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Decision Trees

         
     There is, then, a slight quantified edge (2.8 vs. 2.4) to holding the party outdoors. You, as decision maker, have been told something subjective by me as an analyst. By means of a simple graphic device, you not only know where I have been subjective, but what impact that subjectivity has had on the recommended outcome. In short, you have no misunderstanding about my reasoning and weighting processes.
         
     Now let's consider a relatively complex intelligence situation in terms of some practical applications of the technique, both to understand the situation, and to outline the alternatives in priority order in a situation involving stress and a great deal of danger.
         
     In the year 1290 B.C., a Jewish military leader, Moses, made two decisions which had far-reaching consequences, both in fact, and predictably before they were made. I use a historical precedent because there is a danger of bogging down in detail in current examples, and because the decisions of Moses afford multiple applications both to the practice of intelligence and the technique of the decision tree.
         
     In about 1370 B.C., a three-month old boy, Moses, was adopted by the daughter of the Pharaoh, Seti 1. He was given the best Egyptian education-presumably including diplomatic and military training. He spent his first 40 years in the house of Pharaoh. But political tensions in Egypt in those days differed little from those of the 20th century, and Moses spent his next 40 years in exile in the grazing lands of Midian (near the Gulf of Aqaba) because of his involvement in a minority racial issue. In his 80th year, he returned, described as faithful, reluctant, slow of speech, and "the meekest man in Israel," to confront the new Pharaoh, and to lead the Israelites to freedom.
         
     The key resource available to Moses was personnel, but the people of Israel had just achieved a freedom not all of them had necessarily sought; they were
         
  =possibly not yet united in faith or motivation;   
   =untried in battle;    
  =untrained;       
  =not used to freedom or its responsibilities;    
   =superstitious;     
  =uneducated;     
  =poorly clothed;     
   =in need of basic necessities;      
  =the aggressors in a military situation in which they would not be assisted by any other nation;
  =but-and possibly the only plus factor-they were used to an independent struggle for survival.  
         
     The Israelites spent two months traveling from the Egyptian treasure city of Rameses to Mount Sinai, where superstition and factionalism interfered with the efforts of Moses to unify them. He confronted the people and asked who would follow him. He had the Levites kill the 3,000 who refused. Within the year after their release from captivity, the Israelites-now instructed in both spiritual and secular law-were in the Wilderness of Paran (see map), just
         
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Posted: May 08, 2007 08:43 AM
Last Updated: May 08, 2007 08:43 AM