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GG – Week 7

Denial & Deception – Week 7
Select one of the ‘Questions to Ponder’ as your topic for this week’s Forum posting.  Original post must be 250+ words.  Student responses must be 150+ words.
Questions to Ponder

  1. Who are the world’s leading practitioners of Denial and Deception? How have they developed, or acquired their capabilities? Do they share their capabilities, and if so, with whom?
  2. What is the influence of the twenty-four hour news cycle and the internet in Denial and Deception?
  3. What role are private companies playing in Denial and Deception proliferation and sophistication?
  4. What does the future hold for Denial and Deception operations?

Student Response #1 – Harshul
Who are the world’s leading practitioners of Denial and Deception; How have they developed, or acquired their capabilities; Do they share their capabilities, and if so, with whom;
China and Iran are the world’s leading practitioners of Denial and Deception. In true Cold War fashion the PRC continues to mislead the international community about its arms build up and its geo-strategic goals in the Far East and South East Asia. Tactically, through the use of conventional forms of deception and “…electronic decoys, infrared decoys, false-target generators and angle reflectors” (Gertz 2008, np) during operations and testing procedures the Chinese have prevented others from gaining insight into their capabilities and intentions. Strategically, as it grows stronger the PRC aims to use all available means to settle territory related disputes with Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan and Japan. Along with their own ingenuity and skill the most important sources for technological tools of deception and denial have come from business transactions with Russia and outright theft from the United States. It has also acquired American technology through our allies such as Israel. China has shared its capabilities with Pakistan, Iran, Syria and North Korea.
Iran has certainly practices both functions in order to hide the progress or lack there of concerning its nuclear ambitions. It has also practiced deception in order to intimidate its neighbors and the United States. In 2006 the Iranians had released a video of an allegedly successful missile test to showcase their military capability but after careful analysis “…U.S. intelligence officers analyzed the plume of smoke from the missile and determined it matched a video of an earlier Chinese test” (Barnes 2006, np). The Iranians have developed much of their capabilities with help from China and North Korea and have shred their capabilities with their allies in the region, mainly Syria and Lebanon.
1. Gertz, Bill. 2008. Denial and Deception. Inside the Ring. The Washington Times, March 28, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/mar/28/inside-the-ring-60000234/?page=all (accessed October 24, 2014)
2. Barnes, Julian, E. 2006. Video of Iranian Missile Test Is Fake, Pentagon Says. Los Angeles Times, September 10, http://articles.latimes.com/2006/sep/10/world/fg-missile10 (accessed October 24, 2014)
Student Response #2 – Bobby
 Who are the world’s leading practitioners of Denial and Deception? How have they developed, or acquired their capabilities? Do they share their capabilities, and if so, with whom?
The Iranian government has been great at conducting denial and deception over the years.  In an article written by Mike Nizza suggested that a photo showing a launch of four missiles was actually only three had launched (Nizza and Lyons 2008).  The image was released by Sepah News, which is the media wing of the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and was mostly doctored up with photo shop.
There are many cases where Iran is hiding the real and showing the fake.  For example, Iran’s nuclear program continually states their program is designed for electricity generation versus nuclear weapon (Reporter 2011).   Then why do they need the so many centrifuge machines running, according to an article in The New York Times, the Iranians have 19,000 and 10,200 are operating (Board 2014).  For Iran, acquiring a nuclear weapon is a matter of national pride and to project power in the region.
Another case is the denial and deception that took place at Parchin.  According to Maseh Zarif, the regime did not allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access (Zarif 2012).  By not gaining entry, this provides miss leading information and IAEA cannot make an accurate assessment of their nuclear program.
So now that we have an understanding of how Iran is able to use D&D to continue with their weapons program let us examine where they are acquiring their technology.  There is numerous sources of information in relation to the relationship that Iran has with both, China and Russia.  They are both fully capable countries that could provide growth in the Iranian uranium enrichment program or provide items that are needed to the continual development.
Another tactic currently being employed by Iran is the stand back and let the situation in Iraq fester.  The diversion going on in Iraq, Syria, and the Ukraine puts Iran on the back burner so the rest of the world are focused on other hot spots.  The deteriorating situation in Iraq also provides an environment where the US and Iran have some common ground against an enemy known as ISIS (Nader 2014).  By the US and Iran working together provides another opportunity for Iran to negotiate terms on an agreement.  The only country really concerned with Iran is Israel because Iran still makes harsh statements against them about their ultimate destruction in the region.
There are numerous concerns on about Iran gaining nuclear weapons within the region because this would lead to great instability.  Additionally, this would create an offset of power and could lead to further escalation in an area that has already been having problems.
