Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


Intelligence analysis and method

My fascination with intelligence analysis keeps on kicking, despite the fact that it is very hard to pin down. Is it merely academic analysis or is it something else and more?

The saintly Federation of American Scientists has published a CIA report that was otherwise withheld. This report discusses what merits different approaches to intel analysis have.

"At the heart of this controversy is the question of whether intelligence analysis should be accepted as an art (depending largely on subjective, intuitive judgment) or a science (depending largely on structured, systematic analytic methods)."

"If qualitative intelligence analysis is an art, then efforts to improve it should focus on measuring the accuracy of one's intuition, selecting those analysts with the best track record, and educating them to become experts in a given field."

"If, on the other hand, qualitative intelligence analysis is a science, then analysts should be trained to select the appropriate method for a given problem from a variety of scientific methodologies and exploit it to guide them through the analytical process."

Interesting and precise. However, note that the author is obviously from a social-scientific/quantitative school himself. The phrase "measuring the accuracy of one's intuition" is oxymoronic at best. Intuition can't be measured.

I'm still waiting for the unhindered, jungian, crazy intelligence analyst to write on "Creativity and intelligence analysis".


Post a Comment

<< Home