Essay Exam Question – Lesson 2
In this course, you will be introduced to many topics including tools and methods to technology and consideration of advanced intelligence analysis. For this essay, choose an analytic topic you want to write about and how that will contribute to your thinking on Intelligence Analysis. For additional information on what to consider in getting started, read the Resources comment below.
Analysts need to form hypotheses, but the analysts need to be open to data that either confirms or disproves a hypothesis, rather than searching for evidence that supports only one theory. They must remember that the enemy may be deliberately deceiving them with information that seems plausible to the enemy. Bacon observed, “the most successful deception stories were apparently as reasonable as the truth. Allied strategic deception, as well as Soviet deception in support of the operations at Stalingrad, Kursk, and the 1944 summer offensive, all exploited German leadership’s preexisting beliefs and were, therefore, incredibly effective.” Stories that Hitler believed implausible were not accepted. Western deception staffs mixed “ambiguity-type” and “misleading-type” deceptions, the former intended simply to confuse enemy analysts and the latter to make one false alternative especially likely.
Of all modern militaries, the Russians treat strategic deception, or, in their word, maskirovka, which goes beyond our phrase to include deception, operational security and concealment, as an integral part of all planning, in which the highest levels of command are involved. See London Controlling Section for a WWII Allied deception organization.
Bacon wrote “The Battle of Kursk was also an example of effective Soviet maskirovka. While the Germans were preparing for their Kursk offensive, the Soviets created a story that they intended to conduct only defensive operations at Kursk. The reality was the Soviets planned a large counteroffensive at Kursk once they blunted the German attack. …. German intelligence for the Russian Front assumed the Soviets would conduct only “local” attacks around Kursk to “gain a better jumping off place for the winter offensive.” The counterattack by the Steppe Front stunned the Germans.
The opponent may try to overload the analytical capability. As a warning to those preparing the intelligence budget, and to those agencies where the fast track to promotion is in collection, one’s own side may produce so much raw data that the analyst is overwhelmed, even without enemy assistance.
Source: James Carson, “Cognitive traps for Intelligence Analysis”, C4ISR Journal, vol II. 2009
Wayne Michael Hall and Gary Citrenbaum, Intelligence Analysis: How to Think in Complex Environments, (Praeger Security International, Santa Barbara, 2010) Part 1, pp. 9 – 48
Douglass Harris and V. Alan Spiker, Critical Thinking skills for Intelligence Analysis, Chapter from the book, Ergonomics, A Systems approach. https://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs/35820/InTech-Critical_thinking_skills_for_intelligence_analysis.pdf
Hall begins the process of understanding the path of the intelligence analyst by describing the importance of and the advantages to critical thinking. He makes the clear point that in order for us to fully understand the enemy we must “deconstruct him” and apply critical analysis techniques to that process. How do we know that we are deconstructing him effectively? What are the best techniques to apply to this challenge?
Harris and Spiker Reading:
In this reading what are Harris and Spiker saying that differs from Hall? How do they approach a critical thinking template? They offer a slightly different model from that of Hall in that they start with Situation and Purpose and then move forward towards an evaluation of consequences. Its vital to look at a variety of approaches to critical thinking and consider which one best fits the analysts thought processes and offers the best chance of success.
Type: Individual Essay
Length: 6 Pages not icluding cover page
Due: Saturday end of next week. Central Time.
Please have a cover page for this assignment.
Essay Exam Question – Lesson 2