The building blocks of intelligence analysis and the pitfalls you may encounter.
Analysts and analysts alone create intelligence. Although technological marvels assist analysts by cataloging and presenting data, information, and evidence in new ways, they do not do analysis. To be most effective, analysts need an overarching, reﬂective framework to add structured reasoning to sound, intuitive thinking. “Critical thinking” provides such a framework and goes further, positively inﬂuencing the entire intelligence analysis process. Analysts who adopt critical thinking stand to improve their analyses. This paper deﬁnes critical thinking in the context of intelligence analysis, explains how it inﬂuences the entire intelligence process, explores how it toughens the art of intelligence analysis, suggests how it may be taught, and deduces how analysts can be persuaded to adopt this habit.