PLS 487-01

  • Defining intel: depends who you ask
  • Intel is lot of things
    • Process (collection, exploitation, analysys, dissemination)
    • Also NOT a lot of things
    • “A secret state or group activity to understand or influence foreign and/or domestic entities” (Johnston)
    • Intel v. info
      • Secret v anything that can be known
      • Intel is type of info
      • Not recent (Sun Tzu, Old Testament, Rome, etc)

Why need intel?

  • 4 mian reasons (Lowenthal)
    • Avoid strategic and tactical surprise
    • Provide longterm expertise
      • Long live bureaucracy
  • Support the policy process
    • IC does not provide policy
    • Analysis can be dismissed
  • Maintain secrecy of information, needs, and methods
  • Weakness of Intel
    • Mirror imaging

IC themes

  • Novelty of US Intelligence
    • Recent phenomenon
    • Threat based foreign policy
      • 20th century tough
      • Influence of Cold War
        • Development of infrastructure
        • Cemented importance in many areas (war fighting, acquis. Etc)
        • Global scope
          • Shift from bipolar to multipolar world
          • Threats always there, just didn’t realize

Other themes of note

  • Secrecy of efficacy (Johnston)
    • Secrecy and openness inherently conflict
    • Redundancy, competitive analysis
      • Remaining relevant
      • Consumer-producer relations
        • Role of the military
        • Recent reorganizations (Ex creation of DNI)
          • 3 drivers (Lowenthal)
  1. Reaction to 9-11
  2. 2004 9-11 commission
  3. Absence of WMD in IQ


  • Intel error – factual inaccuracies in analysis resulting from poor or missing data
  • Intel failure – systemic organizational surprise resulting from incorrect, missing, discarded or inadequate hypotheses

*** VIDEO *** Frontline: the Dark Side  (The man who knew)

  1. How did politics within intel community impact the work of John O’Neill?
  2. What were some of our biggest problems with tracking AlQ? Getting inside, stopping, etc
  3. What two things looking back would have changed or altered the path of history?
  4. What two things surprised/angered you about this?


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