Analytic Professionalism and the Policymaking Process: Q&A on a Challenging Relationship
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WASHINGTON DC
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Intelligence professionalism regarding the proper relationship between analysts and policymakers is an issue that has challenged practitioners since Sherman Kent first grappled with it a half-century ago. Defining the role of intelligence analysts in the policymaking process remains very much a work in progress, and is one on which the Sherman Kent Center for Intelligence Analysis welcomes debate. This essay attempts to put into perspective the current intensive public examination of analyst-policymaker relations triggered by judgments on Iraqs WMD capabilities and relations with al- Qaida terrorists in the run up to the March 2003 US-led military invasion. The essay does not seek to render a substantive appraisal of who estimated what and why, or a scorecard of whose judgments turned out to be right or wrong in the large volume of intelligence analysis and policy analysis on Iraq produced before the war. The focus, rather, is on advancing generally applicable judgments about the professional prerogatives of analysts and policymakers where their views and interests seem to clash. Nine questions and answers about policymaker prerogatives are posed here to illuminate what actions represent legitimate exercise of their professional responsibilities. The text also addresses the responsibilities of analysts as members of a policy service organization and the professional standards they must protect in order to ensure their distinctive contribution to national security.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Intelligence
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics