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Agency PageBayes' Theorem for Intelligence Analysis
Bayes' Theorem for Intelligence Analysis, Jack Zlotnick. The intelligence interest in probability theory stems from the probabilistic character of customary intelligence judgment. Intelligence analysis must usually be undertaken on the basis of incomplete evidence. Intelligence conclusions are therefore characteristically hedged by such words and phrases as "very likely," "possibly," "may," "better than even chance," and other qualifiers...
Agency PageThe Sino-Soviet Border Dispute: A Comparison of the Conventional and Bayesian Methods for Intelligence Warning
The Sino-Soviet Border Dispute: A Comparison of the Conventional and Bayesian Methods for Intelligence Warning, Charles E. Fisk. Problems of "indications analysis" or "intelligence warning" are essentially questions of how to assign probabilities to hypotheses of interest. For example, a problem of indications analysis occurred in August 1969 when two hypotheses arose; namely, the conjecture (H1) that within the next month the USSR would attempt to destroy China's nascent nuclear capabilities, and the alternative hypothesis (H2) that such an attack would not occur...
Agency PageThe Origins of National Intelligence Estimating
The Origins of National Intelligence Estimating, Ludwell Lee Montague. Most of what I have to say on this subject is a matter of personal recollection. I was "present at the creation," though without power to control the event. My story begins in October 1940, when I was ordered to active duty in the Military Intelligence Division of the War Department General Staff. At that time, now thirty years ago, there was no common conception of any kind of an intelligence estimate, much less of a national intelligence estimate.
Agency PageIntelligence Implications of Disease
Intelligence Implications of Disease, Warren F. Carey and Myles Maxfield. Outbreaks of meningitis in China are not unusual, but the winter of 1966-1967 was something else again It began innocently enough with a few reports of school closings in Canton. News of this routine precaution turned out to be the signal for one of the worst series of epidemics to hit China in many years, and the beginning of Project IMPACT. The concept of this project — forecasting disease problems and epidemics, and the assessment of their effects on military and civilian activities — had hardly scratched the surface of implementation in the CIA's Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI); but the opportunity was present in December 1966. China was in turmoil as millions of its people were participating in the Great Cultural Revolution. The demonstrations, riots, large dislocations of the population and general chaos attendant on this revolution were, epidemiologically speaking, some of the best ingredients for a successful epidemic. On the other hand, this mass upheaval had no precedent, there was no up-to-date quantifiable disease information of any sort on China and the status of China's public health conditions and medical capabilities were uncertain to say the least...
Agency PageStrategic Warning: The Problem of Timing
Strategic Warning: The Problem of Timing, Cynthia M. Grabo. A widely held concept about warning is that, as the hour of the enemy attack draws near, there will be more and better evidence that enemy action is both probable and imminent. From this, the idea follows naturally that intelligence will be better able to provide warning in the short term and will, in the few hours or at most days prior to the attack, issue its most definitive and positive warning judgments. Moreover — since there is presumed to be accumulating evidence that the enemy is engaged in his last-minute preparations for the attack — this concept holds that intelligence will likely be able to estimate the approximate if not the exact time of the attack. Therefore, if we can judge at all that the attack is probable, we can also tell when it is coming...
Agency PageMore on 'Lucy'
More on 'Lucy', Andrew K. Megaris. The article "The Rote Drei: Getting Behind the Lucy Myth"* is an admirable contribution to the literature of an important case. However, it is unlikely that its readers will feel that they have been taken very far behind the myth; instead, the article's effect is to perpetuate it. Even the author seems to entertain doubts, since a sentence on his penultimate page would tend to dismiss much of his previous argument. (I will return to this sentence later.)...