The Logic of Intelligence Analysis : Why Hypothesis Testing Matters book cover
1st Edition

The Logic of Intelligence Analysis
Why Hypothesis Testing Matters

ISBN 9780367606947
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
120 Pages

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Book Description

This book discusses the application of hypothesis testing to the practice of intelligence analysis.

By drawing on longstanding procedures of scientific method, particularly hypothesis testing, this book strongly critiques standard intelligence analytic practices. It shows these practices to be inadequate, as they are illogical in terms of what formal philosophy says any intelligence analysts can realistically be expected to know, and for the future when analysts will face pressures to adapt to digital age modeling techniques. The methodology focuses on identifying and remedying analytic errors caused by analyst cognitive biases and by foreign denial and deception. To demonstrate that it is a practical tool, it walks analysts through a case study, step by step, to show how its hypothesis testing can be implemented. It also invites a comparative test in the real world with any other intelligence methodologies to assess its strengths and weaknesses in predicting the outcome of an actual "live" intelligence issue.

This book will be of much interest to students of intelligence studies, public policy and national security, as well as practitioners.

Table of Contents

Preface: Revisiting an Old Problem: New Concerns, New Remedies  Chapter 1: Maybe It’s Time for Something Different  Chapter 2: Strengthening Intelligence Threat Analysis  Chapter 3: Using Enhanced Analytic Techniques for Threat Analysis: A Case Study Illustration  Chapter 4: I Got Algorithm: Can There Be a Nate Silver in Intelligence?

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Karl Spielmann is a retired Senior Analyst who worked in the Denial and Deception component of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Directorate of Intelligence and on the U.S. inter-agency National Intelligence Council. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Harvard University.


'Intelligence analysts, those training for the job, and people interested in analytic tradecraft need to understand the intellectual challenges and pitfalls of predicting what adversaries will do. Even more, they need better tools. These are provided by Karl Spielmann, who brings to bear his life-long experience in the CIA and National Intelligence Council to show how we can improve analysis'. - - Robert Jervis, Columbia University, USA