Theory and Methods

K - Z

Kerbel, Josh. "Lost for Words: The Intelligence Community's Struggle to Find Its Voice." Parameters 38, no. 2 (Summer 2008): 102-112.

The author argues the absence of "a cohesive analytic identity" within the U.S. Intelligence Community, as he explores "the question of whether intelligence analysis is art or science."

Knorr, Klaus E. Foreign Intelligence and the Social Sciences. Princeton Center of International Studies Research Monograph No. 17. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1964.

Pforzheimer says that Knorr sees "the predictive function of intelligence" as benefiting from the application of the methodology of the social sciences. Constantinides adds that Knorr concluded that "modern intelligence was unthinkable without social science inputs."

Krizan, Liza. Intelligence Essentials for Everyone. Occasional Paper No. 6. Washington, DC: Joint Military Intelligence College, 1999.

Macartney identifies the author as a Department of Defense analyst who wrote this monograph "as part of her thesis while earning a masters degree in Strategic Intelligence at the College in 1996." This is "an excellent primer on intelligence -- but don't expect to find secrets, derring-do or skullduggery. It's mostly theoretical and practical, about knowledge and analysis -- an epistemology of intelligence if you will."

Lowenthal, Mark M. "Intelligence Epistemology: Dealing with the Unbelievable." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 6, no. 3 (Fall 1993): 319-325.

What happens when intelligence analysts have accurate information but the magnitude and/or implications of that information exceed both their and the policy makers' ability to believe it? One of the examples presented is analysis of the Soviet economy and the question of the amount of Soviet GNP devoted to defense.

Manosevitz, Jason U. "Needed: More Thinking about Conceptual Frameworks for Analysis -- The Case of Influence." Studies in Intelligence 57, no. 4 (Dec. 2013): 15-22. []

"The IC's overwhelming focus on SATs [structured analytic techniques] since 9/11 ... has crowded out attention to conceptual frameworks that analysts and policymakers need in order to address many of our national security questions.... This article reviews a framework for thinking about the concept of influence and suggests that conceptual frameworks can complement SATs to strengthen analytic tradecraft."

Marrin, Stephen. Improving Intelligence Analysis: Bridging the Gap between Scholarship and Practice. New York: Routledge, 2011. 2012. [pb]

Author's abstract: "Improving intelligence analysis requires bridging the gap between scholarship and practice. Compared to ... political science and international relations, intelligence studies scholarship is generally quite relevant to practice. Yet a substantial gap exists.... This book is intended to help bridge the gap by providing a guided roadmap through the scholarship on mechanisms and methods for improving intelligence analysis processes and products. A wide variety of potentially useful ideas are addressed in this volume."

Reveron, NCWR (Summer 2012), finds that the author "provides readers a good overview of ... intelligence-studies classics..., along with more contemporary work.... [T]he book is focused on intelligence analysis," and "seems to ignore how, why, and where facts are collected." Nevertheless, "Marrin offers readers a look at what a junior CIA analyst does and offers a sketch of how to move beyond the 'generalized intuition' that often afflicts intelligence analysis." For Manosevitz, Studies 56.4 (Dec. 2012), "most of the book's chapters read like literature reviews," while the author's "critiques focus almost exclusively on the CIA."

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."

Olcott, Anthony. "Revisiting the Legacy: Sherman Kent, Willmoore Kemdall, and George Pettee -- Strategic Intelligence in the Digital Age." Studies in Intelligence 53, no. 2 (Jun. 2009): 21-32.

"The views of Kendall and Pettee found little traction in their day but now seem to have important lessons for how the intelligence profession might change if those of us who practice it wish to escape extinction."

Oleson, Gary L. "The Catastrophe Method: Using Intolerable Consequences to Detect Concealed Threats." International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 27, no. 4 (Winter 2014): 764-771.

