A Catalyst for Enhancing Intelligence Analysis: The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004

Gonzaga Journal of International Law, Volume 21, Issue 1 (2018)

17 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2018

See all articles by Jessica Zhanna Malekos Smith

Jessica Zhanna Malekos Smith

Duke Law School; Kings College London, Department of War Studies, Students

Date Written: February 24, 2018

Abstract

As in many aspects of life, more is not necessarily better. For instance, from a consumer standpoint, more demand for a product can decrease supply and increase sales cost. Conversely, from a producer standpoint, more of that product could lead to an over saturation of the market, thereby decreasing demand and triggering a race-to-the-bottom for the lowest market price.

Similarly, in the intelligence analysis (IA) market, more intelligence is not necessarily better, for too much data can overwhelm analysts. A profusion of data can encourage analysts to take shortcuts to remain responsive to the volume of customer requests and meet their metrics of delivering timely reports. On the other hand, more information can assist analysts who engage in structured analytic techniques, like probability theory, to develop comprehensive intelligence products. But is the problem of information overload new to the face of IA?

Part I begins by explaining the general significance of IA and the IRTPA of 2004. Part II explains the recent problems with analytic methods and explores a common language solution model based on probability theory and verbal quantifiers. Next, Part III highlights some of the bureaucratic challenges to cultivating a dynamic workforce.It provides two recommendations for establishing an IA mentorship and networking program across the Intelligence Community (IC). Part IV concludes by emphasizing that we should not bemoan the volume of information available to analysts, but instead concentrate on how to best utilize that data flow to power national security needs and priorities.

Keywords: intelligence, intelligence analysis, war, law, intelligence reform and terrorism prevention act, analysis, war, national security, analysis

Suggested Citation

Malekos Smith, Jessica Zhanna, A Catalyst for Enhancing Intelligence Analysis: The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (February 24, 2018). Gonzaga Journal of International Law, Volume 21, Issue 1 (2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3133504

Jessica Zhanna Malekos Smith (Contact Author)

Duke Law School ( email )

210 Science Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Kings College London, Department of War Studies, Students ( email )

King's College London, Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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