October 27, 2005
On Using Wikis and Blogs for National Security Communications
D. Calvin Andrus (Central Intelligence Agency) posted The Wiki and the Blog: Toward a Complex Adaptive Intelligence Community on SSRN last month. With 1,300-plus downloads, the paper has caught the attention of the IT/IS/LIS communities.
US policy-makers, war-fighters, and law-enforcers now operate in a real-time worldwide decision and implementation environment. The rapidly changing circumstances in which they operate take on lives of their own, which are difficult or impossible to anticipate or predict. The only way to meet the continuously unpredictable challenges ahead of us is to match them with continuously unpredictable changes of our own. We must transform the Intelligence Community into a community that dynamically reinvents itself by continuously learning and adapting as the national security environment changes.
Recent theoretical developments in the philosophy of science that matured in the 1990's, collectively known as Complexity Theory, suggest changes the community should make to meet this challenge. These changes include allowing our officers more autonomy in the context of improved tradecraft and information sharing. In addition, several new technologies will facilitate this transformation. Two examples are self-organizing knowledge websites, known as Wikis, and information sharing websites known as Blogs. Allowing Intelligence Officers and our non-intelligence National Security colleagues access to these technologies on SIPRNet, will provide a critical mass to begin the transformation.
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