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Major intelligence failures are usually caused by failures of analysis,
not failures of collection. Relevant information is discounted, misinterpreted,
ignored, rejected, or overlooked because it fails to fit a prevailing
mental model or mind-set.
--- Richards Heuer

Not everything that can be counted counts,
and not everything that counts can be counted.
--- Albert Einstein

Only puny secrets need protection.
Big discoveries are protected by public incredulity.
--- Marshall McLuhan

National Intelligence StrategiesBack to Top

General SourcesBack to Top

Threat AnalysisBack to Top

Threat AssessmentsBack to Top

National Intelligence Estimate (NIE)Back to Top

New ThinkingBack to Top

  • See also same section on Cyberspace & Information Operations Study Center

  • See also Blogs, Milblogs

  • DNI's Information Sharing Conference & Technology Exposition - "Intelink and Beyond: Dare to Share" - August 21-24, 2006
    • 21 Aug 2006 speech by Hon. Dale Meyerrose, Assoc. Dir. of National Intelligence and CIO, and Hon. John Grimes, DoD CIO (local copy)
    • 21 Aug 2006 speech by Dr. Thomas Fingar, Dep. Dir. of National Intelligence for Analysis (local copy)
      • What are those objectives? One is to transform the analytic component of our community from a federation of agencies, or a collection of feudal baronies, into a community of analysts, professionals dedicated to providing the best and most timely, most accurate, most useful analytic insights to all of the customers we serve – policymakers, war fighters, and first responders; to do this in ways that draw upon the collective strength we have inside the community and the incredible amounts of knowledge that are available outside the IC, outside the U.S. government, and even outside the United States.

        Central to all of this is collaboration. I always use the word collaborations rather than cooperation. Cooperation is something we make people do: Play nice in the sandbox. You will come to this coordination meeting. That’s not good enough. Collaboration must be something people are excited to do; do without thinking about; do in ways that are invisible or transparent; do because they recognize it leads to better insights, and more timely responses.

      • We’re about to launch an experiment in producing a National Intelligence Estimate using the Intellipedia. I don’t know if it’s going to work. It might; it might not. But we’re going to try it– it’s going to be on Nigeria. Instead of relying on those who can make it to the meeting or happen to be in town at critical junctions to shape it, we will engage any who are knowledgeable and let the Wikipedia process operate. We’ll see if it works. We might have to tweak it. We might want to run the regular process in parallel, as we are running in parallel a number of analytic efforts where we give the same questions to an outside group using open sources as we give the community to work using all of our classified data. Exactly how much better, and on what questions, does classified information yield better insights than what we can produce using unclassified information? There are people that describe this as one of the scariest innovations that I have launched. It shouldn’t be scary; it should help analysts to direct their time and attention to where they get the biggest bang for the buck. [ed. this is just one of the initiatives discussed in the speech]

    • 22 Aug 2006 speech by Amb. Ted McNamara, Program Manager, Information Sharing Environment (ISE) (local copy)
    • 24 Aug 2006 speech by Dr. Eric Haseltine, Assoc. Dir. of National Intelligence for Science and Technology (local copy)
      • And that led us to look at supermarkets. How many of you have supermarket discount cards? Do you know how much of your privacy you are giving up with those cards? Does anybody know? You are giving it all up. They know everything that you buy down last match, whatever. The stuff you get in your mailbox is very much determined by what you put when you scan your card. You know, they knew for example that there was a super-high correlation between the purchase of beer and diapers. (Laughter.) Right?

        Now, that is not because men are all babies, as all of the women here know . (laughter) . that is because there was an interesting sociology which said, honey, would you go to the store? I have to change him; you go buy them. And honey goes to the store, and he has to buy diapers, and what else does he buy? He buys beer. So if you buy a certain kind of beer, you're likely to get a direct mailing for pampers. (Laughter.) Okay?

      • At NSA there is this habit in analysts of only looking at highly classified information on highly classified networks. When I used to come back from Iraq, having looked at just vanilla secret stuff, let alone the coalition stuff which was regarded as basically opensourced by the people at NSA, I would say, my god, there’s a treasure trove of stuff not on the intel but on SIGACTS. You know, SIGACTS, which is Significant Activity database, records from a military operations point of view everything that happened. It has huge significance for the SIGINT business. But the analysts there weren’t in the habit of doing it. I would take it and show it to them. I’d say, look, look! (Laughter.) And they were very busy. They’re not bad people. They were just extremely busy, and it was not comfortable and familiar to them to look at this non-intel, non-top-secret stuff. It was not easy. It was not simple. It was not in their comfort zone.

