Reducing Uncertainty: Intelligence Analysis and National Security

By Thomas Fingar | Go to book overview
Save to active project

3
SPIES COLLECT DATA,
ANALYSTS PROVIDE INSIGHT

IT WOULD BE an exaggeration to describe intelligence analysts as the Rodney Dangerfields of the Intelligence Community, especially so given the esteem and confidence that many have earned from the officials with whom they interact on a regular basis.1 Nevertheless, even officials who respect—if not admire—the work of “their” intelligence analysts often join the chorus of voices seemingly eager to denigrate or dismiss the contributions of analysts in general. In that regard, and perhaps only in that regard, analysts are like members of Congress who are reviled as a group but often well regarded by their own constituents.2 I suspect that the same phenomenon can be found in evaluations of many other professions (for example, auto mechanics or beauticians or whomever is described as terrible in general, although “my” mechanic is thought to be exceptionally good) but confess that I have not attempted to determine if such is really the case.

Such distinctions are understandable; if you think your representative or auto mechanic is terrible, why do you continue to vote for her or to take your car to his shop? Something similar might be at work in the distinction officials make between the positive assessment of their intelligence support team and intelligence analysts in general, but I think more is involved than a simple defense mechanism. Intelligence analysts earn the confidence and respect of those they serve by demonstrating knowledge, utility, and discretion.3 Analysts who do not manifest these characteristics are likely to—and should—be dismissed or ignored by those they “support.” In my experience, that rarely happens. I choose to believe that the reason it happens infrequently is that

-33-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Reducing Uncertainty: Intelligence Analysis and National Security
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 176

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?