Monograph: The U.S. Intelligence Community and Foreign Policy Getting Analysis Right

Analysis, Monographs
Free Online
Free Online

This monograph by Dr. Kenneth Lieberthal, a PDF of 81 pages, is just out (September 2009) from the China Center of the Brookings Institute.  In its area of specific focus, getting analysis right, it is a solid B+, short of an A because it continues the unilateralist mind-set that eschews both full engagement with the other seven tribes of intelligence, and with multinational governments, corporations, and non-profit organizations that do not wish to share secrets but are willing to share substantive knowledge.

It also falls short [this is a neutral observation as the author no doubt chose to specifically avoid both of these sucking chest wounds] in failing to point out that analysts are only as good as their sources, and our sources leave much to be desired; and in failing to point out that analysts are only as good as the processing power that goes into machine-speed discovery, discrimination, distillation, and display, and we stink at that as well.  $75 billion a year on secret sources and methods, and we still cannot afford world-class analysts fluent in one or more of the relevant languages, history, and culture.

Our latest thoughts on correcting the most easily correctable deficiencies in support to all-source analysts are readily accessible at the Frog.

One Letter, Three Briefings
One Letter, Three Briefings

For a more general sense of the inter-related shortfalls among leadership mind-sets, collection, processing, analysis, see

FAILURE

COLLECTION

PROCESSING

ANALYSIS

NEW RULES

Analysts still do not have the desk-top analytic environment recommeneded in 1985 by Diane Webb,or the analytic environment overall recommended by Andy Shepard in 1992,or the Global Futures Partership recommended by Carol Dumaine in the early part of this decade, or the multinational information-sharing and sense-making environment briefed to the Coalition Coordination Center in Tampa (logisticians we wanted to replace with analysts) in 2006.