Précis of a Book: Whispers from the Arrow of Time
I have written a Précis for my new book, Whispers from the Arrow of Time, which will be published in April 2023. The book contains a series of essays, written over time, about ‘How to Think’ about national security in the information age. You can access it at the link below.
The briefing below was presented on Zoom to 102 people on 2 November 2021. It helps one think about the essential elements of any conflict but particularly, the conflict in Ukraine. If you want the script, send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have written a summary briefing, including a verbal explanation, about my new book, The Power of Will in International Conflict How to Think Critically in Complex Environments which can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvHi4gCVKoc&feature=youtu.be. Below, you can find the slides and a script explaining each slide in the packet.
The briefing and script together present a Cliff’s Notes version for review for my book about will. This idea came from a good friend who recommended this approach because the book is admittedly dense and difficult to read. I acknowledge this, and my reason is that the subject of will is difficult, dense, and abstract. In my book and in the presentation, you will see that I worked hard to help readers and now listeners learn ways to understand the ideas and thereby put the theory, history, literature, and original thinking into practice.
I chose to present the book as a helper to assist readers to work their way through the book, cover to cover. The strategy to provide this version of the book is—32 visuals and 32 explanations, each visual written and keyed to the verbiage you see/hear on the slide, that explains the ideas in my voice.
The script is sufficient for people to read, understand, review the slides, listen to the verbiage, take notes, and develop their questions. You can submit your questions to me via my website at waynemhall.com. In my view, all intent listeners should develop and use their notes and questions and answers, as lines of further inquiry and pursuit of knowledge.
I believe it would be best if people could possess and read the script and follow the verbiage explaining the visuals. Anybody can read the script and present the visuals, however, the person responsible for such a hypothetical session must read and understand my book. I put the briefing on YouTube so you can see the visuals and hear what I have to say about each. I invite each of you to work with your subordinates or friends and present the briefing and listen to my explanation and encourage people to develop their thoughts and questions and then go through a question and answer session. I will join you if you desire via VSee, Skype, or other multi-media software.
Briefing with sound URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvHi4gCVKoc&feature=youtu.be Short form: youtube.be/OvHi4gCVKoc
Anatomy of a Book
I’ve provided you with 17 snapshots of my book, The Power of Will in International Conflict: How To Think Critically in Complex Environments.
A View of My Book from the Mind of a Teenager
My seventeen-year-old granddaughter, Katy, used my book (and the writing process for my book) for an essay and has allowed me to share it here. Yes, I am a proud grandfather.
The Power of Will in International Conflict
I have recently completed a book on “will” and how to think about “will” in complex environments. The book was published in September 2018 by Praeger Security International. The book’s title is—The Power of Will in International Conflict: How To Think Critically in Complex Environments. It is for sale at Amazon.com.
I developed this briefing and presented half of it to the Thinking Strategically Webinar on 18 April 2015. I will present the other half of the briefing at a later date, TBD. The briefing provides a 12 cognitive element framework or pegboard, with some expansive thoughts of critical thinking that people can partially use, use in combination with one another, or use all together, as they think strategically.
Our thinking strategically webinars occur two or three times a month and generally last one to one and one half hours. We usually hold the webinars on Saturday mornings every other week from 1100-1230 EST. You can visit the Thinking Strategically website to learn more about registering for the webinars – the webinars are free. The website of which I speak is: www.thinkingstrategically.net.
“Thinking and Planning for the 21st Century.”
Colonel Wayne M. Hall, October 1994
I started writing this paper as a lieutenant colonel attending the National War College from 1991-1992. I then took the paper with me to The Republic of Korea and inculcated its thoughts and tenants into my brigade command – 501st Military Intelligence Brigade and later during my tenure as the J2 of United States Forces Korea/Deputy C2. I also used many of its thoughts in the study I led describing the changes the Army needed for its intelligence system – it was called the Intel XXI study, June 1999.
“Synthesis Key To Executing Combat Power.”
LTC Wayne M. Hall, May 1990
I wrote this paper in 1990, when I was commander 313th Military Intelligence Battalion in the 82d Airborne Division. I was musing about synergy that comes forth from the synchronicity and synthesis of all elements of combat power at the right time, right place, and designed to create the right outcome for the leader’s decision-making process. While the paper is somewhat dated and focused on military operations, its tenants have applicability to what we need to do today. So, I thought that I would share it with you.
Shifting To A Parallel Universe In A Former Time – “Information In Conflict: Potential Power Deriving From Disciplined, Deep Thinking.”
