STRATEGy and operations

Managing and Thriving Amidst Waves of Uncertainty

Anyone watching the countless replays of this month's Nevada shooting - followed by another mass killing this weekend, a different country - is horrified, if they are a good person.

What we watch in the Nevada shooting is one thing - what we "see" or "hear" may be something else: we are seeing the STRATEGY in place for evaluating and responding to real-time RISK. In this case, the STRATEGY FRAMEWORK, either for area or national or international government agencies, or for gun sales, did not work.

We know the first responders and local law enforcement and just plain citizens were very brave. But the need here is to rigorously examine every angle - not just for "motive," but for future prevention.


 Lessson # 1: LISTEN
If a female comes onto a stage just before ANY event,
screaming that everyone is going to "DIE," ask her politely what she means. Do not treat her like a criminal. Shooters and predators and terrorists are the criminals - not victims or witnesses. 

Viewing Nevada from a Strategy Perspective

Anyone can second-guess a tragedy, and that is generally the wrong thing to do, and a non-productive direction. Our personal assessment of the horrible Nevada shooting is that somewhere between September 11 and today, many agencies and leaders in those agencies have forgotten how to listen to normal citizens, and to those within their own ranks trying to raise red flags. The female on the stage before the concert should have been politely questioned - she may or may not have had real insight. The hotel should never have left a guest that long without checking.

Casino Surveillance - Why Mandalay is a Very Unusual Event

Strategy questions from the Mandalay shooting include: Were there metal detectors on flights Poddack boarded, over the years, that should have caught him earlier? Did he get around these by storing weapons in commercial airline cargo, or did he fly a private jet?

And from a casino perpsective, anyone who has ever audited or worked intelligece or enforcement around casinos might be asking: WHAT HAPPENED? Casinos have some of the best surveillance in the world - bar none. They use this technical sophistication to manipulate crowds and high-stake players, and to safeguard the large amounts of cash moving in and out of various rooms every day - $500,000 to $1M for "bar" cash on a slow night.

The better Casino Security can tell any guest entering their hotels, what the guest just said privately on their cell phone in the parking lot, inside their private vehicle. The idea of a crazed guest able to bring in so many weapons in the first place - 10 bags? - and then isolating himself in his room for days with no casino monitoring, is almost unbelieveable. That is just not how they operate. When you check into any casino, but especially in Las Vegas, you may as well be checking into the Kremlin.

Casinos are typically more Big Brother than the Saudi Government during Ramadan. And Saudi Government Security likes to say that "not a fly drops to the ground, without us not just knowing it, but catching it on camera."


So .. what happened? What did Poddack eat or drink for several days? Casinos generally have strict rules on monitoring of guest alcohol and food consumption - if the guest falls below minimum limits, they push food on them. (They also push alcohol, an illegal but common practice.)  Why was he not interrupted by Security monitoring guests in and out? Did anyone show him how to shoot from afar? And what is US federal strategy moving forward? Will the several large sniper training academies in Las Vegas and Reno - special set-ups catering to corporate or wealthy fantasies, as well as alleged "counter-terrorism" training - be closed? What was special about Poddack that normal casino controls and security frameworks did not apply?

One of the unspoken reasons (allegedly) that casinos are allowed to operate with as little scrutiny as they do come under - especially given highly rumored mafia ties to global casinos and gaming - is the "rule" that they keep things calm and uneventful. It would be surprising if anyone in the executive chain gave the order for Poddack to have such relaxed scrutiny. Or that neighbors or staff were unaware of his weapons.


 Booz Allen has had a confirmed 3 arrests - rumors of up to 12 arrests of personnel and/or contractors at NSA HQ in Ft Meade, Maryland - very close to the Russian vacation house shut down in late 2016 by President Obama - since Edward Snowden.

 We believe the US needs to move back to a focus on OPSEC - operational security - and away from the focus on clearance. Because each of the arrests were of top-cleared individuals. A clearance anymore, to some, is like a special pair of uncomfortable shoes one puts on just for funerals or weddings. It is not a daily, ingrained, focus on OPSEC.

This is at heart a STRATEGY lapse: the second Booz incurred the Snowden arrest, a proper OPSEC or system-wide operational framework strategy review should have been undertaken. To identify further breaches or vulnerabilities; to discover 'what went wrong;" psychologically and opertionally; and to revise existing rules or focus so that such incidents would never repeat again.

Counter-Terrorism Strategy and Technology

Our Ops Strategy includes consulting to improve process and technology capabilities and effectiveness for US and EU regional and local Law Enforcement and Homeland Security Ops Centers, and for mission-critical financial and communications agencies. Worldwide, there continues to be difficulty with timely sharing of information, agreement on the assessment of intelligence, and simple technical difficult posed by the complexity of global cloud and data portals and platforms.


Washington DC: Homeland Security Strategic Planning

In tandem with ANSER (prime) of Falls Church, Va, we provided multi-year technology and IT planning for the Washington DC Homeland Security Fusion Center. Other work has included the development of specialized Law Enforcement and other Forensic databases, working with global credit scoring agencies including TransUnion, to broaden the scope and algorithmic capabilites of normal police intelligence. For EU national intelligence and police agencies we began providing customized social media search and AI capabilities under our DEEP SEARCH product suite; and strategic review of data and process strengths and vulnerabilities.


We partner with US Special Forces training centers, such as Academi in Moyock, NC, to offer any customized training needed. 

DSG  provides global strategy development and risk assessment, as well as intelligence training and operational consulting, for national intelligence and police agencies on several continents, including: