Removing the Fog From the Cloud - Generating Clarity in an Age of Government Austerity


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LTG (Ret) Richard Zahner delivers the lunch keynote titled: Removing the "Fog" from the Cloud-Generating Clarity in an Age of Government Austerity.

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Removing the Fog From the Cloud - Generating Clarity in an Age of Government Austerity

  2. 2. So What is the Message? Your Only Task: Remember these two photos and their message to the CLOUD technical community.
  3. 3. Let’s Start with the Easy One…
  4. 4. Engineers or Magicians?¨  Only humorous until you realize the author is the guy who “grades your paper” on future funding approvals by the SECDEF…and no bucks, no “Buck Rogers”¨  “Speaking in Tongues” originally alluded to conveying the message in a form native to the user…today it more accurately reflects contrived confusion that reduces leadership confidence¨  It’s less the technical jargon than the Task/Purpose
  5. 5. Creating CLOUDs without Fog…¨  So why is the Intelligence Community doing CLOUD? ¤  Computing as a Commodity? ¤  Data-Intensive Processing? ¤  Delivering better Security post-WikiLeaks? ¤  Eliminating Analytic Stovepipes? ¤  Reducing the IT costs to sustain IC core mission? ¤  All the “Best Folks in Industry” are doing it… ¤  All/Some/None of the above..¨  If you don’t know your objective, any path will work!
  6. 6. Which Path Taken for Fog Removal?
  7. 7. IC CLOUD CONOPS Shifts Focus to MissionThe mission-based cloud CONOP will be a stand alone deck that defines amission vision and statements of need
  8. 8. If Mission is the Focus of the CLOUD, whose Mission Needs does it Address?The CONOP will elaborate the vision into definitions and descriptions of user needs
  9. 9. CLOUD USER?More about HIM later, but…•  Is our focus the analyst “user”?•  The greater IC analytic workforce?•  Decision-makers in the IC?•  Decision-makers at all echelons, tactical to National- Strategic?Who is ultimately accountable forMission Success? Can thatindividual(s) express how CLOUDenables that success?
  10. 10. Fog Reduction: Some Initial Conclusions¨  So why is the Intelligence Community doing CLOUD? ¤  EliminatingAnalytic Stovepipes ¤  Delivering better Security post-WikiLeaks ¤  Reducing the IT costs to sustain IC core mission n  Computing as a Commodity ¤  Data-Intensive Processing ¤  All the “Best Folks in Industry” are doing it… ¤  All of the above…¨  But is that all to the CLOUD story, or is there more?
  12. 12. In today’s environment, understanding instability, the groupsdriving instability and projecting the future accurately is key¨  How do we better understand and anticipate instability in foreign countries?¨  How do we structure ongoing analysis and monitoring of potential instability around the world?¨  How do we bring the best thinking to all problems and avoid being hostage to the “Captain on the account?”¨  How do we leverage technology to enable this new approach both regarding ongoing monitoring as well as the in-depth production needed in crises?
  13. 13. Defense Intelligence (and the larger IC) needs an analyticalframework and strategy to better understand threats/problems¨  Twenty years after the end of the Cold War, we still lack a unified, predictive approach to the analysis of instability and future threats¨  Identifying that there will be challenges in anticipating crises may be realistic but ultimately unsatisfying to policy makers and customers¨  Recognizing that there will be persistent competition that can lead to strife or conflict is not nearly so important as driving an effective way to better anticipate and understand it¨  While presenting a very complex problem, it is not impossible to frame a new, compelling approach to the intelligence problem that brings more structure and quality to IC activities
  14. 14. Defense and the IC need a new framework suitable for the yearsahead to drive collection and analysis globally Broad Framework that Defined Defense Intel 1950s-90s Pre-Conflict Conflict Indications and Warning Tactical Warning Capability Assessments/ Intelligence Prep of Battlefield Special Studies AOB EOB GOB MOB NOB Tracking / OOB Development Structured data bases and assessments Leveraging military science and the measured relative to our own practical realities of deploying large, capabilities combined arms forces •  The global database and delegated production performed by Service and Theater Intel Centers under DIA’s direction was foundational during the Cold War and remains relevant for select advanced countries •  For large portions of the world, however, this legacy approach is no longer as vibrant—the critical issue in many areas of the world is understanding and predicting the degree of instability along with relevant para-military capabilities or irregular warfare capabilities the nation must counter
  15. 15. In the last decade, three books may be especially important increating a theoretical foundation for a new approach Title/Author Key Thinking The Shield of A sweeping look over the past 500 years at the crucial Achilles, by Phillip interaction of strategy (military especially) and law (structure Bobbit, 2002 of nations). Five “epochal wars” successively reshaped government with the most recent ending in 1990. We are in a new era in which competition is increasingly economic. Why Nations Fail, A similarly comprehensive history, but focused on why some by James nations prosper often carries by a virtuous cycle, while others Robinson and languish or decline into poverty. Plumbs historical answers and Daron Acemoglu, lays out a strong case that the core analytical issue is the 2012 degree of politically and economically openness of nations. Governing the Beginning in the 19th century, a series of international World, by Mark arrangements emerged to govern or stabilize the relations Mazower, 2012 among nations. Since the 1980s, the prominence of the United Nations has declined while the IMF and World Bank (along with various central bankers) have risen in prominence. This reflects the increasing emphasis on economics.
  16. 16. A simple but compelling model at the high level breaks theproblem into two major facets for any state or state-like entity ¨  A state’s strategy (use of force) is tightly linked to its constitutional Strategy - Surviving external conflict structure (exercise of governance/ social compact) ¨  Changes on the part of Internal – Drive adversaries, disruptive for legitimacy -- technologies and economic constitutional development drive adaptation structure as key ¨  Over time, changes in military arena prompt successive changes in how states organize, exercise governance, and raise revenues
  17. 17. Advances in military technology have changed the costs and themanner in which states organize and vice versa¨  States have taken various forms in order to raise the revenue required to equip, train and operate forces that ensure survival¨  Changes in technology have prompted major adjustments in military forces as well as the organization/focus of states ¤  Fielding mobile artillery made early forts vulnerable, prompting major changes in raising armies and taxes ¤  The French Revolution (change in the state) opened the way to broad conscription and lower-cost mass armies that redefined Europe ¤  A series of technologies (WMD, Internet/social media, Cyber) & strategies (insurgency/terrorism) over time have made the “weaker party” able to outlast and outmaneuver the “stronger”¨  These dynamics play out in discrete cycles marked by “pol-mil phase transitions” that fundamentally recast the nature of the state; in turn leads to “epochal conflicts” that define the “winning” form of the recast state
  18. 18. Through technological advancement, economic development and conflict the world is progressing unevenly toward modernity ¨  Historian, lawyer and former NSC staffer Philip Bobbit defines the evolution of states and conflict in “The Shield of Achilles” with the assertion we are now in a new era Princely Kingly Territorial State- Nation- Market- State State State Nation State State 1515-1555 1618-1648 1667-1713 1792-1815 1914-19901 2 3 4 5 6 Hapsburg- Thirty Years’ Wars of Wars of the The Long The New Era, Valois Wars Louis XIV French War (Conflict will likely Wars Revolution take on new forms)Each of five epochal wars brought a particular constitutional order to primacy
  19. 19. Decision-making in an Era of Transition •  Classic product of the “State-Nation” era, but unique in his insights into the struggle for supremacy among “Nation-State” forms •  Political outlook reflected (and often directed) transformative currents that created what we would recognize as the modern UK nation-state, even if he rejected aspects •  Spent 1930’s in political wilderness, rejected in 1945…insights often at odds with accepted policy, failed to sway at key junctures but ultimately proved correct Can’t always count on a Churchill being present; can we create an analytic framework that informs leaders of an evolving reality?
  20. 20. Arguably, in the current era the dominant competition will beeconomic and social/cultural—with the potential for military conflict¨  The battle between parliamentarian, communist and fascist versions of the “nation-state” has given way to competing market-state models¨  One can posit that three market models now vie for dominance/survival ¤  Entrepreneurial ¤  Mercantilist ¤  Managerial¨  Economies become even more important as targets to be attacked and defended—knowing these will bring down nations and potentially cultures¨  While states may continue to field conventional forces, we should expect rising prominence in other forms ¤  Insurgency-Terrorism ¤  WMD or various forms of strategic levers with potential global reach
  21. 21. We will continue to deal with residual nation-state strategieswhile seeing emergent forms leveraging market-state capabilities¨  Countries may persist in conventional strategies, but Western precision strike/dominant maneuver complex is clear ¤  The capability difference is so stark as to make victory in a strictly conventional nation-state war seen utterly implausible for most ¤  Yet, many countries maintain conventional forces both for internal security and regional problems (which can escalate quickly)¨  So, a three pronged set of major threats emerges for the U.S. ¤  State-based forces also employing asymmetric and mass destruction capabilities—cyber, nuclear, biological, counter-space ¤  The transnational groups using irregular warfare and terrorist techniques to outlast our will to remain engaged ¤  The state-based irregular force, combining a “denial mechanism” that precludes rapid success to the air-ground complex and a strategic lever that compels actions that culminate short of “victory”
  22. 22. A list of realistic global threats (today) is relatively short¨  Islamic terrorism (Al Qaeda and affiliates)¨  War with China (very remote possibility and even only with global potential if inclusive of irregular, asymmetric, and even terrorist capabilities)¨  War with Iran (uncertain possibility and even only with global potential if inclusive of irregular, asymmetric, and even terrorist capabilities)¨  Conflict with other leading countries that centers on asymmetric capabilities The issue here is identifying those threats (countries and groups) with a specific desire and set of capabilities to strike at the US/Western interests globally
  23. 23. Numerous regional problems need to be screened and prioritizedfor analytical attention in light of a market-state regime¨  Organized crime and insurgency in Latin America/Mexico¨  Piracy, terrorism, and regional conflict in East Africa¨  Insurgency, terrorism and unrest in North Africa¨  Regional conflict: Arab-Israeli¨  Regional conflict: Iran-Arab/Gulf States¨  Regional conflict: Turkey-Syria, Iraq¨  Afghanistan-Pakistan-India¨  Former Soviet States¨  East Asia-China Sea Conflict could break out in any or multiple of these regions creating substantial global economic problems as well as crises for US/Western Allies
  24. 24. Several principals should drive the structure of the new approachor framework¨  Instability must be framed broadly¨  The framework should clearly articulate key issues and products for each of the major facets of instability from the global to local (most detailed) level¨  The Framework must permit drill-down on specific facets of the problem akin to levels of Digital Terrain Elevation Data - DTED)¨  Open Source should play a primary foundational role as well as being leveraged to inform products in crisis¨  Other intelligence disciplines integrated tightly to elaborate OSINT¨  The framework should allow for delegated production, as in the old order of battle model
  25. 25. Assessing stability and threats uniformly requires putting structure to the model so all are on the same yard stick ¨  Four tensions will be present in Terrorism every country/entity ¤  Social make-up, immigration, castes, tribes, etc ¤  The legal environment ¤  Political representation ¤  Economic opportunity ConventionalInsurgency All Countries Moving ¨  Countries/entities might take Toward any of four (or combinations) Modernity of strategies ¤  Conventional ¤  Irregular-insurgency ¤  Terrorism ¤  WMD ¨  Capabilities and status in each WMD element of the model can be assessed
