Part 2 -- "We''ll Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming In Just A Minute..."
Part 3 -- The Disconnect Between Theory And Practice
Part 4 -- The "Traditional" Intelligence Cycle And Its History
Part 5 -- Critiques Of The Cycle: Which Intelligence Cycle?
Every military officer, policeman or business student who has attended even relatively low level training in their profession is familiar with a model of decisionmaking that typically includes defining the question, collecting information relevant to the question, analyzing alternatives or courses of action, making a recommendation and then communicating or executing the recommendation (see image to the right).
This, in turn, results in two negative consequences for intelligence. First, decisionmakers will, at best, see intelligence as “nothing special”. The process used appears, from their perspective, to be just a glorified decisionmaking process.
More insidiously, however, such a perception clouds the true role of intelligence in the decisionmaking process. Decisionmakers, trained in and used to working with the decisionmaking process, will look for intelligence professionals to provide the same kinds of outputs – recommendations – as their process does.
In short, because the intelligence cycle creates the impression in the minds of many decisionmakers (particularly those unfamiliar with intelligence but well -educated in their own operational arts), that intelligence is “just like what I do”, only with a different name, the value of intelligence is more difficult to explain to decisionmakers than it needs to be.
Next: Tweaking The Intelligence Cycle