Intelligence Collection And Analysis

1209 words - 5 pages

Improving the Relationship

This paper will detail how I would explain to my policymaker what the psychological barriers are for intelligence collection and analysis. Next, I will provide an argument as to what types of rigors are needed to improve intelligence analysis making it more reliable. Finally, I will persuade the policymaker to support my argument in order to receive more funding in order to implement the type of improvements I have defined.
Policymakers need to understand that analysts face psychological obstacles in four key stages of the analytical process, which are making judgments, coordinating judgments, confronting organizational norms, and substantive judgments. (George and Bruce, 2008) When an analyst makes a judgment based on inconclusive evidence the probability that a surprise will occur increases. These judgments are made under some constraint that restricts the analyst from verifying or even receiving further evidence to collaborate or disprove the current judgment. (George and Bruce, 2008) When analysts coordinate judgments with other analysts and managers, other agendas and biases are introduced into the analysis. Analyst need to be informed of the organization’s expectations of the analysis. Substantive judgments occur when an analyst’s ethics force the analyst to ignore the agendas of the policymakers and to be write judgments based on the evidence. (George and Bruce, 2008) All these psychological obstacles to sound judgment are clouded by complexity, uncertainty, and secrecy. Cognitive biases are distortions in information processing created by worldview, ideology, or political preference. (George and Bruce, 2008) The mindset of the analyst is the accumulated knowledge of past behavior of the target, which is used to fill in gaps of the collection process during analysis. The more intimate an analyst is with the target the more likely they are to misjudge the collected information. Confirmation bias happens when an analyst reads into the information to support their mindset and disregards information that contradicts their judgment. The paradox of expertise is essential to anticipate normal events based on inconclusive evidence. Expertise also prevents imaginative explanation of the gaps from consideration. Analysts are blindsided when an anomaly in behavior happens that leads to a surprise. American trained rationalist analysts tend to fill in gaps that would make sense for American culture in the foreign assessments. (George and Bruce, 2008) When analysts work in groups, new issues such as group, boss, tribal and no think can occur. These groups of analysts are from diverse offices and can be influenced by a mindset of an analyst from within the group. Boss think occurs when a senior analyst oversimplify assumptions to fill in gaps in the collected information using their paradox of expertise. Tribal think occurs when an analyst tries to use an alternative explanation from the...

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