  26. 26. Let the process guide us to a structure for evaluating three levelsof potential instability and threat ¨  Global ¤  Between states or between transnational groups and states ¤  Most likely spawned by economic, social competition ¤  Very limited options for global conflict as it requires global alliances or transnational groups versus a nation/alliance ¨  Regional ¤  A primary area for conflict that could draw in outside countries/UN ¤  Economics, ethnic and social issues as well as politics are operative and can drive unrest or conflict in an area of the world ¤  Could manifest any or all of the conflict forms, many regions potentially vulnerable ¨  Internal Country-Level ¤  Unrest with partner countries, the most violent being waves of insurgency or terrorism ¤  Threat to American citizens, companies, and government activities
  27. 27. We should be able to effectively categorize countries into majorsegments that represent degrees of potential instability/threat Affinity with the west Oppositional Tacit-Tenuous Strong Russia, ROK, More likely able to Large China Germany, raise a large, modern Economy France military force Iran, Able to raise a force Rising, Spain, and keep it trained, DPRK Egypt Middle Morocco maybe with special Venezuela Economy weapons (WMD). Minimal conventional Modest, military potential, likely Small Somalia Kenya a weak government Economy creating safe havens for others
  28. 28. Against the common frame, families of analysis activities shouldoccur on both regularized and ad hoc basesSame Frame I&W Issue Group Capability TargetingThree Levels Analytics Analytics Analytics Which What drives Who, how What Where are Global threats are the organized, capability the key really likelihood of vibrancy, and elements we global conflict resilience limitations can strike What What drives Which For specific Where are Regional regional the groups, and scenarios, the key problems likelihood of all of the net elements we present risk conflict above capabilities can strike What issues What are Political, What Where are Country- are the under- social and government the key Level indicating lying ethnic and non-gov elements we crisis dynamics capabilities can strikeThe future framework should identify (and adjust over time) the key global andregional contexts to be monitored for potential crises engagement
  29. 29. The Open Source-based Failed States Index is an excellentexample of an approach to the country-level problemThe IC can potentially leverage this effort, but clearly needs to add in multiple dimensions
  30. 30. The Failed States Index is built around 12 elements used to create a relative ranking for every countryThis ranking system is populated using software to score open source reporting and roll upnumeric values annually
  31. 31. The Failed States Index provides a fascinating start, but lackscomponents crucial to the solution to the analytic challenge Failed States Index CommentInstability framed broadly 5 Excellent descriptive start. Missing important categories.Structured approach to drill 0 Not intended to address thisdown (like DTED) needFounded on OSINT 10 Exemplary effort to harness the power of open sourcesIntegrates other disciplines This is an unclassified effortto elaborate/test and 0 and lacking the “drill down”provide necessary detail structure would limitDelegates production 0 Not part of the designMaps issues and products Not part of the design 0as user drill down in theframework
  32. 32. A new approach to characterizing stability and threats couldunfold in phases¨  Phase I – Try it ¤  Like the district-level assessments in Afghanistan, characterize uniformly the global environment engaging IC analytic centers along with COCOMs ¤  Let the first round be governed but messy ¤  In parallel, work on the theoretical underpinning as well as evaluating the feedback from the analytic community¨  Phase II – Improve it ¤  Blend learning from the first round, plus the theoretical and requirements work to flesh out a mid-term approach ¤  Engage other elements in the community ¤  Develop systems requirements for the long-term technology¨  Phase III – Routinize It ¤  Put the long-term solution into place: process, technology, partnerships
  33. 33. Fog Reduction: Some Final Conclusions¨  So why should the Intel Community pursue CLOUD? ¤  Data-Intensive Processing (Data & Analytics at Global Scale) to underpin critical decisions in uncertainty ¤  Eliminating Analytic Stovepipes, foster “best athletes” ¤  Reducing the IT costs to sustain IC core mission n  Computing as a Commodity ¤  Delivering better Security post-WikiLeaks ¤  All the “Best Folks in Industry” are doing it, thus allows Government to focus on challenge of analytics ¤  All of the above…combined makes a compelling story
  34. 34. So Just What was the Message? IC CLOUD is all about Mission, supporting complex national security decisions in an era of uncertainty. Key challenge now is analytics, not IT.