I mean it.
The "intelligence cycle", as a depiction of how the intelligence process works, is a WWII era relic that is way past its sell-by date. It has become toxic. It no longer informs as much as it infects. It is less a cycle than a cyclops -- ancient, ugly and destructive.
I want it dead and gone, crushed, eliminated.
I don't care, frankly, what we have to do. Remove it from every training manual, delete it from every slide, erase it from every website.
Shoot it with a silver bullet, drive a wooden stake through its heart, burn the remains without ceremony and scatter the ashes.
(Geez, Kris, why don't you tell us how you really feel...)
OK, OK, so, yes, I am being intentionally provocative but I have been doing quite a bit of research on the intelligence process over the last several years and have come to the conclusion -- as have others before me -- that our current best depiction of this process, the so-called "intelligence cycle" is fatally flawed. Moreover, I believe these flaws have become so severe, so grievous, that continued adherence to and promotion of the cycle is actually counterproductive.
My intent, beginning on Monday and over the next several weeks, is to lay out the evidence I have gathered about the cycle itself, about attempts to save it from its worst flaws, about attempts to replace it altogether and let you decide for yourselves.
In the end, I intend to recommend (with no hubris intended and well aware of the possibility of hamartia) my own generalized version of the intelligence process; one which I think is more appropriate for the intelligence tasks of the 21st Century and which works, in both theory and practice, across all three major sub-disciplines of intelligence -- national security, business and law enforcement.
Next: The Disconnect Between Theory And Practice
Friday, May 20, 2011
I mean it.