helping analysts assigned to pol-mil, human factors or tactical / operational support roles”

    Whilst I agree there is a distinct lack of literature on social networks for the political-military nexus and tactical-operational areas there is an immense amount of literature on human factors in networks. I mean, I just did a couple of quick searches on google scholar with a couple of words off the top of my head and found quite a number of results (not that all the results are going to be pertinent).

    Secondly, he states that the only studies that examine and evaluate network methodology is math and CS. It’s like the writer has never heard of network theory research, methodologies and meta-analysis in the areas of sociology, psychology, business, biology, economics or physics. Not to mention the countless other disciplines that are starting to use the techniques.

  2. mark Says:

    hi Anon,

    Not sure why KI does not allow comments; while I know who a majority of the psuedoanonymous bloggers on my blogroll are, KI is an exception. Feel free though to raise such issues here as you like.

    My friend Von, who has some former students working with Luis Amaral on networks from a number of different approaches. Then there are consilient fields like biophysics and econophysics that lend themselves to applying network theory.

    Wish I had done more hard science as a lad!

  3. Theofanis D Lekkas Says:

    I would think that any attempts to regulate would force these PMC’s & PIC’s off shore. This is what has happened in many other industries. The economics are not different here, simply the government monopoly is slowly eroding (like all monopolies will over time.) I kinda wish I had gone over to State six years ago instead of going into private enterprise, I would at least been able to accumulate enough contacts to start my own PIC! I see this as a very lucrative business and see many competitors arising in the next ten years. I do not believe any single regime will be able to regulate them, too many political entities that will give them safe harbor.


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