DOD-DARPA gaming gray-zones to be more black and white with red blood

DARPA DOD Situational Awareness

Multiple terrorist events are to be noticed in the city depicted above. Did you notice the yin-yang graphic providing foundation for situational awareness? That’s all about repeated baiting.

After taking care of some things in northeast Atlanta on my day off a few days ago, I hiked it over to nearby FBI Atlanta where, at the security building, a printout on yours truly was placed in front of me. I had wanted to discuss some options for a perpetual / interdepartmental program Main State placed me on (and in which I was further entrenched by the FBI four years later) in the early and mid-1990s. But the printout placed in front of me indicated another and more recent program altogether. I guess the agent was wondering which program it was that I wanted to talk about. That took me off guard as I didn’t know until now that I was on more than one program.

The guy was terribly exaggerated in looking at the printout, looking at me, looking at the printout, looking at me, looking at the printout, looking at me, and then putting it down on the otherwise entirely empty counter and shoving it toward me while he asked me a few questions. If he wanted me to see at least the title on the top of the page through the dark window of that security building, that was a mistake, or on purpose, either to show me how stupid it was for me to show up at the FBI when the program is spearheaded by another agency altogether, or because he was told to do that (and that indicates something else altogether, something for another post).

The summary report shoved in front of me was about another and quite recent program having provenance with “DOD/DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA is largely constituted by civilian scientists and mathematicians, by physics and chemistry nerds, by manipulators of everything internet (which they helped to invent btw). DARPA is spread out in multiple research centers, playgrounds, if you will, in which imagination rules the day. Budget is simply not a concern. That would be one of the coolest places in the world to work under those conditions, wouldn’t you agree? For many years of my life I was in those circumstances. It was exhilarating. But, here’s the deal: there’s always someone who thinks they’ve found salvation by way of self-congratulation for the little project they’ve been able to get approved just because, for instance, he or she is an ultra-super-genius mathematician. And then things get dangerous.

The next day I spoke with a top DOD guy who is quite familiar with DARPA, as he would acquire the results of some of their projects for integration into some of his own major military projects he was working up with our military manufacturers. He knows a bit of my history and was much perplexed as to why DARPA could possibly be interested in yours truly. That was my reaction exactly. Until I saw this while scrolling through DARPA’s news items, now on page two as of this writing, as this was announced back in March of this year (2018). Perusing that little announcement, lots of pieces fell into place regarding incidents in relatively recent times, particularly after that date. Let’s take a quick look at that short publicly consumable document on that particular project. Be sure that anything publicly consumable doesn’t tell the whole story. But, we have what we have. It’s all baiting. As far as my own involvement in all this, I guess I would be a guinea pig upon whom to test some baiting. I don’t like it. Being a beta-target has its risks and misunderstandings. Whatever about me, it also puts those around me at risk. I’m not a willing participant. I note that the guy who stole my identity decades ago has been telling me for the past number of months that I’m on another program besides the one occasioned by him. I thought he was off his rocker. But he was spot on, describing what is happening in detail. So, here we are. So, it’s also a chance to make an evaluation from a disadvantaged, merely baited position. Here’s the short document with my emphases and [comments]:

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Making Gray-Zone Activity more Black and White

New program aims to lift the fog obscuring an adversary’s intentions in slow, simmering non-traditional conflicts – outreach@darpa.mil 3/14/2018

An emergent type of conflict in recent years has been coined “gray zone,” because it sits in a nebulous area between peace and conventional warfare. Gray-zone action is not openly declared or defined, it’s slower, and is prosecuted more subtly—using social, psychological, religious, information, cyber and other means to achieve physical or cognitive objectives with or without violence [thus not exclusive of violence to achieve also destruction of religious sites or people(s), not exclusive of violence to achieve also the brainwashing of religious people or changes in religious practice and doctrine. While all that refers to malevolent actors, the response is to be on the same level:]. The lack of clarity of intent—the grayness—makes it challenging to detect, characterize, and counter an enemy fighting this way.

