Counterpoint to 'The Coming Revolution in Intelligence Analysis': Evolution Beats Revolution in Analysis [open pdf - 42KB]
"The recommendations presented in Carmen Medina's article, 'The Coming evolution in Intelligence Analysis: What To Do When Traditional Models Fail,' come across as solutions in search of a problem. Her description of the Directorate of Intelligence (DI) fails to take into account many of the changes that the DI has made in the past decade. Constructive self-assessments are important to any organization, but this critique of the Directorate's current practices lapses from examination to undeserved flagellation. The author is well known for having been thoughtfully engaged in seeking ways to improve the DI for many years; therefore, the suspicion arises that she crafted her article with the intent to provoke as much discussion as possible. In brief, Medina argues that the DI's current model of intelligence analysis is failing to respond to rapid changes in consumer needs and preferences. She contends that the DI is insufficiently focused on the consumer and is devoting its resources to increasingly useless syntheses of intelligence reporting. She recommends what she calls a revolutionary model that would shift analysis from a focus on day-to-day 'developments' to forward-leaning, conceptual thinking that is 'less independent and neutral' and more tailored to the policymakers' specific needs. The article's main failing is that its primary contentions fly in the face of history and recent feedback from our consumers and Agency leadership. This essay joins the debate by commenting in general on Medina's thesis and defending, in particular, the DI's focus on 'developments' as the basis of any successful model of intelligence analysis."
Center for the Study of Intelligence: https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/index.html
Studies in Intelligence (2002), v.46 no.3