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  1. 1. 24 APR 2013 Dr. William Bradford, PhD, LLM, JD Strategic Intelligence: From General Theory to a Simulation Exercise
  2. 2. GENERAL THEORY OF STRATEGIC INTELLIGENCE (1) All organisms—amoebas, animals, humans, groups, organizations, nations—have a primordial drive to survive
  3. 3. (2) To maximize the likelihood of survival, nations pursue power (military, economic, political, etc.) as a tool to reduce threats (military rivals) and seize opportunities for influence (alliances, trade, exports)
  4. 4. (3) Grand Strategy: the protocol nations reference to guide efforts to prevent threats and seize opportunities; specifies tasks for foreign policy, military policy, economic policy, and diplomatic policy
  5. 5. (4) U.S. Grand Strategy  Protect free exchange of ideas and markets and goods  Preserve common law constitutional republic  Secure individual rights and liberties  Layered defenses  Preserve deterrence and leverage alliances  Fight over there through proxies or technology
  6. 6. (5) In 4GW/WMD era, fighting total wars threatens survival, so… Deter major powers Fight small wars against small powers
  7. 7. (6) Deterrence: doctrine that the enemy can be convinced that war initiation carries an intolerable price because of the certainty and cost of response
  8. 8. (7) Deterrence preferable to winning wars
  9. 9. (8) Deterrence assumes rationality  Enemy cares about survival  Enemy makes decisions that advance goals  Enemy has similar cost-benefit equation
  10. 10. (9) Problem: because not every foe is rational, and because we do not know the enemy’s cost-benefit equation, we need information to prevent deterrence failure and avoid surprise
  11. 11. (10) Surprise: “the occurrence of an unexpected event or the nonoccurrence of an expected event”(Pearl Harbor, 9/11, what next?) Objective of US intelligence community since 1945 has been to avoid it
  12. 12. (11) Timely and accurate information about aspirations, intentions, capabilities, and plans of adversaries is necessary to avoid surprise and prevent/anticipate/preempt attack
  13. 13. (12) The more power a nation possesses, the more decisional freedom it enjoys and the greater its capacity to “shape the future” (avoid surprise)
  14. 14. (13) The more decisional freedom a country enjoys, the more information it can employ to make the decisions that best avoid surprise and support grand strategy
  15. 15. (14) The more information a nation can use to support decisionmaking, the more it will search for, collect, analyze, and use information
  16. 16. (15) Strategic Intelligence [STRATINT”] (a) Timely and contextualized information and analysis regarding emerging threats and opportunities to the National Command Authority, the most senior civilian policymakers and military commanders, and allies (b) Nonperishable, highest-level focus (geopolitics, foreign leaders and parties, senior commanders, macroeconomics, religious movements, echelons above reality) (c) Collected and analyzed on long-term basis (d) Reliant on all intel disciplines (OSINT in particular but all the - INTs) (e) Supports foreign policy and military decisions by estimating capabilities, intentions, plans of present and future enemies (f) Placing information in context (g) Developing assessments of probabilities of threat action (h) Creating conviction in the mind of the policymaker of the need for action (i) Presenting and evaluating courses of action
  17. 17. (16) Goals: (a) “Early warning” about an enemy’s future actions with sufficient time to ensure the possibility of action to neutralize the advantage the enemy hoped to gain from surprise; better to deter than defeat, better to predict than explain, and better to prevent than respond (b) Ensure the force structure is appropriate to future use of military power (peacetime draft in 1940 to enable victory in 1944-45, SDI 1980s, FORCE 21 late 1990s?) (c) Maintain secrecy of info, needs, sources, methods
  18. 18. (17) Requirements: (a) Exhaustively researched but still timely, accurate, objective (include minority reports—much of value depends on belief in political neutrality), readable, succinct, joint (all-source fused and interagency), tailored to decisionmaker’s needs (relevant), critical (not compilation of facts but provide analytic judgments that enhance understanding of core issue and relation to other issues), specific (supports judgments), suggest possible COAs and alternatives, identify risks/opportunities (b) Key is metaknowledge: tell what you know, what you don’t know, and what you think with explicit articulation of assumptions, what drives events, extrapolations of trends, what might deflect current trajectory, how much confidence in judgments (c) Expansive vision of interactions between domestic and allied intelligence and NATSEC communities
  19. 19. (18) tools:  Inductive and deductive reasoning  Social science methodological skills  Critical and creative thinking  Information retrieval  Source evaluation  Ability to tolerate informational ambiguities  Cultural competence, understanding of contexts (historical, economic, political, social, religious)  Broad fields of substantive knowledge (military strategy, intelligence, psychology, decision theory, strategic communications, statistics, law, ethics, strategic linguistics, economics, history)  Teamwork and solo skills  Objectivity  Understanding of mission (relevance)  Discretion  Ability to think like the bad guys  Capacity to sift and synthesize incredible amounts of information  Wargaming and modeling skills
