User:Howard C. Berkowitz/Editor

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I have started an estimated 2000-3000 articles at CZ, and the list obviously is too long to detail here. Recently, I have been using the CZ: Subgroups mechanism to characterize many, encourage collaboration, and use for targeted recruiting. Nevertheless, I think it's the best way to see my contributions. The experience of writing CZ articles, editing, and being edited is itself a form of expertise. I'm sometimes concerned that Citizens without substantial CZ contribution experience believe themselves expert on the practice of CZ editing; the Editorial Council has recognized it is usually unwise to allow people to become Editors at initial registration time.

Not all the articles are long, but all should be thoroughly interconnected. One of the key differentiators between CZ and Wikipedia, I believe, is what I call contextualization. To help this process, with Chris Day, I developed the idea of the lemma article. One of the purposes of this article type was, even if its main theme was not fully developed, it could have a Related Articles page to link it to other relevant articles. Indeed, it can make sense even to start with a lemma and Related Articles, as something of an outline for an article. We do not want what have been called "orphan" articles or "walled gardens". As an Editor, I urge authors to contextualize.

Other contextualization, however, involves extensive development of a series of articles, such as wars of Vietnam, interrogation, intelligence cycle management, Pacific War, extrajudicial detention, Nazism, etc.

Yes, I am an Editor in multiple workgroups: Computers, History, Military, Politics and Engineering. My most successful professional experience, however, is interdisciplinary. While, for example, I am an expert in routing and switching, I am no longer current in a different aspect of computers, compiler writing. Routing, however, involves both software and hardware, electronics and system architecture of the latter being electronic engineering in the Engineering Workgroup. Carl von Clausewitz defined war as the "extension of national politics by military means", so it is a bit silly to claim that Military matters can be separated from Politics.

Fields of expertise

These do not strictly map to workgroups, and I have indeed specialized within workgroups. Nevertheless, these fields seem to express my areas of interest, not considering such things as serious personal participation in areas including cooking, visual arts and science fiction.

Articles can entertain as well as inform. Not all my articles (e.g., red-stewing; sympathetic magic; Chatham, Massachusetts; chicken-based technologies; pastel; hammer (tool) belong to subgroups (although there are applications of chicken-based technologies to nuclear weapons), and I have not yet placed all subgroup-relevant articles in the appropriate list.

Do remember the titles of workgroups; they are not strictly academic. It's Computers, not Computer Science, and Politics, not Political Science. Such a view makes it plausible to have "practitioner experts" as well as "academic experts". Practical expertise, in turn, can be, in part, evaluated by examination of my body of work at CZ. I'm not the only practitioner that will have challenges in detailing all experiences; consider a potential Law Editor, the details of whose experience could breach client confidentiality.

As George Santayana put it, “those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.” In my personal experience, it is difficult to separate serious current research from historical research. While there have been accusations that I do not consider formal historical methodology, it is a bit ironic that one of the complaints about my Adolf Hitler draft was that I included a section on historiography, now a separate article historiography of Hitler in the CZ:Historiography Subgroup.

Other broad experience at CZ includes membership in the Charter Drafting committee, serving throughout the process, as well as Editorial Council membership both before and after the Charter

Telecommunications and computer network engineering

First started programming in 1966, moved into real-time and fault-tolerant military and health systems by 1970, operating systems in 1973, and networks since 1974. Did take some graduate courses in computer science at George Washington University; there were no computer science academic curricula when I started. Designed and implemented first network (management) control center for the civilian U.S. government, 1974. Network architect for the Library of Congress and interconnected libraries, 1976-1980. First technical staff member for the Corporation for Open Systems, a nonprofit industry testing center for Open Systems Interconnection Reference Model and Integrated Systems Digital Network, 1986-1991. Consultant and certified trainer for Cisco Systems and related contractors, 1991-1999. Contributing member of Internet Engineering Task Force since 1995; International Organization for Standardization since 1979, North American Network Operators' Group since 1998. Member of Nortel Networks corporate research staff, first as product line manager for carrier routers and then senior adviser on IP routing, 1999-2001.