      • I interviewed over a three-week period analysts in Baghdad when I was out there. And that was very difficult, by the way. I used the ethologists’ technique. This is a type of psychology that has to do with observing organisms in their natural habitat without disturbing them. So these organisms were MI analysts in Baghdad. So I put on a uniform and I sat there at the terminal and did what they did, and I wrote reports and, you know, did stuff like that. And I would hang out in the laundry room and I would hijack them on their way to the chow hall or even the latrine because I didn’t want to get them out of their comfort zone, all right? They weren’t used to talking to geekazoids from headquarters while they’re trying to fight a war, but they did have to go to the laundry room, and that’s where I got quality time.
        ...
        Well, did you know that you have a lot of single sign-on capability in federated query with Pathfinder? You got that. And they said, ahh! It’s too hard. I don’t have time to learn that.
        ...
        So what we did was we came up with this federated query system. We called it Oggle (sp), and the letters may have kind of looked like Google. I’m not saying they may have been fooled into thinking it was Google. It wasn’t. No copyright or trademark infringement the lawyers tell me. But the fact of the matter is, they already new how to do it. It was zero learning for them, and it appeared simple. It turned out it was not at all simple because it had features where you could say what the query term was; was it a people, a person, an event, a date and so forth. But it was. it went over instantly. We monitored the usage of it, and it went up exponentially because it was perceived to be simple, and that was key to the intrinsic motivation.

  • Intellipedia - a tool similar to Wikipedia, built by contributions from members of the of the U.S. intelligence community

  • Open-Source Spying, by Clive Thompson, New York Times, 3 Dec 2006 - discusses need for intelligence community to use open sources and the communication techniques used on the global internet (such as instant mail and wikis and blogs)

  • DARPA's Future Markets Applied to Prediction (FutureMAP)

  • Studies in Intelligence

  • Intelligent Design: COIN Operations and Intelligence Collection and Analysis (local copy), by Zeytoonian et al, in Military Review, Sep-Oct 2006

  • Networks: Terra Incognita and the Case for Ethnographic Intelligence (local copy), by Renzi, in Military Review, Sep-Oct 2006

  • Full-Spectrum Analysis: a New Way of Thinking for a New World (local copy), by Wolfberg, in Military Review, Jul-Aug 2006

  • Establishment of the National Clandestine Service (NCS), October 13, 2005
    • The NCS will serve as the national authority for the integration, coordination, deconfliction, and evaluation of human intelligence operations across the entire Intelligence Community, under authorities delegated to the Director of the CIA who serves as the National HUMINT Manager.

  • Manhunting: a Methodology for Finding Persons of National Interest (local copy), by Marks, Meer, and Nilson, Naval Postgraduate School, June 2005
    • Unfortunately, no military doctrine, framework or process currently exists for finding and apprehending these Persons of National Interest (PONIs). Since military planners and intelligence analysts are neither educated nor trained in the methods or procedures necessary to find and capture PONIs, this thesis will propose a methodology to do so. This involves the development of an analytical process, and an organizational structure and procedure to identify and locate PONIs. Consequently, the United States government’s ability to prosecute the war on terrorism today, and to find and apprehend PONIs in the future, depends on its ability to develop and institutionalize a comprehensive manhunting strategy now.

  • Advanced Research and Development Activity (ARDA)
    • The Advanced Research and Development Activity (ARDA) is an Intelligence Community (IC) center for conducting advanced research and development related to information technology (IT) (information stored, transmitted, or manipulated by electronic means). ARDA sponsors high risk, high payoff research designed to produce new technology to address some of the most important and challenging IT problems faced by the intelligence community. The research is currently organized into five technology thrusts,
      • Information Exploitation,
      • Quantum Information Science,
      • Global Infosystems Access,
      • Novel Intelligence from Massive Data and
      • Advanced Information Assurance.

  • Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) (Local Copy), discussed on page 6 of News & Views, Sandia Labs, Jan 2005
    • We believe there is potential to apply techniques such as LSA to identify, early on, ideas which appear to be “transformational.” These are ideas which, because of their emergent nature, are not yet on the “radar screens” of intelligence analysts, but are rapidly gaining a following.

  • We Need Spy Blogs: An Army officer calls for better information gathering, by Alexander, in Wired, Mar 2005
    • And why not tap the brainpower of the blogosphere as well? The intelligence community does a terrible job of looking outside itself for information. From journalists to academics and even educated amateurs - there are thousands of people who would be interested and willing to help. Imagine how much traffic an official CIA Iraq blog would attract. If intelligence organizations built a collaborative environment through blogs, they could quickly identify credible sources, develop a deep backfield of contributing analysts, and engage the world as a whole. How cool would it be to gain "trusted user" status on a CIA blog?

