ABSTRACT

Are the Analytic Tradecraft Standards Hurting as Much as Helping?   [open pdf - 907KB]

From the Document: "'Despite the 9/11 and WMD [weapon of mass destruction] Commissions' findings that the IC [Intelligence Community] lacked both standards and imagination, the IC has largely given itself a pass on the need to increase its efforts regarding the latter. Moreover, the analytic tradecraft standards--at least as applied--are hindering the IC from being more imaginative.' It is now IC gospel that the analytic tradecraft standards, promulgated in ICD [Intelligence Community Directive] 203, are good. Analysts carry cards listing them, posters and signs abound proclaiming them, a lot of training focuses on them, products are evaluated against them, and leadership worries about them. Indeed, good tradecraft--and by extension good intelligence--is now all too readily conflated with them. But what if the tradecraft standards are not only helping but also actually hurting us? What if they are essentially echoes of an industrial--assembly-line--past that are preventing us from facing up to an information-age future? What if they are fundamentally so 'small' that they prevent us from thinking 'big'? What if we have simply grabbed the low-hanging fruit (that might make us 'good') at the expense of being truly imaginative as well (i.e., 'great')?"

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Date:
2017-09-14
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Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
National Intelligence University: https://ni-u.edu/
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pdf
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