Dare spazio a tutti coloro che hanno voglia e facoltà.
Fornire risposte per ogni segnalazione ricevuta.
Creare un buon portale di filosofia analitica.
Sostenere le iniziative dell’associazione culturale Azione Filosofica.
Il Nostro ideale è quello di proporre una libera diffusione di materiali scelti e di fornire un punto di contatto tra persone interessate alla discussione delle proprie idee e opinioni, in piena libertà e in linea con la responsabilità che ogni intervento richiede. Il nostro Ideale impone tale responsabilità, ed è sostenuta nella convinzione che Conoscenza e Democrazia debbano passare anche attraverso portali liberi da Istituzioni e da qualunque barriera che non favorisca il libero accesso ai contenuti della Ragione.
Pili, G. (2021). “Why HAL 9000 is not the future of intelligence analysis: Intelligence analysis in the 21st century.” The Journal of Intelligence, Conflict, and Warfare, 4(1), 40–60. https://doi.org/10.21810/jicw.v4i1.2566
Intelligence analysis is a core function of the intelligence process, and its goal is to synthesize reliable information to assist decision-makers to take a course of action toward an uncertain future. There is no escape from uncertainty, friction, and the fog of war. Since the dawn of human history, the present moment has been experienced as unpredictable, and the challenge of determining the right future through sound decisions has always existed. Investing in new technology, continually touted as the answer for analytic troubles, seems far less difficult in the short run than trying to find consensus about a long-term vision. It is easier to develop a nuclear missile, for example, than to give a universal definition of peace, and this is what the history of the XX century was all about. While intelligence analysis is still a necessary tool for decision-makers, it is unclear who or what will perform this function in the future. Though the solution cannot be only technological, the current trajectory tells a different story whereby the human analysts are removed from their central position to make way for Artificial Intelligence.
After so many topics, it was time to face one of the structured analytic techniques, also known by the acronym “SATs” (where the “s” is the plural). Actually, when I try to explain to my mother (ah, the mothers!) what intelligence analysis is about, I use SATs. Well, not for analyzing her, but for giving her a concrete example of what intelligence analysts do. All we need is SATs, according to many. But the research in the intelligence studies shows that SATs are not so widespread, their benefits are not so measurable, and ultimately (you will discover in this interview) they are not even so widespread. All the leading intelligence scholars from different corners of the world tackled the issue and, still, there is no universal agreement. Whatever their pros and cons, whatever they are, this is a crucial topic and, I believe, we all must know what they are (if we deal with intelligence). Exactly, for this reason, I thought it appropriate to let Alexei Kuvshinnikov speak about them. Indeed, Alexei is a passionate and professional SATs user, a member of the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE), and, as you will discover, a promoter of SATs use. As a professional expert active in criminal investigation and narcotics for international institutions, and a teacher, he argues for the need for SATs for limiting biases and cognitive pitfalls. Considering his long experience in the field and his knowledge of intelligence methods, Alexei was an ideal referent for talking about this interesting topic. I don’t want to spoiler more, but if you are interested in intelligence analysis, this is something for you. It is then with my distinct pleasure to publish the interview on Scuola Filosofica – for those who don’t know it yet; it is one of the leading cultural blogs in Italy. In the name of Scuola Filosofica Team, our readers, and myself, Giangiuseppe Pili, Alexei: thank you!
1# Professor Alexei Kuvshinnikov, let’s start with the basics. How would you like to present yourself to the national and international readers and Philosophical School (Scuola Filosofica)?
Dear Giangiuseppe, thank you very much for the compliment, but I have to decline it. Being just a titleless lecturer with no academic qualifications beyond a Master´s degree, I have no pretence of belonging to the academia. Getting a taste of reality leads to getting a taste for reality, and graduate students can only benefit from it, that´s my firm belief. Accordingly, I teach SATs not as a science but rather as a tradecraft. You see, from an academic perspective, there is no difference between the academia and the real world. From the perspective of real-world operators, there often is.
After, well, thirty-four publications (plus the others already scheduled), it was time to cover one of the most fascinating topics in intelligence history. Yes, we are talking about the Russian intelligence and the KGB from the Czarist foundation to our days. The KGB was considered by many as the most powerful intelligence service globally, which should probably raise immediately the question of where and under what conditions such a powerful state institution is indeed legitimate in the first place. This is already enough for presenting this interview but let me add a couple of observations. We should not consider the KGB as a rule in the intelligence realm or as an example to be followed. We must consider it as what to avoid at any cost. Intelligence history is never “just” history (assuming that there is history that is “just” history). For this reason, I approached Professor Kevin Riehle (National Intelligence University, USA). This interview will accompany the reader from the inception of the Russian intelligence to the current institutional frame and organization. It is a deep dive into the Russian intelligence world. The first time I met Kevin, we were in Aberystwyth (back then… in person). We briefly discussed the relationship between intelligence and democracy and the importance of grounding the intelligence activity to the values inscribed into the constitution. More recently, during research on intelligence teaching, I had the pleasure to read one of his papers, this one on intelligence education (highly recommended), and to hear his presentation at the last International Studies Association Convention. It is then with my distinct pleasure to publish the interview on Scuola Filosofica – for those who don’t know it yet; it is one of the leading cultural blogs in Italy. In the name of Scuola Filosofica Team, our readers, and myself, Giangiuseppe Pili, Kevin: thank you!
