Stephen Marrin

In - Z


Marrin, Stephen. "Intelligence Analysis: Structured Methods or Intuition?" American Intelligence Journal 25, no. 1 (Summer 2007): 7-16.

This article focuses "on the utility of structured methods, their fit with the reigning analytic culture, and when they should be used, or not used, by analysts." In the end, the author remains "agnostic about the value of mandating use of more structured methods," although "it is important to teach them."


Marrin, Stephen. "Intelligence Analysis Theory: Explaining and Predicting Analytic Responsibilities." Intelligence and National Security 22, no. 6 (Dec. 2007): 821-846.

From abstract: "This paper presents a theoretical framework ... to explain why there was such a wide variety of perspectives regarding the future need for intelligence, embeds these ideas within the existing intelligence theory literature, applies this framework more generally in a way that can be used to explain variations in the substantive coverage of intelligence analysis in the past and predict possible variations in the future, and then tests the theory's ability to explain the analytical focus of domestic intelligence organizations."


Marrin, Stephen. "Intelligence Studies Centers: Making Scholarship on Intelligence Analysis Useful." Intelligence and National Security 27, no. 3 (Jun. 2012): 398-422.

Marrin makes a case for "the creation of academic centers or institutes with an intelligence or intelligence analysis-oriented focus as a way to supplement knowledge creation in both traditional academic departments and the newer public policy-oriented 'intelligence schools'."


Marrin, Stephen. "IsIntelligence Analysis an Art or a Science." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 25, no. 3 (Fall 2013): 529-545.

"[S]ome utility is evident in using the art versus science debate in the teaching of intelligence analysts precisely because it facilittates learning."


Marrin, Stephen. "The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: A Failure of Policy Not Strategic Intelligence Analysis." Intelligence and National Security 26, no. 2-3 (Apr.-Jun. 2011): 182-202.

From abstract: "[T]he 9/11 Commission Report identifies as a significant failure the lack of [an NIE] on the terrorist threat between 1998 and 2001, and implies that if one had been produced it might have helped" decision-makers "prevent the 9/11 attacks.... This article takes a closer look at the case of the missing [NIE] by first evaluating what decision-makers knew about the threat prior to the 9/11 attacks, the policies they were implementing at the time, and the extent to which the hypothetical" NIE "would have mattered in terms of influencing their judgement and policy.... It concludes that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were more a failure of policy than strategic intelligence analysis."


Marrin, Stephen. "Preventing Intelligence Failures by Learning from the Past." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 17, no. 4 (Winter 2004-2005): 655-672.

"The best safeguard against catastrophic surprise will be continued vigilance against the potential for intelligence failure. This entails recognition of the tradeoffs and pathologies that cause failure, the self-conscious administration of rigor to identify and hopefully correct deficiencies in analysis, and the continued efforts to better integrate accurate intelligence into policymaking."


Marrin, Stephen. "Training and Educating U.S. Intelligence Analysts." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 22, no. 1 (Spring 2009): 131-146.

"In the end, the professionalization of intelligence analysis will change what intelligence educators do in two different ways: they will be required to do a better job proving that the programs produce better analysts.... And they will be required to work harder at creating a cumulative literature that provides the conceptual and theoretical foundation for the emergence of a more formal and improved intelligence profession."


Marrin, Stephen, and Jonathan D. Clemente. "Improving Intelligence Analysis by Looking to the Medical Profession." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 18, no. 4 (Winter 2005-2006): 707-729.

This is an interesting, even intriguing, article by a former CIA analyst and a physician. They argue that while "[s]ome limitations to the analogy are inevitable due to intrinsic differences between the fields,... the study of medicine could provide intelligence practitioners with a valuable source of insight into various reforms with the potential to improve the craft of intelligence."

[Analysis/Critiques; GenPostwar/Medical]

Marrin, Stephen, and Jonathan D. Clemente. "Modeling an Intelligence Analysis Profession on Medicine." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 19, no. 4 (Winter 2006-2007): 642-665.

"[I]ntelligence analysis has historically been practiced more as a craft reliant on the intrinsic skill and expertise of the individual analysts than as a highly developed profession with structured personnel practices to select and develop desired characteristics, skills, and behaviors.... Any occupation that lacks performance standards or other formal personnel practices will have difficulties improving both its practices and management.... Modeling the intelligence analysis professionalization process on an existing profession such as medicine would provide a more efficient, effective, and uniform push toward its improvement."

James B. Ellsworth, "Network-Centric Professional Development: Intelligence Associations in the Global Century," American Intelligence Journal 24 (2006): 34-40, comments that while the authors' "overall message is one the broader intelligence profession critically needs to hear -- and their framework for a constructive role for the intelligence association in safeguarding and evolving the profession is quite possibly groundbreaking -- there are several key differences between the 'professional terrain' confronted by pre-AMA medicine and that facing the IC today. Notable among these is the fact that an array of intelligence associations already exists, many active in at least some of the roles in the Marrin/Clemente framework."

[Analysis/Critiques; GenPostwar/Medical]

Marrin, Stephen, and Philip H.J. Davies. "National Assessment by the National Security Council Staff 1968-80: An American Experiment in a British Style of Analysis?" Intelligence and National Security 24, no. 5 (Oct. 2009): 644-673.

"[H]istory demonstrates that the US National Security Council staff implemented a process in 1968 through 1980 that approximated the British style of analysis [that is, "a closer relationship between intelligence producers and consumers"], and this may provide US policymakers with a model for bridging the gap between intelligence analysis and decision-making."


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