Review: Improving Intelligence Analysis: Bridging the Gap between Scholarship and Practice

4 Star, Decision-Making & Decision-Support, Intelligence (Commercial), Intelligence (Government/Secret), Intelligence (Public)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Stephen Marrin

4.0 out of 5 stars Analysis in Isolation from Reality, January 6, 2013

This book is insanely expensive. The author of the book has material published online that I recommend be accessed and considered before making any investment here. One starting point is my list to 2011 article and my lengthy comment, easily found by looking for

Stephen Marrin: Evaluating the Quality of Intelligence Analysis: By What (Mis) Measure? With Comment by Robert Steele

This is a book, that like economists trapped on a desert island with a can of food and no can-opener, begin their plan with “assume a can-opener.” Now having said that, I must also give the author credit: this is as good as it gets at the PhD level when writing in isolation from decades of experience. This is the “clean room” version of the craft of analysis.

Here is a short extract from my review of the article that was built into this book:

ROBERT STEELE: Interesting, certainly worth reading, but divorced from the fundamentals and out of touch with the real masters. Any publication that fails to cite Jack Davis, the dean of analytic tradecraft in the English language, is fatally flawed. Of course it would help if one were also in touch with the “new rules for the new craft of intelligence,” but that may be too much to expect from a junior academic with limited real-world analytic experience who seems intent on citing only “approved” sources-a lack of source integrity that is also fatal. The article assumes that the four preconditions for sound analytics exist, and since they do not, at least in the US and UK and most other government intelligence communities, it is necessary to spell them out. Analysts are toads absent the following:

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