Board, Editorial. “Impasse Over Iran’s Nuclear Program.” The New York Times, 09 2014.
Nader, Alireza. “Why Iran Can’t Walk Away from Nuclear Talks So Easily.” RAND Analysis, 09 2014.
Nizza, Mike, and Patrick J. Lyons. “In an Iranian Image, a Missile Too Many.” The Lede, 07 2008.
Reporter. “Blast Kills Commander at Iran Base.” The New York Times, 11 2011.
Zarif, Maseh. “Iran’s Denial and Deception at Parchin.” Iran Tracker, 07 2012.
OSINT – Week 7
For this forum, you are to answer one or more of the questions listed below.  The original post must be a minimum of 250 words.
1. Detail what the United States government is doing in support of open source intelligence.
2. Describe the main elements of the OSINT strategy of the United States.
Why would the government baulk at hiring private organizations/companies to collect OSINT?
3. Assert and defend an appropriate role for the government in facilitating the use of OSINT at an international level.  Is it different than the use of OSINT at a Federal, state, or municipal level? Give examples to support your position.
Student Response #1 – Dwayne
Why would the government baulk at hiring private organizations/companies to collect OSINT?
The changes that followed 9/11 were dramatic for the Intelligence Community (IC).  Part of the many restructuring processes that took place was the development of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).  Under the umbrella of the ODNI, both intelligence agencies and their civilian counterparts, the contractors, where brought together.  The IC has a budget exceeding $44 billion dollars.  Many are surprised by the fact that around half of that sum is paid out to contractors and private companies.  Even with that expenditure, there are times when the government is hesitant to hire those firms.
One major drawback of the use of contractors in OSINT processes is they often lack the rigid boundaries of “tradecraft” that are so well established for government employees.  Contractors, at times, have the freedom to make analytical judgments without references to certain source material.  While this may be acceptable for a private client, it does not suit policy makers well.  The judgments without sources can create conflict or tension because of the trade off that occurs between information efficiency and information quality.
Information quality is the primary concern for government agencies, as their intelligence is meant to support policy level decisions, and those decisions must be based off of traceable sources for accountability purposes.  While the lack of sources does not necessarily indicate bad intelligence, policy makers are accountable for their choices, so their choices must be based off of intelligence that can be audited.
On the flip side of the coin, information efficiency is a major factor in the private sector intelligence contractors.  They often have rigid deadlines that must be met in order to honor their contract, and as a result, may be forced to rely more on an analysts professional judgment and less on establishing and organizing the source material for others to reference.
Bean, H. 2006. Tradecraft versus science: Intelligence analysis and outsourcing. Retrieved from https://edge.apus.edu/access/content/group/security-and-global-studies-common/Intelligence%20Studies/INTL%20422/Content/Week%207/Outsourcing%20OSINT_Bean.pdf
Student Response #2 – Sammy
Why would the government baulk at hiring private organizations/companies to collect OSINT?
Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is defined as the collections, exploitation, analysis, and dissemination of publically available material to answer an intelligence requirement.   For OSINT to become effective and useful, there should be a close relationship between the consumer and the producer.  General Michael Hyden, Director of the CIA indicated that “while OSINT may be unclassified, out interest in it is no” (Crowe & Davidson).  For OSINT to become effective, the interest of the customer must be clear to the producer, otherwise, products will be of little or no use to the customer.  Most OSINT is being produced by contractors, who may not hold a security clearance precluding them from knowing who the customer is or become privy to the real interest for asking for this information (Crowe & Davidson).  For example, Open Source Center (OSC) was established by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and managed by the CIA.  Contractors working for OSC are fully aware of their prime customer and understand that the products are consumed, mainly, by their executive agency.  Since the correlation between OSC and the CIA is a public knowledge, anyone providing OSINT to OSC can deduce why the CIA would be interested in this type of reporting which may be classified information. Additionally, contractors may use software applications used by commercial vendors to sift through and generate their intelligence reporting.  There is always a risk when a contractor uses another commercial product because of biases to promote or demote another contractor’s product which may skew their objectivity in generating OSINT reports.  One more drawback is the framework private agencies give their analysts to generate products.  Private firms operate for profitability, thus analysts must abide by special format, word count, deadline, and a very narrow set of rules without knowing the larger context (Bean, 2006).
Bean, H. 2006. Tradecraft versus science: Intelligence analysis and outsourcing. Retrieved from https://edge.apus.edu/access/content/group/security-and-global-studies-common/Intelligence%20Studies/INTL%20422/Content/Week%207/Outsourcing%20OSINT_Bean.pdf
Crowe, June, and Tomas Davidson. Accessed November 16, 2014. https://edge.apus.edu/access/content/group/security-and-global-studies-common/Intelligence%20Studies/INTL%20422/Content/Week%207/THE%20%E2%80%9CGREY%E2%80%9D%20INTERSECTION%20OF%20OPEN%20SOURCE%20INFORMATION%20AND%20INTELLIGENCE.pdf.


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