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20 November 2016

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Haralambos

TTG,
Thank you for this. I am amazed at the alphabet soup of acronyms to sort through in the various scenarios. This is not a criticism of you, but I take it as an indictment of a government that has evolved away from citizens' comprehension of how our government functions, who has input, and who has access to the various organs.
Respectfully,
H

The Twisted Genius

Haralambos,

The alphabet soup of acronyms is shorthand for what has grown into a "Rube Goldberg" contraption. There is another dual hat arrangement that came into being while I was still at DIA. In 2005 the Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JFCC-ISR) was established. Although subordinate to the STRATCOM Commander, it is located at DIA in Washington and is commanded by the DIA Director under a "dual hat" arrangement. In all my time there and to this day, I do not understand it. This is how STRATCOM describes it.

"JFCC-ISR was established in March 2005 as a component of USSTRATCOM and per direction from SECDEF and Commander, USSTRATCOM serves as the DoD ISR Joint Functional Manager. In August 2007, SECDEF directed JFCC-ISR integrate its functions into the Defense Intelligence Operation Coordination Center (DIOCC) to synchronize cross-Combatant Command ISR plans and develop strategies integrating all national (IC), theater (DoD), and allied ISR capabilities to satisfy combatant command intelligence needs."

It created around 100 positions for careerists to be promoted into, but I still don't understand its function beyond that.

Jack

TTG, Sir

Would you know the back story behind why Carter and Clapper want Rogers out?

I am not informed enough to have an opinion of how these agencies should be restructured. However, if these leviathan bureaucracies can be broken up and reduced in size it will be good in my book.

Also, whats your opinion of Mattis as possible SecDef?

TV

My guess is that all these reorganizations are done primarily to enlarge rice bowls and advance careers.
Again, more evidence of the gross incompetence of the high level decision makers.
DRAIN THE SWAMP.

DWhite

Jesus, and people complain about teachers unions!

The Twisted Genius

Jack,

From what I read, this was supposed to happen on 1 October this year, well before the election. Just guessing, but the security breaches associated with the Tailors Access Office (TAO) and the lack of progress in the cyber war on IS probably had something to do with it. The FBI was shocked at the lack of security at TAO. Beyond that, I wouldn't trust anything Clapper would say about it.

Mattis seems a good choice. Marines from private to colonel loved him. He's the epitome of an officer and a gentleman, well read and honorable. If he's the final choice for SecDef, this is the best thing Trump has done so far.

The Twisted Genius

TV said: "all these reorganizations are done primarily to enlarge rice bowls and advance careers"

I think you're spot on with that observation. I arrived at DIA due to a major reorganization largely pushed by Colonel Lang. That was done for good reasons which improved DOD intelligence capabilities. Once there, I went through another reorganization, a revitalization and a transformation. I figured the next one was going to called the transmogrification. The biggest result of these changes was the increase in staff offices and positions. The field never benefited.

The Twisted Genius

Found a Baltimore Sun article saying the NSA was reorganizing itself along the lines taken by the CIA, consolidating everything under a directorate of operations, at the beginning of the year. At the same time, Obama was briefed on the idea to separate the offensive and defensive functions of NSA. It doesn't look like this was a spur of the moment plan.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-nsa-reorganize-20160207-story.html

steve

Agree with Mattis. Any thoughts on Pompeo?

Laura

Thank you for clarifying this...I had no good way to understand or analyze this before.

The Twisted Genius

Steve,

I do not see Pompeo possessing any knowledge or skills that would recommend him for the position of CIA Director, nor do I see any personality traits that would make him suitable. Seems like another partisan political hack.

turcopolier

TTG

Pompaio looks like a flaming ass to me at this point. Flynn seems undereducated but, who knows? The Marine man seems a good choice for SECDEF. I would like to see Rhee as secretary of education. At this point Romney seems the best of a bad lot for Sec State. Priebus? Woof! Bannon? A sheep in wolf's clothing. Sessions? A gentleman but not as fine as Thad Cochran was. I liked the baby grand piano and Persian carpets in Cocnran's office. My wife says that the reason the Mississippi lawyers invited me on a pig hunt was to see if I would run. I told them that I would be glad to stand by them at the moment of crisis but would not kill. The Bourbon was good. pl

JamesT

Hear, hear! I have never had anything to do with national security or law enforcement (except from a single summer job with Canadian DOD back in my university days), but I do work in IT. I have been arguing for years that there is an inherent conflict of interest when the people in charge of IT defence are also tasked with IT offence.

First of all, there is little glory in defence - nobody ever pats you on the back for something that didn't happen in my experience. Secondly, I firmly believe that all serious attempts to make our IT systems safer will invariably "leak" and make Russian/Chinese/Iranian IT systems safer - hence the inherent conflict of interest. I'm not even talking about DES being specified as a 56 bit cipher to make it easier to crack (or the fact that AES-256 is actually a 128 bit cipher masquerading as a 256 bit cipher), or the fact that the only useful defensive technology that I've ever seen come out of the NSA was SELinux - which was produced by a single guy they assigned to the project.