  • The Intelligence Community: 2001-2015, by Pappas and Simon, Studies in Intelligence, Vol.46, No.1, 2002

  • The New Craft of Open Source Intelligence: How the U.S. Department of State Should Lead (local copy), presentation by Robert David Steele, at a State Department forum, 24 Mar 2004

  • The New Craft of Intelligence: Achieving Asymmetric Advantage in the Face of Nontraditional Threats (local copy), by Steele, Feb 2002, for Strategic Studies Inst.

  • National Virtual Translation Center (NVTC)

  • National Visualization and Analytics Center (NVAC) - a Department of Homeland Security resource

  • Carnivore Diagnostic Tool (local copy), testimony of Donald M. Kerr, Assistant Director, Laboratory Division, FBI, before the United States Senate, the Committee on the Judiciary, September 6, 2000 (NOTE: In Jan 2005, U.S. media outlets reported that the Jan 2005 FBI report to Congress showed little or no use of Carnivore and instead reflected a turning to commercially produced software.)
  • Independent Technical Review of the Carnivore System (local copy), Final Report, done for DoJ

  • In-Q-Tel: A New Partnership Between the CIA and the Private Sector

  • Realistic Evaluation of Terrain by Intelligent Natural Agents (RETINA) (local copy), NPS thesis by Burgess, 2003 - discusses modeling of human movement tendencies

  • Swarm Intelligence resources at NASA
    • Swarm Intelligence (SI) is the property of a system whereby the collective behaviours of (unsophisticated) agents interacting locally with their environment cause coherent functional global patterns to emerge. SI provides a basis with which it is possible to explore collective (or distributed) problem solving without centralized control or the provision of a global model.
  • other swarm intelligence references - especially as used by businesses

  • SETI@home, search for extraterrestrial intelligence, using millions of computers through a screensaver which analyzes astronomical data
  • Nug30 solved using parallel computers

Organizations and AssociationsBack to Top

Intelligence & Information SharingBack to Top

Data Mining & PrivacyBack to Top

Intelligence BasicsBack to Top

Intelligence AnalysisBack to Top

  • See also intelligence basics

  • See also intelligence fusion

  • What I Learned in 40 Years of Doing Intelligence Analysis for US Foreign Policymakers (local copy), by Petersen, Studies in Intelligence, Mar 2011
    • I believe every intelligence product must be rooted in a strong understanding of the audience it is written for, and I believe there are five fundamental truths about the analytical products and their consumers.
      • Truth number one: the product is “optional equipment” for many key consumers.
      • Truth number two: the written product is forever.
      • Truth number three: the public does not segregate success and failure.
      • Truth four (closely related to truth three):our individual and collective credibility —and thus our ability to do the mission—rides on every piece of finished intelligence that goes out the door.
      • Truth five: our customers are smarter and more sophisticated than we give them credit for; they have their own independent sources of information and analysis with which we are competing.
    • Now looking back over nearly 40 years, I think I have learned the following six things.
      • First, how one thinks about the mission affects deeply how one does the mission.
      • Second, intelligence failures come from failing to step back to think about underlying trends, forces, and assumptions —not from failing to connect dots or to predict the future.
      • Third, good analysis makes the complex comprehensible, which is not the same as simple.
      • Fourth, there is no substitute for knowing what one is talking about, which is not the same as knowing the facts.
      • Fifth, intelligence analysis starts when we stop reporting on events and start explaining them.
      • Sixth, managers of intelligence analysts get the behavior they reward, so they had better know what they are rewarding.

  • National Research Council reports for DNI, Mar 2011

      Together, the two publications respond to a request from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for up-to-date scientific guidance for the IC so that it might improve individual and group judgments, communication between analysts, and analytic processes.

      • Intelligence Analysis for Tomorrow: Advances from the Behavioral and Social Sciences, from the National Academies Press, Mar 2011
        • The IC deserves great credit for its commitment to self-scrutiny and improvement, including its investments in lessons-learned, training, and collaboration procedures. Yet these efforts have been only weakly informed by the behavioral and social sciences. At the same time, post-9/11 changes in the IC have created unprecedented demands for that knowledge. In this context, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) asked the National Research Council to conduct a study to

            synthesize and assess the behavioral and social science research evidence relevant (1) to critical problems of individual and group judgment and of communication by intelligence analysts and (2) to kinds of analytic processes that are employed or have potential in addressing these problems.

          The study charge also asked for recommendations on analytic practices “to the extent the evidence warrants” and for future research, including the identification of impediments to implementation.

      • Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations, from the National Academies Press, Mar 2011 - collection of individually authored papers
        • Each chapter introduces readers to a fundamental behavioral or social science approach as it applies to the kinds of complex, uncertain problems facing intelligence analysis. The topics covered include analytic methods, group dynamics, individual decision making, intergroup relations, evaluation, and communication.

  • A Tradecraft Primer: Structured Analytic Techniques for Improving Intelligence Analysis (local copy), posted by CIA, March 2009
    • This primer highlights structured analytic techniques—some widely used in the private sector and academia, some unique to the intelligence profession. It is not a comprehensive overview of how intelligence officers conduct analysis. Rather, the primer highlights how structured analytic techniques can help one challenge judgments, identify mental mindsets, stimulate creativity, and manage uncertainty. In short, incorporating regular use of techniques such as these can enable one to structure thinking for wrestling with difficult questions.

  • Building a Better Strategic Analyst: A Critical Review of the U.S. Army’s All Source Analyst Training Program (local copy), by Allen, a SAMS paper, AY 2008
    • This monograph explores the development of intelligence analysts from their indoctrination through positions of senior intelligence analysts charged with scrutinizing strategic concepts and providing strategic recommendations. It compares current methodologies used to produce adaptive, effective senior intelligence analysts necessary for today’s complex battlefields in non-Department of Defense agencies to those used within the United States Army. It seeks to answer the question: does the intelligence school in the United States Army prepare its intelligence analysts properly through training and education for roles as senior intelligence analysts?

  • spiffy Critical Thinking and Intelligence Analysis (local copy, 1.4 Mb low res), by Moore, National Defense Intelligence College (NDIC) occasional paper no. 14, March 2007 (local copy, 12.1 Mb high res) - includes generic and intel-specific discussion, as well as an appendix which is the NSA's Critical Thinking and Structured Analysis Class Syllabus

  • spiffy Curing Analytic Pathologies: Pathways to Improved Intelligence Analysis (local copy), by Cooper, CIA Center for the Study of Intelligence, Dec 2005
    • The Analytic Pathologies framework yields four insights that are crucial both to accurate diagnosis and to developing effective remedies. First, the framework enables analysts to identify individual analytic impediments and determine their sources. Second, it prompts analysts to detect the systemic pathologies that result from closely-coupled networks and to find the linkages among the individual impediments. Third, it demonstrates that each of these networks, and thus each systemic pathology, usually spans multiple levels within the hierarchy of the Intelligence Community. Fourth, the framework highlights the need to treat both the systemic pathologies and the individual impediments by focusing effective remedial measures on the right target and at the appropriate level.

  • Integration of Psychology into Intelligence Production (local copy), by Oracz, University of Military Intelligence, 20 Jan 2009

  • Intelligence Analysis in Theater Joint Intelligence Centers: an Experiment in Applying Structured Methods (local copy), by Folker, Joint Military Intelligence College (JMIC) occasional paper no. 7, Jan 2000

  • Shakespeare for Analysts: Literature and Intelligence (local copy), by White, Joint Military Intelligence College (JMIC) occasional paper no. 10, July 2003

  • Assessing the Tradecraft of Intelligence Analysis, by Treverton and Gabbard, RAND report, 2008

  • Foundations for Meta-Analysis: Developing a Taxonomy of Intelligence Analysis Variables (local copy), by Johnston, in Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 47, No. 3, 2003
  • Reducing Analytic Error: Integrating Methodologists into Teams of Substantive Experts (local copy), by Johnston, in Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 47, No. 1, 2003

  • spiffy Psychology of Intelligence Analysis (local copy), by Heuer, 1999, for CIA -- very good examination of many elements of critical thinking, for example (PDF version)
    • Chapter 8 - Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH) "is a tool to aid judgment on important issues requiring careful weighing of alternative explanations or conclusions. It helps an analyst overcome, or at least minimize, some of the cognitive limitations that make prescient intelligence analysis so difficult to achieve."
      • Analysis of competing hypotheses involves seeking evidence to refute hypotheses. The most probable hypothesis is usually the one with the least evidence against it, not the one with the most evidence for it. Conventional analysis generally entails looking for evidence to confirm a favored hypothesis.

  • CIA Compendium of Analytic Tradecraft Notes (local copy) - "CIA has made this edition [1995] of the compendium available to the public to help shed light on how the Directorate of Intelligence meets the daily challenges of providing timely, accurate, and rigorous analysis to intelligence consumers"

  • Analyst Toolbox: A Toolbox for the Intelligence Analyst (local copy), Dept of Justice Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative - recommended hardware, software, connectivity, sources

  • The Role of Rhetorical Theory in Military Intelligence Analysis - A Soldier’s Guide to Rhetorical Theory, by Mills, AU Press, Aug 2003

  • The Cognitive Bases of Intelligence Analysis (local copy, 6 Mb file), by Thompson et al, U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Jan 1984

  • Law Enforcement Analytic Standards, Nov 2004, Dept of Justice Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative

Intelligence and Policy MakersBack to Top

  • See also Intelligence Lessons Learned

  • Intelligence and Policy-Making: A Bibliography, Web Sites, Naval Postgraduate School

  • Intelligence and Policy: the Evolving Relationship (local copy), Roundtable Report, June 2004, Center for the Study of Intelligence

  • U.S. Intelligence and Policymaking: The Iraq Experience (local copy), Congressional Research Service report
  • Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: Term Limits and Assignment Limitations, Congressional Research Service report

  • Sherman Kent’s Final Thoughts on Analyst-Policymaker Relations (local copy), by Davis, in Sherman Kent Occasional Papers: Volume 2, Number 3, Jun. ‘03

    • Sherman Kent, widely recognized as the single most influential contributor to the analytic doctrine and tradecraft practiced in CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence, was long seized with the importance, and difficulty, of establishing effective relationships between intelligence analysts and policy officials.

    • In warning analysis, Kent judged that the analytic and policy “trades” were too distant in their relations. As a result, the “Warnees,” to use Kent’s term, mistrusted the motives and findings of “Warners” and too often failed to take requisite action to avoid dangers and seize opportunities.
      • "But the big determinant is likely to be a fear of under-warning. The Warner’s nightmare is having something important happen without having given warning—not having blown the whistle loud enough and in time."
      • "Warners know Warnees are hard to convince. They will not be warned by a hint. The thing that will really jolt them into being warned is for the Warner to push his conclusions beyond what his evidence will legitimately support. This is seldom done for good reason. It ain’t honest. It ain’t prudent."

    • In intentions analysis, in contrast, Kent judged that analysts and policymakers were at times too close in their thinking about an adversary’s likely course of action. In this case, neither side would take proper measure of new information that could undermine a shared conclusion.
      • "But no matter how clear everyone is about the estimate’s tentative nature on its birthday, the tentative quality recedes more and more into the background of the thinking, especially of the consumer. Consumers tend to take such judgments as “yes or no” answers. Once accepted as correct it begins to take on a life of its own."
      • "The worst case is when it is a Siamese twin. That is, when the intelligence estimate coincides with the estimate of consumers."
      • As with warning, Kent concludes that the malfunction in misjudging enemy intentions when analysts and policy officials share “vested intellectual positions” is “[rooted] in the nature of things” and not open to easy fixing. His lecture outline ends on a pessimistic note.

  • Paul Wolfowitz on Intelligence Policy-Relations (local copy), by Davis, in Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 39, No. 5, 1996

  • Policy, Intelligence, and The Billion-Dollar Petroglyph, by Donovan, in Air University Review, Jan-Feb 1986 - includes models for processing of intelligence and viewing the threat

