The unexpected bias of the DIME model and why “I” matters

A few years ago I was doing some writing and I found a discussion of a model called DIME. At the time the model was explained as the mechanisms of national power and was an acronym for diplomacy, information, military, and economic. That was interesting to me so I started using it. After a time I was subtly corrected and a book was passed to me where the author had referred to the “I” in DIME as intelligence. Since intelligence is the operational art of information I started using it. Now to be honest the National Research Council is a fairly authoritative entity to identify “I” as intelligence

Now flash to the various models being positioned around the DIME model currently. There is MEDLIFE, or military, economic, diplomacy, law-enforcement, intelligence, financial, environment and then there is the famous PMESII or political, military, economic, social, infrastructure and information systems model. There is also the DIME plus model of diplomatic, informational, military, economic, intelligence and law enforcement suggested by Hugh Smith. What the acronyms are trying to show is the relationships of people to systems of interaction.

What I have found is that if you are deep in the military mind set you will write DIME with an “I” on intelligence and if you are higher up or less focused on killing people and breaking things, then you will have an “I” on information. Not to say either group is unwilling to take either view. It is just an interesting observation over a few dozen examples. I think that it is interesting that DIME was used extensively by the Effects Base Operations (EBO) contingency too.

So I admit I’m wrong about the bias. It seems the “I” in DIME is simply changed to meet the needs of the current researchers desires. I’m actually OK with that up until two people are having a conversation and misread the intuition of the other based on the vowel “I”.  Why is this becoming an issue? It really isn’t. It is merely something that I think is interesting and it is easier to write blog posts than finish my dissertation. Other than that it is interesting that such a ubiquitous concept can have a subtle but important difference in meaning to some people.

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