Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Dr. Thomas Fingar, Addresses the 2008 INSA Analytic Transformation Conference (Morning & Evening Speeches- September 4, 2008)(4)







 Dr. Thomas Fingar
Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Dr. Thomas Fingar, Addresses the 2008 INSA Analytic Transformation Conference (Morning & Evening Speeches- September 4, 2008)
Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Dr. Thomas Fingar, Addresses the 2008 INSA Analytic Transformation Conference (Morning & Evening Speeches – September 4, 2008)
Van: Office of the Director of National Intelligence
zondag 7 september 2008 0:59:02

  Remarks and Q&A by the Deputy Director of National Intelligence
For Analysis & Chairman, National Intelligence Council

Dr. Thomas Fingar

2008 INSA Analytic Transformation Conference
Orlando, Florida

September 4, 2008

Morning & Evening Keynote Speeches

That is going to happen.  Or we can begin to do now is prepare to mitigate those impacts.  Now, what are those impacts?  Water shortages.  As far as I know, there is no disagreement about the projection of strains in water in particular regions.  Regions that include the already unstable Middle East, that include China – that the projections of continued 10 percent growth for China and all that that means.  Ignore the fact that it has severe water problems now.  And they get much, much worse by 2015 or 2020.  Why does it matter?  Orders of magnitude in a North China plain that is running out of water because they are depleting the underground aquifers through millions of tube wells drilled in the 1960s, produces the food for 400 million people.

Think about the difficulty of scrounging up in the international system the food for 17 or 18 million North Koreans, for a few tens of millions on the Horn of Africa.  Any number – any activity put down in the Chinese context, you have got one hell of a problem.  And that is going to happen.  This isn’t in the maybe category.  This is in the for-real category.  Climate change, we concluded, is not by itself going to bring down any governments.  It is not going to lead to wars. 

But two things are pretty certain – that the already stressed and strained and flailing and flailing governments and states – this well could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.  A little bit more severe water shortage, a little bit more severe food shortage, more people beginning to migrate, economic migrants looking within and across – within countries and across borders for better opportunities and better substance.

Tonight there are some 25 million people around the globe who are outside their home country – type of displaced or immigrant.  That is going to go up.  And they are going to go up from the poor, the disadvantaged, the ill – those will bad health, ill-educated, and they are going to be seeking opportunity in the more prosperous, richer countries.  You know, I would be a genius, and I think that is a problem.

Another element of this that is in the damn near immutable is demography.  And my colleagues who are demographers are really quite confident that the range of variation is very small.  And what this tells us is over the next 15 years, the West, Europe, in particular, Russia, and the honorary West, Japan, and, oh, by the way, China, which isn’t in the West, have very, very significant aging of their populations.  It is happening in Europe and Japan, Spain, Italy, in particular very, very rapidly, way below replacement levels.  China’s decades of one-child policy begins to kick in.  And by 2015, 2025, you are looking at a dependency ratio of young productive people to seniors.  It begins to approach one to three.  That is a pretty heavy burden on economic growth.  How do the Europeans sustain the social safety net?  Put people in the military if they don’t have enough folks to go into the workplace to generate?  Normal answer – migration, immigration.  Where is it going to come from?  Oh, yeah, the ill-educated, the sick, the poor, the benighted.  And they are going to go into countries or try to go into countries like most of Europe and Japan that are sort of, on a good day, highly chauvinistic.  The doors are not open.

If you are not born Hungarian of Hungarian parents, you are not Hungarian.  And to multiply that example, a tremendous cultural shift here to provide proper care for the senior citizens, maintain economic productivity and growth, provide troops, and preserve the homogeneity of the country.  You can’t get there from here.  And that is going to happen over the next decade-and-a-half.  The United States in this actually comes off pretty well – both climate change and demographics – because of our receptivity to immigration.  We are just about alone in terms of the highly developed countries that will continue to have demographic growth sufficient to ensure continued economic growth. 

