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

Analysis, Monographs
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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.

Continue reading “Monograph: The U.S. Intelligence Community and Foreign Policy Getting Analysis Right”

Review: Assessing the Tradecraft of Intelligence Analysis

3 Star, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Intelligence (Public)

TradecraftDisappointing, Some Value, October 22, 2008

Gregory F. Treverton

There are six (6) pages in this work that held my attention: pages 11-12 (Table 2.2 Analytic Concerns, by Frequency of Mention); page 14 (Figure 3.1, A Pyramid of Analytic Tasks); page 20 (Table 3.1, Wide Range of Analytical Tools and Skills Required); page 34 (Figure 5.1, Intelligence Analysis and Information Types), and page 35 (Table 5.1, Changing Tradecraft Characteristics). Print them off from the free PDF copy online (search for title).

My first review allotted two stars, on the second complete reading I decided that was a tad harsh because I *did* go through it twice, so I now raise it to three stars largely because pages 11-12 were interesting enough to warrant an hour of my time (see below). This work reinvents the wheel from 1986, 1988, 1992, etcetera, but the primary author is clearly ignorant of all that has happened before, and the senior author did not bother to bring him up to speed (I know Greg Treverton knows this stuff).

Among many other flaws, this light once over failed to do even the most cursory of either literature or unclassified agency publication (not even the party line rag, Studies in Intelligence). Any book on this topic that is clueless about Jack Davis and his collected memoranda on analytic tradecraft, or Diane Webb and her utterly brilliant definition of Computer Aided Tools for the Analysis of Science and Technology (CATALYST), is not worthy of being read by an all-source professional. I would also have expected Ruth Davis and Carol Dumaine to be mentioned here, but the lack of attribution is clearly a lack of awareness that I find very disturbing.

I looked over the bibliography carefully, and it confirmed my evaluation. This is another indication that RAND (a “think tank”) is getting very lazy and losing its analytic edge. In this day and age of online bibliography citation, the paucity of serious references in this work is troubling (I wax diplomatic).

Here are ten books–only one of mine (and all seven of mine are free online as well as at Amazon):

Informing Statecraft
Bombs, Bugs, Drugs, and Thugs: Intelligence and America's Quest for Security
Best Truth: Intelligence in the Information Age
Early Warning: Using Competitive Intelligence to Anticipate Market Shifts, Control Risk, and Create Powerful Strategies
The Art and Science of Business Intelligence Analysis (Advances in Applied Business Strategy,)
Analysis Without Paralysis: 10 Tools to Make Better Strategic Decisions
Strategic and Competitive Analysis: Methods and Techniques for Analyzing Business Competition
Lost Promise
Still Broken: A Recruit's Inside Account of Intelligence Failures, from Baghdad to the Pentagon
The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public, & Political–Citizen's Action Handbook for Fighting Terrorism, Genocide, Disease, Toxic Bombs, & Corruption.

On the latter, look for “New Rules for the New Craft of Intelligence” that is free online as a separate document. Both Davis and Webb can be found online because I put them there in PDF form.

The one thing in this book that was useful, but badly presented, was the table of analyst concerns across nine issues that did not include tangible resources, multinational sense-making, or access to NSA OSINT.

Below is my “remix” of the table to put it into more useful form:

54% Quality of Intelligence
54% Tools of intelligence/analysis
43% Staffing
43% Intra-Community collaboration and data sharing
41% Collection Issues
38% Evaluation
32% Targeting Analysis
30% Value

Above are the categories with totals (first initial below connects to above). The top four validate the DNI's priorities and clearly need work.

32% T Targeting Analysis is important
30% V Redefine intelligence
30% Q Analysis too captive to current
30% To Directed R&D for analytic technology needed
27% T Targeting needs prioritization
27% S Analyst training important and insufficient
22% V Uniqueness
22% E PDB problematic as metric
22% To “Tools” of intelligence analysis are poor
22% To “Tools” limit analysis and limited by culture

The line items above are for me very significant. We still do priority based collection rather than gap-driven collection, something I raised on the FIRCAP and with Rick Shackleford in 1992. Our analysts (most of them less than 5 years in service) are clearly concerned about both a misdirection of collection and of analysis, and a lack of tools–this 22 years after Diane Webb identified the 18 needed functionalities and the Advanced Information Processing and Analysis Steering Group (AIPASG) found over 20 different *compartmented* projects, all with their own sweetheart vendor, trying to create “the” all-source fusion workstation.

19% C S&T underused, needs understanding
16% E Critical and needs improvement
14% E Assess performance qualitatively
14% Q Quality of analysis is a concern
14% Q Intelligence focus too narrow
14% S Language, culture, regional are big weaknesses
11% A Leadership
11% L Must be improved
11% Q Problem centric vice regional
11% Q Global coverage is important
11% C Open source critical, need new sources
11% I Lack of leadership and critical mass impair IC-wide
11% I IC information technology infrastructure needed
11% I Non-traditional source agencies need more input
8% V Unclear goals prevail
8% T Targetting analysis needs attn+
8% C Collection strategies/methods outdated
8% S Concern over lack of staff or surge capability
8% S Intelligence Community-wide curriculum desireable
8% I Should NOT pursue virtual wired network
8% I Security is a concern for virtual and sharing
5% E Evaluation not critical
5% Q Depth versus breadth an issue
5% Q Greater client context needed
5% C Law enforcement has high potential
5% S Analytic corps is highly trained better than ever
5% S Career track needs building
5% I Stovepiping is a problem, need more X-community
5% I Should pursue virtual organization and wired network
3% V Newsworthy not intelligence
3% L Radical transformation needed
3% E Metrics are not needed
3% E Evaluation is negative
3% E Audits are difficult
3% Q Long term shortfalls overstated
3% Q Global coverage too difficult
3% T Targeting can be left to collectors
3% C All source materially lacking
3% C Need to guard against evidence addiction
3% C Need to take into account “feedback”
3% S Should train stovepipe analysts not IC analysts
3% S Language and cultural a strength

For the rest, not now, but three at the bottom trouble me: the analysts do not have the appreciation for feedback; they do not understand how lacking they are in sources; and they don't know enough to realize that radical transformation is needed.

On balance, I found this book annoying, but two pages ultimately provocative.

Congressman James Moran Honors Carol Dumaine

Carol Dumaine
[Congressional Record Volume 153, Number 98 (Monday, June 18, 2007)]
[Extensions of Remarks]  

[Pages E1326-E1327]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office []





of Virginia in the House of Representatives

Monday, June 18, 2007

Mr. MORAN of Virginia. Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor the accomplishment of Ms. Carol Dumaine, of Reston, Virginia, and a proud member of our civil service. Ms. Dumaine, an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency, has contributed to our Nation's future security through the establishment of the Global Futures Forum (GFF), a highly innovative think tank which coordinates international expertise to enhance intelligence analysis.

As the 9/11 Commission confirmed, intelligence and law enforcement officials had uncovered a number of warning signs that a terrorist attack on U.S. soil was imminent, but the failure to recognize the links between the intelligence precluded authorities from stopping the attacks. Ms. Dumaine has created a forum which allows for more thorough intelligence analysis from a cadre of outside experts. Global Futures Forum (GFF) unites intelligence experts from different nations with professionals from diverse fields so that emerging issues can be recognized quickly and collectively addressed. The GFF reviews intelligence in the public domain and promotes open, interactive linkages to knowledge and insight that exists outside of traditional security organizations.

