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While I do look in from time to time, I have effectively stopped working with Wikipedia, and transferred my efforts to Citizendium. As a subject matter expert in some areas, I find it more congenial to be able to use the expertise, in ways that sometimes would be considered original synthesis here. It's also much lower in flaming.

I won't say I'll never participate here again, and I look in occasionally. I do miss the Military History Project and mention "dual citizenship" is quite possible.



Professionally, I do network engineering and medical information systems, but am increasingly involved in electronics for commercial fishing. After many years in the Washington DC area, I am now in a fishing village on Cape Cod. As Monty Python would have it, it is far more productive to look at fishing there than in the middle of the Sahara.

In the networking realm, I've long been a participant in communications standards, passing knowledge forward in writing and teaching, developing routing and network management products, and architecting a good number of large service provider and enterprise networks. In the latter, to paraphrase from an old US television commercial, I'm not a physician but simulate them on computers.

Specifically in Wikipedia, my most active area of contribution, at present, is in military and intelligence material. I have taken a Wikibreak from computer/data networking, with some specialized exceptions for things related to commercial fishing -- I'm afraid I grew weary of having to correct the same errors I have been seeing for a couple of decades, and one of the last straws was an argument over the definitions in a peer-reviewed article of which I was a coauthor. Occasionally, I contribute to medical articles, and a range of miscellaneous topics of interest such as cooking.

Military Science and Intelligence[edit]

While growing up, I rarely blew up things, preferring the more subtle threat of bacteriology. My mother, an Army reserve officer, did bring home assorted Field Manuals that would shock US Homeland Security.

In addition to military command and control, and participating in gaming and simulation, I've had a certain amount of exposure to intelligence research and analysis, and occasionally do open source intelligence consulting. Some of my graduate work was in strategic intelligence analysis.

War is hell. Still, there are moments that show the best of human virtues, such as Guy Gabaldon: "I've heard that was done, but (I'm ashamed to say) I never heard of him before. Thanks. (He wuz robbed. He earned the Medal.) For that, & for just making me think:

Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar.png The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
Trekphiler (talk) 20:42, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

As an aside, I realize that I've picked up these projects because I had gotten to a point of diminishing returns on routers and such. In these intelligence related articles, I've had nothing but helpful and supportive feedback from people that felt there was a needed cleanup. Unfortunately, there's a lot of emotional investment, apparently, in networking articles, including not being willing to get rid of (with disambiguation) some articles about things that are really marketing concepts. There's also an unwillingness to get rid of some obsolete information, or at least label it as such.

I'm glad, Dear Reader, :-) that you've gotten here, as it's a place where I can explain how to navigate through some series of articles to which I've contributed or which I've originated, but sometimes are hard to find or navigate.

A pleasant surprise[edit]

CRM.png The Content Review Medal of Merit  
In recognition of your much appreciated reviews of military history articles, I am delighted to award you this Content Review Medal. --ROGER DAVIES talk 06:15, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

How to Navigate Intelligence and Related Areas[edit]

There are two key top-level articles, intelligence cycle management and Central Intelligence Agency. The former, which I created, is well wikilinked to subordinate articles. CIA is somewhat harder to navigate, as I got involved with significant reorganization, which is still ongoing.

For CIA, is both an overall article and a means of navigating. Unfortunately, we haven't found the best place to put the navigation block--I don't know how to create them. Go to Central Intelligence Agency and scroll to the bottom. You will see several colored bars, the top one being "Central Intelligence Agency (United States)". Click "show" on the right, and it will display links to all the sub-articles.

I am the main contributor to a series of articles on intelligence theory and practice, not tied to any specific country. The navigation might be better there. Scroll to the bottom of Intelligence cycle management. The bold items are immediate second-leve sub-articles, and the non-bold are third-level subordinate to them. At least that navigation table doesn't need to be unhidden.

Since I originally wrote the intelligence cycle management article, as opposed to the CIA article, I tried to have wikilinks in the text, which take you to the sub-articles. Again, where I am the primary author, as in MASINT, HUMINT and SIGINT (didn't originate the latter but rewrote), there's commentary about sub-articles at the start of the articles, and wikilinks to them. MASINT has a colored sub-article block near the top. HUMINT is a little messy, as the list includes both things that were written in a conscious hierarchy, and some preexisting articles that are often either stubs or deal with a topic on a TV/movie level.

The CIA articles are in much, much better shape than in the latter part of 2007, where the main article was over 300K, and contained both substantive material and unsourced conspiracy theories. I am absolutely not intending to whitewash the CIA, but, having a decent knowledge of intelligence history, if some action was done before the Agency was formed, that doesn't belong in the list. When the CIA was carrying out orders from the White House, that needs to be indicated, rather than letting it be assumed it was going rogue. There have been rogue operations, and I've done my best to document them, but there are far fewer than many people believe.

On this page, you will find both a discussion of the intelligence subjects (at least the ones on which I've worked). When you get into the intelligence section, you'll find a hierarchical list about non-country-specific intelligence, as well as some things to be written. If you look around elsewhere in Section 1, you will find military articles, again principally ones I have written, but that tend to deal with intelligence and special operations. You'll even find pointers to some articles that are only drafts in my userspace; I found now that major reorganizations are best done there, not little-by-little in the main Wikipedia space.

Miscellaneous articles needed[edit]

  • Ground-controlled intercept

Wikilearning in this area[edit]

I've variously had helpful answers from others, to challenges I've encountered in writing or editing articles and I've recorded things I've learned in the process. I also have some working drafts in my userspace.


Wikipedia:WikiProject_Military_history/Essays/Declassified_documents Some guidance, now covering several countries, on places to look for declassified documents.

User:Hcberkowitz/Sandbox-FactsFromPOV a working article on how to extract bits of objectivity from POV articles.

Some of the POV work has its satisfactions.

