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19 July 2010

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DCA

I don't mind the gov't paying for the real experts: there aren't that many, so it doesn't cost a lot.

In a lot of organizations, you only get a higher-ranking position if you have more people reporting to you; this puts the people who are good at "lean and mean" at a disadvantage compared with those who swear by "bigger is better". This is a hard current to swim against.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

Thanks, for the analysis. This is as close as this former enlisted E-5 will ever get to the Intelligence Establishment.

After living way too long in DC I have come to the conclusion that there are two human needs at work here; greed and ideology.

There are no better examples than the Ultimate Intelligence Tag Team; Fred and Kimberly Kagan (the male half pictured below). Living High on telling people what they want to hear not what they need to know.

R Whitman

In the commercial world these things are weeded out through failure, bankruptcy, re-engineering, and restructuring with one goal--profit.

No such mechanism exists in government and non profit organizations to achieve this except financial limitations and revolution.

Even then it may not work, print more money and in a revolution or any other great social upset, bureaucracy is the one constant survivor.

Roy G

I'd call it a 'Gold Rush' mentality. While 9/11 did indeed change things, I believe more cynical forces took over. Carpetbaggers, ideologues and snakeoil salesmen infiltrated the industry, and have been making bank on dubious to outright bogus products and services.

This was by design: Von Rumsfeld's 'rent-a-military' concept, combined with Bush Jr.'s admitted strategery of growing a war economy, plus the fundamentalism of privatization, have all created this bastard.

As Col. Lang noted, we like big, and you get big by growth. However, what the proponents of growth don't like to acknowledge is this: uncontrolled growth = cancer.

frogspawn

After the Sept. 11 terror attacks nearly ten years ago, Congress authorized an extra $40 billion β€” beyond what was in the federal budget β€” to bolster domestic defenses and fight al-Qaida. In 2002, it added $36.5 billion more and, in 2003, another $44 billion, the Post reported.

$120.5B from 9/11 to '03, and God knows how much since then.

There's gold in thet thar shining city on the hill.

Interesting comment here.

Fred

Well, at least it may soon be easier to drown one's troubles in Virginia:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/17/AR2010071702491.html?hpid=topnews

Keydet 76

Pat,

Let me offer this observation not only has the intelligence community grown so too has the size of the service headquarters. One of the jobs I had in the Army was to transform Theater Army from a Headquarters of approximately 900 to a Headquarters comprised of two Command Posts; 1166 personnel, to include a squad of General Officers (8) and two platoons of Colonels (54). I can tell you it has been an unmitigated flop. Likewise Division (approximately 780) and Corps (approx 820) have also grown from what they were Pre 9/11. I am not sure the Army is any better because of the size except we make better PowerPoint slides now!

Regarding Fred comment about selling the liquor stores, no one has explained to me how Virginia doesn't end up losing on this proposition. McDonnell may think he is a conservative, I knew old man Byrd and his son they were conservatives, McDonnell is just spouting whatever the current "conservative" talking points are.

Walrus

I only have one prayer:

..Please God, make these security organisations as blind as bats, as slow as a snail and as ineffectual as a butterfly, make them bloat until they are incapable of reproduction.

After all, it's only money, and American lives that are at stake.

I am concerned that America has armed its Federal Government with all the tools of a police state and the temptation to use them domestically is irresistible in the long term. To me, the most dangerous one is the attempted creation of a seamless Two way intelligence channel extending from the Commander in Chief to your local Sheriff.

Moreover, America has a history of repression of any left leaning organisations or populist movements that challenge the status quo.

Before you scoff, please read one of the many German biographies that catalog the disbelief of educated and "civilised" Germans, in the face of concrete evidence, regarding the direction that Hitler was taking them.

European experience is that one needs to make examples of only about one percent of the population for the other Ninety Nine percent to fall into line.

Walrus

Way off topic, but I cannot understand why any Government, especially one supposedly married to the concept of free enterprise, would be in the liquor business.

We need to teach you a few things:

http://www.danmurphys.com.au/

Cynthia

Roy G,

The arms race is what killed the Soviet Union, leaving the US as the world's only superpower to masturbate alone in the arms race. This is crippling, if not killing, the US as well.

To make matters worse, our financial oligarchs, led by the likes of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and other vampire squids, are using their kleptocratic connections in Washington to kill our middle class, the backbone, the workhorse of the US economy. They are the parasites, we are their host. So after the parasites get done sucking us dry, they'll be left to masturbate alone on the fruits of their ill-gotten gains. Then we'll know exactly what it's like to be the world's top banana republic with the world's largest stockpile of nukes.

