learning with professionals - Higgins Counterterrorism Research ...


learning with professionals - Higgins Counterterrorism Research ...

intelligence products may be described both in terms of their subject content and their

intended use. 33

Table 1. Types of Intelligence Product Categories

Source: adapted from Garst, “Components of Intelligence”

By Subject By Use

Biographic Research

Economic Current

Geographic Estimative

Military Operational

Political Scientific and Technical


Scientific and Technical

Transportation and Communications


Any or all of these categories may be relevant to the private sector, depending upon the

particular firm’s product line and objectives in a given industry, market environment, and

geographic area.

A nation’s power or a firm’s success results from a combination of factors, so intelligence

producers and customers should examine potential adversaries and competitive

situations from as many relevant viewpoints as possible. A competitor’s economic

resources, political alignments, the number, education and health of its people, and

apparent objectives are all important in determining the ability of a country or a business

to exert influence on others. The eight subject categories of intelligence are

exhaustive, but they are not mutually exclusive. Although dividing intelligence into

subject areas is useful for analyzing information and administering production, it

should not become a rigid formula. Some intelligence services structure production into

geographic subject areas when their responsibilities warrant a broader perspective than

topical divisions would allow. 34

Similarly, characterization of intelligence by intended use applies to both government

and enterprise, and the categories again are exhaustive, but not mutually exclusive. The production

of basic research intelligence yields structured summaries of topics such as geographic,

demographic, and political studies, presented in handbooks, charts, maps, and the

like. Current intelligence addresses day-to-day events to apprise decisionmakers of new

developments and assess their significance. Estimative intelligence deals with what might

33 Ronald D. Garst, “Components of Intelligence,” in A Handbook of Intelligence Analysis, ed. Ronald D.

Garst, 2d ed. (Washington, DC: Defense Intelligence College, January 1989), 1; Central Intelligence Agency, A

Consumer’s Guide to Intelligence (Washington, DC: Public Affairs Staff, July 1995), 5-7.

34 Garst, Components of Intelligence, 2,3.


More magazines by this user
Similar magazines