  20. 20. (19) Rational adversaries seek to: (a) Deny/deceive collection (b) Confuse analytical process (c) Reveal sources and methods (d) Prevent early warning (e) Preclude development of instruments of power (f) Induce the U.S. and allies to make poor decisions that undermine grand strategy and reduce probability of national survival and prosperity (g) STRATINT is a competitive, high-stakes enterprise
  21. 21. (20) Decisions are the product of STRATINT and decisionmaker effects: (a) The better the STRATINT, the more likely any given decisionmaker is to make decisions that support national security/survival and capitalize upon opportunities, and the worse the STRATINT, the less likely any given decisionmaker is to make decisions that support national security/survival and capitalize upon opportunities (b) Good STRATINT is a necessary but insufficient condition for good decisionmaking—the effects of the decisonmaker are important (c) Good decisions without the instruments of national power mean naught—firepower is necessary, as is public diplomacy, strategic communications, soft power; STRATINT alone lacks value
  22. 22. (21) Only two possibilities with respect to national security policy decisions: (a) policy success (b) intelligence failure: policymakers never admit bad decisions and always blame bad intelligence (inadequate warning, missed developments, misinterpretations of data, faulty assumptions to fill gaps, too little collected, bad analysis)
  23. 23. (22) Reasons for intelligence failures: (a)“Intelligence-to-please” syndrome (feed war fever, groupthink) (b) Reliance on previous NIE, heavy perceived penalty for changing (c) Enemy disinfo/INFOWAR (Iraq pretending to have WMD) (d) Rushing (by managers and politicians) (e) Ignored or absent language conditioning findings (f) Inexperienced analysts (more than 60% joined post-9/11, many in Iraq Group at CIA <25, tendency to understate threats where there are gaps in substantive expertise, right people have to ask the right questions at the right time to prevail)
  24. 24. (g) Cognitive bias of analysts and decisionmakers: confirmatory bias (see what you expect to see and very difficult to abandon a firmly established concept, even though that concept is wrong), resistance to disconfirming information (want to avoid cognitive dissonance), historical analogy, oversimplification, Type 1 and Type II errors, reverse mosaic analysis (form picture first and then make pieces fit, instead of other way around), correlation does not equal causation, availability bias (when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail), mirror imaging (projecting values/beliefs/interests onto another of different cultural or historical background in an attempt to explain their behavior) (h) TMI (drinking from fire hose) (i) Too little info (very reliant on HUMINT to determine intent and plans of adversaries e.g. Saddam in 1990, AQ in 2001, Ahmadinejad 2013, Kim 2013) (j) Underestimation bias (the greater the risk, the less likely it seems) (k) Overestimation bias (tendency to overstate threats to ensure that IC is not blamed) (l) Relationship between analysts and decisionmakers (strict no-cross zone between IC and decisionmakers about policy recommendations, but it is hard to go from the raw intelligence to the finished intelligence (analytic product) without developing a judgment about what policy decision should follow, and there is a fine line between analysis produced to inform and analysis produced to influence especially when policymaker rewards analysts who provide what they want to hear)
  25. 25. (n) STRATINT is politics: when intel estimates/warnings support one political position over another, the analyst is open to the charge that s/he has unduly influenced the policymaker or is substituting his/her own agenda at the expense of objectivity, and individuals who oppose findings adverse to their political positions have to attack the objectivity of the intelligence process rather than the validity of the analysis or leak intelligence (or even attack the analysts themselves by berating and then ignoring them or outing them, e.g., the Pflame Affair), (o) Need for perfection: a .333 average in baseball gets you into HOF; in STRATINT it can get you killed (p) neglect of STRATINT, especially long-range intelligence collection and analysis in favor of crisis-driven PIRs, (q) Iraq 2003 case study: 13 of 16 intel agencies concluded Iraq had WMD, limited HUMINT, poor vetting of HUMINT sources, early misestimation of program in 1990, never produced full NIE on Iraq WMD because of belief there would be internal dissent, may have spun intel to present the White House view, did not release “Key Judgments” section until July 2003, DCI Tenet allowed in 2007 that intel was “not sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Saddam had WMD” and that “more accurate and nuanced findings would have made for a more vigorous debate and would have served the country better.”
