Intel - Cycle

"In God we trust.
All others we monitor."


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Planning and Direction  
  • When we are tasked with a specific job, we begin planning what we’ll do and how.
  • We move in a specific direction to get the job done, listing what we know about the issue and what we need to find out.
  • We discuss ways to gather the necessary intelligence.

  • We collect information overtly (openly) and covertly (secretly).
  • Reading foreign newspapers and magazine articles, listening to foreign radio, and watching overseas television broadcasts are examples of “overt” (or open) sources for us.
  • Other information sources can be “covert” (or secret), such as information collected with listening devices and hidden cameras.
  • We can even use space-age technology like satellite photography.
  • For instance, some analysts could actually view how many airplanes are present at a foreign military base by looking at a picture taken from a satellite in space.

  • We take all the information that we have collected and put it into an intelligence report.
  • This information could be anything from a translated document to a description of a satellite photo.

Analysis and Production  
  • During this step, we take a closer look at all the information and determine how it fits together, while concentrating on answering the original tasking.
  • We assess what is happening, why it is happening, what might occur next, and how it affects US interests.

Dissemination and Integration  
  • In this final step, we give our final written analysis to a policymaker, the same policymaker who started the cycle.
  • After reading the final analysis and learning the answer to the original question, the policymaker may come back with more questions.
  • Then the whole process starts over again.