(FYI, I'm just passing this on to the smart guys around here. My sum total of military intelligence wisdom was looking at the order of battle for our potential DPRKA enemies and remarking "That's a whole fecking assload of yellow Reds up there, hunh?"Looking for some help and advice from the crowd in the Pub (I think the new term for this is targeted Crowd-sourcing).
Help from more intelligent intel types would be greatly appreciated.)
I am starting a Masters Program at DIA this week (National Intelligence University, formerly known as National Defense Intelligence College) for a Masters in Science and Technology Intelligence with a concentration in Information Operations and Cyber. I have to write a thesis, and the topic needs to somehow touch on Cyber, preferably with a foreign focus (meaning that the topic of study isn't the US infrastructure, but instead focused on the infrastructure or capabilities or a foreign entity). It can be classified, but I am fighting hard to keep my topic unclass so I can work it at home and for other obvious reasons of convenience.
There are plenty of topics out there that I can write some lengthy information papers about, but the purpose of this drill is to come up with a thesis question, make an argument, have a theory, etc. That is where I am struggling, I am used to identifying problems, analyzing them and proposing solutions. My professors want something that is "academically interesting" and they want me to posit a theory about something. Not the way I am wired to think. I don't care much for theories, I am used to focusing on solutions.
My original plan got shot down, so I am looking for some good ideas. I wanted to look at how Cyber Command and NSA are recruiting computer hackers, and compare that to that actual threat (for example, if Chinese will be the dominant language on the internet in 5 years, how many Chinese linguists are working computers at NSA). I still haven't gotten this sold to my professors because they consider this more of a Human Resources problem with some intelligence supporting the argument, and not truly an intelligence problem. I am arguing that resourcing intelligence operations is an "intel problem," but I haven't found a professor yet who agrees with me. Again, the difference in how I think as a senior leader in tactical intelligence, and how academics at the strategic level of intel think.
So, I need help, and need it quick. I am leaning towards something in regards to social networks and their future role. But I am open to any ideas at this point.