Policymaker/ Analyst Relationship
When discussing the questions, cite your supporting evidence using standard APA citation format. Please do not use Wikipedia as supporting evidence.
Provide well thought out responses that demonstrates you have read the assignment and can expand upon the readings with current event topics and analysis.
Must also use and cite the attached references/ reading as they relate to each question.
Each response to each question must be no more than 3 paragraphs.
MUST ANSWER EACH QUESTION WITH THOUGHT PROVOKING RESPONSES THAT ARE BACKED WITH SUPPORTING EVIDENCE (citation) and analysis.
1. How would you boil down Kent’s analytic doctrine in understandable terms for policymakers?
2. How do the requirements of serving a national policymaker relate to your day-to-day activities with respect to delivering product to your superiors? Can you draw correlations? What is your most difficult task with respect to serving your ‘policymaker?’ What can you do to improve?
3. The policymaker you are working with says “I’ll cherry pick anything I desire and there is nothing you or anyone can do about it. I know what I want for results and I best get what I want.” How would you, the Intelligence Analyst respond to these comments with respect to the product you are producing for this policymaker?
Provide discussion responses to the following student post. Provide supporting evidence that you either support the opinions expressed with additional evidence and analysis or offer a contrarian viewpoint supported with evidence (citation) and analysis.
Deborah’s Student Post #1
In synopsizing Kent’s analytic doctrine for an audience of policymakers, perhaps a conversation versus a presentation might prove more effective. Initially and throughout the discussion the fact of the doctrine’s rather generic utility (political, military, private-sector) could be emphasized. Potential decision-makers could be repeatedly assured that each step of the doctrine, beginning specifically with the first, focuses primarily on their needs and concerns. It could be noted that determining priorities and relevance will require ongoing communication between the analyst and policymakers as a means of maintaining visibility to these concerns.
Policymakers could next receive a concise outline regarding the significant role of objectivity in the interpretation and application of Kent’s principles. This outline could clearly attempt to convey an analyst’s commitment to sustained professionalism along with an open-minded and evidence-based approach to all tasks at hand. The doctrine dictates regarding reasoned assessment could be communicated and explained as employed in order to avoid personal analytic bias from compromising intelligence gathering and evaluation efforts.
Unless specifically requested, a summarized overview of Kent’s code could be used in a manner which could minimize delving too deeply into the mechanics of, for example, dealing with competing hypotheses. However, the inevitability of cognitive bias could be addressed along with a brief explanation regarding the importance Kent placed on recognizing these obstacles to totally objective judgments. The doctrine’s suggested remedy of vigilant consciousness relative to such perceptual prejudice could be described along with potential analytic remedies (i.e. ACH, scientific method) available to reassure the policymakers that adherence to the doctrine dictates neutralizing or at least minimizing potential bias by any/all available means.
Given somewhat comprehensive consideration of the analytic doctrine, policymakers could receive information regarding Kent’s imperative for use of multiple judgments as well as judicious use of outside expertise by intelligence analysts in the context of their efforts on behalf of consumers. This portion of the discussion could be annotated and reinforced by earlier steps in the doctrine regarding constraints presented by bias as well as potentially balanced decision-making based on examination and deliberation surrounding multiple possible alternatives. Analysts abiding by Kent’s principles, it could be noted, recognize the fact that insights possessed by others may prove essential in meeting stated objectives. In addition, intelligence analysis could be portrayed as requiring a multi-disciplinary or collective approach to resolution and the policymakers to an appropriate extent should be considered members of such a team.
The intelligence consumers addressed could also be made aware that analysts, both as individuals and as collective units, operate within Kent’s mandate for accurate, timely and appropriately summarized reporting to them, as customers. The decision-makers could receive, in simplified format, a description of intelligence tenets as these directly relate to product presented and reported by their respective analyst(s). And, finally, the fallibility factor could be explored accompanied by Kent’s directives for candidly and constructively dealing with inevitable failures; failures perceived by either the policymakers or the analysts themselves.
In sum, Sherman Kent’s guidelines could be presented to policymakers as representing their best interests overall while simultaneously providing analysts with guidelines to serve in facilitating their service/support function in optimal decision-making. The doctrine then exists in order to benefit both parties and their objectives. With proper interpretation and implementation, it could be concluded, the doctrine’s steps provide a win-win for policymakers and analysts in terms of both professional goals and, equally as important, in defining and maintaining their all important professional relationships.
Davis, J. (2002, September). Improving CIA Analytic Performance: Analysts and the Policymaking Process. Retrieved from Sherman Kent Center for Inteliigence Analysis: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a526573.pdf
Maxwell, K. (2013, December 21). Kent Doctrine for Security Intel Analysis. Retrieved from Kyle Maxwell: http://xwell.org/2013/12/21/kent-doctrine-intel-analysis/#top