WHAT IS INTELLIGENCE?

M - Z

Macartney, John.

1. "Intelligence: A Consumer's Guide." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 2, no. 4 (Winter 1988): 457-486.

Macartney emphasizes military intelligence and Defense Department consumers.

2. Intelligence: What It Is and How To Use It. McLean, VA: AFIO, 1991.

Surveillant 1.5: "More has been carefully poured into these 42 pages than would seem possible."

Mitelman, Lawrence T. "Preface to a Theory of Intelligence." Studies in Intelligence 18, no. 3 (Fall 1974): 19-22.

"One justification .. for theorizing about intelligence is to encourage clarity of thought about assumptions and explicitness about purposes.... [S]ince the publication of Sherman Kent's Strategic Intelligence for American World Policy there has been almost nothing of comparable intellectual merit or persuasiveness written about intelligence."

O'Toole, George J.A. "Kahn's Law: A Universal Principle of Intelligence?" International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 4, no. 1 (Spring 1990): 39-46.

"Emphasizing the offensive tends toward a neglect of intelligence. The implicit First Corollary is...: Emphasizing the defensive tends toward an emphasis of intelligence.... Second Corollary: Emphasizing the offensive tends toward an emphasis of counterintelligence.... Third Corollary ... seems to be: In situations of stalemate, both sides tend to emphasize intelligence equally.... Fourth Corollary: An offensive operation that acquires defensive aspects tends to increase the emphasis on intelligence."

Random, R. A. "Intelligence as a Science." Studies in Intelligence 2, no. 2 (Spring 1958): 75-79.

The author seeks to apply formal logic to defining what intelligence is.

Sawyer, Ralph D. The Tao of Spycraft: Intelligence Theory and Practice in Traditional China. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1998.

Cohen, FA 77.6 (Nov.-Dec. 1998), notes that this work consists of "substantial translations of and commentaries on classic Chinese texts ... on early Chinese history, espionage, covert action, theories of intelligence assessment, military intelligence, and divination." For Paschall, MHQ Review, Spring 1999, this work "is written in a professional and straightforward manner.... [I]t reveals early Chinese thinking about a vital craft that can save lives and extend a nation's reach and purpose."

Finding that "[t]his work is not without flaws," Arpin, NWCR 60.1 (Winter 2007), comments that it "assumes that the reader has a basic understanding of traditional Chinese history and culture; some sections may be hard going for the casual reader. Parts of the book are rather dry," reflecting "the extensive translations more than the author's style. But for serious students of China, intelligence tradecraft, or information operations, this book provides essential understanding of contemporary Chinese statecraft."

Shulsky, Abram N. Silent Warfare: Understanding the World of Intelligence. New York: Brassey's, 1991. 2d ed. Revised by Gary Schmitt. New York: Brassey's, 1993. 3d ed. New York: Brassey's, 2001.

Clark comment: Although somewhat dated in the 2010s, this remains the best single book on the general subject of intelligence. I recommend it as the first step for anyone who wants to begin a serious exploration of the subject.

Macartney, Intelligencer 3.2, says it is the "best textbook available for ... college courses on intelligence," since it "deals with intelligence in the generic, not just the CIA." Nevertheless, while it is "ideal as the basic text, ... it needs supplements." Intelligence history, military and tactical intelligence, and the intelligence-policy interface are missing. Updating his view, Macartney, Intelligencer 10.1 (1999), again calls Shulsky "the best text we have," despite its age. Macartney also comments on the problem occasioned by Shulsky's mingling of what "is" and what "ought" to be.

According to Peake, IJI&C 5.3, the book "will serve well those who do not accept it as gospel, but rather use it as stimulus for thought and discussion." The AIJ 14.2 reviewer sees Silent Warfare as a "serious book on intelligence by an insider" that "explains what national level intelligence is and how it operates." For the reviewer in Economist, 9 Nov. 1991, Silent Warfare is "a short, readable book which makes many purported secrets plain." Scott, I&NS 7.4, is strongly positive about Shulsky's work generally, but does note that there is "a somewhat [American] ethnocentric bias" to much of the evidence presented.

With regard to the first edition, Surveillant 1.6 finds that the book is both a "guide to ... the craft of intelligence" and "a framework for sizing up today's intelligence world, as well as the many developments likely to be forthcoming." Commenting on the second edition, Surveillant 3.4/5 notices that a "surprising amount of revising has been done to this essential and fairly new work, already a standard text in the field."

Cohen, FA 73.3 (1994), calls the second edition "[s]imply the best primer on intelligence now and for some time to come." Cohen also notes that the authors take "a dim view of what they consider to be the standard American conception of intelligence, namely, a social science. Rather,... they believe that intelligence is a struggle to hide, uncover or manipulate secret information." For Kruh, Cryptologia 18.1, the second edition "is an improvement to an already excellent work that serves equally well as a textbook or an authoritative guide for general readers."

Shulsky, Abram N., and Jennifer Sims. What Is Intelligence? Washington, DC: Consortium for the Study of Intelligence, 1992.

Shulsky (Deputy for Asia and Defense Strategy, Office of the Secretary of Defense) and Sims (SSCI Staff Member) present separate papers, with divergent definitions: Sims argues for a broad interpretation ("information collected, organized, or analyzed on behalf of actors or decision makers"); Shulsky, after his obligatory slam at Sherman Kent's reflection of the "optimism of the social sciences of the 1940s and 1950s," would take a more narrow approach, stressing that it is "secrecy ... which provides an essential key for understanding what intelligence is."

Taplin, Winn L. "Six General Principles of Intelligence." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 3, no. 4 (Winter 1989): 475-491.

The author presents his "principles" as a starting point for a "broad, and to some extent theoretical, look at the practice of intelligence": (1) intelligence derives from international conflict or rivalry; (2) conduct or use of intelligence involves secrecy; (3) clandestine collection of information is the fundamental activity of intelligence; (4) truth must be the basis for good intelligence; (5) intelligence in a vacuum is of no value; tardy intelligence is of little value; (6) special activities (covert action) must involve native knowledge of the national groups toward which they are directed.

Treverton, Gregory F., Seth G. Jones, Steven Boraz, and Philip Lipscy. Toward a Theory of Intelligence: Workshop Report. Santa Monica, CA: Rand, 2006.

Report from one-day workshop held in Washington, DC, in June 2005. There are numerous interesting summaries of presentations here.

Troy, Thomas F. "The 'Correct' Definition of Intelligence." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 5, no. 4 (Winter 1991-1992): 433-454.

Troy quotes Constantine FitzGibbon that intelligence is "knowledge of the enemy." Omitted from the definition is any mention of espionage, since espionage is really a means to the end. "Intelligence, as a kind of knowledge, stands independently of the means by which it is obtained and the process by which it is distilled."

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Public Affairs Staff. A Consumer's Guide to Intelligence. Washington, DC: 1993. Updated, 2d ed. 1996.

Surveillant 4.2 calls the updated edition "a first-rate introduction to the 13 executive branch agencies and organizations comprising the Intelligence Community."

Von Hoene, John P.A. Intelligence User's Guide. Washington, DC: DIA, 1983.

Warner, Michael. "Wanted: A Definition of 'Intelligence.'" Studies in Intelligence 46, no. 3 (2002): 15-22.

After a useful discussion, Warner offers the following: "Intelligence is secret, state activity to understand or influence foreign entities."

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