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Intelligence Analysis: Once Again

Charles A. Mangio and Bonnie J. Wilkinson


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Comment on this article   This essay provides a sense of the literature written specifically about intelligence analysis , including general definitions, themes, divergent views, and observations on gaps in literature coverage. A comprehensive review of the literature indicates that while much has been written, largely there has not been a progression of thinking relative to the core aspect and complexities of doing intelligence analysis; hence, the title, “Once Again,” with all its connotations. The essay focuses on the core aspect of analysis, the determination of meaning. After a brief review of Sherman Kent's comprehensive work, the role of mental models in determining meaning is discussed, followed by recurring alternative views of analysis processes and their chronologies. Key elements of the analysis processes are then discussed, including hypotheses, information research, and the marshaling of evidence, including how they influence the determination of meaning. The literature on rigor in intelligence analysis is reviewed, including the role of structured analytic techniques and automated tools. The essay concludes with observations on the state of the literature. Hundreds of works have been written on intelligence. Many of these works at least touch on the subject of intelligence analysis . However, while still a large body of work, it is a considerably smaller set that ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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