Persson, Per-Arne, and James M. Nyce. "Intuitive Tools? Design Lessons from the Military Intelligence Community." American Intelligence Journal 25, no. 1 (Summer 2007): 38-50.

The authors suggest that while Stephen Marrin's "analogy with medical diagnosis and physician's work is of interest, it tends to underestimate the differences in organizational structure, intellectual resources and the endpoints between what goes on in the practice of medicine and in intelligence work."

Platt, Washington [BGEN/USA]. Strategic Intelligence Production: Basic Principles. New York: Praeger, 1957.

Pforzheimer: "Platt describes working level performance from the perspective of the analyst.... Difficult reading at times, but of value because of the few books on the subject."

Pool, Robert, Rapporteur. Field Evaluation in the Intelligence and Counterintelligence Context: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2010.

"This workshop summary is based on the discussion at a workshop convened by the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences on September 22-23, 2009, and planned by the Committee on Field Evaluation of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences-Based Methods and Tools for Intelligence and Counterintelligence.... The workshop was sponsored by the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence." This 114-page book is available in PDF format at:

Resch, David T. "Predictive Analysis: The Gap Between Academia and Practitioners." Military Intelligence 21, no. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1995): 26-29.

The author takes issue with the contention that in human events there are too many variables affecting events at too great a pace to allow for prediction. "If too many variables exist, we must become proficient in identifying the key ones.... [Y]ou can disregard madness and genius more readily than societal, economic, or political trends (which are scientifically identifiable) in analysis."

Rieber, Steven. "Intelligence Analysis and Judgmental Calibration." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 17, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 97-112.

"[R]esearch indicates that experts tend to be quite inept at assigning even roughly correct probabilities to their predictions. At the same time, promising techniques for improving calibration, in some cases very rapidly, do exist. How well these techniques will work in the realm of intelligence analysis is unknown."

Robinson, Clarence A., Jr. "Intelligence Agency Adjusts as Mission Possible Unfolds." Signal, Oct. 1998, 17-19.

The CIA's advanced analytic tools office was created in the Directorate of Science and Technology in 1997. The head of the 100-person office is Susan M. Gordon. She describes the office's mission as "bringing the power of information technology advances to bear on its basic analytical functions. The use of advanced analytical tools dovetails with a new strategic agency direction. This imperative calls for much closer ties with customers, accelerating information gathering and processing, handling larger volumes of data more efficiently and expediting product delivery."

Schum, David A. Evidence and Inference for the Intelligence Analyst. 2 vols. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1987.

To Miller, IJI&C 6.1, the author's "expertise in the area [of decision analysis] is unquestionable"; and he "presents his material in an easy and friendly style." However, not many intelligence analysts will read the book because it is "very long" and "too tough to hold the interest of a typical professional."

Sinclair, Robert S. Thinking and Writing: Cognitive Science and the Directorate of Intelligence. Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, 1984.

Thomas, Stafford T. "Intelligence Production and Consumption: A Framework of Analysis." In Intelligence Policy and Process, eds. A. Maurer, M. Tunstall, and J. Keagle. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1985.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Preparing U.S. Intelligence for the Information Age: Coping With the Information Overload. Washington, DC: 1993.

Surveillant 3.2/3: "The Scientific and Technical Committee (STIC) Open-Source Subcommittee ... believes there is an urgent need to develop automated tools for coping with information overload. The report gives an awareness of the extent of the problem."

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Directorate of Intelligence. A Compendium of Analytic Tradecraft Notes: Volume I (Notes 1-10). Washington, DC: Feb. 1997.

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Zlotnick, Jack. "Bayes' Theorum for Intelligence Analysis." Studies in Intelligence 16, no. 2 (Spring 1972): 43-52. In Inside CIA's Private World: Declassified Articles from the Agency's Internal Journal, 1955-1992, ed. H. Bradford Westerfield, 255-263. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.

See companion case-study: Fisk, "The Sino-Soviet Border Dispute."

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