Opportunity Assessments and Threat Assessments


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“The recent National Intelligence Council’s report – “Global Trends 2025: A World Transformed,” anticipates changing and uncertain times ahead for the Unites States and the world. Most U.S. citizens don’t need classified intelligence information to reach the same conclusions.

On a global basis, this is hardly the news. Billions of the earth’s populations are living so close to the margin of death by illness and starvation, that looking 13 years into the future makes no sense at all. What does make sense is to muster all available energy and skill to find what it will take for one more day of life. A transformed world does not currently bode well for those who have very little left to lose but life….”

Author: Scott Jones, a former US Naval Intelligence Officer and founder and president of the Peace and Emergency Action Coalition for Earth (P.E.A.C.E.)
Published in: Huntington News Network in Huntington, West Virginia (home page: http://www.huntingtonnews.net/) and The Baltimore Times
Date: December 9, 2008, December 15, 2008

For the full article:
Opportunity Assessments and Threat Assessments
(366 words)
by Scott Jones

The recent National Intelligence Council’s report – “Global Trends 2025: A World Transformed,” anticipates changing and uncertain times ahead for the Unites States and the world. Most U.S. citizens don’t need classified intelligence information to reach the same conclusions.

On a global basis, this is hardly the news. Billions of the earth’s populations are living so close to the margin of death by illness and starvation, that looking 13 years into the future makes no sense at all. What does make sense is to muster all available energy and skill to find what it will take for one more day of life. A transformed world does not currently bode well for those who have very little left to lose but life.

The Intelligence Communities of all powerful countries are tasked to prepare Short-Term, Mid-Term and Long Range Threat Assessments. This routine provides the foundation for political, economic and security policy decisions. There is a direct correlation between the importance of the policy area and the classification level of the threat assessment. Most will never be seen by public eyes. Threat Assessments are fear-based deep secrets, not to be shared.

It is reasonable to assume that included in the inventory of every nation’s goals, objectives, dreams and intentions is to survive and prosper. Those normal aspirations assume the survival of civilization, whether or not that objective is actually articulated on any priority list of national aims.

I think that assuring the survival of civilization should be the top item on every country’s list, and that it should be public knowledge. Maybe a U.N. declaration of that goal would be helpful.

What definitely would be helpful is a new class of intelligence assessments. These would be Opportunity Assessments. The broad purpose of the Opportunity Assessment series is realistically to determine what can be accomplished independently and collectively to secure civilization’s future.

The essential part of this approach is to invite all countries to create these Opportunity Assessments, and to exchange them. We could expect this phase to result in insights that would rarely or perhaps never appear in classical Threat Assessments. Opportunity Assessments are hope-based, to be joyfully shared with the declared intention of securing the base for everyone.

Scott Jones is a former U.S. Naval Intelligence Officer and was Special Assistant to Senator Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island. He taught political science and international relations in the University of Maryland’s European program, at the University of Kansas, and Wyoming University at Casper. He is the founder and president of the Peace and Emergency Action Coalition for Earth (P.E.A.C.E.). His website is www.peaceroom.com