  • Online Lectures on Intelligence Analysis, at North Carolina Wesleyan College

CommissionsBack to Top

Counterterrorism & IntelligenceBack to Top

Reorganization of IntelligenceBack to Top

Laws, Regulations, & RestraintsBack to Top

CongressBack to Top

Other U.S. Government ResourcesBack to Top

U.S. Intelligence OrganizationsBack to Top

DoD/Joint ResourcesBack to Top

Army ResourcesBack to Top

Navy & Marine ResourcesBack to Top

Air Force ResourcesBack to Top

Intelligence Fusion & AnalysisBack to Top

Analysis Tools & TheoriesBack to Top

Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB)Back to Top

International Resources - GovernmentBack to Top

International Resources - NonGovernmentBack to Top

Schools and CoursesBack to Top

Intelligence HistoryBack to Top

PublicationsBack to Top

Espionage & SpiesBack to Top

CryptologyBack to Top

CounterintelligenceBack to Top

Intelligence Process & Types of IntelligenceBack to Top

  • From www.intelligence.gov
    • There are six basic intelligence sources, or collection disciplines:
      • Signals Intelligence (SIGINT)
      • Imagery Intelligence (IMINT)
      • Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT)
      • Human-Source Intelligence (HUMINT)
      • Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT)
      • Geospatial Intelligence.
    • When information has been reviewed and correlated with information available from other sources, it is called finished intelligence. Five categories of finished intelligence are available to the consumer.
      • Current intelligence addresses day-to-day events, seeking to apprise consumers of new developments and related background, to assess their significance, to warn of their near-term consequences, and to signal potential dangerous situations in the near future.
      • Estimative intelligence deals with what might be or what might happen. Its main role is to help policymakers navigate the gaps between available facts by suggesting alternative patterns into which those facts might fit and to provide informed assessments of the range and likelihood of possible outcomes.
      • Warning intelligence sounds an alarm or gives notice to policymakers. It includes identifying or forecasting events that could cause the engagement of US military forces, or those that would have a sudden and deleterious effect on US foreign policy concerns. Warning intelligence involves exploring alternative futures and low probability/high impact scenarios.
      • Research intelligence consists of in-depth studies. It underpins both current and estimative intelligence. It includes two subcategories of research. Basic intelligence consists primarily of the structured compilation of geographic, demographic, social, military, and political data on foreign countries. Intelligence for operational support incorporates all types of intelligence production and is tailored, focused, and rapidly produced for planners and operators.
      • Scientific and technical intelligence includes information on technical developments and characteristics, performance, and capabilities of foreign technologies. It covers the entire spectrum of sciences, technologies, weapon systems, and integrated operations.

  • A Guide to Intelligence, at DoD GulfLINK site (local copy)

  • Intelligence Cycle, as described by FBI Directorate of Intelligence
      The intelligence cycle is the process of developing unrefined data into polished intelligence for the use of policymakers. The intelligence cycle consists of six steps, described below. The graphic below shows the circular nature of this process, although movement between the steps is fluid. Intelligence uncovered at one step may require going back to an earlier step before moving forward.
      active collaboration circle
    • Requirements
        are identified information needs—what we must know to safeguard the nation. Intelligence requirements are established by the Director of National Intelligence according to guidance received from the president and the national and homeland security advisors. Requirements are developed based on critical information required to protect the United States from national security and criminal threats. The attorney general and the Director of the FBI participate in the formulation of national intelligence requirements.
    • Planning and Direction
        is management of the entire effort, from identifying the need for information to delivering an intelligence product to a consumer. It involves implementation plans to satisfy requirements levied on the FBI, as well as identifying specific collection requirements based on FBI needs. Planning and direction also is responsive to the end of the cycle, because current and finished intelligence, which supports decision-making, generates new requirements. The executive assistant director for the National Security Branch leads intelligence planning and direction for the FBI.
    • Collection
        is the gathering of raw information based on requirements. Activities such as interviews, technical and physical surveillances, human source operation, searches, and liaison relationships result in the collection of intelligence.
    • Processing and Exploitation
        involves converting the vast amount of information collected into a form usable by analysts. This is done through a variety of methods including decryption, language translations, and data reduction. Processing includes the entering of raw data into databases where it can be exploited for use in the analysis process.
    • Analysis and Production
        is the conversion of raw information into intelligence. It includes integrating, evaluating, and analyzing available data, and preparing intelligence products. The information’s reliability, validity, and relevance is evaluated and weighed. The information is logically integrated, put in context, and used to produce intelligence. This includes both "raw" and finished intelligence. Raw intelligence is often referred to as "the dots"—individual pieces of information disseminated individually. Finished intelligence reports "connect the dots" by putting information in context and drawing conclusions about its implications.
    • Dissemination
        —the last step—is the distribution of raw or finished intelligence to the consumers whose needs initiated the intelligence requirements. The FBI disseminates information in three standard formats: Intelligence Information Reports (IIRs), FBI Intelligence Bulletins, and FBI Intelligence Assessments. FBI intelligence products are provided daily to the attorney general, the president, and to customers throughout the FBI and in other agencies. These FBI intelligence customers make decisions—operational, strategic, and policy—based on the information. These decisions may lead to the levying of more requirements, thus continuing the FBI intelligence cycle.

Signals Intelligence (SIGINT)Back to Top

  • From www.intelligence.gov
    • Signals intelligence is derived from signal intercepts comprising -- however transmitted -- either individually or in combination:
      • all communications intelligence (COMINT)
      • electronic intelligence (ELINT)
      • foreign instrumentation signals intelligence (FISINT)
    • The NSA is responsible for collecting, processing, and reporting SIGINT. The National SIGINT Committee within NSA advises the Director, NSA, and the DCI on SIGINT policy issues and manages the SIGINT requirements system.