Author of four books, two from Macmillan (Designing Addressing architecture for routing and switching[1], Routing and switching for Enterprise Networks[2]); two from John Wiley and Sons (WAN Survival Guide [3], and Building Service Provider Networks[4]). Wrote networking chapter for Harvey Deitel's Operating Systems, 6th Edition. Technical director for CertificationZone, a Cisco study guide business, with a number of topics published as collections. Technical reviewer for Macmillan, Addison-Wesley, Wiley and Prentice-Hall. Author or coauthor of four IETF RFCs and reviewer of many more; participant in Benchmarking Technology, Interdomain Routing, OSPF, IS-IS, and other workgroups. Numerous publications and presentations for trade groups and professional associations, some peer-reviewed, some invited

My general sense is that vendor-independent traditional engineering books have a limited market, and I've been concentrating more on online publications. In the past, I've been involved in preparation for Cisco certifications, and still participate in mailing lists. I developed a Cisco course on Internet Service Provider infrastructure security.

I should clarify that network engineering includes the electronic engineering disciplines of communications engineering, not necessarily computer communications. For many years, until budget-limited, I was a member of the IEEE Communications Society. I served from 1976 to 1980 on the Federal Telecommunications Standards Committee of the National Telecommunications System, charged with ensuring interoperability of U.S. government communications in disasters including nuclear war. Associated with this, I was briefed into numerous parts of the Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network (MEECN), many of the subsystem of which are radio based for voice, not computers.

Wireless LAN communication has been an area of involvement since it was introduced, with all the associated antenna, multipath and shielding issues. I deal with HF/SSB, VHF, and satellite communications (UHF, C-band, X-band principally) as part of my current marine electronics work, and publication in Marine Electronics Journal.

I have been involved with transmission security and safety, ranging from protecting classified communications from inadvertent disclosure (e.g., TEMPEST/Van Eck radiation) to building equipotential ground planes for computer centers and electronics labs. In addition, I was part of a team to test the tolerance of IEEE 802 waveforms to variability and interference, including building errored waveforms with an arbitrary waveform generator.

Distributed computing

Networks interconnect computers that perform distributed computing. Some of my most recent work is in advising clients on cloud computing, with special emphasis on information security. Most of the military and medical systems on which I've worked are distributed, and network management is itself a distributed computing problem for controlling the routers and other network elements. A good deal of marine electronics is distributed, including Automatic identification system and vessel monitoring systems, to say nothing of military systems such as Cooperative Engagement Capability.

Other areas include System Control And Data Acquisition for critical infrastructure areas including the electrical power grid, chemical plants, etc.

My book, WAN Survival Guide, deals with the customer side of a distributed network, while Building Service Provider Networks complements the provider side. Email and Domain Name Service are distributed computing parts of network infrastructure.

Politicomilitary history and practice; intelligence

I became a Military Workgroup Editor when I first registered, in part, presumably, on the intelligence and related articles that I brought from WP. While I have no uniformed service, I began paid work as a military contractor/consultant in 1967, during the Vietnam War, in military social science and engineering. Some of my nontraditional learning came in even younger years; my mother was a U.S. Army reserve officer, the training officer for the 322nd General Hospital, and arranged for me to take informal training -- I was her study partner when she took the correspondence program for the Command and General Staff College.

When I applied for History and Politics Editor status, I indicated, and have kept reasonable faith, that I would subspecialize in modern military history and practice, the political dimensions of strategy, and U.S. politics including international organizations. To the extent that I deal with earlier periods, they contribute to modern history, such as the Lieber Code of 1863 as a predecessor to the Geneva Conventions and as a precedent for war crimes. I also deal with history of technologies, such as the evolution of interconnection and switching in the Public Switched Telephone Network (Strowger-to-SS7-to-SIP proxy) and Internet.

