Strategic Intelligence

Kristan Wheaton, Professor of Intelligence Studies at Mercyhurst University based in United States participates in Risk Roundup to discuss “Strategic Intelligence”.

Overview

If we’re always thinking about the problems we face today, we have little time left to plan for tomorrow.

Irrespective of cyberspace, geospace or space (CGS), success today, or in coming tomorrow, would come because of strategic thinking about how we can individually and collectively, accomplish our goals proactively—instead of just reacting to the current conditions in silo. This is especially essential today, when we are witnessing disruptive technological changes, re-defining and re-designing of the systems at all levels (global/ national /local), new way of doing things, new industries, new way of fighting wars: bio warfare, nano-warfare to cyber-warfare and space-warfare; shifting centers of economic power; global energy competition; global innovation competition, breakthroughs from synthetic biology– to nano technology, artificial intelligence to machine intelligence, robotics and block-chain and so much more. These on-going changes and challenges are so profoundly complex; their impact so wide, deep, and overwhelming that they cannot be well explained or understood only in current time-frame (short -term).

So, the question for each one of us to evaluate is:

  • Are we so focused on today’s issues that we are not thinking about the coming tomorrow of cyberspace, geospace and space?

Background

While intelligence depends on information, the true sign of intelligence is not information but imagination. When security risks from cyberspace, geospace and space merge and converge; strategic security risk intelligence has never been more important for individuals and entities across NGIOA than it is now in a digital global age. However, understanding strategic security risk variables across cyberspace, geospace and space is not easy for any individual or entity alone to anticipate and understand.

Today’s strategic security intelligence necessitates understanding of cyberspace, geospace and space: existing and emerging technologies, existing and emerging systems, changing nature of warfare, CGS politics, economic turbulence, cultural conflict, diverse religion, power struggles, change management, risk management, and so much more. Amidst that, it is one thing to gather strategic security risk data and extract information but an entirely different thing to turn that information into meaningful and actionable strategic intelligence.

Today, strategic intelligence must provide information that can be acted upon by NGIOA decision makers, if it is going to be deemed of value for cyberspace, geospace and space. It is important to evaluate further-

  • Is strategic intelligence a survival need for individual and entities across NGIOA?
  • Is strategic intelligence only a longer-range perspective?
  • What are the benefits of strategic intelligence?
  • Is there any effort directed towards developing strategic security intelligence from cyberspace, geospace and space?
  • Are there any initiatives towards developing an integrated CGS approach to get accurate strategic intelligence?
  • Do we have access to effective and actionable strategic intelligence today?
  • What is the nature of information that today’s strategic intelligence is based on?

Intelligence Approach

Irrespective of NGIOA, strategic security risk intelligence is one of the most important of the core elements which must be established when building a successful and effective security risk intelligence program. A comprehensive security risk intelligence program that encompasses cyberspace, geospace and space is critical to the success of the viability, survivability, security, sustainability, success and resilience of the entire nation. Despite that, most NGIOA go through strategic security risk intelligence failures.

So, what is missing in the approach? Perhaps, security risk intelligence programs should encompass the entire CGS spectrum related to the NGIOA risk collection.  It is vitally important to examine all of the CGS security risks, threats and hazards that may be encountered in the various environments in which the respective initiative, business, industry, NGIOA component or nation may operate.

There is a growing concern about intelligence from cyberspace, geospace and space performing compartmentalized, narrowly focused routines individually in silo. It is important that we evaluate whether the reality of security challenges from cyberspace, geospace and space, support compartmentalization or silo tactical efforts?

Lack of Information Integration

Today’s strategic intelligence especially, though not exclusively, requires understanding of disruptive technological changes, re-defining and re-designing of the systems, and so much more. To understand CGS risk variables is one thing, develop strategic intelligence is another and communicating in a timely manner is whole another thing.

So, the question is –

  • Do we see necessary understanding of changing fundamentals in cyberspace, geospace and space?
  • Are entities across NGIOA getting timely and actionable strategic intelligence from CGS?

Strategic Intelligence and Security

Strategic security risk intelligence has never been more important for the humanity than it is now in a digital global age. It is important that we evaluate-

  • When it comes to strategic intelligence, what has been the focus over the years? Is the focus and approach effective in a digital global age?
  • How is strategic intelligence crucial to confronting security or security risks at all levels across NGIOA?
  • Are we relying on both internal and external strategic security intelligence?
  • How is the role of intelligence evolving?
  • What should be the goal of security risk intelligence?
  • How can we build security intelligence system that meets NGIOA security needs?
  • What is the nature of strategic security risk intelligence methods that are currently used?
  • How to effectively measure strategic intelligence?
  • Do we have effective strategic intelligence processes?
  • What is the nature of the strategic security risk intelligence program across nations? Are they effective?

Challenges

  • What are the challenges facing strategic intelligence professionals? How to get accurate strategic intelligence from CGS?
  • How to do strategic intelligence in this complex and challenging CGS environment?

Conclusion

Today, across nations, the approach to strategic intelligence seems to be fragmented, outdated, in-effective and mostly about providing information that helps NGIOA decision makers in short term, rather than bringing true insights about CGS security risks and opportunity for long term. This is a cause of great concern.

Time is now to talk about “Strategic Intelligence”!


For more please watch the Risk Roundup Webcast or hear Risk Roundup Podcast


About the Guest

Kristan Wheaton, is the Professor of Intelligence Studies at Mercyhurst University based in United States. He is also the Founder of Sources and Methods Games to explore the intersection between games, education and intelligence.

About the Host of Risk Roundup
Jayshree Pandya (née Bhatt) is a visionary leader, who is working passionately with imagination, insight and boldness to achieve Global Peace through Risk Management. It is her strong belief that collaboration between and across nations: its government, industries, organizations and academia (NGIOA) will be mutually beneficial to all—for not only in the identification and understanding of critical risks facing one nation, but also for managing the interconnected and interdependent risks facing all nations. She calls on nations to build a shared sense of identity and purpose, for how the NGIOA framework is structured will determine the survival and success of nations in the digital global age. She sees the big picture, thinks strategically and works with the power of intentionality and alignment for a higher purpose—for her eyes are not just on the near at hand but on the future of humanity!
At Risk Group, Jayshree is defining the language of risks and currently developing thought leadership, researching needed practices, tools, framework and systems to manage the “strategic and shared cyber-security, geo-security and space-security risks facing nations today in a digital global age. She believes that the contested commons of cyberspace or space cannot be secured if NGIOA works in silo within and across its geographical boundaries in cyberspace, geospace and space. As security requires an integrated NGIOA approach with a common language, she has launched cyber-security, geo-security and space-security risk research centers that will merge the boundaries of geo-security, cyber-security and space-security.
Previously, she launched and managed “Risk Management Matters”, an online risk journal and one of the first risk publications, publishing “Industry Risk Reports of Biotechnology, Energy, Healthcare, Nanotechnology, and Natural Disasters” over the course of five years. Jayshree’s inaugural book, “The Global Age: NGIOA @ Risk”, was published by Springer in 2012.

About Risk Roundup

Risk Roundup: Webcast/Podcast, a global initiative launched by Risk Group, is an integrated cyberspace, geospace, and space (CGS) security risk dialogue for individuals and entities across nations: its government, industries, organizations and academia (NGIOA). Risk Roundup is directly trying to promote and enhance CGS risk intelligence by collective participation of decision makers from across NGIOA.

Risk Roundup is released in both audio (Podcast) and video (Webcast) format and is available for subscription at (Risk Group WebsiteiTunesGoogle PlayStitcher RadioAndroid, and Risk Group Professional Social Media).

About Risk Group

Risk Group is an integrated cyberspace, geospace and space (CGS) security risk research organization. Risk Group is on a mission to epitomize collective risk intelligence of nations: its government, industries, organizations and academia (NGIOA) as the synergistic intersection among independent as well as interconnected and interdependent CGS security risks to help achieve an effective process for better collective security risk intelligence, management and governance than silo and fragmented security risk approach that we have across nations today. Risk Group is determined to engage the collective NGIOA risk intelligence capability to manage CGS security risks—risks impacting individuals and entities across NGIOA. Having a collective NGIOA risk intelligence capability will be transformative for not only achieving CGS security but also global peace.

Risk Group believes that risk management, security and peace walk together hand in hand. Though security is related to management of threats and peace to the management of conflict, risk management is related to management of security vulnerabilities as well as management of conflict, and it is not possible to conceive any one of the three without the existence of the other two. All three concepts feed into each other. Risk Group believes that the security we build for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for everyone across nations. Tradition becomes our security-so if we build a culture of managing risks effectively it will lead us to security and security will lead us to peace!

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