ENTERRA DiB AND THE NATIONAL TERRORISM STRATEGYSteve DeAngelis
( and a newly minted Visiting Scientist at the prestigious Oak Ridge National Laboratory
-congrats Steve!) is commenting with greater directness these days on military
and foreign policy questions. This a welcome development and no doubt a result of Steve's collaboration with Dr. Barnett and recent ventures by Enterra to connect with the IC.
Yesterday, Steve took a look at the new National Strategy for Combatting Terrorism
released by the Bush administration, and offered a cogent analysis
:"The new strategy notes that the war on terrorism is about both arms and ideas. "Arms and ideas," however, provide too narrow a focus for countering this very complicated challenge, a point the document actually makes....What struck me most about this long-term strategy is how closely it parallels what I have been promoting for our Development-in-a-Box approach. First, it talks about establishing international standards and best practices, which is exactly what makes Development-in-a-Box different than past approaches. Second, the strategy talks about needing a new architecture for dealing with this problem. Enterra Solutions is working with a number of groups to help them develop a Resilient Technology Architecture to help meet this need. Finally, the strategy stresses the need for establishing a community of practice, an approach I have indicated is critical in the development world as well. The President is simply encouraging the establishment of one of many such communities that need to be created. We all know that drafting a strategy doesn't necessarily mean that it will be implemented properly. The basic approach for long-term success is promising. Let's hope it survives a change in administrations."
Steve elucidated the DiB principles at greater length in a prior post, "Wiring Rwanda to the World
":"1. Start with security. When Kagame seized control of Rwanda, he tried to establish a coalition Tutsi/Hutu government that would make all citizens feel more secure. Were a civil war still raging in Rwanda, Wyler’s venture would never have gotten off the ground.
2. Use accepted standards and best practices when establishing infrastructure. Wyler transplanted technologies and standards used in the U.S. to ensure that once his system was in place it would work properly.
3. Create a customer base. Wyler tries to make every customer a sales person for his services. By selling cheap Internet access in small increments, Terracom has hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of potential customers. Wyler also showed others how they could be entrepreneurs themselves by selling Terracom products.
4. Establish a community of practice. By starting with schools, institutions, and small businesses as well as working with the government, Wyler concentrated on building a community of practice that could help him succeed in his venture. They became virtual owners of the project, because their future success in some measure would be determined by Wyler’s success.
5. Seek alignment among all players. When Wyler found it difficult dealing with the government-owned monopoly, he bought it. When that avenue is unavailable (which it rarely is), a way must be found to align government and business policies so that unnecessary conflicts don’t stymie progress. Wyler didn’t enter the Rwanda market out of altruism. He expects to make money. The government understands that profitable companies pay better wages, pay more taxes, invest more in their infrastructure, etc. The goals of one enterprise (though different than the goals of the other) are different but complementary. Complementary strategies among players can generally be found and they should be a priority. "
A few brief remarks by me; I will analyze the strategy paper itself in a separate post and will limit myself here to the intersection of DiB and implementation of the counter terror strategy:DiB point # 3, " Create a customer base" is on par in terms of counterterrorism with providing security. It is simply that important and has been the area of greatest American weakness. The efforts and developing a culturally attuned, linguistically competent, intellectually creative, strategic influence policy aimed at isolating Salafist-Jihadi extremists from their co-religionists have been insufficient. Part of the problem is the need for an unavoidably time-consuming build-up in personnel with the requisite cultural intelligence and linguistic skill-sets to do the variety of tasks - analysis, interrogation, translation, operational planning, information operations - that need to be done. At best, it is an 8-10 year investment but our current deficits can be remediated to a degree by point # 4.Moving the IC and military out of the highly compartmentalized, vertical thinking, Cold War era, view of internal security uber alles and toward building a counterterrorism Community of Practice is vital. A community that embraces expertise outside of the insular and narrow confines of beltway bureaucracy and integrates private sector, academic and where appropriate, foreign talent to vastly accelerate the cycle of innovation and knowledge dispersal. Greater horizontality in thinking, greater interconnected modularity in community structure.
In turn, this morphs into Steve's fifth point of seeking alignment. I would go a step further - the broad private-public community of practice should be "aligned"; the public IC-diplo elements should leapfrog beyond alignment to begin building "jointness"
in their activities the way the military began to do in the early-mid 1980's. A system administration force for counterterrorism where synergy of action, not bureaucratic chart reorgs, is the objective.DiB principles can be directed as usefully at our own bureaucratic systems as societies languishing in the Gap.LINKS:tdaxp -"Like CPUs and Operating Systems, Countries MattersDr. Barnett "Jaffe profiles Abizaid and his definition of SysAdmin as the tool to win the Long War"Conversation Base Blog
"Systems approach on a global scale: Military-Market Nexus
"Homeland Security Watch
-"DHS issues final rule for handling private-sector CI information