As mentioned elsewhere, I worked on analysis of Vietnamese Communist documents. Since my client was United States Army Special Forces, a good deal of their training curricula were made available to their contractors. During this time, I was also a special graduate student in the National Security Program, School of International Service, American University. In addition, I worked on early measurement and signature intelligence personnel sensors, first the M3 ammonia and smoke detector,[5] and some more experimental devices such as the bedbug-based device from the Army Night Vision Laboratories at Fort Belvoir. Weird as some of these may have seemed, it was important to understand the tactical doctrines by which they were used (e.g., Operation IGLOO WHITE), and their impact -- see Vietnam War ground technology.

During this time, I was involved in issues research and policy development for Republican organizations. For the Ripon Society, I prepared a policy paper on government secrecy, classified information and compartmented control systems. This involved extensive primary document work at the National Archives, as well as discussions with security officers at the Defense Department, CIA, State Department and National Security Agency. I was on the Foreign and Military Policy Subcommittee of the 1972 Young Republican National Federation Platform Recommendations Committee. Later, for Young Americans for Freedom, I debated domestic surveillance plans of the Nixon Administration with Tom Charles Huston.

After those projects, I moved to history of technology for the Office of Naval Research, tracking how basic research was realized in operational systems. Next, I spent several years in analysis and programming for military systems, again requiring understanding of how they were used. These included the Army's Combat Service Support System (CS3), and the Chief of Naval Operations Command Management Information System. My managers, mostly retired officers, encouraged my learning more and more about the military technology and its use, and arranged additional training.

As the network architect for the Library of Congress, I was a member of the Federal Telecommunications Standards Committee of the National Communications System (NCS). NCS, a "second hat" for the head of the Defense Information Systems Agency, is responsible for ensuring the interoperability of government communications across all agencies, under stresses including nuclear war. Since we all dealt with extremely large data bases, imagery, and nonroman alphabets, I was the liaison for mutual interests to the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency.

While at the Corporation for Open Systems, I had extensive involvement with military electronics, consulting to and running training for engineers at the Defense Information Systems Agency, and also the command and control support group for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

More recently, I have consulted in open source intelligence projects, as well as intelligence information sharing for counterterrorism.

U.S. politics and history

While I oppose much of the activity of today’s U.S. Republican Party, I spent a number of years as an activist, holding office in party organizations, graduating from the senior campaign management program of the Republican National Committee. Campaigns in which I participated included the 1972 Nixon reelection and 1971 Jack Nevius for Congress. Of course, there is overlap between opposition research in politics and intelligence analysis.

Going back to honors high school history, I have long been convinced that if there ever is totalitarianism in the United States, it will come from demagoguery on the right. To understand how such politics becomes dominant, I have maintained a lifelong interest in Nazism, and the The Paranoid Style in American Politics.

Principally, however, my interest in history and politics deals with national security, but also with the use of propaganda against domestic targets.

Transportation engineering

Current author for Marine Electronics Journal (National Marine Electronics Association) and consult to a marine electronics business, Beachwerks, in the fishing and recreational port of Chatham, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. Integrate Electronic Charting Systems and chartplotters, using NMEA 0183, Ethernet, and NMEA 2000 networking with GPS, marine radio with digital selective calling, Automatic identification system, radar with automatic radar plotting aid, vessel monitoring system, sonar, engine performance monitoring and autopilot. Developed proposal for conversion of waste cooking oil to biodiesel, including chemical quality control and effect on marine diesel engines. Currently involved in discussions on human factors engineering for charting systems.

Emergency management

Member of the Federal Telecommunications Standards Committee of the National Communications System (1976-1980). External network architect for the U.S. government Y2K information center and associated critical infrastructure monitoring. Developed designs for mass casualty management, weapons of mass destruction field laboratories, and U.S. Army field surgical team. Current member of Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps, special interest in disaster communications; numerous courses from Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Biomedical engineering and healthcare

Active in the field since 1970, setting up the first clinical computer center for Georgetown University Medical Center, in a captive company called the Washington Reference Laboratories; had been in honors programs in microbiology and clinical chemistry since 1963. Implemented systems for toxicology (main military drug screening urinalysis for the Vietnam War, project Golden Fountain), automated medical history, regional virology center, regional blood banking for the American Red Cross, general hospital clinical chemistry, hematology and microbiology.

"I'm not a physician but I play one on computers." Developed not only software but knowledge base for clinical decision support, such as optimal drug therapy for heart failure and fluid resuscitation for burns.

Architect for nursing workflow product of Aionex Corp.; also designed electronic prescribing, data mining for clinical research, infection control root cause analysis. Member of Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps, dealing with disaster communications.


Nominated for approval

Primary author

Expansion of remarks

Intelligence and social science

If you haven't read some of my articles such as intelligence analysis, and cognitive traps for intelligence analysis, you might find that there are quite nuanced approaches, using historical and military social science techniques that are applicable here. They draw from political science, anthropology, group psychology; many of the theoreticians in the CIA retired to academic social science careers. The lead propaganda analyst at my day job also was the faculty member for international political communications in my evening graduate courses.

Look at Vietnamese Communist grand strategy, on which I worked at the Center for Research in Social Systems (CRESS) [formerly the Special Operations Research Office] at American University, a contract research center with classified access, the Army Special Forces and Army Intelligence, but the people doing it were at a university, and often adjunct social science faculty. My graduate program in intelligence analysis, up until 1962, was formally funded by a CIA grant; after some embarrassing publicity, it was funded, in the identical amount, by the (cough cough) Avalon Foundation, and the same guest speakers assured us that they were there on their own time. My country study, incidentally, was on South Africa, and I must say the US intelligence community absolutely blew the idea (at least in 1967) that it could peacefully transform to a multiracial society.

Believe me, the charismatic vs. ideological, or to use Kissinger's triad, adding pragmatic (e.g., the classic Western legally trained negotiator), is an extremely important part of political intelligence analysis. Even within an apparently quite ideological political system, such as the North Vietnamese Politburo, a variety of techniques from the social science are used to try to predict the behavior of actors. If I go back 30 years or so, a good deal of this methodology was classified, not so much because the methods themselves were especially secret, but that it could be very useful for an adversary to know how an intelligence agency would attempt to predict their behavior. In this case, it was open source intelligence reading the party monthly journal, Nhan Dan, and the theoretical journal, Hoc Tap. To understand subtle changes, one had to understand Vietnamese history. The name, for example, of the national hero, Nguyen Hue, was never invoked for trivial reasons; the fact that something was called the Nguyen Hue Offensive meant it was important. It was the first open source mention of what became the Tet Offensive.

There are quite a few techniques, sometimes simple, that almost instantly lose their value when it becomes known they are used. Do not, however, fall into the trap of believing that there is a radical difference between what political scientists in academia and political scientists in intelligence do. The most significant difference is that the intelligence analyst may have to give a best estimate, with confidence factors, in an externally imposed amount of time.

The techniques of domestic political analysis aren’t necessarily the same, although there is some overlap, especially in opposition research. I can certainly say that a good political pollster, perhaps producing the polls that aren’t released to the media, makes extensive use of formal methodology that I studied in graduate-level political/social science courses.

