The Intelligence Cycle Essay

1627 Words 7 Pages

The Intelligence Cycle is an [effective], but outdated model. Essentially, it attempts to visualise intelligence as a process, and not merely a product. As such, by attempting a simple outline of a complex procedure, the cycle will be prone to misrepresenting dynamic changes; operational realities and either over, or under value particular parts of the process. However, it’s core strengths lie in it’s simplicity: shifting through the alphabet soup that is the Intelligence Community and making sense of the entire process is daunting: the Intelligence Cycle attempts to define its movement. This offers people within and outwith the Intelligence Community the ability to understand the essential tenets, or goals, within
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Although the paper will focus on the US intelligence community, comparisons made to the Australian system will show how [if changed] the Intelligence Cycle can be beneficial to the entire system.
The Intelligence Cycle

First, it is important to briefly discuss the individual elements of the Intelligence Cycle. However, as it will become clear, this often conflates the issue: viewing the elements as an entire process rather than it’s individual parts is the benefit of the cycle, which will be picked up in the next section.
The Intelligence Cycle typically begins with the direction and planning stage. The assumed relevance of this as the start of the cycle is the relationship of the intelligence product as a service to policy makers: it is the policy makers who determine how resources are allocated for intelligence activities in line with their international, and domestic, objectives and adversaries . In theory, policy makers prioritise threats (perceived or real) and allocate corresponding resources and particular intelligence methods and agencies to investigate. As such, an understanding of a country’s intelligence priorities must take into account the nature of it’s foreign policy and perceived threats . This is where the difficulty lies; not only due to political priorities, but also due to priority creep but more fundamentally by the necessity to broaden and diversify intelligence targets in response to non-traditional security threats
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