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The Logic of Intelligence Analysis: Why Hypothesis Testing Matters

The Logic of Intelligence Analysis: Why Hypothesis Testing Matters

by Karl Spielmann


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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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780367606947
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 06/30/2020
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 5.44(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

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.

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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