Peace Barnstar 6.png The Barnstar of Peace
Awarded to Howard C. Berkowitz for his diplomacy and amazing patience in improving NPOV in Yugoslavia-related articles. He is also hereby commended for his meritorious courage and skillful peacekeeping efforts in Balkans articles. Civilaffairs (talk) 18:08, 30 April 2008 (UTC)Civilaffairs

Articles under Development[edit]

Strategy and Operational Art[edit]

User:Hcberkowitz/Sandbox-AirCampaign The existing article aerial warfare is more historical than doctrinal. The Air Campaign is the title of COL John Warden's book, which may or may not be an appropriate title for the article, but gives the flavor. This article will start with principles of targeting (Warden's adaption of Clausewitz's centers of gravity), breakthrough technical advances (PGMs, ground control of PGM in close support, low observability, network, AESA), and then mission families (strike, offensive support to ground operations, counter-air, ISR, transport).


User:Hcberkowitz/Sandbox-IntelOversight a discussion of the process by which the US government makes decisions to conduct covert actions and hazardous intelligence collection missions.

User:Hcberkowitz/Sandbox-ICmatrix matrix of relationships in the United States Intelligence Community

User:Hcberkowitz/Sandbox-Scientific intelligence is a place to receive the strategic-level information now in the Technical intelligence article.

User:Hcberkowitz/Sandbox-Economic intelligence is a place to receive the information, beginning with the effects of the Farewell dossier, now in the Technical intelligence article

Special Operations and Terrorism[edit]

These areas need to be understood both in terms of global definitions and models, as well as specific national doctrines. For example, insurgency is intended as a globalised definition of the problem space, with separate articles on national doctrine, such as Unconventional warfare (United States Department of Defense doctrine). I plan to work on getting the existing global article on counter-insurgency, complementing the U.S. doctrine in Foreign internal defense (to be renamed to show this is a U.S. doctrine). With help from editors in other countries, I hope to collaborate with other doctrinal material, such as the British model under low-intensity conflict.

User:Hcberkowitz/Sandbox-FIDscraps This is something that clearly was beyond the scope of Foreign internal defense (FID), an article that is too long and general as it is. The main FID article is somewhat globalised, with UK, French, and US examples. The "scraps" article here deals with a controversy in the US military on whether the more highly trained specialists such as United States Army Special Forces are better used in "door-kicking" direct action and counter-terror, or should emphasize the longer-term FID and unconventional warfare missions.

User:Hcberkowitz/Sandbox-FIDextracts contains extracts from the foreign internal defense article, which have largely moved to the insurgency article but are kept here for reference purposes. Once (if ever) there is consensus on insurgency, counter-insurgency, and foreign internal defense, this can be deleted.

Military Biography[edit]

User:Hcberkowitz/Sandbox-NoelParrish Biographical article about the head trainer of the Tuskegee Airmen, the late BG Noel Parrish (USAF, Ret.)

User:Hcberkowitz/Ben Wyatt (needs to be disambiguated) Biographical article about a US Navy officer-diplomat whose WWII experiences included escort carrier combat, attache duty and running an underground railroad (with Raoul Wallenberg and others) for Holocaust refugees, and, just after the war, explaining to islanders why their homes were needed for nuclear testing.

Slade Cutter, a stub that I extended about a distinguished submarine officer whom I found fascinating.

Iran and Iraq[edit]

While the US certainly was involved in the Tanker War and, sometimes indirectly, in the Iran-Iraq War, it is not, as some apparently Iranian partisans insist, the only outside nation involved, and supposedly the puppetmaster for the entire war. It is my intention, hopefully with many others, to show that this war was, in many respects, a war involving many countries of the world. The U.S. was in no way blameless, but considering it Iraq's puppetmaster, pulling Saddam's strings, is a vast oversimplification. The only strings that ever controlled Saddam were thick ones around his neck, and for a very few minutes.

I will be drafting, in userspace, articles that treat the US involvement in the Iran-Iraq War and the Tanker War as related but separate conflicts. Doing this, I think, will clarify some confusion.

Tireless Contributor Barnstar.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
To applaud you on your efforts on different Iran-Iraq War related articles. Otolemur crassicaudatus (talk) 00:12, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
Single article for country X support in the I-I war, or articles for X-Iran & X-Iraq support?[edit]

A discussion triggered by Soviet support for Iran during the Iran-Iraq War has addressed the issue of whether there is a viable reason for having a separate article for country X's support of Iran (if any), and for its support of Iraq (if any). I have thought, along with at least one other editor, that the separation might make some of the POV pushing more difficult.

Reasonable arguments have been made in both directions; I'm not sure of the best way to proceed, other than generally having country-by-country articles, whether they supported Iran, Iraq, or both. General "foreign involvement" will be far too large.

There are cases that don't fit neatly, such as the view that the Gulf Cooperation Council states were more trying to protect themselves from both Iran and Iraq than supporting either.

There already is a U.S. support for Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war as well as one for Iran page. The countries identified initially come from Timmermann, which covers transfers up to 1986. Obviously, there was U.S. support for Iraq in the lead-in to the 1991 Gulf War [1] The problem is that involvement by other countries was not always examined, and that involvement may be very major.

Structure of a country article[edit]

Here is my basic outline for each country article, which does not assume that the article covers single- or dual-country support. If the article deals with a country that gave support, usually of very different levels, to both Iran and Iraq, only one export controls section would be needed. In many, but not all, dual-article situations, the export control section may be the same, unless exceptions were made a specific country.