And even with the climate change, it is not a good time to live in the Southwest because it runs out of water and looks like the Dust Bowl.  It is not a good time to be along the Atlantic seaboard, particularly in the South because of the projected increase and intensity and severity and frequency of severe weather – more hurricanes, more serious storms, and so forth.  And kind of practical problems – I think the number is 63 military installations that are in danger of being flooded by storm surges.  The number of nuclear power plants that are so similarly vulnerable is almost as high. 

How does this affect us?  Insurance rates, building standards, inspection regimes that all will change.  Urbanization – that the days when most people lived in the countryside are over, that the cushion of subsistence farming, even in Africa and South Asia, is rapidly disappearing as people move to the city because it is a better life – more amenities, better opportunities for education, better opportunities for the kids, and greater vulnerability to a breakdown anywhere in the global system.  Energy shortages, water shortages, subsidence, all of these things. 

And finally is energy security.  As the world continues to prosper and grow, and we are projecting that it will, it is not just the big developing countries, India and China, which do require an awful lot of energy, even though per capita use is still pretty small.  Any number times 2.4 billion – India plus China – is a big number, whether it is kilowatts or barrels of oil – with its impact on oil prices, on greenhouse gases, which, oh, yeah, reifies and ramifies, extends into climate change dimensions.  But who benefits?  The Mid-East authoritarian regimes that have the oil and gas?  Russia, which already is beginning to exercise some energy diplomacy and leverage.  That the instability of countries that will be affected by climate change and other effects like Nigeria, which on any given day is operating way, way below production capacity in oil because of instability or deteriorated infrastructure, and so forth.  Why does that matter?  We get about 9 percent of our oil from Nigeria, which, oh, by the way, is a higher percentage than we get from the Middle East.  We have diversified out of one on stable region into others. 

Let me shift to the six degrees of separation and building upon the 2020 – but now we are talking near – this is right now and next week, and when the next administration comes into office.  Since there is an interconnected world –the flat world of recent metaphor, you can cut in anywhere and start pulling on strands and looking – and I would start with Iran because of the interest expressed in that.  In looking at Iran, let me just sort of take off some of the dimensions that I think are important.  One is location.  Second is energy.  And I’m glad you said about energy security, oil and gas, and Iran’s concern about access to electricity and its rationale for a nuclear power program.

The nuclear program, proliferation concerns, Islam – it is a theocratic state.  And let me walk through some of the illustrative links here with you.  And there are lots more.  And we can talk about them in the question and answer.  Location – if I had a map, you would see – your mental map will tell you – Iran is situated between Iraq and Afghanistan.  The two shooting wars that we have are on the borders of Iran.  Iran has the capacity, which is exercises, to meddle in those two conflict arenas.  And they meddle in ways that are not to our benefit – IEDs to militias in Iran, support to the Taliban in some areas and to other insurgents in Afghanistan. 

Roll back the clock six years or so.  Who are the two biggest security threats to Iran?  Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan.  The United States took care of Iran’s principal security threats – oh, yeah, except for us, which the Iranians consider a mortal threat to their nation.  So they are there.  It is a pivotal country of the kind of which there are about a dozen in the world by their location, by their population size, by their resource – you can’t ignore it.  This is not Malawi.  This is a country that does affect its neighbors.  It has an impact.  It has a history.  It has expectations.  It has a different – a security requirement.  We may not like the way they have defined their security requirement, but they consider it real and legitimate to respond to it. 

It is also next to Turkey.  And it is home to a portion of the Kurdish population, which also exists in Iraq and Syria and a large chunk of Turkey.  It’s a group of 25 million people with a guerilla group, a terrorist group, the KGK formerly known as the PKK – the Kurdish Workers’ Party, which has a kind of uneasy, allowed to exist, allowed to harass the Turks or the Iraqis, but not to cause trouble in Iran, but a potential for the Turks to come in and go after the Kurds who are there. 

The Persian Gulf – a huge percentage of oil moves through the Persian Gulf.  The Iranians have developed a capability to disrupt the flow of oil.  Again, it doesn’t affect us very much directly.  But it affects our partners, our trading partners, our allies, and it merits attention.  Iran is a double outcast, maybe a triple outcast.  It is a Shi’a nation in a Sunni sea.  Shi’a is a small minority of global Islam.  Its most numerous adherents are in Iran and Iraq.  Given the tensions in the Islamic world, given the religious tensions – to equate them with the Thirty Years’ War and the Protestant/Catholic in Europe is a stretch, but this is not harmony.  It is a potential for disruption.  It is compounded by being a Persian state in an Arab sea.  There is a lot of nationalist friction here.