The practice of politics

While the Workgroup system may not always be with us, I observe it is the Politics Workgroup rather than the Political Science Workgroup. I've had substantial experience in political campaigning, internals of poltical process, lobbying and preparing testimony. While some of my work was with what was then the U.S. Republican Party, I can only claim that the party ethos was considerably different than it is today, when "moderate Republican" is the moral equivalent of "slightly pregnant." If I may use 12-step terms, I am a Recovering Republican, who still graduated from the Republican Senior Campaign Management School and was on campaign staffs, including the DC Nixon Campaign in 1972. I spent several years as Research Director for the District of Columbia (state-equivalent) Republican Committee and DC Young Republicans. For the Ripon Society, a moderate Republican policy group, I contributed to Congressional testimony on government secrecy and on Congressional representation for the District of Columbia. Representing Young Americans for Freedom, I debated Tom Charles Huston on the constitutionality and practicality of the "Huston Plan" for domestic surveillance and political provocation during the second Nixon Administration.

With the capture of the Republican Party by social conservatives, I was no longer actively affiliated, but continued to be involved in local politics, often nonpartisan, in Arlington County, Virginia. I am involved in a variety of serious discussion forums and mailing lists, often shared with elected and appointed officials.

The Truth about Network Reference Models

The early days of computer networks were dominated by a few large companies such as IBM and DEC. In order promote interoperability and avoid a situation where a small number of vendors predominated, each with their own proprietary technology, it was necessary to introduce a set of open standards defining network protocols.

There were two main competitors, the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) architecture from the International Organization for Standardization, and the Internet Protocol Suite "TCP/IP" from the Internet Engineering Task Force.


The FTSC and National Communications System contributed, in the late seventies, to the ANSI Distributed Systems (DISY) architecture, which was a significant input into the internationally standardized OSI architecture. ISO 7498, the basic Open Systems Interconnection Reference Model (OSIRM), was published in 1984. Even ignoring the eventual dominance of Internet protocols, there is a great deal of misunderstanding about OSI, because educators generally ignored supplemental ISO documents that clarified ISO 7498.

From 1986 to 1991, I was the first technical staff member at the Corporation for Open Systems, a not-for-profit industry research center for promoting and testing OSI and ISDN protocols. In addition to secretariat work with the various committees, I managed teams working on FTAM and X.25 test systems, and contributed to IEEE 802 test systems. One memorable experience was lecturing about X.25 testing in Japan, and had the horrible realization that my PowerPoint slides, translated into Japanese, had gotten into a different order than my English-language notes.

For around six years of my life, I explained how OSI was the answer, but eventually realized I didn't know the question.


By the early nineties, it was obvious that Internet protocols were indeed the answer, and I started to play in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), North American Network Operators Group (NANOG)and the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF).

In the IETF, my main work has been in the Routing (especially BGP/IDR and OSPF) and Operations & Management Areas (especially BMWG & OPSEC), and, more as a lurker, Security and Real-time Applications & Infrastructure Area. I am an author or coauthor of RFC 1912, RFC 2071[6], RFC 2072[7], RFC 4098[8], and was a reviewer or contributor with many others. I've done quite a few tutorials and presentations available at, and was a participant in "Team B" of the IRTF Future Domain Requirements effort[9], which essentially looked at the question "what comes after BGP?" Some of my most satisfying work came when I was first the product line manager for routing protocols in the carrier router group, and then in corporate research at Nortel, both working with standards and operational forums, and designing a next-generation router.

There is a continuing and frustrating tendency, in Wikipedia articles on network architecture, to treat the OSI model as if it is still used other than as a teaching aid, and to try to “coerce” (using the lovely word choice of my colleague, Priscilla Oppenheimer) Internet Protocol Suite protocols into OSI layers. Layering, as an abstraction, is useful up to a point. It can be overused. An updated IETF architectural document, RFC3439, [10] even contains a section entitled: "Layering Considered Harmful": Emphasizing layering as the key driver of architecture is not a feature of the TCP/IP model, but rather of OSI. Much confusion comes from attempts to force OSI-like layering onto an architecture that minimizes their use.