  26. 26. (23) Positive and normative theorizing in STRATINT: (a) Leadership is vital—actions flow from decisions and not the other way around, and the decision to use force is made by an individual: requires incorporation of decisionmaking theory, with special consideration of the personalities of decisionmakers (b) Formal modeling: number of variables is large, everything is dynamic, have to select the most important variables to make models manageable and determine where and when tipping points or thresholds exist and why change occurs
  27. 27. ASD (1) Threat develops when enemy marries capacity and intent
  28. 28. (2) You can go when you shouldn’t go, and not go when you should: strategic preference for the former unless law, reputational sanction, or something else constitutes a big cost
  29. 29. (3) Domestic analogy: Your next door neighbor is an ex-con who murdered his previous neighbors, and he’s threatened your family for months. You live in the woods, with no law enforcement within 100 miles. He calls to tell you he’s loading his shotgun and he’ll be at your door to carry out his threat in an hour. What do you?
  30. 30. (4) international law of ASD (a) Article 2(4) of UN Charter: prohibits use of force against territorial integrity or political independence of any state (b) Article 51 recognizes the inherent right of states to engage in individual or collective self-defense “if an armed attack occurs” (c) Custom: states have not waited to be attacked before self- defending (Caroline Case, Nuremburg Tribunal (d) Scholars: restrictivist position (have to wait to absorb first blow), pragmatists (don’t have to be a sitting duck especially in the area of instant deliverables and there is a “reasonable state standard, (e) No authoritative pronouncement on the law—open, and in large measure a political question
  31. 31. Applied Theory (1) Decisionmaker personalities are IVs: militarism, anomism, hostility, adventurism
  32. 32. (a) Militarism: ideal typic is nationalist patriot with prior military service who views use of power favorably, competes aggressively, is keenly ambitious, authoritarian, dogmatic, introverted, isolated, low-self-esteem
  33. 33. (b) Anomism (ignorant of law, regards legal compliance in purely instrumental terms, complies only to serve self-interest, amoral)
  34. 34. (c) Hostility (self-absorbed, delusional, amoral, distrustful, suspicious, ethnocentric)
  35. 35. (d) Adventurism (impulsive, risk tolerant, male, anxious, high stress)
  36. 36. (2) ASD outcomes are DVs:  Consider ASD  Select ASD  Defend ASD  Defend ASD on legal grounds  Regarded as lawful by others at time of exercise  Regarded as legitimate at time of exercise  Legal sanctions  Lawful or legitimate in retrospect  Make same decision again  Contribute to world order
  37. 37. (3) STRATINT is an intervening variable (future research will operationalize using subvariables--quality, coherence, timeliness, etc)
  38. 38. (4) Assumption: if there were no intelligence gaps as to the intentions and capabilities of foreign decision makers, there would be no need to assess or estimate what decisions they would make regarding attacking or not Ergo, the study of enemy military forces and foreign decisionmakers is crucial part of STRATINT
  39. 39. (5) Historical data: Stalin (BARBAROSSA, 1941), FDR (Pearl Harbor, 1941), JFK (Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962), Eshkol (Six Day War, 1967), Golda Meir (October War, 1973), Begin (Osiraq, 1981), Reagan (Libya, 1986), 41 (Panama, 1989), Clinton (bin Ladin, 1998), 43 (Iraq, 2003) 0000
  40. 40. Decisionmaker Profile Consider ASD Exercise ASD Defend Legal Grounds Lawful Legitimate Sanction Lawful/Legitimate in Retrospect Repeat Decision Contribute to World Order Josef Stalin: ABCD 1 0 NA NA NA NA NA NA 1 1 FDR: ABCd 1 0 NA NA NA NA NA NA 1 1 JFK: aBCD 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 Levi Eshkol: abcd 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 Golda Meir: aBcd 1 0 NA NA NA NA NA NA 0 0 Menaham Begin: ABCD 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 Ronald Reagan: Abcd 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 George Bush (“41”): Abcd 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 Bill Clinton: aBCD 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 George Bush (“43”): ABcD 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
  41. 41. (6) Analysis: Boolean algebra, comparative method
  42. 42. Findings of note  Militarists tend to be satisfied with ASD decisions, while nonmilitarists tend to regret ASD decisions  Use of ASD supports world order and militarists thus are more supportive of world order  Anomists less likely to engage in ASD  All decisionmakers justify ASD with reference to law  Hostile decisionmakers do not engage in ASD and are satisfied with these decisions  Other actors regard adventurists unfavorably although their decisions in time are viewed as legitimate  Very difficult to implement a decision to engage in ASD that is viewed as lawful and legitimate at the time and also satisfies the decisionmaker
  43. 43. (6) Formal model
  44. 44. Are counterintuitive results the effects of STRATINT on mediating the relationship between decisionmaker and outcomes? Does perfect STRATINT lead to perfect decisions and perfect outcomes? Are decisions independent of STRATINT (if so, fold up the tents)?
  45. 45. Simulation Exercise: Central Asia To Be Distributed