Facts, Findings, Forecasts, and Fortune-telling

By Jack Davis


In the post—Cold War era of declining resources for intelligence and increasing criticism of analytic performance, definition of the professional mission of CIA’s Directorate of intelligence (DI) has become an important task for leaders and well-wishers alike. An agreed and realistic definition would boost morale and productivity by helping to determine how to select, train, deploy, and reward analysts and their managers.

Clarification of mission would also provide guidance on what to do more of and less of; in effect, on how analysts and their managers should invest the Nth hour of a busy day. Mission definition, to cite a former Deputy Director for Intelligence (DDI), is by its nature a “difficult
and somewhat metaphysical” task. I write in part to encourage readers of Studies in Intelligence to join in the quest for a satisfactory characterization of the role of intelligence analysis.