I have insufficient hair to tear it out whenever I try to explain that the Internet protocol suite was not intended to match OSI, was developed before OSI, the full set of OSI specifications (i.e., not just document ISO 7498) subdivide layers so that it is no longer seven, and that OSI has, in the real world, been relegated to a teaching tool. The Internet Protocol Suite has four layers, defined in RFC1122[11]and no IETF document, as opposed to some nonauthoritative textbooks, say it has five.

No IETF standards-track document has accepted a five-layer model, and IETF documents indeed deprecate strict layering of all sorts. Given the lack of acceptance of the five-layer model by the body with technical responsibility for the protocol suite, it is not unreasonable to regard five-layer presentations as teaching aids, possibly to make the IP suite architecture more familiar to those students who were first exposed to layering using the OSI model. Comparisons between the IP and OSI suites can give some insight into the abstraction of layering, but trying to coerce Internet protocols, not designed with OSI in mind, can only lead to confusion.

Again, RFC1122 defines 4 layers. If anyone can find another IETF document that states the OSI model is followed, please cite it. Further, RFC 1122 was published in 1989, while the OSI Reference Model, ISO 7498, was published in 1984. If the RFC 1122 authors had wanted to be OSI compliant, they had the OSI definitions available to them. They didn't use them. Does that suggest they were not concerned with OSI compliance?

For Internet Protocol Suite architecture, textbooks are not authoritative; the IETF's work, particularly the Standards Track, is definitive for the Internet Protocol Suite. I've written networking textbooks, and, while I might clarify an IETF document, I certainly don't contend that textbooks are more definitive than the actual technical specifications created by expert, not beginning student or teacher, consensus.

Unfortunately not available free online, there are ISO documents such as "Internal Organization of the Network Layer" [12], which splits the network layer nicely into three levels, logical (lower-layer agnostic), subnetwork (i.e., link technology) specific, and a mapping sublayer between them. ARP, with which many people struggle, drops perfectly into the mapping (technically subnetwork dependence convergence) between them. Another ISO document, "OSI Routeing [sic] Framework" [13], makes it clear that routing protocols, no matter what protocol carries their payloads, are layer management protocols for the network layer. Annex 4 to ISO 7498 gives the OSI Management Framework [14], with both system management and layer management components.


  1. Berkowitz, Howard C. (1998). Designing Addressing Architectures for Routing and Switching. Indianapolis: Macmillan Technical Publishing. ISBN 1578700590. 
  2. Berkowitz, Howard C. (1999). Designing Routing and Switching Architectures for Enterprise Networks. Indianapolis: Macmillan Technical Publishing. ISBN 1578700604. 
  3. Berkowitz, Howard C. (2000). WAN Survival Guide: Strategies for VPNs and Multiservice Networks. New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0471384283. 
  4. Berkowitz, Howard C. (2002). Building Service Provider Networks. New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0471099228. 
  5. Reid Kirby (January–June 2007), "Operation Snoopy: The Chemical Corps' "People Sniffer"", Army Chemical Review
  6. Ferguson, P & H Berkowitz (1997), Network Renumbering Overview: Why would I want it and what is it anyway?, IETF, RFC2071
  7. Berkowitz, H (1997), Router Renumbering Guide, IETF, FDR
  8. Berkowitz, H; E Davies & S Hares et al. (2005), Terminology for Benchmarking BGP Device Convergence in the Control Plane, IETF, RFC4098
  9. Davies E. & Doria A., ed. (2007), Analysis of IDR requirements and History, IETF
  10. Bush, R. & Meyer (2002), Some Internet Architectural Guidelines and Philosophy, IETF, RFC3439
  11. Braden, R (1989), Requirements for Internet Hosts -- Communication Layers, IETF, RFC1122
  12. Internal Organization of the Network Layer, ISO, 1988, ISO 8648
  13. OSI Routeing Framework, ISO, 1995, ISO/TR 9575
  14. Open Systems Interconnection -- Basic Reference Model -- Part 4: Management framework, ISO, ISO7498/4