Providing key technology

More than seven decades after the defeat of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi-inspired Third Reich on battlefields that left much of Europe in shambles, U.S. technology giant IBM – which played a major role in all phases of the Holocaust – is once again in the business of killing.

As reported by investigative news site The Intercept, a secret brief discussing the Pentagon’s drone strike program in Somalia and Yemen dated February 2013 was produced for the Defense Department by IBM analysts.

“On its surface, it’s simply an analysis by the Defense Department’s Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Task Force of the ‘performance and requirements’ of the U.S. military’s counterterrorism kill/capture operations, including drone strikes, in Somalia and Yemen,” The Intercept reported. “However, it’s also what a former senior special operations officer characterized as a ‘bitch brief’ – that is, a study designed to be a weapon in a bureaucratic turf war with the CIA to win the Pentagon more money and a bigger mandate.”

It’s a safe bet to assume that the study outlined in the brief was an opportunity for IBM to show that it is capable of producing quality analyses specific to the Defense Department as well as for current Pentagon employees to network with a potential future employer.

Building target packages like a corporation tracks customers

However, experts say there is more to the presentation. For one, it’s a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the military-industrial complex, where assassination technologies and corporate sales merge, shrouded in lifeless language as dead as the target of a “kinetic engagement.”

The IBM-Defense Department drone strike analysis relationship likely began in earnest in 2010, when IBM employees delivered a talk at the tech giant’s Analytics Solution Center in Washington, D.C. Titled “An Introduction to Edge Methods: Business Analytics and Optimization for Intelligence,” the intended audience was “Defense and Intelligence communities.” The company’s goal was to demonstrate how IBM could assist with “managing large volumes of data” to derive “invaluable” insights. The company already had an existing governmental customer: the ISR Task Force

The Intercept further noted:

Although buried in reams of corporate management gobbledygook (IBM, it turns out, is “Mission Focused” and “Performance Driven”), the talk’s key theme was that IBM was offering prospective new government clients its “expertise in integrating business and technology services” using its “commercial consulting methods.” That is, IBM was bringing what it had learned from managing Big Data for corporate America to the military and intelligence worlds.