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Global Gratitude

Joyeuses Fêtes! Felices Fiestas! Glade Feriedage! Forhe Feiertage!  せな! Buone Feste! Mutlu Bayramlar! Trevlig Helg! No matter how you say it, the message is the same. Globalytica wishes our worldwide network of clients and partners — Happy Holidays!

And a Happy New Year
To date, Government institutions and universities in more than 20 countries, as well as several Fortune 50 companies, have tapped Globalytica’s expertise in building analytic cultures. Globalytica looks forward to expanding our outreach even more in 2016.

Globalytica instructors have been teaching courses in structured analytic techniques and analytic writing and production at the University Rey Juan Carlos for five years. Students at the London
School of Economics and Liverpool Hope University in England, the Hertie Foundation in Berlin, the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and the University of Copenhagen have also benefited from our instruction. Also, governments in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia have asked Globalytica to conduct tailored workshops for their analysts on strategic foresight analysis, structured analytic techniques, and critical thinking skills. Pherson-authored books have been purchased by people in over 30 countries worldwide.

Globalytica is becoming a recognized brand at international  conferences, including the International Association of Intelligence Education (IAFIE) conference, biannual Five Eyes Analytic Workshops, and International Studies Association (ISA) conventions where our annual reception has become a major opportunity for intelligence professionals to network. Our presence is growing overseas. In October, Randy Pherson was the keynote speaker for the 21st Conference on Intelligence in the Knowledge Society in Bucharest, Romania. In June 2016, Randy Pherson, Kathy Pherson, and Leanne Cotten will be conducting workshops and presenting papers at the 12th Annual IAFIE Conference in Breda, The Netherlands.

Reflections on San Bernardino
By Randolph Pherson
As the horrendous events in San Bernardino, California unfolded in early December, I was reminded of the importance of applying the Five Habits of the Master Thinker, as published in our October issue:

Always challenge your assumptions. At the outset, many assumed that the male shooter was “in charge” and the female just an accomplice; later it was suggested that the female might have been the one who radicalized the male. Time will tell how this actually played out – and can we assume that the couple acted alone with no accomplices?

Consider multiple hypotheses. Initially, the press was careful not to jump to the conclusion (which would reflect premature closure) that the shooter was the individual who left the holiday party after an argument. That was commendable. When it became obvious that the shooter was that person, most then assumed that the event was motivated by the male shooter’s argument with attendees at the holiday party. Later we learned that the female shooter had posted a statement on the internet pledging allegiance to ISIL, which prompted the assumption that the shooting was motivated or inspired by ISIL. A third hypothesis could be that the couple were planning a major shooting at an iconic target and stopped off at the holiday party to do a “quick shoot” before proceeding to conduct a much more dangerous assault, but were foiled by law enforcement officers before they could pull off the attack they had initially planned.

Don’t ignore inconsistent evidence. The couple took major steps to cover their tracks before the shooting began, including removing their hard drive and discarding and destroying their cell
phones. These actions, as well as the large amounts of ammunition and guns they had cached, suggest that the couple was planning a much more destructive activity, not just venting their anger at the social services agency. Will we learn some day what was the initial target?

Identify key drivers. Much more research needs to be done on how to identify individual US citizens who are becoming radicalized. What key drivers would explain what is sparking this radicalization? How best can we anticipate where else it might be occurring? What would be the key indicators?

Establish the context; think above your pay grade. Do not let fear drive action. Before someone offers a critique of how the government has dealt with this incident, they should stop and ask themselves what would they do if they were a senior FBI, Homeland Security, or local law enforcement official who faced these challenging issues every day. What actions would they take to
effectively address the core problem? As California Governor Brown pointed out, more attention needs to be paid to how radical ideas are spread by ISIL and other international terrorist groups (and how to combat that pernicious process) and less on “bullets.”

A unique gift for anyone looking to improve their writing or critical thinking skills. Perfect for analysts of all ages!

Analytic Writing Guide
by Louis M. Kaiser and Randolph H. Pherson

Offers a mix of strategic and tactical advice for writers of analytic papers, ranging from how to get started to how to order information in a paragraph.