The Art & Science of Intelligence Analysis / Edition 1

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On 11 September 2001, the Al Qaeda-sponsored attacks in New York and Washington DC marked a turning point in global security. The worldwide impact demonstrated not only that no country is an island, but also raised questions about the way the intelligence community gather its data, analyzed it, and disseminated it up to the policymakers. Some of these questions concerned the very tradecraft of intelligence - the process of analysis itself. This book deconstructs the profession of intelligence analysis in the contemporary, globalized world, and asks: is it an art, a science, or both?

The availability of data and information to support intelligence analysis is now much greater than ever before, and used properly, this material can assist hugely in the fight against terrorism. This book takes a practical look at intelligence analysis and offers a synthesis of the key issues affecting this area and the context within which it is taught and understood. The main cognitive processes affecting analysis and interpretation, such as memory, hindsight, perception, bias, hypothesizing and evaluating data, are explained in the context of the intelligence machinery and environment, and the book explores ways in which pitfalls can be mitigated. There is also discussion about the external pressures and influences on intelligence analysis, such as politics, ethics and civil liberties, cultural factors, and the changing nature of security threats and their impact on the intelligence process.

In its analysis, the book provides an objective view of intelligence success as well as failure, and will be of interest to police and security intelligence trainers and analysts, police counter-intelligence units, and those involved in the study of policing, intelligence and counter-terrorism.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199578450
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/21/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 934,527
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr Julian Richards is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham, and was previously a researcher at Brunel University's Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies. Prior to that, Dr Richards worked for 16 years in intelligence, counter-terrorism analysis, policy formation and training. In 1993, he was awarded a PhD from Cambridge University for his thesis on nationalism in Pakistan, and has since written numerous papers on terrorism, counter-terrorism and security. He is a regular facilitator on joint agency training programmes in the UK on intelligence analysis and terrorism.

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Table of Contents


Part One The Intelligence Process in the Modern World

1 Definitions: What is Intelligence and Intelligence Analysis? 3

A Brief History of Intelligence 5

Conceptualizing the Intelligence Process 9

Problems with the Intelligence Cycle Model 15

Secrecy 16

Boundaries of Intelligence---Passive Collection or Covert Action? 21

Conclusions 24

Key Points 25

2 Intelligence Failure and Success 27

Analysis of Intelligence Failure and 'Strategic Surprise' 28

Points of Failure in the Intelligence Cycle 33

Two Dimensions of Intelligence Failure: Analysis and Organization 35

Conclusions 46

Key Points 47

3 From Third Reich to Al Qaeda: Changing Intelligence Targets, Evolving Challenge 49

The Evolving Threat 50

Conclusions 69

Key Points 71

4 The Intelligence Environment: Political, Cultural, and Ethical Influences on Intelligence Analysis 73

Factors Affecting the Intelligence Cycle 74

Political Influences 76

Cultural Influences, and 'Surveillance Anxiety' 83

Ethics of Intelligence 87

Just War, and Just Intelligence? 90

Conclusion 92

Key Points 93

Part Two Art and Science in Intelligence Analysis

5 Analytical Theory: The Art of Analysis 97

Thinking about Thinking 98

Critical Thinking 100

Creativity 103

Judgement 111

Communication 114

Conclusions 117

Key Points 119

6 Analytical Theory: The Science of Analysis 121

Intelligence and Science 122

Tradecraft Techniques 125

The Technical Dimension 138

Conclusions 142

Key Points 144

7 Meeting the Skills and Training Challenges 145

A Few Words about Training 148

Critical and Creative Thinking Exercises 149

Tactical Intelligence 156

Strategic Intelligence 163

Simulation and Gaming 166

Conclusions 167

Key Points 168

8 Conclusions: Art or Science? 171

Intelligence Failures 172

The Threat Picture 173

Countering the Threat 175

Opportunities and Pitfalls 178

The Analyst's Trade 182

Recommendations 184

Index 189

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