Major (Promotable) Wayne M. Hall, spring 1988
I wrote this paper in the spring of 1988 – I was the G2 of the 82d Airborne Division at that time. I was musing about information and its importance in decision-making. Looking back on my thinking, I should have made the statement at the paper’s beginning that information is the means to power, and not necessarily that information is power. That is to say, somebody, like a decision-maker, has to use available information intelligently in their decision processes to unleash its stored, coiled, dormant power.
Personal Reading List
This is a list of my favorite books I used to inform my thinking as I developed the courses for Advanced Analysis and Advanced Collection.
The following is a review of my latest book by Colonel (Retired) Eric M. Walters, a retired Marine Corps intelligence officer:
Foundational Intelligence Collection Theory, May 3, 2013
By Eric M. Walters (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
This review is from: Intelligence Collection: How to Plan and Execute Intelligence Collection in Complex Environments (Praeger Security International) (Hardcover)
A capsule review cannot possibly do justice to this magisterial, essential work for intelligence professionals. While a stand-alone work, it is best when read after the earlier volume by these authors, INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS: HOW TO THINK IN COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTS (2010). Like its predecessor, this book takes the reader into “intellectual high-country.” It is not prescriptive, filled with process, procedure, and techniques of intelligence tradecraft. Instead, it deals with how to think about advanced intelligence collections; it provides a lexicon, a mental framework, and in-depth discussion on the nature of this business. Those seeking magic formulas to get them through a collections tour won’t find them here. But for readers interested in conditioning their minds to better address complex collection problems, this is the first place to start.
Like its companion volume, this is a dense book, best digested in chunks. It also assumes the reader has extensive background in the intelligence field in particular and in violent conflict in general; the novice will be overwhelmed, the journeyman awakened, and the advanced practitioner intrigued and challenged. That is the major strength but also the biggest weakness of the work–it is hard to approach without a guide or coach for all but the most experienced. Hall and Citrenbaum go beyond discussing symptoms in intelligence collection difficulties; they are interested in identifying and addressing root causes through a “system of thought.” Instead of providing an alchemist’s recipe book to cure what ails intelligence leaders and collection managers, the authors lay out a cognitive paradigm, a philosophical foundation necessary for contemporary intelligence problem-solving.
It’s obvious that the impetus for this book is its self-proclaimed call for change, given the unique challenges of intelligence operations in irregular warfare, whether it is supporting counterinsurgency or counterterrorism operations. Our old World War II and Cold War methods exhibit shortfalls in this complex, usually urban operating environment that the authors argue can be overcome through a different way of thinking. Description of 12 intelligence collections contradictions–and broad solutions for them–set the stage for more detailed analysis. Readers have their mental azimuth bearings laid out for them in the first third of the book; what text remains unswervingly follows that course to the intellectual far shore. The cognitive trip there is more important than the destination itself.
At first reading, the book is perhaps most easily grasped by those working national security intelligence at “the sharp end,” especially military intelligence, doing the type of work as we have in Iraq and Afghanistan in fighting terrorists and insurgencies. But to confine the book to this audience does the rest of the intelligence community an injustice. While Hall and Citrenbaum write in military terms, using military jargon, and citing military references, there is much that would apply in pursuing organized crime, in dealing with business intelligence issues complicated by cultural/ethical differences, and more. If successful business executives find it useful to read military tracts such as Sun Tzu’s THE ART OF WAR and Musashi’s THE BOOK OF FIVE RINGS, their competitive intelligence specialists will appreciate the what these authors bring to the table.
Some may accuse me of hyperbole, but this and the previous INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS: HOW TO THINK IN COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTS aim to do for intelligence what Clausewitz’s ON WAR does for warfare; these books provide a comprehensive theory for its subject. This latest work is quite an ambitious undertaking that nevertheless succeeds in achieving its object. Certainly there is nothing else that can compare. It will be interesting to see how others evaluate this theory over time as they apply their craft of intelligence collection in practice. Hall and Citrenbaum have laid the foundation that others will build upon. This book belongs in the professional libraries of intelligence practitioners, whether they are involved in national security, law enforcement, and even competitive intelligence. It is my personal hope that it does more than occupy shelf space alongside other esteemed titles. It demands to be actively read, thought about, discussed/argued over, read again, and leveraged in thinking about and practicing intelligence collection.
Course, Colorado Springs, CO, completed 8 March 2013:
This document describes the course we just completed at the JMark, Inc.’s new learning center in Colorado Springs, CO for the Canadian Defense Force.
Course, Ft. Bragg, NC, completed 15 February 2013:
This document describes our participation in a course we just completed at Ft. Bragg, N.C. for the Department of Defense.
Advanced Analysis Summary:
This document is a summary of the Advanced Analysis program we have provided to over 1000 intelligence analysts.
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