ADVANCED INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS
Analysis is the separation of a whole into its parts to allow an examination and interpretation of the information. Analysis typically involves certain methods and techniques, some of which are statistical, others which are not, which reveal patterns and trends that often reveal the probability of conclusions. Analysis is the “working” of collected intelligence to explore contexts and anticipated events in their fullest political, military, economic, diplomatic and cultural implications. Intelligence analysis has been an integral part of the work of intelligence agencies for many years, and some advanced techniques have emerged. The CIA, for example, has the Advanced Analytic Tools office in the Directorate of Science and Technology where some of its top analysts are employed. Modern Scientific and Technical Intelligence Analysis (commonly abbreviated S&T) first began in 1981 with the British Security Service’s (MI5) switch from reliance on agents to reliance on more technical and electronic forms of surveillance (wiretaps, computer taps, and bugs). There are four (4) main analytical tools used in advanced analysis.
(1) Psychological profiling — first used around 1986 to map out the minds of foreign leaders. Under the direction of CIA Chief Profiler, Jerrold Post, the technique of profiling used was much more clinical and psychodynamic than FBI methods. Since then, the CIA has evolved it’s profiling capabilities to center around the psycholinguistic analysis of oral and written rhetoric by foreign leaders, and some modern techniques even include gait analysis, or what you can tell from how a person walks. Dr. Post is Director of the Political Psychology Program at George Washington University, founding Director of the CIA Center for the Analysis of Personality and Political Behavior, and co-author of Political Paranoia: The Psycho-politics of Hatred. One of the more well-known profiles Dr. Post has put together is on Yasir Arafat and available at the ICT website.
(2) Estimative intelligence — involves national estimates about the strength, size, and capabilities of another nation’s military and/or counterintelligence threat. All sources, even open sources, are often used for data collection, but analysis in this area tends to be driven by the need for justifying military or technical superiority, and there are similarities between an intelligence analyst and an economic analyst in this respect, but the hard part is sociological estimation of the “mood” of a nation. Estimative intelligence is all about judging the probable outcomes of something – you do one thing, and others do something else. An extensive bibliography on estimative intelligence is available at the Muskingum College website.
(3) Warning intelligence — involves threat assessment, the analysis of surprise, intelligence failures, and other indicators of catastrophe. It’s the use of hindsight to improve foresight, and the ultimate product is a set of Indicators and Warnings (I & W) to detect indicators of potential threats while sufficient time exists to counter those same threats. The intelligence mechanism, however, always functions better after a crisis than before. Much of military science is related to this type of intelligence in that famous military battles are studied (e.g., Barbarossa, Pearl Harbor, Dieppe, Arnhem, Battle of the Bulge, Tet Offensive), although some of these battles are not strictly cases of warning problems as much as they are an order-of-battle analysis problem (e.g., Arnhem). Pearl Harbor, the Chinese surprise offensive in the Korean War, and the Yom Kipper War constitute the classic case studies in warning problems. The US tries to centralize the warning function by naming at least one officer to be National Intelligence Officer (NIO) for Warning. The National Warning System that the NIO is responsible for concentrates on threats judged to be about six months away. In the business community, warning intelligence is called competitive intelligence, and used to anticipate market shifts as well as corporate allies and enemies. There’s also the area of Emergency Preparedness which uses a type of warning intelligence to prepare for disasters, and much of Homeland Security preparation is of this kind. A basic paper on the history of post-mortem, warning intelligence can be found at the Sherman Kent Center.
(4) Fusion intelligence — involves joint or collaborative efforts to develop multi-intelligence products of a global, regional, or national nature. Real-time data sharing and combined work on analytic processes are hallmarks of this activity, and frequently involve public-private partnerships. Within government intelligence agencies, fusion intelligence is sometimes handicapped by the “one-nation rule” or custom in which analytic products are only shared with one nation (say between the UK and US or Israel and US) and are not passed on to a third nation to avoid problems of hearsay. In the Homeland Security context, fusion intelligence tends to be the same as efforts to achieve better interoperability of communications, and is sometimes referred to as unified command. This kind of intelligence is highly important in the post-9/11 era where moving targets (subnational, global terrorists) are involved. Law enforcement agencies seem to have embraced the fusion concept quite strongly. An example of a fusion center can be found at the Coast Guard site.
Advanced intelligence (like the above) is usually hard to come by. Far more common is the collection of vast amounts of ordinary information. Analysts should know what to collect intelligence on, but the consumers of intelligence often don’t know what they want. Therefore, collection for the sake of collection seems to be the driving force. At one time the DIA collected 200 different things about a foreign entity, and the CIA had 83 standard collection categories for intelligence on each country (Laqueur 1985). That was before the CIA method of KIQ (Key Intelligence Questions) was introduced, and coordination of tasking became common within the Intelligence Community. The following two categories have typically played a large role in intelligence affairs as the key things to look at.
(1) Economic intelligence — This consists of the things that economists collect data on, such as population demographics, labor statistics, crop statistics, manufacturing production rates, import-export rates, natural resources, and public opinion.
(2) Science & Technology intelligence — this consists of the better-kept secrets of a foreign entity, including their research into technology development and/or their plans for the uses of such technology, such as weapons or space exploration. There is a tendency in this category to use the worst-case scenario approach.
Source: Faculty NCWC Online