While it is generally agreed that the traditional description of the intelligence process -the so-called “Intelligence Cycle” - is not an accurate depiction of how intelligence is done, both theorists and practitioners disagree about a model that can replace it. This paper abandons the sequential process that was appropriate for a slower and less information rich environment.
Instead, a more streamlined parallel process is proposed. Accompanying this new vision of the intelligence process will be an analysis of data collected from over 130 real-world intelligence projects conducted using this model of the intelligence process and delivered to decisionmakers in the business, law enforcement and national security sectors. Additionally, the training and education implications as well as the kinds of software and hardware systems necessary to support this new understanding of the process are discussed.
Kristan J. Wheaton is currently a Professor of Intelligence Studies at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania and will become the Professor of Strategic Futures at the US Army War College later this year.
He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina, an MA (Russian and East European Studies) from Florida State University and a BBA (Accounting) from the University Of Notre Dame.
He is a member of the CI Council of Fellows and the recipient of the CIA Seal Medallion and the State Department’s Superior Honor Award.
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