  • Motivations for Policy
  • Export Controls
    • Actions as intermediate in shipping to final destination
    • Country of incorporation of shell corporations used to hide shipments
  • Military training and advice
  • Command, control, communications and intelligence (C3I)
  • Land warfare
    • Tanks and other armored fighting vehicles
Includes both new equipment, and repair and ammunition to old equipment
    • Infantry equipment
Includes rifles, handheld rocket launchers like the RPG, useful against both tanks and buildings. Trying to decide if shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles should go here or to Air Defense.
    • Artillery
Includes multiple rocket launchers, medium and heavy mortars, and other weapons mounted on, or towed by, vehicles
    • Precision guided munitions
Primarily anti-tank guided missiles
    • Land mines
Main discussion of mines here; naval mines cross-reference to this.
    • Logistics
  • Naval warfare
  • Air warfare
  • Aircraft
  • Weapons
  • Air defense
  • Manufacturing technology and critical materials
  • Missile technology
Includes special items like Bull's "Supergun"
  • References
  • Categories: Iran-Iraq War, (country)-Iran or (country)-Iraq relations--doesn't seem to be much consistency here.
Index of links[edit]

I'm experimenting with the table below; for now, use the in-text links.

Countries in bold provided support to both countries
Iraq Iran
Austria ---
Belgium ---
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Egypt ---
France ---
India India
Italy Italy
--- Israel
Singapore Singapore
Soviet Union/Russia Soviet Union/Russia
--- North Korea
Spain ---
United States United States
West German ---
Switzerland Switzerland

Highly experimental User:Hcberkowitz/Sandbox-Tanker War

In December 2002, Iraq's 1,200 page Weapons Declaration revealed a list of Eastern and Western corporations and countries—as well as individuals—that exported chemical and biological materials to Iraq in the past two decades. By far, the largest suppliers of precursors for chemical weapons production were in Singapore (4,515 tons), the Netherlands (4,261 tons), Egypt (2,400 tons), India (2,343 tons), and Germany (1,027 tons). One Indian company, Exomet Plastics (now part of EPC Industrie) sent 2,292 tons of precursor chemicals to Iraq. The Kim Al-Khaleej firm of Singapore supplied more than 4,500 tons of VX, sarin, and mustard gas precursors and production equipment to Iraq.[14]

targeted Arab countries as well as South Korea, Italy, Spain and Portugal. See Operation Staunch

Things in limbo[edit]

User:Hcberkowitz/Inactive-Routers I've taken a Wikibreak from the network project; I just got too tired of arguing about the same misconceptions that I've encountered in classes I've taught for a couple of decades, and even arguments about things for which I wrote a primary peer-reviewed definition.

Essays in my Userspace[edit]

User:Hcberkowitz/Sandbox-TerrEssay Intended as guidance to MILHIST and other project officers, the article begins with examples of a relatively straightforward area of military operations (air attack), and describes a hierarchy of defenses against it. These include offensive counter-air, and both active and passive defensive counter-air. From that point, I move into the more emotionally charged area of strategic deterrence, and then to the extremely touchy area of terror, counterterror, and antiterror. The essay closes with some lessons learned from when military terms of art conflicted with sensitive terminology in a specific conflict, with the eventual realization that much had been confused by what I consider a meaningless phrase, "Global War on Terror".


Tireless Contributor Barnstar.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
For going above and beyond the call of duty in expanding the SIGINT section of Wikipedia, I award you the Tireless Contributor Barnstar. Keep up the awesome work! JKBrooks85 23:28, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

While I have no current connection with the security and intelligence world, I follow developments as best as I can, and have either massively revised or created some articles on intelligence. Having worked on some extensive articles on some of the more technical branches of intelligence, it's been suggested I write an "overarching article" tying collection disciplines together with the intelligence cycle, which is now Intelligence cycle management. As I work on this, I'm reminded of the trial, under the Official Secrets Act, of a British intelligence officer. Asked by the judge if he had likened the Secret Service to a Marx Brothers movie, he responded, more or less, "No, my Lord. I said that compared to the Secret Service, a Marx Brothers movie was pellucid reality."

Working draft of matrix view of US intelligence community: User:Hcberkowitz/Sandbox-ICmatrix

Note there is overlap with Special Operations. things are proposals are italics; I may have working drafts

Several of the key articles are published, starting with

Intelligence cycle management
Intelligence collection management
Electro-optical MASINT
Nuclear MASINT
Geophysical MASINT
Radar MASINT should true imaging radar move to IMINT?
Radiofrequency MASINT
Materials MASINT
Clandestine HUMINT strong tie-in with counterintelligence
Special reconnaissance also a special operations technique
Special reconnaissance organizations
Clandestine HUMINT operational techniques
Clandestine HUMINT asset recruiting
Clandestine HUMINT and Covert Action (also see Direct action (military))
Clandestine cell system
TECHINT$ (the article exists, but has expanded, not necessarily cleanly, into national-level scientific and technical intelligence (S&TI) and economic intelligence. With the latter two, as with TECHINT, the problem is that they have aspects of both collection and analysis. I think they are more analysis, but haven't decided a good way to describe their collection requirements
medical intelligence (if it doesn't go under intelligence organizations) As for TECHINT, there are collection and analysis aspects.
Should imaging radar move here, but not, for example, tracking radar used to determine missile performance? Anything from electro-optical MASINT? My basic rule: IMINT forms pictures, quasi-imaging MASINT gives graphs or property-by-pixel tables'
Intelligence analysis management
Intelligence analysis
Cognitive traps for intelligence analysis
US intelligence community A-Space
financial intelligence
economic intelligence, which I'm probably not qualified to write
medical intelligence if it doesn't go elsewhere
Intelligence dissemination management
Intelligence cycle security
Counterintelligence failures*
Counter-intelligence and counterterror organizations* (fairly unhappy with what's around)

Articles marked with * either are split out from other lengthy articles and expanded, or of assorted short articles of the class I call "glue", as necessary to connect other articles or provide context, such as Echelons above Corps.

