chapter  4
16 Pages

Improving the art of intelligence analysis

The debate over the art versus science of intelligence analysis has been in the literature for decades. According to Robert Folker, this distinction between art and science hinges on “the question of whether intelligence analysis should be accepted as an art (depending largely on subjective, intuitive judgment) or a science (depending largely on structured, systematic analytic methods).”1 According to Folker, proponents of intelligence analysis as a science

assert that science is a necessary tool to use when conducting qualitative analysis. They argue that, although it is impossible to consider every variable when conducting analysis, one can identify key variables and weigh their importance. And although much may be unknown, identifying what is known and analyzing it scientifically is an effective approach . . . (because) scientific methods help analysts determine the relevancy of information and form conclusions, a process that analysts do not perform well on their own.2