To better understand and respond to an adversary’s gray-zone engagement [meaning we are engaged and respond to that engagement in that same gray-zone with or without violence; see “theater-level operations” below], DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office today announced a new program called COMPASS, which stands for Collection and Monitoring [including humint guys=baiters to better define targets whose particularities on any given day after he’s been studied are available through metadata evaluations and actionable parameters the field] via Planning for Active Situational Scenarios [which is where in-the-field-violence can enter the equation]. The program aims to develop software that would help clarify enemy intent by gauging an adversary’s responses to various stimuli. [=baiting typical of counterintelligence reduced to spreadsheet style metadata.] COMPASS will leverage advanced artificial intelligence technologies, game theory, and modeling and estimation [all of which is utterly dependent on arbitrarily established standards of philosophy, theology, economic anthropologies, etc. This is the elephant in the room. It throws out the Constitution and replaces it with theories used by adversaries. Law is thrown out. Natural law is thrown out. It’s all just the yin-yang action and reaction, indeed being controlled by the adversary in this way as it is he who leads, who invites being baited, you know, in particular ways] to both identify stimuli [through contrived, arbitrary, thought to be leading baiting incidents] that yield the most information about an adversary’s intentions [“the ol’ mafia-esque extortion: “We know where your family lives” (it always comes down to that, as I’m told, very quickly)], and provide decision makers high-fidelity intelligence on how to respond [unless the one so baited is himself baiting his baiters since the beginning, taking any number of sides and tactics to see who’s who with what intentions] – with positive and negative tradeoffs for each course of action [people being taken out is always the “positive” result as it gives “decision makers” stuff to do, an encouragement for which can always be obtained in this fashion, the negative tradeoff simply being the bother one has to go through in explaining the reason why an action had to be taken must remain classified information].

“The ultimate goal of the program is to provide theater-level operations and planning staffs with robust analytics and decision-support tools that reduce ambiguity of adversarial actors and their objectives,” [adversarial for who, the Southern Poverty Law Center, who hold citizens in good standing to be suspected terrorists and have been joined in that opinion by the FBI for very many years now?] said Fotis Barlos, DARPA program manager. [Thus, the guy sitting behind his computer screen with a joy-stick, who is from there flying an otherwise unmanned drone and is dropping bombs on a village on the other side of the world will feel nice about himself because his target’s teenagers all play with the target’s computer all on the target’s profile and are just baiting their friends who are having fun baiting them and no one is a terrorist. Have we really given up on humint?] “As we see increasingly more sophistication in gray-zone activity around the world, we need to leverage advanced AI and other technologies to help commanders make more effective decisions to thwart an enemy’s complex, multi-layered disruptive activity.” [The response to that which is “using social, psychological, religious, information, cyber and other means to achieve physical or cognitive objectives with or without violence” is a response which is also “using social, psychological, religious, information, cyber and other means to achieve physical or cognitive objectives with or without violence”. This makes everything descend into chaos. Everyone gets better at being gray. And, by the way, baiting is also entrapment. Thus, if you put enough pressure on someone, they will react. Thus, the Mafia will break your mother’s arm for not paying her usual installment for protection, and you, the son, will express your disgruntlement publicly, the response to which is a bullet between the eyes for you, which offers a “good example” to anyone else thinking about not paying their installment for protection. And you get more people paying protection. This is called empire building. In the past number of months I’ve been baited in all sorts of ways regarding terrorist activities, and with plenty of “insurance policies” for extortion, even though I have a history throughout my life of stopping any number of terrorist incidents. This is a distraction, I think, from something going on with the duty roster at Main State. I’ve been trying to report that. This is way to stop that reporting. Anyway…]

Current military decision-making follows a well-understood and effective OODA loop—Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. [Yes. That’s rather pedantic.] This is how planning is done in various geographic areas around the world, which works for traditional kinetic scenarios, Barlos said. This process, however, is not effective in gray zone warfare. Signals in the environment are typically not rich enough to draw any conclusions, and, just as often, adversaries could implant these signals to induce ambiguity. [Tradecraft is, however recognizable if you don’t blind yourself with self-congratulatory game theory. The entire methodology must remain open to new conditions. That’s how we caught UBL. Phone calls were made on behalf of UBL, but always from a different pay phone. But no one does that. That was tradecraft so persnickety that it revealed the malicious actor. But no program would have seen that as the “programmer” back in the day configured analysis according to pre-9-11 thinking that UBL and his supporters were all in a cave. The one person only who thought outside of the program is the one who caught him. So, what does that say about this?] COMPASS aims to add a dynamic, adaptive element [not really, as the active baiting that is feeding algorithms is using increasingly ossified algorithms, right? Right?] to the OODA loop for complex, gray-zone environments. [This is someone overexcited for finding what they think the Holy Grail for them happens to be. I see this all the time in academics.]

The COMPASS program will leverage game theory for developing simulations to test and understand various potential actions and possible reactions by an adversary employing gray-zone activity. [For those not in the know, “game theory” forces life itself into an ideology of action and reaction, whose metadata can feed into imagined equations: “Everything is math” is the exclamation of promoters, “everything.” Game theory has been used by economists and some rather cynical investors for many decades. Some think, seriously, that game theory is what runs the world, absolutely, no question, everything, all based on greed, a reverse of Karl Marx but not different from him in the end. And this is where it all falls apart. Human beings, terrorists or not, have currents running deeper than all the yin-yang gaming theory. To deny this is to miss out on the experience and POV of literally trillions of people throughout the millennia] Barlos quickly noted, however, that the program is not about developing new sensory technologies, virtual reality systems or other advanced hardware. The program focuses rather on advanced software that would quickly present options to decision makers by assimilating a large amount of intelligence collected using existing, state of the art systems (such as standard video exploitation, or textual analysis tools [and humint]) related to rapidly changing scenarios.

