University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
The value of strategic intelligence and its components.
The value of strategic intelligence and its components.
Strategic intelligence involves the collection process and dissemination of intelligence that is crucial in policy making and military plants both at national and international levels. Intelligence may be viewed in perspective of what an organization or an entity want to know about its operation environment so that it can gain insight into its current processes, anticipate and manage future changes. This is achieved through designing appropriate strategies that are in line with its visions and missions. Strategic intelligence encompass aggregation of different types of intelligentsia that create synergy in an organization’s intelligence and knowledge management to facilitate acquisition of valuable information that play a crucial role in organizational decision making process. In addition, strategic intelligence is important in organizations desire to deal with potential future challenges and opportunities to achieve success.
The value of strategic intelligence
The value and the role played by strategic intelligence in realization of a firm’s success are indispensable. In fact, strategic intelligence is viewed to have the relevant information for the correct people to make the proper decision for the future success of the organization. There the value of strategic intelligence may be seen in the ability of the organization management maintain reputation even in the face of challenges that requires critical decisions. In this possible where the leaders are capable of identifying potential threats and changes that have occurred and guided by intelligence information at hand make suggestions to unravel the underlined mystery. Strategic intelligence is less on past and present issues compared to the future issues as it tries to predict and anticipate future and model it so that it is in line with organization operations. By collecting and analyzing the past data an organization is capable of understanding its key points of weakness and opportunities available to maximize on the opportunities.
Concerning national issues strategic intelligence offers a mean for making decisions on matters of public interest. For instance, strategic intelligence is important in national security, a matter that is of public importance. For maintenance of politico-economic relations and defensive military operation, the whole scenario lies on the countries analysts’ competence and experience to handle issues applying strategic intelligence. The information collected, processed and analyzed in line with intelligence is important in policy formulation. Most importantly, strategic intelligence is greatly concerned with visioning and systematic thinking to generate and strengthen a countries relevant decision making approach. To collect the information intelligence apply two methods; open review of existing publications such as political and military journals trade newspapers and internet sources. The other methods involve highly sophisticated techniques for penetrating people’s secrecy and privacy. The intelligence information usually comes from different concealed sources such as spies, diplomatic report and communication signal from satellites as well as from defense attaché
Upon reception of the information the security planners and analyst process analyze and disseminate the information indicating the potential threats and weaknesses that require immediate action to keep the nation well protected against both internal and external attacks. The work of intelligence on security matters is often surrounded by myths as many people usually think that intelligence is concerned with both real and imagined enemies. With this in hand it s very clear that intelligence is very critical in the international arena. For instance, with the fall Soviet Union and completion of Second World War the need for intelligence services was among the top priorities in many countries that had no well established intelligence agencies. The external units from countries that had not experienced immense impact from the war could only provide this. The priority of the intelligence was to investigate and identify threats and in conjunction with other relevant government agencies to mainstream security priorities.
The analysis of intelligence information
This is one of the most important roles played by the national intelligence unit in its attempts to discover potential threats for a country. This involves subjecting the information collected under scrutiny so that valid information may be obtained for proper decision-making. Analysis goes beyond what has already occurred to derive what a certain occurrence means after which what is yet to happen is maneuvered to follow a designed direction. Analysis of an event, which is material in security matters, strives to make sense out of usually ambiguous, incomplete and inconsistent data obtained from surveys. This is done in a fast breaking world of foreign intelligence. The unique essence of analysis of intelligence information is to uncover and understand what is happening in the outside world, their likely impacts on national safety and putting in place the best management practices to counteract the threats. This is aided the ability to illuminate issues and detect outcomes from the present trends. Intelligence analysis provides decision makers with guideline on which to base their arguments concerning the decisions made.
Strategic intelligence and decision making.
Strategic intelligence typically is the intelligence that is concerned with formulation of policy, strategies and military plans both at national and international levels. Strategic intelligence typically creates and implements the driving plans for a nation in relation to security matters. It further suggests approaches to accommodate and execute various proposals from strategists in order to anticipate and understand the future. When foreign areas are involved in security matter, strategic intelligence comes in to offer the in-depth expertise required due to the complexities involved. This in-depth expertise is based on the present challenges and opportunities that may be assessed by taking into consideration the obstacles enemies encounter in their operation. The main straggle for strategic intelligence analysts is thinking and modifying what is likely to happen in the future.To facilitate this they develop models that joint the past present and future using concepts and assumptions.
It is often argued that strategic intelligence is paramount in any decision making process whether for individuals, organization and even the government. Before the application of intelligence in decision making the environment in which the military troop operates should be determined and a careful study done to establish any drawbacks present. To do this high degree of knowledge is necessary. Information of security matters is key to this approach and in most cases the information is never sufficient to ensure that decision making comes out as a logical and rational activity. In the event of such shortcomings, strategic intelligence provides a mechanism to maneuver usually incomplete data to arrive at information that is sensible and may give a direction on decision-making. Of most importance is to check various activities, events and trends in perspective of military to achieve its goals. In broad perspective, strategic intelligence identifies potential threats and risks to public order and safety and provides a platform for policy formulation and implementation of programs aimed at combating crime at early stages. Furthermore, strategic intelligence is a source of knowledge which for a long time has been referred as a source of power. For nation to act rationally on matters related to security intelligence is therefore very critical
The role of intelligence community
The intelligence community exists to offer support to the policymakers on security matters that concern both national and international communities. Its major role is to provide decision makers with information on security issues. The members of intelligence community on the other angle work to provide policymakers with expertise for analysis of data so that valid information can be obtained in a bid to make informed decisions. Of great importance is how intelligence turns data collected into intelligence by connecting it to security issues that are of great concern. In fact, the value of strategic intelligence lies on the ability of intelligence to convert the data to make it relevant to security. Intelligence works by establishing means of tracking the enemies’ networks and disrupts their plans. In addition, it strives to discover the enemies’ weaknesses and communicate them to policymakers, law enforcement authorities and military commanders. To remain on focus intelligence experts collects, analyzes and synthesizes the most current data to obtain information. Finally this information is presented to policy formulators and decision makers to use them as a basis for evaluating the current policies and enact possible alternatives.