They are outsiders to the region.  But they are bigger and they are more successful.  And they are more democratic.  And they have more money than a lot of their neighbors.  And they are more scared of their neighbors than maybe they ought to be or the neighbors are of them.  But there are reasons for them thinking they have a real problem – a problem that they have elected to deal with in part through two strategies.  One is at the high end and one is at the low end.  The poor man’s deterrent is terrorism.  Is it state-sponsored terrorism?  It supports Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad scattered in camps, also in the West Bank.  At the high end, it is pursuit of a nuclear deterrent.  At the low end, sort of the message is clear.  Don’t tread on me, don’t threaten me.  I know I can’t defeat you or even match you, or even hope to in conventional military.  But you can’t protect all your people everywhere all the time.

It is very blatant.  The aspirations for a nuclear weapon, which we judge in a recent estimate to work on the weaponization portion of the program was suspended.  But on development of fizzle material, the critical ingredient – that continues.  The sensitive Iranians say we are a – my word, “moral-less” law-abiding member of the non-proliferation treaty regime, the IAEA safeguards.  I say moral-less because they keep lying, and they keep getting caught, and they fess up after they get caught.  But we comply.  We are allowed to have nuclear power, civilian nuclear power.  There is no prescription on a fuel cycle.  We can enrich fuel.  And we live in this lousy neighborhood.  The Russians don’t like us much.  The Americans don’t like us much.  The French don’t like us much.  If we are going to have energy security, we need to be able to produce our own enriched uranium. 

It may be a disingenuous argument, but there are certain, actual plausible elements of this.  They have gotten assistance at the Bushehr nuclear power plant from the Russians.  But the Russians actually had been quite clear that they are very uncomfortable with the idea of a nuclear weapon program in Iran.  And they have enforced constraints on what Iran might do – had been sometimes eager and sometimes reluctant participants in the P-5+1 response to Iran’s nuclear program – P-5 – permanent members of the Security Council, which includes the Chinese, as well as the Russians, which have to be brought along by us and by the Europeans.

They have got mixed interests.  The Chinese get a large and growing percentage of their oil from Iran.  They say it is very well and good for you, Americans, to say clamp down and impose sanctions.  You don’t depend on that market.  We do.  The Russians are trying to manage the problem – most of the time – differently than we do because they are pretty close.  Iran and its energy – oil, natural gas, major supplier.  You can’t – the world can’t, even if we get orchestrated diplomatically, you can’t cut off their exports of oil and gas.  Too much of the world depends on them.  Too much of our economy depends on the oil and gas going to our trading partners.

But that enriches the regime and it allows them to bribe its people.  It enables them to have a little bit more performance-based legitimacy than they might otherwise have.  So the turn-the-spigot-off kind of thing – even if we could do it, it would be counterproductive.  The Russia-Iran had a nexus around energy.  The Russians are making very effective use of their oil and gas exports.  There are many Americans in Washington, who are more excited about European dependence on Russian gas than most Europeans seem to be.  There are two alternatives for pipelines to bring oil and gas out of Central Asia.  They either go through Russia and you reinforce its energy leverage, or it goes through Iran, and you reinforce the legitimacy and the capacity of the Iranian government.

Look at the map, guys.  There aren’t any other routes.  So there’s – either way there are political downsides, there are economic downsides, there are energy downsides, and much of the world is going to be making calculations around here that don’t go through the same screen of concern about proliferation or concern about a theocracy, or concern about extension of influence.

I mentioned Hezbollah, which is in Lebanon.  The Cedar Revolution, you remember, of a few years ago; the Lebanese reducing their dependence on Syria, Syria compelled to withdraw its overt presence from Lebanon.  Hezbollah is an arm and extension of Iran, but it’s also a political party with legitimacy, and Hezbollah’s raison d’etre is opposition to Israel, and the Israeli occupation of Lebanon – which is mostly over except for a little bit of territory by the Shebaa Farms, which we say is actually Syrian, not Lebanese.  Why do we say that?  Because it’s on their currency.  Their currency – the Syrian currency shows it as being in Syria.  Opposition, hostility to Israel, which is an Iranian position, is furthered by Hezbollah activity, but Hezbollah is a part of the political process and we support democracy in Lebanon.  