GFF delegates represent the wide spectrum of intelligence and security organizations, multilateral institutions, academia and non-
government personnel from more than 30 nations. A series of forums in 2005 and 2006 brought these experts together to work face-to-face, providing them with an opportunity to strengthen international partnerships and to share knowledge about global security challenges. To ensure that partners would have opportunities to collaborate outside of the conferences, Ms. Dumaine created the GFF website to provide a constant means of collaboration, allowing GFF partners to share their latest thoughts, research and analysis through their own interactive blogs or chats with other participants. Her work ensures that the dialogue fostered by the GFF never really ends.

Ms. Dumaine created a global community that increases exposure to diverse perspectives and catalyzes discussion on adapting intelligence organizations to address nontraditional challenges. These partnerships created through Ms. Dumaine's effort will help ensure that potential security threats will be handled properly, allowing for the best response possible. For her great contribution to the intelligence community, she has been selected as a finalist for the Partnership for Public Service's “National Security Medal”.

Madam Speaker, I commend Ms. Dumaine for her leadership, and I am proud to have her live in Virginia's 8th Congressional District as she contributes to the greatest civil service in the world. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors.


See Also:

Who’s Who in Public Intelligence: Carol Dumaine

Reference: Italian Ministry of Defense Briefings

Analysis, Budgets & Funding, Collaboration Zones, Communities of Practice, DoD, Ethics, Key Players, Methods & Process, Policy, Reform, Strategy, Threats, Tools

These briefings were commissioned by the Ministry of Defense in Italy and delivered over two days with independent official briefings from Carol Dumaine, then the active leader of the Global Futures Partnership Initiative (GFP).

2002 FAILURE of 20th Century Intelligence

2004 The Failure of 20th Century Intelligence (Updated 2006)

2004 COLLECTION: Know Who Knows

2004 PROCESSING: Make the Most of What You Know

2004 ANALYSIS: All-Source Analysis, Making Magic

2004 NEW RULES for the New Craft of Intelligence

2002 Global Futures Partnership–Vision of Lasting Value

Analysis, Communities of Practice, Cultural Intelligence, Global Futures Partnership, Historic Contributions, Methods & Process, Peace Intelligence

The Global Futures Partnership (GFP) is a strategic “think and do tank” that undertakes unclassified global outreach for CIA and other Intelligence Community elements on the most important issues facing the intelligence community today and in coming years. It conceptualizes and implements interdisciplinary and multi-organizational projects on key intelligence issues with leading thinkers from academia, business, strategy, and intelligence consultants.

Below is the citation for the award given to the visionary, founder, and core catalyst within the GFP, followed by two CIA seals: the one on the left leads to the pro forma page on GFP, sadly not offering access to its unclassified and often brilliant productions over the past several years, and the one on the left offers a link to a presentation on “Meeting 21st Century Transnational Challenges: Building a Global Intelligence Paradigm” by Roger George, possibly the most tangible evidence of GFP's influence on CIA's leadership.

OSS '02: 21st Century Emerging Leadership Award. Global Futures Partnership, Central Intelligence Agency. Under the leadership of Carol Dumaine with her extraordinary vision, the Global Futures Partnership has created strategic learning forums bringing the rich perspectives of the outside world into the classified environment in a manner never before attempted. This official but revolutionary endeavor nurtures an outside-in channel for integrating a diversity of perspectives. It is a vanguard toward a future in which the lines between national and global intelligence, and between governmental and nongovernmental intelligence, are blurred into extinction.

Global Futures Partnership
Global Futures Partnership
Meeting 21st Century Transnational Challenges: Building a Global Intelligence Paradigm
Meeting 21st Century Transnational Challenges: Building a Global Intelligence Paradigm

The GFP is not to be confused with the Open Source Center (OSC).  The first is a visionary outreach elements that seeks to share information and achieve multi-national sense-making, in one instance working with up to 35 countries.  The OSC is a bureaucratic unit that classifies everything it creates and refuses to engage with any countries other than the standard English-speaking allies and a couple of others totalling eleven including the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, you get the idea….

The CIA leadership never properly supported the GFP.  Its vision