Archimedes Global is among the intelligence contractors that worked with HBGary, TASC, and a series of other firms in competing for the Romas/COIN contract previously held by Northrop Grumman. Tim Riesen, Ph.D. serves as CEO and vice president.
In his follow-up piece to Project PM's initial report on Romas/COIN, Tom Burghardt provided the following background on Archimedes:
- "On an even more sinister note, the inclusion of Archimedes Global on the Romas/COIN team should set alarm bells ringing.
- Archimedes is a small, privately-held niche security firm headquartered in Tampa, Florida where, surprise, surprise, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) has it's main headquarters at the MacDill Air Force Base. On their web site, Archimedes describes itself as "a diversified technology company providing energy and information solutions to government and businesses worldwide." The firm claims that it "delivers solutions" to its clients by "combining deep domain expertise, multi-disciplinary education and training, and technology-enabled innovations."
- While short on information regarding what it actually does, evidence suggests that the firm is chock-a-block with former spooks and Special Forces operators, skilled in the black arts of counterintelligence, various information operations, subversion and, let's be frank, tasks euphemistically referred to in the grisly trade as "wet work."
- According to The Washington Post, the firm was established in 2005. However, although the Post claims in their "Top Secret America" series that the number of employees and revenue is "unknown," Dana Priest and William M. Arkin note that Archimedes have five government clients and are have speared contracts relating to "Ground forces operations," "Human intelligence," Psychological operations," and "Specialized military operations."
- Brown relates that Archimedes was slated to provide "Specialized linguistics, strategy, planning" for the proposed Romas/COIN/Odyssey project for an unknown U.S. Government entity.
- Based on available evidence however, one can speculate that Archimedes may have been chosen as part of the HBGary Federal/TASC team precisely because of their previous work as private contractors in human intelligence (HUMINT), running spies and infiltrating assets into organizations of interest to the CIA and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) throughout the Middle East, Central- and South Asia.
- In 2009, Antifascist Calling revealed that one of Archimedes Global's senior directors, retired Air Force Lt. Colonel George A. Crawford, published a chilling monograph, Manhunting: Counter-Network Organizing for Irregular Warfare, for the highly-influential Joint Special Operations University (JSOU) at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.
- JSOU is the "educational component" of United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). With a mission that touts its ability to "plan and synchronize operations" against America's geopolitical adversaries and rivals, JSOU's Strategic Studies Department "advances SOF strategic influence by its interaction in academic, interagency, and United States military communities."
- Accordingly, Archimedes "information and risk" brief claim they can solve "the most difficult communication and risk problems by seeing over the horizon with a blend of art and science." And with focus areas that include "strategic communications, media analysis and support, crisis communications, and risk and vulnerability assessment and mitigation," it doesn't take a rocket scientist to infer that those well-schooled in the dark art of information operations (INFOOPS) would find a friendly home inside the Romas/COIN contract team."
Burghardt has likewise pointed out the following passage of a 2001 book by retired USAF Lt. Col. George A. Crawford, a senior director at Archimedes, which itself provides a window into the apparent mentality by which the firm operates:
Personnel skilled at conducting strategic information operations--to include psychological operations, public information, deception, media and computer network operations, and related activities--are important for victory. Despite robust DoD and Intelligence Community capabilities in this area, efforts to establish organizations that focus information operations have not been viewed as a positive development by the public or the media, who perceive government-sponsored information efforts with suspicion. Consequently, these efforts must take place away from public eyes. Strategic information operations may also require the establishment of regional or local offices to ensure dissemination of influence packages and assess their impact.
Aside from what has so far been determined about the particular areas in which Archimedes specializes, a July 2010 e-mail from Aaron Barr to CEO Tim Riesen indicates that the firm has developed at least one especially impressive capability:
About the capability you told me about the other day. Too good of a capability I can't get it out of my head. So I talked briefly to someone I know that could schedule some meetings with the senior folks I mentioned. I am going to have a discussion with him on Monday. Can we talk before then just so I make sure I don't screw up the details.
Funny thing I was at a small dinner hosted by OSD ATL tonight for the IO CMDR EUCOM, sitting next to me was jeff castelli from Phase1. I think there may be some opportunities in the future to help shape some IO strategy for EUCOM. He said he was excited by what we discussed.
At another point, Archimedes and HBGary execs discuss a capability they refer to as misattributable marketing services.