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Intelligence Analysis: A Target-Centric Approach, 2nd Edition Paperback – September 11, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-1933116938 ISBN-10: 1933116935 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: CQ Press; 2 edition (September 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933116935
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933116938
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,058,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert M. Clark has been an intelligence analyst for 36 years, currently serving as an independent consultant assessing threats to U.S. space systems. He helped develop and is a faculty member for the Intelligence Community Officers' Course. Clark is the former president and CEO of the Scientific and Technical Analysis Corporation. He served in the United States Air Force as an electronics warfare officer and intelligence officer, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel, and in the CIA as an analyst and as the chief of the Directorate of Intelligence's Analytic Support Group. Clark holds an SB from MIT, a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, and a JD from George Washington University. He is a presidential interchange executive, a member of the Virginia state bar, and a patent attorney.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
This is one of the best overview books on intelligence analysis.
Ronald A. Woodward
It should be noted in Clark's defense that the U.S. Intelligence Community lacks standardization, which fault contributes to the challenges of collaboration.
D.S.Thurlow
It provides an alternative to the traditional intelligence cycle and argues for a Target Centric approach to intelligence.
Mario Eybers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ronald A. Woodward on May 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most books about intelligence end up being boring discussions about the intelligence cycle or intelligence sources and never get to the heart of the process. Clark begins with a brief discussion about the intelligence process, but quickly focuses on why it is important to accurately define the problem that you are trying to assess. This step is often missed, even by seasoned intelligence analysts, who frequently leave many of their assumptions unclarified. Clark uses many references to actual historical case studies to make valid points about common failure tendencies. The real value of this book is in the area of predictions. Clark states rather emphatically that "(D)escribing a past event is not intelligence analysis; it is history. The highest form of intelligence analysis requires structured thinking that results in a prediction of what is likely to happen. True intelligence analysis is always predictive". He goes on to dedicate a sizeable share of remainder of the book to predictive techniques. Many who claim to be intelligence officers do not employ the predictive techniques describes in this book. Intelligence folks have a propensity to gravitate to current intelligence and retell what has already been told, while neglecting to take on the challenging task of predicting what is next. This is one of the best overview books on intelligence analysis. Highly recommended reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. M. Van Court VINE VOICE on September 18, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent work on intelligence analysis, but is not for the layman. Mr. Clark is up front about his target audience, so I went into it knowing that I might struggle a bit. He routinely uses terms and refers to concepts that are somewhat obscure, a glossary would create a huge improvement. But the effort invested in reading this was well rewarded.

The title; "Intelligence Analysis: A Target-centric Approach" is misleading. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the entire intelligence process from collecting information to the civil and military leaders using the product of analysis in their decision process, not just "Intelligence Analysis". "Target-centric" analysis sounds very impressive, but it is more a reflection of LTC (ret) Clark's Air Force roots, and a rebuke to intelligence in support of political agendae than a new concept for analysis. The content of the book doesn't suffer at all, but some potential readers might be put off by this.

The use of diverse and fairly well cited examples (I assume the uncited ones are first-hand information for the author?) made this an excellent read, but some of the examples could benefit from clarification as to whether or not they're notional. The entire intelligence process is descibed, along with some of the bureaucratic idiosyncrosies that created some of the confusing arrangements of agencies and nomenclature. The specifics of analytical methods were excellent. I thought the discussion of link analysis for describing social networks was excellent, but he neglected to point out that sociologists use the same tools and methods in their research, as do investigative reporters.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joseph T. Page II on November 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
BE WARNED - this book will NOT teach you how to kill a man, overthrow governments or set up a military tribunal at GITMO... if you want to learn how to analyze problems, and see a peek into how the U.S. government analyzes national security information, this book is for you.

I've carried around a copy of this book for the last 5 months since my Intel Analysis class ended. I refer to it constantly, whether it be the list of INTs (intelligence disciplines) or targeting methodologies... This may have been the best $40 I have spent on a book in a while.

This copy has also been asked about by colleagues in the intelligence field, who hesitantly admit there is no "introductory" textbook to intelligence analysis - most of it is on-the-job training. I have seen it used in undergraduate and graduate studies, on the desk of Subject Matter Experts at the National Air & Space Intelligence Center, and in other "nondescript" locations. The prevalence of this text in the IC (intelligence community) should be enough to convince a bystandard that this text is worth of their time.

The only downside was the package - a paperback book for the cost seems excessive, but once you get into it (chapter three at least), you'll see how useful the information is... and my griping about the cost stopped.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Clark W. K. on September 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book. Had to read a section or two twice, but it was worth it to fully comprehend the concepts Mr. Clark was explaining. Was very educational and practical. Brings reader back to the purpose of intelligence analysis and furnishes a blueprint for a systematic approach to this art.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D.S.Thurlow TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
Robert M. Clark's "Intelligence Analysis: A Target-Centric Approach" is an up-to-date, practical manual on the conduct of analysis in the context of the current global war on terrorism. This manual is well suited for classroom use for intelligence professionals, whether in the military, in civilian government agencies, or private industry.

Clark divides his topic into three principal sections. In the first, he provides a detailed break-down of the target-centric approach as the collaborative, interactive, information network-enabled analysis that has replaced the hierarchial stovepipe architecture of the Cold War.

In the second section, on modeling, Clark explains in clear and understandable language the process by which analysts synthesize available information into a conceptualization of the intelligence problem. This key step produces the basis to which analysts will apply predictive analysis.

The heart of the book is Clark's exploration of the techniques and potential pitfalls of predictive analysis. Clark discusses a variety of methods to approach analysis, along with their practical limits and familar challenges such as bias and customer interaction. His liberal use of examples from recent intelligence failures help make clear just what a challenging combination of art, science, and team effort good intelligence analysis should be.

This book is not without some faults. His definitions of Strategic, Operational, and Tactical intelligence are imprecise and not those commonly in use in, for example, the Department of Defense. Strategic intelligence is better defined by the level of the customer served and not by whether it is long range or short range.
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