learning with professionals - Higgins Counterterrorism Research ...


learning with professionals - Higgins Counterterrorism Research ...

■ Synergistic Value. Synergy means that the overall value of knowing the answers of

multiple requirements is greater than the additive value of having answers to individual


■ Multiple Uses/Customers. This issue is similar to synergy and deals with the issue

of whether the satisfaction of a requirement should have a greater value, and if so

by how much, if it has multiple uses or satisfies needs of more than one customer.

■ Standing vs. Ad Hoc Requirements. The key distinctions between standing and ad

hoc requirements are timeliness and the situations, if any, for which the requirements

are generated.

■ Stated vs. Implied Requirements. Assigning value for stated and implied requirements

is the same. However, the risk is that effort will be wasted if the analyst’s

inference of information need is different from what the customers actually need. 581

■ Internal vs. External Requirements. At issue is how one should relate the value

judgments of one organization with those of another.

■ Inflation. The issue of inflation is closely related to the internal-vs.-external requirements

issue. In order to increase the likelihood of validation and probability of collection,

some originators may be tempted to inflate the priority of their

requirements. However, prevention of inflated priorities is critical to making a prioritization

scheme work.


Measuring the value of information is difficult for several reasons. 582

First, the situation, which determines the value of information, is constantly and rapidly

changing. In addition, the truth about the current situation is not always nor readily

known. Furthermore, perspective will cause observers to discern situations differently.

Second, decisionmakers’ perceptions of the situation and their need for information

can fluctuate over time. Their emotional state may also play a role. Stress levels affect

reactions, thinking and judgment. Furthermore, each individual sets his own subjective

581 Amos Kovacs, “The Nonuse of Intelligence,” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence

10, no. 4 (Winter 1997-98): 389. The author notes that situations often change so fast that “it is not

uncommon to find valuable collection assets spent and jeopardized to collect intelligence which is no longer


582 Edison Cesar and others, A New Approach for Measuring the Operational Value of Intelligence for Military

Operations: Final Report (Santa Monica, CA: The Rand Corp., 1994), xvii. Even the Rand Corporation, the

well-known military think tank, recognizes the difficulty in determining the value of intelligence. The authors

opted not to totally explore the concept of specific information value. They state: “In this report, the value of

intelligence does not pertain to the intrinsic value of intelligence to a particular operation, which must always be

scenario-dependent, but rather, to the kind of intelligence that is provided by various collection capabilities and

its potential effect on decisionmaking.” The kinds of information referred to include products resulting from:

detecting, locating generally, locating precisely, classifying, identifying, tracking, acquiring (for targeting purposes),

and assessing operational status.


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