  • National Security Agency (NSA)

  • POPPY Satellite Reconnaissance Program Recognized - 12 Sep 2005 - "National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), National Security Agency (NSA) and Naval Research Laboratory announce the declassification of the Cold War POPPY electronic intelligence (ELINT) reconnaissance program"

  • Reconnaissance and Signals Intelligence Satellites, U.S. Centennial of Flight web site

Imagery Intelligence (IMINT)Back to Top

Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT)Back to Top

  • From www.intelligence.gov
    • Measurement and Signature Intelligence is technically derived intelligence data other than imagery and SIGINT. The data results in intelligence that locates, identifies, or describes distinctive characteristics of targets. It employs a broad group of disciplines including nuclear, optical, radio frequency, acoustics, seismic, and materials sciences. Examples of this might be the distinctive radar signatures of specific aircraft systems or the chemical composition of air and water samples. The Central MASINT Organization, a component of DIA, is the focus for all national and DoD MASINT matters.

  • Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)

  • An Introduction to MASINT
  • MASINT, per TRADOC's "Army Target Sensing Systems Handbook", 1 March 1994
    • Scientific and technical intelligence information obtained by quantitative and qualitative analysis of data (metric, angle, spatial, wavelength, time dependence, modulation, plasma, and hydromagnetic) derived from specific technical sensors for the purpose of identifying any distinctive features associated with the source, emitter, or sender and to facilitate subsequent identification and/or measurement of the same. MASINT includes: Radar Intelligence (RADINT), Acoustic Intelligence (ACOUSTINT), Nuclear Intelligence (NUCINT), Radio Frequency/Electromagnetic Pulse Intelligence (RF/EMPINT), Electro-optical Intelligence (ELECTRO-OPTINT), Laser Intelligence (LASINT), Materials Intelligence, Unintentional Radiation Intelligence (RINT), Chemical and Biological Intelligence (CBINT), Directed Energy Weapons Intelligence (DEWINT), Effluent/Debris Collection, Spectroscopic Intelligence, and Infrared Intelligence (IRINT).

Human-Source Intelligence (HUMINT)Back to Top

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)Back to Top

Geospatial IntelligenceBack to Top

Medical Intelligence (MEDINT)Back to Top

  • From the DoD Dictionary
    • medical intelligence - (DOD) That category of intelligence resulting from collection, evaluation, analysis, and interpretation of foreign medical, bio-scientific, and environmental information that is of interest to strategic planning and to military medical planning and operations for the conservation of the fighting strength of friendly forces and the formation of assessments of foreign medical capabilities in both military and civilian sectors. Also called MEDINT.
    • medical surveillance - (DOD) The ongoing, systematic collection of health data essential to the evaluation, planning, and implementation of public health practice, closely integrated with the timely dissemination of data as required by higher authority. See also surveillance.

  • Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center (AFMIC), DIA

  • Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS), CDC

Environmental IntelligenceBack to Top

Economic & Competitive IntelligenceBack to Top

Law Enforcement IntelligenceBack to Top

Social Intelligence, or Cultural IntelligenceBack to Top

  • See also strategic culture

  • See also cultural awareness and cross-cultural communication

  • Small Wars Journal - cultural intelligence resources

  • USMC Center For Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL)

  • Joint Cultural Intelligence Seminars, Marine Small Wars Center of Excellence
    • As had been the case for 200 years, today's Marines may be called upon to fight in any corner of the globe. In many of these conflicts, particularly those classified as "small wars," the key factor in determining who wins and who loses will often be knowledge of the local culture. Culture is far more than language, folklore, food, or art. It is the lens through which people see, and make sense of, their world. Culture determines what is admired and what is despised, what makes life worth living, and what things are worth dying for. This is particularly true in times of great stress, to include natural disasters and war.
    • One of the more important techniques for preparing Marines to deal with a particular culture is the cultural intelligence seminar. This is an exercise that allows persons with first hand, detailed knowledge of a particular culture to make that knowledge available to Marines.

  • Building a Virtual Cultural Intelligence Community (local copy), by Zahn and Lacey, Naval Postgraduate School, June 2007
    • The U.S. intelligence community is without peer in providing high-quality, detailed technical intelligence. Due to the intelligence community’s efforts, the USG has a thorough understanding of its adversaries’ activities. What we propose is to develop a means by which that same intelligence community can use cultural factors to answer the question “Why?”