Force multiplication is another tricky one, which then feeds into network-centric warfare as well as takes from John Boyd and the various Special Forces ancestors/

+ articles have daughter articles, some I wrote and some that existed; some merging is probably called for. $ denotes contributions but no major rewrite.

and, with help from others, trying to deal with what are increasingly forced lists. When is an organization "counterintelligence" versus "counterterror"?


Cleaning up the overly long single CIA article (ignoring separate regime change), I rationalized and, where possible, sourced decently and also eliminated the more bizarre conspiracy theories (e.g., Swiss under NATO). These new articles include analytic and estimative intelligence, not only covert action.

I started by reorganizing on a geographic and transnational basis, which, to some extent, mirrors the CIA's own organizational divisions. My initial titles were awkward (although listed after the userbox for historical preservation).

The original geographic divisions were:

  • CIA Activities by Region: Americas(includes legal and questionable domestic activities)
  • CIA Activities by Region: Africa (includes subsaharan Africa)
  • CIA Activities by Region: Asia-Pacific:
  • CIA Activities by Region: Near East, North Africa, South and Southwest Asia
  • CIA Activities by Region: Russia and Europe

The initial set of transnational sub-articles are:

  • CIA Activities by Transnational Topic: Terrorism
  • CIA Activities by Transnational Topic: Arms Control, WMD, and Proliferation
  • CIA Activities by Transnational Topic: Crime and Illicit Drug Trade
  • CIA Activities by Transnational Topic: Health and Economy
  • CIA Activities by Transnational Topic: Human Rights
Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar.png The Diplomacy Barnstar
This barnstar is awarded to user Hcberkowitz for his skillful diplomacy in building the CIA page, with his diligence, patience, and civility. You are a great example to many Wikipedians. Trav (talk) 13:12, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

U.S. Intelligence involvement with German and Japanese War Criminals after World War II is an awkward title, but it deals with an awkward subject. There is no question that agencies of the United States Government dealt with former war criminals, and, in some cases, protected them. One of the first aspects that makes this awkward is that some of the activities took place before the formation of the CIA or before it had full authority over covert and clandestine activities within its scope. Some activities alleged to the CIA actually were partially or wholly done by military intelligence organizations. In other cases, however, the CIA eventually took over an operation begun by a military agency.

Tireless Contributor Barnstar.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
To applaud the mountain of work put into not only re-organizing, broadening, and correcting the information provided in the CIA main article, but also for your tireless efforts at thworting POV pirates intent on hijacking the article (Morethan3words (talk) 06:52, 21 April 2008 (UTC))

CIA influence on public opinion deals with CIA domestic and international activities to affect public opinion, including authorized clandestine support of organizations and questionable links with US media. To some extent, this article is paired with User:Hcberkowitz/Sandbox-invasion, still under development.

User:Hcberkowitz/Sandbox-invasion deals with CIA invasion of the privacy of US citizens, as well as inappropriate work with domestic law enforcement. Investigations show that allegations in this area revealed things ranging from quite legal and legitimate, to overzealous but understandable, to clearly illegal but still associated with a legitimate mission, to acts, often in response to political requests, that the managers involved knew were wrong from the beginning.

Counterintelligence and human intelligence (HUMINT)[edit]

These are very closely related areas, and are often what people think of when they hear "intelligence". They also are close to military special operations. I've tried to rationalize the aspects of intelligence and HUMINT that eventually converge into Clandestine HUMINT, Clandestine HUMINT operational techniques, Clandestine cell system and Clandestine HUMINT asset recruiting.

Some pre-existing articles may or may not be appropriate to merge into these. In all fairness, my articles tend to the technical, where something like "Espionage" is at a more general level. I have moved/cloned/made a second generation of such text. In addition, I've redirected stubs such as "Covert Cell" and "Sleeper Cell" into Clandestine cell system, keeping all original content (perhaps editing/paraphrasing). The only thing I didn't take is a graphic, for which I have a more extensive version.

National Means of Technical Verification[edit]

does this need to go under counterproliferation, which, in turn, requires proliferation to be well defined?

As a result of writing articles on the more exotic technical disciplines of intelligence collection, such as SIGINT and MASINT. As I worked on these, I realized that many of the technologies were important in arms control verification, but, while there were articles on the arms control treaties, there was nothing on the euphemistic National technical means of verification. Earlier editing of a biography of George Kistiakowsky and his invention of the threshold principle of verification also fed into this article.

In addition, I hope someone can come up with a verifiable source for the content of a 1972 briefing from a member of the SALT team. I did get a declassified memo from Melvin Laird to Henry Kissinger, but it doesn't reflect the depth of Soviet horror about disclosure that my briefer conveyed.

Probably not significant or verifiable for the article, I am still amused by the strangest security classification stamp I ever saw, while I was working in a Navy facility. A document was marked SECRET/NO FOREIGN NATIONALS EXCEPT SOVIET UNION, which, to put it mildly, was unusual. It was explained to me that it was a briefing document for arms control negotiators, where the two sides were exchanging technical information.

This article has numerous links to MASINT technologies, especially Geophysical MASINT, Materials MASINT, and Electro-optical MASINT.


Sometimes, editing an article is like trying to eat one potato chip. MASINT led me to think about updating SIGINT, and, before I knew it, had gotten into the spirit of a lengthy article. Like MASINT, it's far too long for a single article, so, for now, I've split it into SIGINT by Alliances, Nations and Industries for the organization of SIGINT activities, SIGINT Operational Platforms by Nation for current collection systems, and SIGINT in Modern History for World War I to the present.

I merged traffic flow analysis into traffic analysis, and folded COMINT into SIGINT. Some of the SIGINT disciplines common to ELINT and COMINT might need cleanup, combining HF/DF and Direction finding, perhaps giving them some material from the main SIGINT article.


