What To Do When Traditional Models Fail
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF INTELLIGENCE
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The great challenge facing analysts and managers in the Directorate of Intelligence DI is providing real insight to smart policymakers. Meeting this challenge is hard, but intelligence officers have long believed that careful attention to the tradecraft of intelligence analysis would lead to work that added value to the information available to policymakers. During its 50-plus years, the CIA. we believed, evolved a model that needed only successful execution to produce quality intelligence analysis. When we faltered, we blamed the analysts or the collectors, but not the model. What if the failing, however, lies not with the analysts hut with the model they are asked to follow Customer needs and preferences are changing rapidly, as is the environment in which intelligence analysis operates. Yet the DIs approach to analysis has hardly changed over the years. A DI analyst from decades ago would recognize most of what a typical analyst does today, from reading traffic to preparing finished intelligence. Stability is often comforting, but in the DIs case change may be what is most needed.
- Military Intelligence