Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
To win against a networked adversary, the intelligence community must share critical information with decision makers but not always with every element of its own community first. Assembling "puzzles" from many pieces is often necessary for planning and strategy; it takes time and the meticulous management of databases by analytical experts. But for day-to-day operations, decision makers often hold as many or more pieces than intelligence agencies do and certainly know better from moment to moment what knowledge they need to act. In terms of tactical decisions, sharing among intelligence agencies so that an "all source" product can be generated can be a form of hoarding. It can result in finished analyses that are irrelevant, unhelpful or even harmful to national security. [Italics mine]
What sets Costa Rica apart is its remarkable decision in 1949 to dissolve its armed forces and invest instead in education. Increased schooling created a more stable society, less prone to the conflicts that have raged elsewhere in Central America. Education also boosted the economy, enabling the country to become a major exporter of computer chips and improving English-language skills so as to attract American eco-tourists.
I’m not antimilitary. But the evidence is strong that education is often a far better investment than artillery.