While I do mention specific people in the "imagery intelligence" area below, I'm branching out -- although I'd encourage anyone who can find much information about Constance Babington-Smith to create an article.

People about whom I've written, who have connections to intelligence and special operations:

Possible other individuals:

  • Constance Babington-Smith
  • Sidney (sometimes Sydney) Cotton. Anyone have his book, Last Plane out of Berlin?
  • Ellis Zacharias
  • James Elliot Cross (one of my professors, ex-OSS, author of Conflict in the Shadows

Imagery Intelligence[edit]

Since personal conversations presumably fall under Original Research, let me add some comments that otherwise should go into the article on Dino Brugioni. I had dinner with him a number of years ago, when he was the guest judge for the Northern Virginia Photographic Society. His interest, after retirement, has been in the use of declassified photointelligence for historical research. While he has published this and I'll need to find it, he talked about the role of photography, or lack of it, with respect to understanding what the Nazis were doing at Auschwitz.

Brugioni revered his mentor, Arthur C. Lundahl, and I created an article about him.

A recon plane was photographing a factory in the general area, and didn't turn off its camera until after it had passed over the camp. The factory was the main interest, and the WWII interpreters just marked Auschwitz as an unidentified installation. No one in that organization knew about human intelligence reports of the death camps, and the pieces weren't put together until the seventies.

It probably wouldn't have made much difference had it been known. While resistance organizations had asked the Allies to bomb several camps, especially the gas chambers and crematoria, knowing that prisoners would die but it might save others, no Allied bomber of the time could have made the round trip without refueling in Soviet-held areas. The Soviets would not consent.

Counterintelligence and related areas[edit]

There are some overlaps and confusing writing in some of the more US government policies, relating counterintelligence to operations security and those to other security disciplines. Ironically, I actually encountered some of the information, in the sixties, that explains some of the OPSEC rationale. The documents were "declassify in 3 years" in the late sixties, but they probably are sitting on microfilm somewhere, and I have no idea how to cite them -- I just remember the document series, the general subject of the article, and the specific issues that led to the development of OPSEC discipline.

Anyway, this all intertwines with HUMINT and subordinate articles.

Special Operations[edit]

In the special operations area, I've seen a number of things that are either stubs or missing. I created:

Special reconnaissance
Foreign internal defense (major rewrite on 12/15)
Direct action (military) current entry pointed to political/radical direct action, not military. I put DAB links on the original DA page, as I don't know how to do a disambiguation page.

Also see Clandestine HUMINT and Covert Action, a split from the Clandestine HUMINT operational techniques article.

From a Western standpoint, some of the the major missions of special operations are:

Unconventional warfare (UW) training and leading guerillas and insurgents
Foreign internal defense (FID) counterguerilla work, but also helping remove the conditions that lead to insurgency. Security assistance is more a US legalism for doing the same thing with specific financing
Special reconnaissance (SR) Very highly trained soldiers, not usually "spies" who look deep behind enemy lines. They also may stay hidden while directing air and artillery strikes. A form of HUMINT
Direct action (DA) Go to strange places, meet interesting people, and kill them. Seriously, direct action is the means of being very, very specific in what is being attacked, often for reasons of national-level policy, and sometimes to keep a war low-key.
Psychological operations (PSYOPS), also known as information operations (IO)
Combat search and rescue (CSAR)
Civil affairs (CA)
Counterterrorism (CT)

General Military[edit]

Doing some of the intelligence and security articles, I've found that some more general military articles have inaccuracies, especially in special operations but also in general military theory. Examples of the latter include:

Force multiplication; the earlier article overemphasized deception and not technological multipliers such as precision guided weapons and network-centric warfare in modern times, and the failures of imagination (force division) of the Union at the Battle of the Crater in the American Civil War, the WWI Germans using Chemical warfare at Second Ypres, and the British using tanks at Cambrai.
Swarming (Military) -- continuing a major cleanup
Slade Cutter -- originally a branch from the orphaned down the throat shot, I learned quite a bit.

I've substantially updated Single Integrated Operations Plan, although it still could use more work on the SIOP replacement of CONPLAN 8044. I have a vague temptation to start a section on strategic-level deterrence and compellance, but probably should go do something less exhausting, such as lift weights before my right forearm and left shoulder heal.

Emergency management (civilian and military)[edit]

Both personally and professionally, I am interested in emergency/disaster management, with special interests in mass casualty management, restoring communications during disaster operations, and C3I including the Incident Command System. I have an assortment of FEMA certifications, and have been on the Federal Telecommunications Standards Committee, which advised the National Communications System. At least at the proposal level, I've recently designed mobile laboratories, part of transportable hospitals, for chemical, biological, and radiological analysis.

Recommended Reading[edit]


Intelligence collection management#Ratings by the Collection Department. If you can, read the entire series starting with Intelligence cycle management, although I understand some of the collection technologies like SIGINT and MASINT are not everyone's cup of tea, if you don't have an engineering background.


  • Hall, Roger. You're Stepping on my Cloak and Dagger. Quirky, hysterically funny, yet accurate account of Hall's time in OSS training, Jedburghs, and Operational Groups. Don't miss William Colby as a captain.


One of my special interests is Africa, which is the last opportunity, unless the penguins get very organized, not to screw up a foreign policy. These days, I track Sudan fairly closely, as well as nearby areas including Uganda and Kenya. I'm afraid I have more of a grasp of the realities of logistics for doing things in Darfur than do many politicians. It's been an honor to be an extended family member of a clan, now mostly in the US, from Sierra Leone.

With the creation of AFRICOM, it's well to look at lessons learned from operations in Africa. The McNair Paper from the National Defense University, Lessons Learned: Somalia Operations is extremely useful reading, dealing with many topics including coalition operations, mission creep, tactical hubris, and Murphy's Law: Of course, tbe book Blackhawk Down is a classic.