Chalmers Johnson, the author of Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire and The Sorrows of Empire: How the Americans Lost Their Country, predicted long before the financial markets imploded back in the fall of 2008 that the military-industrial complex, if left unchecked and unchallenged, would eventually destroy America. But he, like so many others in the antiwar community, failed to see the financial oligarch's role in destroying America. He failed to see our neocon-backed military elites have been in cahoots with our neolib-backed financial elites to destroy anything and everything that was once great about America.

http://antiwar.com/radio/2008/01/24/chalmers-johnson-3/

Patrick Lang

walrus

product of puritanism. governor McDonnell agrees with you. pl

Bart

Colonel, how does your Live Traffic Feed thingy know my zip code? Surely my ISP serves several codes. Is there a master file of the specific four-part Internet addresses?

Patrick Lang

Bart

Yes. pl

The Twisted Genius

Some of the huge growth in DIA can be attributed to recent reorganization efforts to an "enterprise model." Don't ask me to explain what the enterprise model is. I don't have a clue beyond the fact that it's huge and growing bigger. The Director of DIA now has probably half a dozen titles including JFCC-ISR commander and DJIOC commander. The COCOM J2s and their intelligence staffs are now the regional JIOCs and their personnel are now considered DIA employees. I can explain all the acronyms later, if needed. Here's a link to the 2007 to 2012 DIA strategic plan. It contains every new buzzword and "enterprise management phrase" that I can think off.

http://www.dia.mil/thisisdia/2007-2012_DIA_Strategic_Plan_text.htm

DIA has also overfeed at the GWOT trough for the last decade. Any new program or program expansion can be explained as critical to the GWOT (global war on terrorism) and included in the supplementary funding bills that all the national security industries have become accustomed to over the years. This has, in addition to the normal budget cycles, doubled the opportunities of pitching new and/or expanded programs to Congress.

The Twisted Genius

"At the end of the 1st Gulf War, DIA was thought by many to be a highly effective combat support organization. Norman Schwartzkopf didn't think so?"

So where did Fat Norman think Rick Francona came from?

Tyler

We used to say, the most dangerous thing in the Army was a lieutenant who needed to fill powerpoint bullets.

Roy G.

Cynthia-agreed, although I'd ascribe the formation of this particular phenomenon to Eisenhower's 'missing C'--in what he originally termed the Military Industrial Congressional Complex.

rjj

THIS IS FOR BART

By way of which ...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/19/us-spies-triple-since-2001

One person with a "high-level clearance" for every 145 U.S. citizens between the age of 20 and 65 - assume 1 for every 75 households.

Hmm. Not sure what high-level means practically, and I am sure there are a large number of folks outside the country who need keeping an eye on, but there are some nightmarishly perverse incentives in that particular jobs program.

All of a sudden I am worried my browsing history is conspicuously >> suspiciously deficient in celebrity name searches. So whatever happened to Kevin Festerbinder or whatever his name was - the callow cad who was married to the young blond woman with a drug problem and a tendency to go to fat. She may have been a singer.

Patrick Lang

TTG

Thanks. I have avoided DIA since I left. It doesn't seem to hurt their feelings. pl

rjj

Disclaimer: Not that I am imagining those 800+K people are busily engaged in steaming open householders insurance offers from Geiko. I was just using that comparison to get my mind around the numbers.

It MIGHT, however, be a fiendishly clever hearts-and-minds device: the public might more willingly support the various imperial enterprises in order to keep this metastatic security and surveillance apparatus occupied elsewhere.


Patrick Lang

rjj

A "Top Secret" collateral clearance is a fairly low level access level that would not be a high enough level of clearance to do anything serious inside the big agencies. The words are meaningless and represent times long past. pl

J

Colonel,

I hate to sound pessimistic, but don't I see a snowball chance in hell of either changing or stopping the outsourcing train with all its adding more and more cars (Intel, DHS, etc.) as it rolls down the tracks. Too many have a vested interest in seeing this 'gravy train' continue unabated. Those parties could care less how bad it skews the actual Intel picture, just so long as their gravy continues to pour on their biscuits. As long as our government exists, their outsourcing gravy train will continue rolling down its tracks, draining the American taxpayers, and further debilitating our nation's ability to defend and preserve itself.

The train of 'mercs' and their greased palms on Capitol Hill keeps a rolling unabated. I hate mercs and their greased palms on Capitol Hill, they are such soul-less bastards. Their allegiance is to their pocketbooks, not to our Constitution.

Patrick Lang

J

I don't see any way to stop it either. The money is too good. pl

Jackie

Pat,
I'm glad Bart asked the zip code question. Your answer was enlightening.

TTG,
In my neighborhood "GWOT" means the "global war on trees". They grow where you don't want them and multiply at will. It's a constant fight, so I just modified Bush's GWOT. Although my fight doesn't waste as much money and is more effective than his GWOT.

Patrick Lang

TTG

Yes. Francona was my assistant in Washington before he went to CENTCOM Saudi Arabia to work as an analyst under Colonel Jim Ritchie. Ritchie had six hundred people in Riyadh detailed from DIA who WERE the analytic effort. pl

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