learning with professionals - Higgins Counterterrorism Research ...


learning with professionals - Higgins Counterterrorism Research ...

■ Timeliness: Intelligence must be delivered while the content is still actionable under

the customer’s circumstances. 580


Although information can possess attributes contributing to its value, ultimate determination

is situation dependent. The same information can have different values at different

times and in different situations. Factors impacting the situation and determining intelligence

value include the following:

■ Degree to which U.S. citizens or allies/friends are physically threatened

■ Degree to which interests of the U.S. or allies/friends are threatened

■ Impact on foreign policy decisions or relations with foreign countries

■ Impact on military operations or plans

■ The identity of the requester, for example the president, policymaker, or warfighter

In addition, the nature of the information needed for any of these situations and related

specifications such as timeliness or accuracy/resolution contribute to the determination of

its value. The information desired may range from critical to simply “nice to know.” Composite

aspects of relevance, given an acceptable level of reliability, capture the concept of

value since these encompass both the importance of the information to the decisionmaker

as well as its timeliness. In short, the value of information relates to the degree to which

uncertainty for a decisionmaker in a given situation is reduced

Besides the situation, numerous factors impact the determination of value. These


■ Importance vs. Urgency. Importance relates to intrinsic worth; urgency means

action is needed quickly. “Must-have” information with a longer suspense

may be more important than gathering “nice-to-have” information with a short


■ Required vs. Desired. Some requirements may indicate both required and desired

specifications, such as due dates or levels of accuracy of technical parameters.

Desired specifications are typically more stringent.

■ Decomposed/Consolidated Requirements. This issue deals with how to modify the

values of the new requirement(s), if at all, based on the values of the original


580 William Brei, Getting Intelligence Right: The Power of Logical Procedure. Occasional Paper Number

Two (Washington, DC: Joint Military Intelligence College, 1996), 6. Joint Pub 2-0, IV-15, lists and describes

“Attributes of Intelligence Quality,” which include the five Brei attributes plus “completeness.” Both lists

include an additional attribute “readiness.” However, this attribute describes the overall intelligence system and

not the information.


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