There a exist a famous misconception on the ability of intelligence community to anticipate the future, which indeed it does not. Instead it predicts the potential outcome based on the information obtained from data analysis. In its attempts to achieve this, the analysts identify and closely monitor developing trends in a view to narrow down to influences arising from such trends. This places decision makers at as better position to make informed in light of security matters. In orders to make intelligence community an asset for decision making process, the intelligence need to offer specialized know how that for a long time has been lacking in especially when the matter involves synergistic and overlapping outcomes. This may be carried by examining the opponents operations and adding value to the information obtained from external intelligence personnel in order to make difference not only on the credibility but also on the context. They may event go further to include non- contextual issues like differences political behavior so that the information may sound clear, more significant and relevant. In some sensitive issues intelligence may even go beyond political behavior to non-traditional matters such as weapon proliferation and the factor behind the occurrence. In such environment, intelligence may differentiate itself from other security maintenance organs by displaying their capability advantage in discovering the mystery behind such incidents.
The role of policymakers in intelligence process
In many states especially United States of America intelligence was created to offer support to critical people and organs concerned with security matters. These may include the president, military commanders, national Security Council and other senior government officials. These are the critical agents who represent the states in implementing the intelligence information.The armed forces and law enforcement organs are also part of policy implementers. The process of decision-making starts with the policymakers making a request to intelligence community. In the decision making process, policy makers are key guides to the intelligence on the specific collection of information that is crucial. In fact, policy makers are throughout involved in intelligence process to give guidelines on the preeminent collection strategies and intelligence production means. Without this intelligence may be termed as useless to the policy makers. Giving the intelligence experts room to creates what is to be included in the decision making threatens validity of the intelligence information since experts are tempted to offers easily obtainable information which in many instances may not be valid for the matter in question.
Since the work of intelligence in deriving information is greatly influenced by the policymakers needs, their excess involvement in the intelligence process may interfere with the quality of information gathered. As matter of fact among the most striking drawback of intelligence is lack of proper guidance from the policy makers. This deficiency originates from reluctance on part of decision makers to prioritize on matters that are likely to have impact on state of security in future. For instance, if policy makers fail to request data and information from intelligence on important issues in present times, such issues may be absorbed by time and appear of less importance despite their potential to their sensitivity in security matters. If issues are not attendant, with time it is absorbed and becomes of less important. To overcome such incident proper and continuous communication between policy makers and intelligence officials is paramount. Continuous especially during analysis and dissemination of intelligence information is essential at ensuring that policy makers’ needs are adequately met in intelligence process.
The components of strategic intelligence
Strategic intelligence consists of three major components that influence information obtained and consequently decision made. They include political, economic and social component. The failure and success of intelligence is based on how the experts are able to combine and integrates the different component of intelligence so as to produce synergistic effect on the outcome. Despite the fact that each component has its distinct purpose, there exists a relation that to some extent tries to bring the components together for better results. More often the components overlaps and there need to treat them one integral part for the intelligence study. All the components borrow from one another and their success of one component depend upon the success of the other components. It is upon this background that we focus on the relationship between the three basic components of strategic intelligence.
The political component presents an immense use in the collection, analysis and dissemination of intelligence information. The nature of political component exist in a state determine the direction of intelligence operation. It offers a platform that outlines the relationship between the policy makers and intelligence experts. Ideally, the intelligence information should reflect policy maker’s priorities and needs to help the intelligence community develop applicable strategies that are in line with the achievement on both national and international security. Additionally the intelligence community does not exactly know what the policy makers needs until the need it, I would be prudent to anticipate such needs and seek relevant information to facilitate policy formulation and decision making. This may be achieved through holding dialogue with senior policy makers on both present trends in security arena and possible future outcomes. Of great importance is the influence the political arm has on the intelligence community and how this influence may alter the operations and direction followed by intelligence.
On other hand, political arm is crucial on presenting and making decision on issues that are of public concern such as security issues. In fact, politics is a driving force for the intelligence community as it outlines and defines the intelligence information needed and therefore triggers intelligence research to unravel the mysteries underlined in the security planning and management. Furthermore, political bureaucratic concerns are key in guiding intelligence to achieve and meet the needs of policy makers. What experts’ term as unique is the ability of political will to link and create harmony between social and economic environment in facilitation of intelligence study.
The social component cannot be under looked in security matters since the public is the primary beneficiaries of intelligence information. In all security forums emphasizes is directed to the public needs and all security organs work to ensure innocent civilians are safe from potential threats either internal or external. In addition, society offers critical information on areas of priority that need to be addressed with emergency. Looking for example a security issues like ploferation of weapons and its impact to people security and welfare, communities may be sought for inquiry on the urgency of the matters and the possible loopholes where scrutiny is required. On its parts, economic intelligence attempts to highlight issues that relate to security and countries development levels. The different perspective military defense and budget allocation for facilitating and implementing security policies and operations. It also seeks to establish the repercussions of organized crimes and terrorism on economic stability.
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