If I was in charge of IT defence for the USA the first thing I would do is force all software companies to track the discovery of vulnerabilities in their code and disclose them to an industry association that could publish the number and severity of vulnerabilities being discovered in operating systems etc (while keeping the details of the vulnerabilities secret for a reasonable amount of time). As things stand now - if you are thinking about using Microsoft Windows vs Apple OSX, or an Oracle database server vs Microsoft SQL ... how do you know which is more secure? There is no way to know because the vendors involved have the incentive and the ability to keep their vulnerabilities a secret, and nobody in government has the incentive to provide this information to US IT customers. As soon as US businesses know which software is more secure, so will the Iranians.

Bob

TTG: Concur with your recommended reorganization. Need to reduce GO 4-star and 3-star billets when possible. I think NORTHCOM needs clarity in its mission and responsibilities to assist all the civilian agencies in doing their jobs.

PL: My observation is that Gen (Ret) Mattis has common sense and the courage to speak truth to power. He did so on Syria.

Bob

LeaNder

Thanks for this, TTG,

My own rather arbitrary choice, or what remained on my head after reading the WP article, when it was first posted yesterday was this:

At the same time, Rogers has not impressed Carter with his handling of U.S. Cyber Command’s cyberoffensive against the Islamic State.

I by now realize that you certainly know a lot more about this stuff then me. Not least since I am female, ask Babak. But from my own nitwit perspective on matters, I wondered about this:

TTG: In my opinion this proposed separation of the intelligence and operational functions at NSA is long overdue.

Again, after I read the article I wondered if you can separate defense and offense on a purely operational/technical/information flow IT level. Putting the "good white heads" on one side and the more "murky/evil black ones" on the other? I would imagine that a good information flow between those camps could indeed be rather beneficial. On a purely theoretical level from my own nitwit perspective, that is.

Larry Kart

Michelle Rhee (of "Erase to the Top") as Education Secretary? Why not Willie Sutton or Bernie Madoff as Secretary of the Treasury?

turcopolier

Larry Kart

What are you accusing Michele Rhee of? The Department of Education did not find that she had falsified test results. The teacher's union in DC were relentless in their attacks on her because of her efforts to get rid of ineffective teachers. pl

The Twisted Genius

LeaNder,

The line between offensive operations and intelligence is blurred in the cyber realm. That is why they have been intermingled at NSA/CYBERCOM. Although the coordination between the two will be near seamless, I'd still rather see a separation between them. The NSA as a pure intelligence organization should be providing an objective truth and unbiased assessment that is then used by National Command Authorities toshape policy and an offensive-minded CYBERCOM to conduct its operations.

The offense and defense in the cyber world are diametrically opposed to each other. In practice the defense always takes a back seat to the offensive. James laid this out well in his comment. It's a matter of command emphasis.

J

Looks like incoming POTUS Trump may place Adm. Rogers in Clapper's DNI position.

Regarding Pompaio, Pompaio has stated that he would kill Snowden, and appears that Pompaio is also a cheerleader for torture-your-way-to-intelligence-extraction.

turcopolier

J

In regard to Pompaio I saw a photo of him as a captain; fat, long hair, uniform poorly assembled (brass). Thus far I am not impressed. pl

Larry Kart

Among other things, overseeing a educational system (in Washington, D.C.) in which significant tampering with the results of student tests occurred (i.e. alterations of incorrect test answers to correct ones -- tampering that boosted Rhee's claims that test scores were dramatically on the rise under her regime). Also, her prior to D.C. history in Baltimore of making false claims about her educational background and her achievements in Baltimore as a school administrator. I could pass on much more such information about Rhee, but unfortunately it's not in a form where I can readily post links to it, and while I could post the gist of it all in a post here, that post would be of inordinate length. But let me see what I can do to solve that problem.

turcopolier

Bob

Yes. We all know that there are far too many flag officers. But, if you start cutting back, "legacy" general possibilities will be cut back with the reduced number of slots. pl

LeaNder

James, at least partly triggered my response. ...

Although the coordination between the two w
ill be near seamless, I'd still rather see a separation between them.

Ok, I understand.

turcopolier

Bob

Mattis looks like a good choice to me. The retired generals that Trump seems to favor are in the main not service academy products; Keane, Mattis, Kelly, Flynn. OTOH he seems to like USMA grads who were not career soldiers. pl

Larry Kart

Re: Rhee. You trust the Department of Education's findings under Arne Duncan, Mr. "Race to the Top," in regard to falsified test results in the D.C. system when she was in charge? Policy-wise and otherwise, Duncan and Rhee (and Obama, too, for that matter) were pretty much joined at the hip. For much more information on Rhee's dubious history, while it's darn tedious to sort it all out, try here:

http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/search?q=michelle+rhee

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