Manipulation – and I’ll bring this to a close here – of controls over energy flows and energy transport mechanisms that many people fear from a resurgent Russia – Russia’s economy is back on its feet.  It’s had several years of growth, impressive growth, much of which is associated with the high price of oil and gas.  But they’ve actually rather wisely invested money in other portions of the economy. 

The movement in Georgia, which I think has got more to do with it’s their backyard, it’s their Monroe Doctrine, without proclaiming it as such.  Saakashvili has been a real thorn in their side.  They did their “Dirty Harry” thing – go ahead and make my day; send troops into South Ossetia and we’re going to squash you like a bug.  Saakashvili sent the troops in and he got squashed like a bug.  We stand up for the democratic government in Georgia.  Most of our European allies are tying their shoes and not seeing things here at the moment.  The Russians are right there, that these troops moved a few kilometers to get across the border that had to go though the tunnel.  There’s not much we can do about it. 

And what is at stake?  One of the things is an east-west pipeline and a rail line that carries oil.  So, yeah, they want more ability to shut it down for political leverage, if that’s the intent, or it’s one more vulnerability of the Russians because they actually depend on the exports and being good commercial partners in order to sustain foreign investment in a range of other activities.  I could go on with this, but I think the point becomes clear that there is almost no problem anywhere on the face of the Earth that isn’t immediately, intrinsically, and importantly linked to many others, and if they don’t directly come back to affect American interests, they do so indirectly because they affect the interests, the lives of our major friends and allies.

What does this all mean for this administration, the next administration, any administration?  As we look out a few years, we’re probably going to be playing with fewer cards.  The face value of those cards will be diminished.  There will be more players in the game.  There will be more conflicting interests, interests that will be, end of the day if you looked at them objectively, legitimate interests that will be in conflict.  There’s no overwhelming enemy as Soviet-led international communism, an existential threat to our way of life.  There’s a whole bunch of – to borrow Jim Woolsey’s – a lot of snakes out there, no more dragons.

The difficulty of marshalling a concerted response, or even the uncertainty about whether an orchestrated, coordinated response is appropriate; the inadequacy of existing institutions to deal with the problem – so what replaces them on a regional or sub-regional level?  Will there be resorts to force, to asymmetric warfare?  Maybe.  Maybe.  How should we be positioning ourselves as an intelligence community to anticipate, to explain, to identify opportunities to ameliorate a course of action.  How do we get across to those who will be moving into positions of authority and influence in Washington how complex the world is, how hazardous, off-the-shelf, knee-jerk, visceral kinds of fixes, solution, attitudes are, and that we just have to accept that we are viewed by the rest of the world differently that we were for most of the last six decades?  It’s going to be a whole lot harder to deal with a whole lot more problems that are going to be much more interconnected than ever in our past.

I bring this to closure before throwing it open to your questions by saying that’s why we need to transform everything about our business: what we go after, how we go after it, how we use technology and smart people to sharpen the questions that we then ask of the data that we already have or ask the collectors to go get for us.  These things are so bloody hard – again, my little examples.  To deal with that nexus of problems you better have Russia specialists, and Caspian region specialists, and Iran specialists, and Iraq specialists, and military and energy and economic and demographic, and on and on and on.  And if that array of experts isn’t consulted, isn’t sharing information, isn’t talking with one another and talking beyond the confines of the community, we will fail.

On that rather unhappy note, let me invite you to play stump the band here and ask me whatever is on your mind and I’ll make something up.  Thanks, folks.  (Applause.) 

Yes, sir?

Q:  Tom, you did make – (inaudible) – as you were talking through the demographics – (inaudible).  The general assumption is that – (inaudible) – and the question becomes in my mind, what’s the motivation for the Iranian bomb?  It has nothing to do – an Iranian nuclear weapon has nothing to do with the West but it has everything to do with the Shi’ite bomb to counter the Sunni bomb – (inaudible).

DR. FINGAR:  Yeah, did everybody hear the question?  What if the Iranian quest for a bomb – which assumes that continues – or certainly its original motivation were triggered not by fear of the West but a fear of the Sunni in Pakistan who do have a bomb?  That’s probably an element of it is that both the Paks and the Iranians have accused one another in recent years of fomenting insurrection in Baluchistan, the area – the tribal groups that span the border, which are not terribly unstable in relative terms but have the potential to be a problem. 

Iran, it has a lot of enemies, or a lot of adversaries, or a lot of potential enemies, most of whom happen to be connected to us, like the Saudis, the Egyptians –

Q:  Who happen to be Sunni.

DR. FINGAR:  – the Pakistanis – I’m sorry?

Q:  Who happen to be Sunni.

DR. FINGAR:  Happen to be Sunni – who happen to be Sunni.  There’s a religious element to it, for sure.  There is an approach to government – and this will sound strange but the Iranians actively have a better-functioning democracy than Pakistan does.  We may not like who they elect.  It may be a distorted process by the way in which people are vetted before they can run, but it’s actually pretty free and fair elections once they get to that point, and they have some authority afterwards.

Let me reverse the question.  See, if Iran were to get a nuclear weapon, would it make the region more or less stable?  And part of the projection that we make is that the Saudis – the keeper of the Islamic heartland who happen to be Sunni, who have a Shi’a minority in their Far-Eastern portions, which, oh, by the way, is where the oil is – will feel compelled to have a weapon.  They can’t make one, and whether they’ll rent one – maybe they’ve already rented it from the Pakistanis.  It may sit in a silo or a warehouse in Pakistan with a Saudi flag painted on it – I’m being metaphorical – but we don’t know on that one.  But the pressure to get one, the incentive to get – and, oh, it will expand up to the Turks as well, and the Egyptians, as they have made clear.

So the quest for security and stability has the very high prospect of making things less stable, and to contemplate a less-stable Pakistan is really quite frightening.  There is a large Islamic movement.  There is, of course, a large nuclear weapons capability.  There is the unstable northern territories, the ungoverned territories that have never been governed by anybody effectively.  And for those who haven’t been up there, if you’re readers of the comic strip of my youth, “Terry and the Pirates,” that’s it.  I went up to meet the Taliban a little over a decade ago.  It was my first TDY ever to the 14th century.  It’s time travel.  It’s strange.  But it’s also dangerous, not just as a safe haven for terrorists who can spread back into Europe, to the United States, and training, but for destabilizing Afghanistan. 

The instability fosters fear around the neighborhood, not just in India, but what might spill over?  What if the beards got the bomb, is the way it is put – if these extremists got control of nuclear weapons?  People who harbor terrorists – and these aren’t fissile – this is a bomb.  And, you know, we feel reasonably confident that the Pakistani military maintains pretty good control of this.  Well, what if the military sort of changes sides in this?  Then we’ve got a problem, so we do worry about it and work on it.

Somebody else.  Yes?

Q:  Thanks for that very impressive tour of the – (inaudible).  If the new administration comes in and – you know, just hypothetically, if they say – (inaudible) – an important element of soft power; we’re going to increase that soft power capability and we’ll triple the number of analysts in the intelligence community, if we could afford them.  If they were to do that, would the analytic transformation and framework at its current state as of 2009, would that help to be able to – could we bring them in, in an entirely new role?  What would the difference be?

DR. FINGAR:  Yeah.  I’m going to answer the question.  Let me preface it by sort of a cautionary note.  I realize that what I described can easily be heard as, oh, god, doom, gloom, pessimism.  It should not.  It’s attempted to describe the complexity of this.  I actually remain quite optimistic about our ability, of the intelligence community of the United States, us with our allies, to deal with this.  The flip side of every one of these complexity-derived or exacerbated problems is an opportunity.  They’re in there.  We have to be smart. 