Network Engineering[edit]

At this point, I've deleted all network engineering and telecommunications from my watchlist. While I'll certainly stay involved in my profession, I've found the frustration of working with Wikipedia on serious network architecture is simply no fun at all. If people want to keep insisting that IETF protocols must fit into the OSI reference model, if protocol payloads must be of layer N+1 if their payload is management (e.g., routing) for layer N, that there are five layers in the Internet reference model, may they enjoy themselves. It's not even that I've tried to impose an IP-centric view, although I have linked RFCs specifically saying that strict layering is considered harmful and RFC 1122 chose to ignore ISO 7498; I've even cited more detailed ISO documents -- but people want to keep insisting their incorrect textbooks are more authoritative, or "explain" to me about protocol encapsulation and layering.

In the real world, I've written four books on network engineering, Designing Addressing Architectures for Routing and Switching[2], Designing Routing and Switching Architectures for Enterprise Networks[3], WAN Survival Guide[4], and Building Service Provider Networks[5]. My general sense is that vendor-independent traditional engineering books have a limited market, and I've been concentrating more on online publications. In the past, I've been involved in preparation for Cisco certifications, and still participate in mailing lists. To the extent possible, my engineering presentations and writings do attempt to present a dry subject with as much humor as seems reasonable at the time.

My experience with communications standards goes back to the mid-seventies, variously with ISO/CCITT and ANSI to start, especially in network performance. I worked for GTE for a time, and had a good deal of exposure to the internals of telephone networks. As a member of the Federal Telecommunications Standards Committee (1976-1980), I got in at the beginning of what was to become OSI, and also got interested in survivable communications systems, including the (US) National Communications Systems and military networks intended to operate under the most extreme conditions. Those extremes tended to be that the network really needed to operate for 20 minutes or so, but you never knew when the 20 minutes would start, and would just have to cope with network elements randomly turning into mushroom clouds. This tied in with a lifelong interest in politicomilitary history.

Actually Working on OSI[edit]

The FTSC and National Communications System contributed, in the late seventies, to the ANSI Distributed Systems (DISY) architecture, which was a significant input into the OSI architecture. ISO 7498, the basic OSI Reference Model, was published in 1984. Even ignoring the eventual dominance of Internet protocols, there is a great deal of misunderstanding about OSI, because educators generally ignored supplemental ISO documents that clarified ISO 7498.

From 1986 to 1991, I was the first technical staff member at the Corporation for Open Systems, a not-for-profit industry research center for promoting and testing OSI and ISDN protocols. In addition to secretariat work with the various committees, I managed teams working on FTAM and X.25 test systems, and contributed to IEEE 802 test systems. One memorable experience was lecturing about X.25 testing in Japan, and had the horrible realization that my PowerPoint slides, translated into Japanese, had gotten into a different order than my English-language notes.

For around six years of my life, I explained how OSI was the answer, but eventually realized I didn't know the question.

The moving hand writes on the wall: "it's about IP, stupid"[edit]

By the early nineties, it was obvious that Internet protocols were indeed the answer, and I started to play in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), North American Network Operators Group (NANOG) and the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF).

In the IETF, my main work has been in the Routing (especially BGP/IDR and OSPF) and Operations & Management Areas (especially BMWG & OPSEC), and, more as a lurker, Security and Real-time Applications & Infrastructure Area. I am an author or coauthor of RFC 1912, RFC 2071[6], RFC 2072[7], RFC 4098[8], and was a reviewer or contributor with many others. I've done quite a few tutorials and presentations available at, and was a participant in "Team B" of the IRTF Future Domain Requirements effort[9], which essentially looked at the question "what comes after BGP?" Some of my most satisfying work came when I was first the product line manager for routing protocols in the carrier router group, and then in corporate research at Nortel, both working with standards and operational forums, and designing a next-generation router.

Some Networking Articles I've Created[edit]

Control Plane and Forwarding Plane in the context of Router and Routing. Routing Table and Forwarding Information Base also are in this technical area.

Networking Things I Monitor and Edit[edit]

I periodically pull out some of my limited hair, and jump into discussions of the Internet protocols and history, X.25 and history, and rant about using the marketing buzzword "switch". In a number of these areas, I've actually done R&D on networking protocols and device implementation.

An intense area of hairpulling comes when people try to force Internet protocols into the OSI model. I shall be adding a technical section here discussing those issues in Internet protocol suite, TCP/IP model and even putting some correctness into OSI Model. I monitor and contribute to the Routing protocol area, such as Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), [IS-IS], and [Border Gateway Protocol] (BGP). I've just started linking to some of my NANOG conference presentations.

The Truth about Network Reference Models[edit]

There is a continuing and frustrating tendency, in Wikipedia articles on network architecture, to treat the OSI model as if it is still used other than as a teaching aid, and to try to “coerce” (using the lovely word choice of my colleague, Priscilla Oppenheimer) Internet Protocol Suite protocols into OSI layers. Layering, as an abstraction, is useful up to a point. It can be overused. An updated IETF architectural document, RFC3439, [10] even contains a section entitled: "Layering Considered Harmful": Emphasizing layering as the key driver of architecture is not a feature of the TCP/IP model, but rather of OSI. Much confusion comes from attempts to force OSI-like layering onto an architecture that minimizes their use.

I have insufficient hair to tear it out whenever I try to explain that the Internet protocol suite was not intended to match OSI, was developed before OSI, the full set of OSI specifications (i.e., not just document ISO 7498) subdivide layers so that it is no longer seven, and that OSI has, in the real world, been relegated to a teaching tool. The Internet Protocol Suite has four layers, defined in RFC1122[11]and no IETF document, as opposed to some nonauthoritative textbooks, say it has five.

No IETF standards-track document has accepted a five-layer model, and IETF documents indeed deprecate strict layering of all sorts. Given the lack of acceptance of the five-layer model by the body with technical responsibility for the protocol suite, it is not unreasonable to regard five-layer presentations as teaching aids, possibly to make the IP suite architecture more familiar to those students who were first exposed to layering using the OSI model. Comparisons between the IP and OSI suites can give some insight into the abstraction of layering, but trying to coerce Internet protocols, not designed with OSI in mind, can only lead to confusion.

Again, RFC1122 defines 4 layers. If anyone can find another IETF document that states the OSI model is followed, please cite it. Further, RFC 1122 was published in 1989, while the OSI Reference Model, ISO 7498, was published in 1984. If the RFC 1122 authors had wanted to be OSI compliant, they had the OSI definitions available to them. They didn't use them. Does that suggest they were not concerned with OSI compliance?

For Internet Protocol Suite architecture, textbooks are not authoritative; the IETF's work, particularly the Standards Track, is definitive for the Internet Protocol Suite. I've written networking textbooks, and, while I might clarify an IETF document, I certainly don't contend that textbooks are more definitive than the actual technical specifications created by expert, not beginning student or teacher, consensus.

Unfortunately not available free online AFAIK, there are ISO documents such as "Internal Organization of the Network Layer" [12], which splits the network layer nicely into three levels, logical (lower-layer agnostic), subnetwork (i.e., link technology) specific, and a mapping sublayer between them. ARP, with which many people struggle, drops perfectly into the mapping (technically subnetwork dependence convergence) between them. Another ISO document, "OSI Routeing [sic] Framework" [13], makes it clear that routing protocols, no matter what protocol carries their payloads, are layer management protocols for the network layer. Annex 4 to ISO 7498 gives the OSI Management Framework [14], with both system management and layer management components.

When the IETF was dealing with MPLS and some other things that "don't quite fit", and some people insisted on calling it "layer 2.5", the reality is that the IETF set up a "Sub-IP Area" and did the original work there. MPLS is now back under the Routing Area. There was also a Performance Implications of Link Characteristics (PILC) working group that has ended its effort, but also deals with sub-IP (archives at

Medicine, Healthcare Policy, Public Health, and Medical Informatics[edit]

My original academic work was in biochemistry, with special interest in antibiotic resistance, and I've stayed active in continuing medical education.

My specific medical interests are most focused in emergency/trauma medicine/intensive care, infectious disease, cardiology, diabetes, and pain management.

Healthcare Policy and Economics (also see Politics below)[edit]

Public health, as far as I am concerned, is not something I want to see controlled by religious conservatives. I do not support British-style government-operated healthcare, but I support a not-for-profit and universal coverage system in the US. Whether that is single-payor, or closely regulated multi-payor with safety net as in Germany and Japan, is to be determined. The employer-based model is inherently broken from a free-market perspective, in that price is not set by provider and consumer interaction, but through the interaction of intermediaries, neither of which has the individual's interest. The employer wants to minimize the overhead of healthcare costs, while insurers want to minimize cost to be competitive, and use oligopoly pressures to cause cost-shifting.

I've started to make guest posts on Maggie Mahar's Health Beat policy blog,


In pharmacology, I monitor psychotropic drugs, especially Clonazepam, Gabapentin, Zolpidem and Triazolam. I haven't yet figured out why clonazepam invites so much sound, fury and vandalism; it might be an excellent drug for posters that feel that way.

I watch many Antibiotic articles, with a special interest in the Beta-lactam group. For my work on expert systems for cardiology, I track groups/drugs such as Loop diuretic, Thiazide diuretic, Calcium channel blocker, Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, Potassium-sparing diuretic, angiotensin II receptor antagonists, Digoxin and Minoxidil

Public Health, Disaster Management, and Medical Informatics[edit]

Some of my medical systems work involved laboratory automation, patient telemetry, expert systems for prescribing (pharmacology is a special interest) and hospital workflow systems. Workflow systems, in this context, are the "back side" of electronic physician order entry (EPOE). Workflow systems, among other things, verify that the orders are carried out, help nurses and allied health professionals manage their workloads efficiently, and assist with patient to staff communication.

From both the communications and medical side, as well as national critical infrastructure, I'm interested in emerging infectious diseases, and both field and hospital emergency medicine. I've taken a variety of FEMA courses in the Incident Command System, National Response System, and specific hazard mitigation.

Marine Electronics, Marine Biology and Commercial Fishing, with Operating System Implications[edit]

Now that I'm living in a fishing area on Cape Cod on the Atlantic coast of the US, I've become involved in marine electronics used in commercial fishing. I have written on fisheries monitoring control and surveillance, and on vessel monitoring systems for commercial fishing vessels. I've added catch reporting, which is often a manual system focused on the same data as VMS.

While I've generally been a Mac and *NIX person, I've been digging into Windows recently, particularly to support various fisheries monitoring and navigational systems on fishing boats. I now know more about scallops and quahogs than I ever thought I would know, if I ever thought I would know about more than eating them.

The website for my startup,, is very much under construction, as I am by no means an experienced website designer. Nevertheless, it is intended to be as much of an educational resource about marine electronics, especially those needed in commercial fishing as it is a business site for integrating and maintaining those electronics. It's a fascinating cross-cultural experience for me, as I learn how another domain community, very technical in working with their specialized tools, but not especially interested in electronics, views the black boxes.

As a transition to the next section, I'm working with a group to start recycling waste vegetable oil, from local seafood restaurants into biodiesel for fishing vessels.

In the Kitchen and Restaurant[edit]

As far as recreational activities where I can contribute content, I'm a serious cook. In the kitchen, I am eclectic, but draw on a good deal of Thai, Szechuan and Hunan styles in a Southwest fusion style. Still, I can do classic and nouvelle French, and whatever else seems interesting at the time. It's fascinating to find that Nigerians found my Szechuan cooking just like home.

