- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: CQ Press; 1 edition (May 24, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1506316816
- ISBN-13: 978-1506316819
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Intelligence Analysis; A Target-Centric Approach Fifth Edition 1st Edition
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"Intelligence Analysis: A Target-Centric Approach is a top notch text, written by an expert, and aimed at serious intelligence courses. Clark provides a well-rounded book that touches on all relevant collection and analytical disciplines." -- Carl Wege "Intelligence Analysis: A Target-Centric Approach is a major contributor toward making intelligence analysis a more scientific process. Those involved in behavioral analysis have tended to rely more on intuitive approaches and the historical method for their analyses. With Clark's text, behavioral analysts can learn the utility and procedures for making their analyses more systematic and scientific. It comprehensively covers modeling and other analytic techniques, as well as the intelligence cycle, collection, managing analysis and dealing with intelligence customers." -- Michael Collier "Intelligence Analysis: A Target-Centric Approach offers strong, in-depth coverage of the intelligence process, the evaluation of data, and the analysis of the customer. Clark's work has demonstrated its professional success and acceptance within the academic community and the practicing world of intelligence analysis." -- Ronald Vardy
About the Author
Robert M. Clark currently is an independent consultant performing threat analyses for the U.S. Intelligence Community. He also develops and teaches intelligence graduate courses for Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland. He previously was a faculty member of the DNI's Intelligence Community Officers' Course and course director of the DNI's Introduction to the Intelligence Community course. Dr. Clark, a USAF lieutenant colonel (retired), served as an electronics warfare officer and intelligence officer. At the CIA, he was a senior analyst and group chief responsible for developing analytic methodologies. He was cofounder and CEO of the Scientific and Technical Analysis Corporation, a privately held company serving the U.S. Intelligence Community. Clark holds an SB from MIT, a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, and a JD from George Washington University. Beyond analyzing wicked intelligence issues, his passion is writing on the topic of intelligence. His books include Intelligence Analysis: A Target-Centric Approach (5th edition, 2016), The Technical Collection of Intelligence (2010), and Intelligence Collection (2014). He is co-author, with Dr. William Mitchell, of Target-Centric Network Modeling (2015); and co-editor, with Dr. Mark Lowenthal, of Intelligence Collection: The Five Disciplines (2015).
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In a brief survey of the book I found analysis and significant contributions in explaining diverse topics including Anwar Sadat's motivation for pursuing a war with Israel that he had little hope of winning (but which led to negotiation that recovered the Sinai Penninsula); a simple and coherent explanation of Bayesian Probability analysis, and a well-documented discussion of Scenario Planning.
I would highly recommend this book for any student of a field that requires analytical thought, whether in science, technology or world affairs.
Author Robert M. Clark is a lieutenant colonel, USAF, retired, who worked as a senior analyst at the CIA, has taught university at the graduate level, and is currently an independent consultant. I haven't done any of those things, so I don't know how widely-used the "target-centric" approach laid out in this book is. The author's objective is to "make a better intelligence analysis process" by redefining the process with special emphasis on the analyst-collector and analyst-customer relationships and by offering "some methodologies that make for better predictive analysis." There is a focus on failure of intelligence, which the author returns to repeatedly in order to illuminate how and why things go wrong and show what has been learned from the failures. In the author's words, "The book's primary audiences are practicing intelligence analysts and university students who are interested in entering the profession." The book may also be "of interest to all intelligence professionals and customers of intelligence, in government and private sectors."
Part 1, "The Analysis Process", essentially tells the reader how to do analysis of past and current situations: how to define the issue, how to model it, and how to use the model. The author believes that "the intelligence process should revolve around how best to approach the target." He offers an alternative to the traditional intelligence cycle that he believes addresses its shortcomings. This is similar to "object-based production" currently in use. Six chapters are dedicated to different methods of modeling. They explain how to populate the models with information, how to evaluate information, pitfalls in weighing evidence, the impact of information technology, coping with denial, deception, and signaling by the target, and modeling the target as a system or as a network. Each chapter presents a variety of options for modeling your problem then explains how to use them. The author offers many historical examples, which liven up the text a bit.
Part 2, "The Estimative Process", explains how to create target models of possible futures, which requires accurately assessing the forces at work. After a discussion of the difficulties in dealing with divergent, as opposed to convergent, phenomena and how to use extrapolation, projection, and forecasting, the author dedicates one chapter each to "Estimative Forces," "Scenarios," and "Simulation Modeling." Part 3, "Systems and Networks Views of Analysis", shifts gears to talk about the analyst's situation rather than the target. The author discusses the products of intelligence research, the pressures analysts come under to produce or ignore a particular outcome, followed by three chapters that take a systems view of intelligence analysis (function, process, structure) and two chapters about a network view, which talk about the analysts' relationship to the intelligence customer and collector(s) and how they impact the analyst's job. Most of the chapter on "Systems View: Function" is dedicated to reasons for intelligence failures.
I am not an intelligence professional, so I can't say how much the material in this book differs from what intelligence analysts would already be doing or how difficult it might be to apply in practice in a workplace that has a different way of doing things. I read "Intelligence Analysis" primarily because I participate in geopolitical forecasting tournaments. I wondered if it might have something of use to me in forecasting or, more likely, an explanation of how intelligence agencies draw the conclusions that they publish. Robert M. Clark breaks down the many options for modeling the problem in enough detail to get you started. His emphasis on dissecting intelligence failures and the chapters on systems and network views of analysis place a practical emphasis on what position intelligence analysts are in realistically in their workplaces. That seems important from an outsider's perspective. There are some places where I think the author got carried away with explanations, such as his discussion of the Second Law of Thermodynamics and Claude Shannon's communications theory to explain that information degrades or changes as it passes through more hands (hearsay).
So the book is, almost, another critical thinking and analysis book...except that it is tailored to the specific needs of intelligence analysis. Clark clearly knows what he is talking about.
An audience he may not have had in mind but can benefit is authors writing novels that touch on intelligence - again, not for the operations aspect but for the analysis aspect. There are some useful ideas to help justify how blind your characters may seem to be to what's obvious to the reader.
For the main audience of intelligence analysts and students, you can't do much better than this book. Superb.