Now to the – there is a certain, oh, that’s so last century to the way – as my kids would say – that if you’ve got a problem, throw more money and people at it.  If I were to be asked that question, I would say, no, no, no, no, no.  If the problem is defined as you did in the setup, the understanding of the world, I say take this money, take this effort, strengthen education.  I was a beneficiary of the Eisenhower-era National Defense Education Act, know your enemy kind of funding, which produced a generation and a half-worth of experts who we’ve not replicated.  Get people into the private sector who can do business, who can interact in NGOs, expand opportunities to bring foreign students to the United States.  They understand us better.  They don’t necessarily love us but they at least understand us better, and they can go home to positions there.

So I think, in terms of bang for a buck, making the analytic community larger doesn’t necessarily make it smarter.  I think it might actually slow down the transformation if it’s perceived as a band-aid that precludes the need for making the kind of hard, painful choices that Mike and I and others have described over the last two days.

That’s a top-of-the-head response.  I doubt that I’d change it much upon reflection, but that’s where I start.

Anybody else?

Q:  (Inaudible.)

DR. FINGAR:  Ah, yes, in the Army we call that a spring button.

Q:  (Inaudible) – you addressed earlier today in which we clearly got the message that you personally, and likely DNI – (inaudible) – believes that we shouldn’t – (inaudible) – and that there is merit to having – (inaudible) – personally agree with that.  I have a personal view that the terminology “community” – “intelligence community” is an oxymoron; that there has never been a community; that it’s a series of tribes with more or less important sheiks at the top.  So my question to you, Tom, is if the ODNI needs to be more successful than it has been – because my view, again, is that things are being done by consensus, necessarily so – what is the one thing, two things, three things that you, Tom, think needs to be done in order to accelerate into a – (inaudible) – dramatically lead in to turn the tribes into a real community?

DR. FINGAR:  Did everybody hear the question?


DR. FINGAR:  Given the –

Q:  Now I have to repeat it, Tom.

DR. FINGAR:  No, no.  Given the importance that I and other have ascribed to the role of the ODNI, it ought it be continued, not disbanded, what are the three things that I think need to be done in order to prevent reversion to the contending tribes?  That is our history.

Let me preface it by going back a decade or so.  I can’t remember the precise time, but it may have been 1997 on the 50th anniversary of the National Security Act – which the National Archives produced a volume on the formative years of the intelligence establishment, and I went down with a couple of the veterans who were in INR when I joined the bureau in 1986, who had been there literally from the beginning.  They had been in this part of OSS.  Some of you NSAers will remember Dick Curl.  Several of the speakers that day made the point that “intelligence community” not only was an oxymoron, that it was delusional, that the term “intelligence establishment” was chosen by these veterans who prepared this documentary history to reflect the fact that they were warring fiefdoms that didn’t trust one another, that existed in parallel structures because no head of an agency would rely on intelligence from an organization they didn’t control.  And coming out of the State Department – the INR was created at the same time as the CIA because George Marshall, given his military experience, explicitly said his intelligence shop was going to work for him – Army intelligence, Navy intelligence. 

That’s the genesis of it.  So we were born in an environment that put a patina of coordination and consolidation under the Director of Central Intelligence that from the beginning had no reality, as articulated by these sort of veterans of that time.  Even I was very young at the time they were talking about in the ’40s. 

Where we are now is, I think, that organizations – the organizations that constitute the intelligence community have more or less gotten over the fear concern that there was going to be a homogenization, that we were going to create a central intelligence establishment in a kind of a replay of all of the concerns that existed in the ’40s when that debate was first waged, and then that sort of led to the creation of additional agencies subsequently; that we would have, or strive for, something like a department of intelligence.  And as my boss, Mike McConnell, has said on many occasions, he’s less a Director of National Intelligence than a coordinator of national intelligence because he’s not the secretary of national intelligence.