  • Incorporating Cultural Intelligence Into Joint Doctrine (local copy), by Coles, in IO Sphere, Spring 2006

  • spiffy Cultural Intelligence & Joint Intelligence Doctrine (local copy), by Coles, in Joint Operations Review, 2005, published by Joint Forces Staff College

  • Book review by Riva of Cultural Intelligence: Individual Interactions Across Cultures, book by Earley and Ang, in Studies in Intelligence, vol. 49, no. 2, 2005
    • Earley and Ang define cultural intelligence as “a person’s capability to adapt to new cultural contexts” (59). Their key objective is to address the problem of why people fail to adjust to and understand new cultures. Behavioral, cognitive, and motivational aspects are central to their cultural intelligence framework. By integrating multi-disciplinary perspectives, research data, and practical applications, the authors add significantly to organizational behavior literature.
    • Intelligence Community course developers, in particular, will benefit from Earley and Ang’s ideas to improve seminars and training sessions that involve examining cross-cultural factors in national security missions. Training programs and publications must be constantly updated and revised to reflect changing socio-cultural, political, and economic landscapes. Programs that are ineffective in addressing cultural adaptation can be costly to organizations.
    • The process aspects of cultural intelligence involve analysis at three levels of increasing specificity. The top-down analytical approach begins with the universal level, which refers to people’s innate knowledge (86). Below that, the culture level draws on specific aspects of culture to mediate between the universal level and the final level, the setting level. The setting level requires knowledge that allows one to respond to specific context, people, and event timing.

  • spiffy Avoiding a Napoleonic Ulcer: Bridging the Gap of Cultural Intelligence (Or,Have We Focused on the Wrong Transformation?) (local copy, pdf), CJCS award winning essay, by Smith, Marine Corps War College - with historical and current cases
    • If the current modus operandi of insurgents in Iraq is an indicator of the total disregard that future adversaries will have toward global societal norms, the joint force will, in many respects, be operating with one hand tied behind its back. The U.S. military can ill afford to have the other hand bound through the development of comprehensive campaign plans not grounded in solid cultural understanding of countries and regions within which it will likely operate. To do so risks adding yet another footnote to history highlighting an intelligence gap between combat and stability and support operations.

  • The Military Cooperation Group (local copy), by Renzi, Naval Postgraduate School, Dec 2006
    • The United States has experienced a significant amount of difficulty of late with two factors: a) how to fight against a networked enemy, and b) the need for more cultural intelligence. This thesis will describe a structure to assist with both those needs. The premise is that an expanded and improved network of US Military Groups is the weapon of choice for the war on terror, and beyond.

  • Networks: Terra Incognita and the Case for Ethnographic Intelligence (local copy), by Renzi, in Military Review, Sep-Oct 2006

  • Full-Spectrum Analysis: a New Way of Thinking for a New World (local copy), by Wolfberg, in Military Review, Jul-Aug 2006

  • Transformation Chief Outlines Strategy for New Battlefield (local copy, pdf), (local copy, doc), American Forces Press Service coverage of 4 Aug 2004 speech by Cebrowski
    • The focus on intelligence has changed, too, he said. Social intelligence -- an in-depth knowledge of local culture and customs -- is being valued much more over military intelligence.

  • 'Social Intel' New Tool For U.S. Military: Intelligence Increasingly Focuses on Relationships Among Individuals, by Scully, in Defense News, 26 Apr 2004
    • This kind of intel is key to sorting out friend from foe on a battlefield without lines or uniforms. Combat troops are becoming intelligence operatives to support stabilization and counterinsurgency operations in Iraq, and the phenomenon will become more common as the U.S. military adapts its forces to fight terrorist organizations and other nonstate actors.

  • Pentagon Seeing New Keys To Victory: Report emphasizes post-combat work, 'social intelligence', by Bender, Boston Globe, 15 Nov 2003, describing a Pentagon paper provided to the newspaper
    • While overwhelming military power will remain the pillar of national defense, officials are reaching the conclusion that the United States needs to place significantly more emphasis on ways to consolidate its victories, which now seem almost assured given the unmatched superiority of American land, air, and sea forces.
    • The Pentagon report says a major element of success is the mastery of "social intelligence" by soldiers, diplomats, and aid workers schooled in the process of stabilizing chaotic societies, and possessing a working knowledge of local culture and customs.
    • "We must be able to look and operate deeply within societies," the paper says. Also described as critical are close relationships between the United States and international civilian and military authorities who will ultimately be responsible for securing the peace.

  • Strategic Implications of Cultures in Conflict, by Belbutowski, in Parameters, Spring 1996
    • "Understanding culture may help to answer important military and civil questions such as the will of the enemy to fight, the determination of resistance groups to persevere, or the willingness of the populace to support insurgents or warlords. Culture, comprised of all that is vague and intangible, is not generally integrated into strategic planning except at the most superficial level. It appears increasingly in scholarly work, however, on problems associated with emerging nations."

  • Culture... A Neglected Aspect of War (local copy), by Lindberg, 1996 CSC paper

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