May 22, 2024
The war in Ukraine has been a fascinating study of the democratization of intelligence. That's a phrase coined by David Gioe in a recent article he wrote with Ken Stolworthy. David and Ken join host Gen Lester in the studio to discuss what has changed in the intelligence realm that makes information so readily available and effective for the Ukrainian forces. David notes that the gap between what the professional intelligence community knows and what the average citizen armed with an Internet connection can know has dramatically narrowed as the conflict drags on. The commercialization of intelligence has been growing for years, but now the enormous amount of open source information, collated and analyzed by both amateurs and professionals alike has led to operationalization by the military in ways never seen before.

The war in Ukraine has been a fascinating study of the democratization of intelligence. That’s a phrase coined by David Gioe in a recent article he wrote with Ken Stolworthy. David and Ken join host Gen Lester in the studio to discuss what has changed in the intelligence realm that makes information so readily available and effective for the Ukrainian forces. David notes that the gap between what the professional intelligence community knows and what the average citizen armed with an Internet connection can know has dramatically narrowed as the conflict drags on. The commercialization of intelligence has been growing for years, but now the enormous amount of open source information, collated and analyzed by both amateurs and professionals alike has led to operationalization by the military in ways never seen before.

Why is it democratized? Well information is ubiquitous, it’s readily accessible, it’s cheap or it’s free, it’s decentralized and it’s crowdsourced. And I think everyone can essentially be a sensor, either wittingly or unwittingly.

David Gioe is a British Academy Global Professor and Visiting Professor of Intelligence and International Security in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. He is Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he also serves as History Fellow for the Army Cyber Institute. David is Director of Studies for the Cambridge Security Initiative and co-convener of its International Security and Intelligence program.

Kenneth Stolworthy is a Department of Defense Senior Executive. He is the Director of the Russia Strategic Initiative at U.S. European Command. Prior to this position he was National intelligence manager for Europe/Eurasia at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. He retired from the U.S. Army after 27 years of service.

Genevieve Lester is the DeSerio Chair of Strategic Intelligence at the U.S. Army War College.

The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.

Photo Credit: Image by nensuria on Freepik and Міністерство внутрішніх справ України via Wikimedia Commons

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