From: Marrin, Stephen Sent: Thu 7/3/2008 6:00 PM Subject: Learning the Lessons of All-Source Intelligence Analysis Earlier

this week I spoke at a conference organized by State/INR and co-sponsored by ODNI/IC Lessons Learned staff. The goal of the conference was to explore different dimensions of what it takes to learn from the past in terms of improving all source intelligence analysis. There were something like 60-70 attendees. The agenda of the conference is copied below FYI.... The gist of my remarks was that academia is very good at identifying, storing, building and disseminating fact, that is its purpose....but that even the academic study of intelligence (ie. literature on intelligence studies) is poorly understood and poorly developed, leading to an inability to gain greater understanding of the discipline over time. In particular, I cited the content of Hilsman's 1953 article, Platt's 1957 book, Knorr's 1964 monograph, and Hughes' 1978 booklet as providing better understanding of intelligence than most articles written today, and why it would behoove current intelligence practitioners to be familiar with these works... My recommendation was that the intelligence community should emphasize the value of learning from our own past by doing a better job studying the best of the intelligence scholarship, while at the same time the organizations within government that are involved in building knowledge (ie. the ODNI Lessons Learned staff) should model some of their practices on what academia does to grow knowledge over time.... The talk seems to have been well-received. At this point going forward, I'll probably adapt the remarks into some sort of a publishable article....probably combined with the remarks I intended to provide at the IAFIE make the case for the importance and value for intelligence practitioners (and prospective intelligence practitioners) of studying the intelligence literature. Additional information on those intended remarks for the IAFIE conference forthcoming shortly... The question posed here is: for those who teach intelligence, what is the optimum balance between scholarship and practice? In my presentation for IAFIE, I planned to talk about the "Reeces Peanut Butter Cup" approach to intelligence education. Intelligence studies emphasizing aggregated scholarship is the peanut butter, and 'intelligence school' (emphasizing practitioner proficiency, like medical school) is the chocolate. Each is fine on its own, to the exclusion of the other. For example, professors have been teaching intelligence courses in liberal arts colleges for decades, focusing exclusively on scholarship. And there is a value to that. And training programs in government organizations have existed for decades as well, focusing on practitioner proficiency. And there is a value to that as well. But when you mix the peanut butter and chocolate together....a combination of intelligence studies and intelligence school....that provides the opportunity to create something that is more than the sum of its parts. But when you do that, what is the optimum balance between peanut butter and chocolate? It might be possible to create chocolate flavored peanut butter, or peanut butter-flavored chocolate, but is that really what you want? Or do you want something that capitalizes on the best of both, but is distinctly different? So what parts of the intelligence studies scholarship should be emphasized in intelligence studies programs? What is the best way to acquint our students with the best knowledge that has been developed on intelligence issues thus far?


As a final thought, IAFIE is intended to be an overarching association that speaks to the needs of all the communities above (which are more national security than anything else, because that is the community I came out of) as well as many others. We should be able to identify not just a single model of intelligence education, but rather a series of different kinds of models, that range from the peanut butter/chocolate variations described above, as well as to their law enforcement, military, and business intell equivalents. There is room for discussion and debate about the tradeoffs that each kind of program involves--that every program has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses--while at the same time acknowledging that there is no single 'best' model that will satisfy all the different purposes of intelligence education. Instead, just like the generalist/expert debate, the answer is not one or the other, but rather how the different kinds can work best in combination. (And, quite frankly, this is why I don't see the idea of IAFIE as a certifying body going too far....there are just too many different kinds of programs serving too many different purposes to be able to come up with a single set of standards that will mean anything....) Thoughts? Regards, Stephen Marrin ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Bureau of Intelligence and Research U.S. Department of State

I.C. Lessons Learned Center Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Conference on Learning the Lessons of All-Source Intelligence Analysis Meridian International Center 1630 Crescent Place, N.W. Washington, DC Tuesday, July 1, 2008 Agenda
Purpose is to explore the following questions: What have we learned from the variety of perspectives on all-source analysis? What are the problems in all-source analysis and where are they most egregious? What are the best practices we have learned to inform future analysis?

8:30 a.m. 9:00

Registration and Coffee Opening Remarks Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research Randall M. Fort, U.S. Department of State Director, Intelligence Community Lessons Learned Center Dee Ann McWiliams, Office of the Director of National Intelligence Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Analysis James Buchanan, U.S. Department of State (Chairman)


Historical Overview of All-source Analysis
What are the lessons of the past that we have failed to incorporate into our current practice of intelligence analysis? How effectively has the literature of intelligence analysis been at building knowledge about the craft and profession? What efforts are afoot to help scholars and practitioners alike learn more about intelligence analysis?

Stephen Marrin, Mercyhurst College Discussion 10:00 10:15 Break Recommendations for Analytic Transformation
What are the issues that have dominated the national debate over intelligence analysis since the release of the WMD and 9/11 Commission reports? How does the current reform process stack up against earlier initiatives? Are we still trying to solve the same old problems, or to cope with entirely new challenges?

Mark M. Lowenthal, Intelligence & Security Academy, LLC Gregory Treverton, RAND Corporation Jeffrey R. Cooper, Science Applications International Corporation Christopher Kojm, George Washington University Discussion 11:45 a.m. Working Lunch ³Analytical Lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis´ Michael Dobbs, The Washington Post 1:00 Subject- Matter Expertise
Generational shifts within the Intelligence Community and the influx of a new cadre of young analysts have prompted discussion about the role of subject-matter expertise in intelligence analysis. How important is it to retain subject-matter expertise within the IC? What role can analytical tradecraft and information technologies play to offset the current outflow of expertise from the Community?

Bowman Miller, National Defense Intelligence College Douglas J. MacEachin, Independent Scholar Discussion 2:00 2:15 Break Alternative Analytical Techniques
Have alternative analytical techniques demonstrated their effectiveness over the past several years? Have any emerged as best practices with wide applicability? Which new ideas merit broader consideration by analysts?


Randolph H. Pherson, Pherson Associates Richards J. Heuer, Jr., Independent Scholar Discussion


How to Apply Lessons Learned
What challenges continue to face the Intelligence Community as it works to improve the quality of its analysis? Are we successfully implementing best practices and learning the lessons of the past? What¶s next for the craft of all-source analysis? Are there practices or convictions that the profession must abandon in order to face the challenges of the future?

Roger George, Global Futures Partnership Steven Rieber, Office of the Director of National Intelligence James Bruce, RAND Corporation Discussion 4:30 Adjournment

All comments are off the record and not for attribution.

The State Department¶s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) organizes conferences to solicit the views of nongovernmental specialists to facilitate the exchange of views between these specialists and government officials. The views expressed in the conferences are solely those of the individuals and are not necessarily the views of INR or the Department of State.


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful