Bridging the Divide between Scientific and Intelligence Analysis
This paper, which grew out of a workshop held in Stockholm in June 2009 that engaged Swedish and international representatives of both intelligence and various research communities, compares the views from various fields of research with intelligence. It asks both what aspects of research are most relevant for intelligence assessments and to what extent intelligence material could be affected by the practice of different theoretical approaches. It asks how remaining challenges could be addressed with the theories existing/emerging/still missing in the respective disciplines. It addressed two topics, more for the purpose of examining methods than on debating substance:
– The intelligence implications of the global financial crisis;
– The dynamics of terrorism/radicalisation and understanding of the threat environment (cultural understanding).
The common elements of the challenges terrorism poses for democratic nations were striking. Analytically, the comparison across issues illustrated the need for what is called ”outreach” but is better described as deeper analytic engagement; for mentoring young analysts; for more openness and open publication; and for more tolerance of ”being wrong.”
The Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies (CATS) at the Swedish National Defence College is focused on asymmetric threats in the Information Age. The projects at CATS are mainly sponsored by The Swedish Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), The Cabinet Offices and The Swedish Armed Forces.
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