“We’re looking at the problem from two perspectives: Trying to determine what the adversary is trying to do, his intent; and once we understand that or have a better understanding of it, then identify how he’s going to carry out his plans—what the timing will be, and what actors will be used,” Barlos said. “The first is the what, and second is the where, when, and how. [Bill Binney at the NSA diversely came up with predictions like this twenty years ago.]

“But in order to decide which of those actions is important you need to analyze the data, and you need to understand what different implications are and build a model of what you think the adversary will do,” he said. “That’s where game theory comes in. If I do this [baiting], what will the adversary do? If I do that [baiting], what might he do? So it is using artificial intelligence in a repeated game theory process to try to decide what the most effective action is based on what the adversary cares about.” [“cares about” isn’t just ideology, but also the “insurance” extortion scenarios, always. Also, again, what if the baiter is baiting you to bait in particular ways, while meanwhile he is doing something different entirely? Sitting behind a screen is one of the best ways to ensure terrorism. People aren’t so stupid as all that.]

The COMPASS program seeks experts in AI, machine learning, game theory, modeling and simulation, control systems, estimation and other related fields [I hope “other” means humint]. A Proposers Day is scheduled for March 30, 2018, in Arlington, Virginia. Registration instructions and more details are available on […]

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My further commentary: The problem with all this is that the emphasis is entirely on the adversary, with nothing on the arbitrary input of the programmer. It canonizes any result recommending whatever it is that sells to “decision makers” because it is all backed up with… oooo!… mathematics. What does the programmer think philosophically, religiously, economically, socially…? Any action of violence, brainwashing, whatever, is going to be based on a few programmers in DARPA. Really? Wow. Also, the humint side of things doesn’t work if the target can figure out what you’re doing before you even start. Anyway, more on “deep currents” and how to deal with them in another post.

7 Comments

Filed under Intelligence Community, Military, Terrorism

7 responses to “DOD-DARPA gaming gray-zones to be more black and white with red blood

  1. nancyv

    Someone is going to want to knock me upside the head, but I do declare that after reading the first paragraph of this document…I thought of Vatican II.
    Sigh…anyway, whatever crazy stuff you are involved in, I am glad you are a priest forever and on the side of Eternal Victory.
    Blessed Sunday!

  2. elizdelphi

    This seems like something so impossible that it appears to be an element of psychological warfare to make the enemy think we know what they are thinking because of superior technology we supposedly are able to develop.

    “What will the subject do if we say “liquid metal fast breeder reactors”?
    a. ask if the baiter knows how to get some Polonium-210
    b. express keen interest and significant familiarity with the subject
    c. express keen interest but not know much other than associating this with sourcing radioactive material
    d. express keen interest in uses of radioactive material
    e. express keen interest in how to handle of extremely dangerous materials
    f. express keen interest in why the baiter is bringing up that topic
    …..
    v. initial bafflement followed by trying to find out more about what that is
    w. demonstrate knowledgeable interest in forms of nuclear energy generation with a practical interest in energy generation
    x. skeptically debate the prudence of nuclear energy versus other ways of generating energy
    y. ask what that is, or other uncomprehending verbal reaction
    z. uncomprehending mute reaction

    • Father George David Byers

      I like Z.

      • elizdelphi

        We’ll feed that into our software, together with your other responses to various other stimuli and run it through a game theory based algorithm and we will be able to pinpoint precisely what the machine asserts that your intentions are.

    • How about: Say: “Ha! LMFBRs are SO passé!” Then direct him to this completely un-self-serving URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioq2qNdLQL4

      On a more serious note: I get the impression that this part of the arms race is already well under way. It is a mystery (well, maybe not) to me that firms like “Google” will have misgivings about helping the Pentagon, while at the same time helping the mainland Chinese Government develop AI technology.

      Game-Theory-driven AI systems will not only be trying to extrapolate the thinking of human decision makers, but, as is to be expected, of other Game-Theory driven AI systems. The human element in the final decision making — assuming it is retained — will probably wind up being the slowest (and, let’s hope, stabilizing) part of the feedback loop thus formed.

  3. sanfelipe007

    Hmmm. What I am taking away from all this is a sense that plausible deniability, escape from culpability, and maybe something else I am not seeing, is the goal here. If a program recommends course of action abc, then who gets blamed? If you insulate the humans involved in the hard decision making, you can then bring a second life to “it must have been a glitch.” After all, you can only use “we relied on what we (they) knew (reported, provided) then” so many times.

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