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or any U.S. government agency.
Dopo anni di lettura forte, capita di passare in rassegna i numerosi libri che mi hanno intrattenuto e che oggi mostrano la loro costa, uno di fianco all’altro, sui ripiani della libreria di casa. Non c’è nessun dubbio sul fatto che la mia preferenza per la lettura di romanzi superi senza difficoltà quella relativa a libri di ogni altro genere.
When I was working on my recent three-fold research papers on intelligence analysis, I came across a journal article that fascinated me quite a lot since I’ve read the title. It was the case in which the content I read was exactly as good as my expectations (which are usually extremely high when they come to peer-review scientific papers). Indeed, since I started studying war theory and the philosophy of war, Clausewitz’s On War was mandatory reading. Interestingly, Clausewitz is inversely proportionally considered in intelligence and war studies. If he is one of the founding fathers of the modern understanding of war (and rightly so, notwithstanding many critics), he is almost entirely dismissed in the intelligence domain. Yes, true, he stated that intelligence is unreliable by nature, that the commander should avoid to trust intelligence (too much), and that uncertainty is inherently part of war and warfare… and so he couldn’t be said a big supporter of intelligence in general. Is this sufficient to discharge his work? So, when I read An Outline of a Clausewitzian Theory of IntelligenceI finally found a partial vindication of my long-lasting necessity to see Clausewitz better considered within the intelligence studies and, more broadly, intelligence. But even more importantly, in an age that prizes all that comes from the last technological invention but the human brain, it is always healthy to remember how our world is ultimately unpredictable and dominated by an intrinsic uncertainty. The efforts of the last seventy years were to prove that everything has its own place as if nature and human beings are only tiny cogged wheels, in spite of all suggested by history and by ordinary life (actually). Then, after such a reading, I almost felt obliged to contact Dr Lillbacka to have a deeper conversation about these topics. This interview is part of this discussion which, I hope, you will find as fascinating as insightful. In addition, I invite the readers to discover Lillbacka’s publications, which are as rich as rigorous. There is no question that not everything can be covered in a single interview but I hope you will find so much to think about prediction, friction, and uncertainty that, at least, you will be enriched as much as I did. It is then with my distinct pleasure to publish the interview on Scuola Filosofica – for those who don’t know it yet; it is one of the leading cultural blogs in Italy. In the name of Scuola Filosofica Team, our readers, and myself, Giangiuseppe Pili, Ralf: thank you!
Since the beginning of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in 2014, international security research has been extensively shaped by increased focus on information operations and hybrid warfare. The Kremlin’s use of multiple instruments of power, including cyberattacks, conventional troops, economic pressure and massive disinformation campaigns, has threatened security of not only Ukraine, but many Western democracies as well. Although foreign experts’ analysis of the Russian hybrid warfare often takes into account vulnerabilities and mistakes made by Ukraine, it seems to accord less attention to the multiple ways in which the country succeeds in handling Russian aggression. While Ukraine has been a testing ground of new-generation warfare techniques, it has also conducted testing of many diverse countermeasures to mitigate them. To enrich international discussion on the Russian hybrid warfare with the knowledge of Ukrainian strategies and solutions towards it, we have invited to our series Alina Frolova, an experienced professional in the field of strategic, government and crisis communications based in Ukraine. Before assuming her current position as Deputy Chairman of the Centre for Defence Strategies in Kyiv, Alina has served as a public official in the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine and Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine, where she facilitated implementation of strategic and government communications amid the ongoing conflict. In our interview with Alina, we discuss the importance of strategic communications and key factors behind their success, the most effective mechanisms against foreign influences, recent escalation along the Ukrainian border, as well as Ukraine’s image abroad and the country’s progress in the pursuit of NATO membership thus far. On behalf of the Scuola Filosofica Team, our readers, and myself, Roman Kolodii, Alina: thank you!
1# Alina, how would you like to present yourself to the international readers of Scuola Filosofica?
Alina Frolova, Deputy Chairman, Centre for Defence Strategies, Founder of StratcomUA (Center for Strategic Communications), Deputy Minister of Defence of Ukraine 2019-2020.
Godfrey H. Hardy è stato un illustre matematico inglese, nato a Cranleigh nel 1877 e morto a Cambridge nel 1947. Ha apportato contributi notevoli a più di un settore della sua scienza, e ha fatto da mentore all’originale matematico indiano Srinivasa Ramanujan. A Hardy e al medico tedesco Wilhelm Weinberg si deve una legge, nell’ambito della Teoria dell’Evoluzione, inerente alla stabilità genetica di una popolazione (date certe condizioni), che i due formularono indipendentemente l’uno dall’altro.
Nel saggio Apologia di un matematico, pubblicato nel 1940 (io mi riferisco all’edizione Garzanti 1989, contenente la Prefazione del fisico e scrittore inglese Charles P. Snow all’edizione uscita nel 1967 e la Presentazione del matematico Edoardo Vesentini), egli ha esaltato la dimensione scientifica, culturale ed estetica della Matematica, prima ancora di quella meramente utilitaria. Ha inoltre istituito un interessante confronto fra la Matematica e il gioco degli Scacchi nonché, nel contesto di quest’ultimo, fra i problemi e il gioco vivo.
Onorato di aver scritto un capitolo nel libro uscito per il Sole 24 Ore! Questa volta è sugli scacchi e sull’intelligence e strategia, imparare a pensare con l’arte della guerra! Il libro è curato da UniChess con un impressionante elenco di autori! Grazie a Roberto Mogranzini per averlo organizzato e a tutti i contributors per il loro lavoro! Dal libro sulla guerra e gli scacchi edito per Le Due Torri e l’articolo pubblicato sull’American Intelligence Journal… al Sole24Ore! Sarà in edicola da questo martedì, mi dicono, ma lo potrete trovare anche in libreria! Un grazie a Eugenio Dessy per aver letto in anteprima quando… non sapeva dove sarebbe uscito: Eugenio, grazie!
With current expansion of digital practices to mitigate the effects of Covid-19, well-calibrated cybersecurity strategies have become even more relevant than ever. Such instances as recent attempts to steal data on Covid vaccines through cyber-intrusions, for instance, demonstrate how dangerous and malicious cyber-threats can be during healthcare emergencies, especially if orchestrated by foreign governments. Indeed, in recent years, many experts began to view cyberspace not so much as no-man’s land but rather a battlefield where individual states can engage in confrontation for the sake of asymmetrical gains. Such scholarship, however, often focuses on government-centric perceptions of cyberspace-related events and presumes disruptive potential of cyber-technologies in situations where, in fact, it is not that pronounced. These habits of thought often preclude a more accurate and better informed appreciation of the role of cyber-threats, especially in terms of their effectiveness, as well as their mitigation through non-government efforts. For this interview, we have invited Dr Lennart Maschmeyer, an expert in cybersecurity, whose work examines existing blind spots and biases regarding cyber-operations and promotes more inclusive cyber-threat reporting among non-state actors. He is a senior researcher at the Center for Security Studies (ETH Zurich), a university-affiliated think tank in Switzerland offering security policy expertise in research, teaching, and consulting activities. Apart from his academic research, Lennart has been also involved in coordination of better cyber-threat reporting between commercial cyber-threat intelligence firms and civil society actors. In our interview, we discuss the character of modern cybersecurity threats, the role of digital technologies, including social media, in Russian influence operations, the importance of cyber-threat reporting, and dominant trends that would shape the nearest future of cybersecurity and strategy worldwide. On behalf of the Scuola Filosofica Team, our readers, and myself, Roman Kolodii, Lennart: thank you!
#1 Lennart, how would you like to present yourself to the international readers of Scuola Filosofica?
I am a senior researcher at the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich where I examine the opportunities information technology provides for actors to project power in world politics. Specifically, I focus on how technological change has altered the quality of covert operations as an instrument in strategy. Cyber operations are often perceived as a novel instrument, yet my research shows close similarities to subversive intelligence operations both concerning strategic role and operational constraints. What is probably new about cyber conflict is the outsize role played by non-state actors, especially commercial cyber threat intelligence firms whose reporting often constitutes the main, sometimes the only source of data on ‘cyber attacks’. Because these firms are profit-driven, so is their reporting—and this produces selection bias in what is, and what is not reported. This bias distorts how policy makers, academics and the public perceive cyber conflict, and my secondary topic of interests is studying these biases.
Un retaggio degli sciagurati studi tecnici della mia formazione scolastica è certamente la statistica.
In realtà, il tentativo di avvicinarmi al vero, attraverso numeri e percentuali, non può essere considerato del tutto in discordanza con un’attività riflessiva estremamente fervida. Anzi, proprio la vivacità della mente è la naturale conseguenza di tutta la formazione umanistica e filantropica che è successa a quella scolastica.
Esiste un campo nel quale la matematica, la scienza dei numeri, si prefigge dall’inizio alla fine l’obiettivo di risalire la verità. Qua non c’è sorte che interferisce nella ricerca e nel risultato, il calcolo domina su ogni altra componente. Se poi alla scienza si affianca la fantasia, allora si ha a che fare con una materia eccelsa, difficilmente declassificabile. Parlo degli scacchi, attività che non poteva non entrare nella mia vita.
– Un’equazione non significa niente per me a meno che non esprima un pensiero di Dio –