Of the 16 agencies, 15 report to another Cabinet member.  So structurally, what I was referring to earlier in the day as a great asset for being close to our customers, it means that structurally there is a paucity of command authority – maybe put politely – and therefore a need to win grudging acceptance, if not consensus.  That’s what the law and the executive order are in the structure.   And, actually, I don’t have a problem with that.  I think that there is healthy tension in the system, but I think we’ve gotten over the fear of homogenization, of loss of mission stature and capability, and an increasing ability to see the agency’s future and the agency’s mission as being attainable – best attainable within the context of a better-integrated enterprise.  I said better-integrated, not integrated enterprise.  I think for a while the antibodies and the resistance to a truly integrated corporate entity here, which has divisions and division of labor and so forth, I think we’re headed in that direction and I think it’s going to be hard to get there.

So what three things would I recommend, now that I vamped long enough to think in parallel processing mode?  The budget authority that the DNI has – one of the few authorities that he really, unquestionably does have.  We have to overcome the propensity of at least some within the ODNI staff to view this as an opportunity to micromanage the community.  It has all of the silliness to me of a flea climbing up the tail of an elephant contemplating rape.  (Laughter.)  The budget is so huge, the range of activity so large, the complexity of activity such that a tiny staff has zero capability to micromanage the entire budget, and shouldn’t try.  We have agency heads, program managers.  They have authority, they have mission, they have understanding, and the vast majority of the activity should be conducted by them, in my judgment. 

But my metaphor here – and I’ve used it with McConnell – is that if we’re an aircraft carrier that we want to turn, I don’t care who runs the kitchen, I don’t care who is in charge of refueling, who cleans up after the airplanes; I just want the rudder.  And what the DNI and the ODNI I think needs to do is to identify those activities, those areas, those investments, those efforts that can best integrate the enterprise and get us moving forward so that the ability of each agency to achieve its objectives is enhanced by integration.  Some of it is IT, some of it is common training, some of it is common tradecraft, some of it is complementarity in mission on this, that using that authority, a few percentage of the budget over the FYDP, each year monitoring, that produces big bang for the buck, visibly so in changing the community, I think it will be self-sustaining.  So it’s sort of focus the effort where you can have an impact – it might not succeed but you can have an impact rather than squander it in a showboating effort that is almost certain to fail. 

The second is to hold agency heads and agencies accountable for adherence to those standards that have been adopted, implemented – everything from joint duty as a prerequisite for promotion into the senior service, the mobility dimensions of this, the compliance with sourcing standards.  We need to have the cascade effect here: if agency heads are accountable, then those accountable to the agency heads, and we’ll begin to have the kind of metrics and enforcement that was discussed earlier today in response to a question.

And the third is to sustain the quality of support that we provide, what I was alluding to in certain terms is confidence in the caliber, the quality of the support we provide, which most visibly to senior policy-makers are analytic products, which most visibly to the military services is the mixture of raw, tactical intelligence and information that is processed enough and analyzed enough to apply right now – operational information.  And for law enforcement, first responders, it’s much, much better distillation of what is a real threat and what isn’t, so that they can make appropriate judgments. 

I think if we focus on those areas, we will demonstrate the value of having an ODNI.  As I mentioned to John at the table, it wasn’t just the history, the structure, the authorities; it was the double – the dual character of DCIA from the beginning, running a big organization, arguably the preeminent, the major organization in the intelligence community, and attempting to herd the cats.  Inevitably the cat herding took second place, and with few unsuccessful exceptions over the history, there was no effort, serious effort, to get the integrated enterprise – to change it from an establishment if not into a community – my mind’s soft here – at least into an enterprise that could function together.

John is up, so I assume that means it’s time to disperse you.  Thank you for your time.  John, I’m not cutting you off, your announcement.  Thanks for your attention.





Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Dr. Thomas Fingar, Addresses the 2008 INSA Analytic

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Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Dr. Thomas Fingar, Addresses the 2008 INSA Analytic

Transformation Conference (Morning & Evening Speeches- September 4, 2008)(2)!4D7ABB49694F5ED8!880.entry

Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Dr. Thomas Fingar, Addresses the 2008 INSA Analytic

Transformation Conference (Morning & Evening Speeches- September 4, 2008)(3)!4D7ABB49694F5ED8!879.entry

  Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Dr. Thomas Fingar, Addresses the 2008 INSA Analytic

Transformation Conference (Morning & Evening Speeches- September 4, 2008)(4)!4D7ABB49694F5ED8!878.entry  =========================================================================== 




















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