Sadly, I've lost a couple of cards I used to keep in my wallet, one in Thai and one in Hindi, saying "This is a crazy American. He means it when he says he wants it hot by our standards."

Reading and writing[edit]

I've published four books on network engineering. For other than "cookbook" texts on certification preparation or step-by-step guides to job skills, I've regretfully concluded than other than vendor-endorsed books, there's no longer a viable economic model for technical book sales through traditional publishers and brick-and-mortar bookstores. The future for my professional writing, I think, lies in online publishing or print-on-demand.

I read history and science fiction, the latter often for inspiration in engineering. One of these days, I may attempt writing fiction and seeing if I have the talent required. Having had years of fighting with editors, often with the assistance of peer reviewers, I might have some of the right outlook to get it done.

Apropos the Arts[edit]

While I did fine arts photography for many years, I've been taking up drawing again, mostly in charcoal with pastels and pencil.

Feline Advisors and Canine Assistants[edit]

I have two affectionate and intelligent feline colleagues, Mr. Clark and Rhonda. Mr. Clark, named for the Tom Clancy character, does share traits: exceptionally loving in personal affairs, no one has ever seen him truly angry. They are dead before he gets to that level, or merely cat-a-pulted with a sweep of a paw. Rhonda, a tiny mackerel tabby with immense amounts of Cattitude, has the dogs thoroughly intimidated. While she only briefly was driven through New York City, she has studied attitude under the archetypes of Noo Yawk cab drivers. They have no trouble in interim housing shared with 13 other cats, five dogs and a squirrel (the dogs and squirrel appear they believe they are cats).

To put the clowder in perspective, on 9/11/2007, we had 174 pounds/79 KG of cat. I am now considered proficient in cat herding.

The household is also rehabilitating an adolescent squirrel named Waffles. Consideration is being given to replacing a much-missed iguana, who also thought he was a cat.

Languages and the Like[edit]

A native English speaker, I don't claim much language skills, although I am at native fluency in several USAian dialects, near-fluent in Canadian, able to manage a few dialects in England, and apparently have adequate Australian. My Swedish friends tell me that when I try my limited vocabulary on them, I tend to speak Dansk, while my Danish friends are amused by my speaking to them in Svensk. For some unfathomable reason, other than being very interested in the culture and history, I've picked up a smattering of Japanese, mostly adequate for ordering dinner. Now that I know a few Japanese insults, I occasionally pick up a call from some annoying telemarketer or business arguing a bill, and yell at them in Japanese. Still, this isn't up to the standard of my cat, Rhonda, keeping a cold-calling financial salesman on the speakerphone for 5 minutes, until he realized he was speaking to a superior species (she thinks so, anyway).

Politics and Civil Liberties[edit]

I consider myself a Recovering Republican, from the days when there was still a place for people that could deal with both civil liberties and a responsible social system (i.e., Frank Meyer fusionism )

There was no question I went through an Ayn Rand phase, but I was 18 at the time. I'd say that it was a sad day when I realized I'd never get a date with Dagny Taggart or Dominique Francon, but the reverse is vaguely true: I met my first wife at a Young Republican meeting, where I was the only person that knew what a libertarian was. So, she did get a date with Howard.

While I certainly oppose centrally planned economies, I believe the Tragedy of the commons will hit a totally unregulated market.

Anti-Discrimination and Civil Liberties[edit]

I am a strong supporter of one race: the human one. The United States is no longer a melting pot in which individual cultural contributions are homogenized, but my vision is one of a salad bowl, where cultural contributions are recognizable, harmonious, and contribute to a larger whole. Usually, I'm rather happy to be called politically incorrect.

While I do regret not getting the last three merit badges for Eagle Scout, and I did do some adult scouting as a merit badge counselor, I regretfully will not associate with the Boy Scouts of America as long as they continue spiritual and sexual discrimination.


  1. ^ Timmerman, Kenneth R., "Fanning the Flames: Guns, Greed & Geopolitics in the Gulf War", Iran Brief  |contribution= ignored (help)
  2. ^ Berkowitz, Howard C. (1998). Designing Addressing Architectures for Routing and Switching. Indianapolis: Macmillan Technical Publishing. ISBN 1578700590. 
  3. ^ Berkowitz, Howard C. (1999). Designing Routing and Switching Architectures for Enterprise Networks. Indianapolis: Macmillan Technical Publishing. ISBN 1578700604. 
  4. ^ Berkowitz, Howard C. (2000). WAN Survival Guide: Strategies for VPNs and Multiservice Networks. New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0471384283. 
  5. ^ Berkowitz, Howard C. (2002). Building Service Provider Networks. New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0471099228. 
  6. ^ Ferguson, P; Berkowitz, H (1997), Network Renumbering Overview: Why would I want it and what is it anyway?, IETF, RFC2071 
  7. ^ Berkowitz, H (1997), Router Renumbering Guide, IETF, FDR 
  8. ^ Berkowitz, H; Davies, E; Hares, S; Krishnaswamy, P; Lepp, M (2005), Terminology for Benchmarking BGP Device Convergence in the Control Plane, IETF, RFC4098 
  9. ^ Davies, E; Doria, A (2007), Analysis of IDR requirements and History, IETF, FDR 
  10. ^ Bush, R.; Meyer (2002), Some Internet Architectural Guidelines and Philosophy, IETF, RFC3439  Unknown parameter |first 2= ignored (help)
  11. ^ Braden, R (1989), Requirements for Internet Hosts -- Communication Layers, IETF, RFC1122 
  12. ^ Internal Organization of the Network Layer, ISO, 1988, ISO 8648 
  13. ^ OSI Routeing Framework, ISO, 1995, ISO/TR 9575 
  14. ^ Open Systems Interconnection -- Basic Reference Model -- Part 4: Management framework, ISO, ISO7498/4