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17 December 2006

All creatures weird and wonderful

Goblins and Hobbits and Devildogs, oh my....

The ivory tower model of the detached analyst in splendid academic isolation is dying, day by day, in the Long War and in numerous meeting rooms. If you are not integrated from the start, invested to the hilt as much as your consumer, and right there with him when it matters, you simply aren’t relevant in the mix of competing voices. No amount of mystique will save you and your function, whatever the history or the weight of the logo.

That’s why items such as the following, playing out in the popular press the constant back and forth struggle of “intelligence community reform” achieved by re-drawing organization charts and playing political perceptions, are essentially and entirely meaningless to the real business of re-inventing intelligence for victory in the War.

Real reinvention is being done, every day in every theatre, by those 22 year old kids. They don’t have the preconceptions, and they don’t have the time to care about anybody’s hurt feelings. They maybe were blessed and given a name when they were given the job, but mostly they are evolving under incredible pressures into strange forms never before anticipated. And they will return soon to the wider community, especially given the loud sucking sound of the talent vacuum engendered by bad HR policies, bad management, and the lack of a coherent vision for contracting.

They will not be content to leave their experiences, and the lessons learned on how to accomplish unique missions under new and never before imagined circumstances, out in the desert or the mountains where they were born. They already have robust networks, with the same kinds of creatures formed under the same pressures, and tested by the necessity of hard use. Tens of thousands of young Americans have seen the elephant, and they return to a desk bound, calcifying intelligence community in which the discussions over the finer distinctions of definition and organogram have more of an element of fantasy than the very real and very hard things that they have been doing for the past few years. The reverberations from this clash of mindsets will be felt sooner rather than later, and there are a lot of existing castles that will be stormed.

h/t Defense Tech

Haft of the Spear has related thoughts on the questions of reorg.

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