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Types of Intelligence Requirements

Having thus developed an understanding of customer needs, the intelligence service

may proactively and continuously generate intelligence collection and production requirements

to maintain customer-focused operations. Examples of such internally generated

specifications include analyst-driven, events-driven, and scheduled requirements. The

table below briefly describes them. 44

Table 4. Types of Producer-Generated Intelligence Collection

and Production Requirements

Source: Hulnick

Analyst-driven Based on knowledge of customer and issues

Events-driven In response to time-sensitive relevant events

Scheduled Periodic activities to document and update target status

Further distinctions among intelligence requirements include timeliness and scope, or

level, of intended use. Timeliness of requirements is established to meet standing (longterm)

and ad hoc (short-term) needs. When the customer and intelligence service agree to

define certain topics as long-term intelligence issues, they generate a standing requirement

to ensure that a regular production effort can, and will, be maintained against that

target. The customer will initiate an ad hoc requirement upon realizing a sudden shortterm

need for a specific type of intelligence, and will specify the target of interest, the

coverage timeframe, and the type of output desired.

The scope or level of intended use of the intelligence may be characterized as strategic

or tactical. Strategic intelligence is geared to a policymaker dealing with big-picture

issues affecting the mission and future of an organization: the U.S. President, corporate

executives, high-level diplomats, or military commanders of major commands or fleets.

Tactical intelligence serves players and decisionmakers “on the ground” engaged in current

operations: trade negotiators, marketing and sales representatives, deployed military

units, or product developers.

Table 5. Types of Customer-Defined Intelligence Requirements

Source: Author

Timeliness Short-term (ad hoc) Long-term (standing)

Scope Broad (strategic) Narrow (tactical)

44 Adapted from Arthur S. Hulnick, “Managing Intelligence Analysis: Strategies for Playing the End Game,”

International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 2, No. 3 (Fall 1988): 327.


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