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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52676
Doc. No:TL22630
Call number:‭3364914‬
Main Entry:Stephen Patrick Marrin
Title & Author:Intelligence analysis and decisionmaking: Proximity mattersStephen Patrick Marrin
College:University of Virginia
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:334
Abstract:The intersection of intelligence analysis and decisionmaking, or knowledge and action, is more problematic than conventionally understood. Rather than listen to and incorporate intelligence analysis into their decisions, decisionmakers frequently ignore it. This gap between analysis and decision is perhaps the most significant issue in the intelligence domain. What is the value of accurate intelligence analysis if it is not incorporated into policy? Why is there a gap between analysis and decision? And what can be done to bridge this gap, to maximize the positive influence of intelligence analysis on national security decisionmaking? To answer these questions, this dissertation evaluates the significance of relative proximity between intelligence analysts and policymakers, and its effects on decisionmaking. This relationship--the "proximity hypothesis"--states that when intelligence analysis is produced close to policymaking it tends to be more influential but also more likely to be distorted due to incorporation of policymaker biases and preferences, while intelligence analysis that is produced distant from policymaking tends to contain less distortion--or is more 'objective'--but is less likely to be influential on decisionmaker judgment. The basic question that this dissertation seeks to answer is "does proximity matter?" In the following chapters, the role that proximity plays in context of a broader decisionmaking framework is examined in greater detail, with an evaluation of the effects of the proximity in two case studies: pre-9/11 intelligence analysis regarding the terrorist threat; and pre-Iraq War intelligence analysis regarding Iraq's links to terrorism and possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). The results indicate that despite the wide-spread belief that the proximity hypothesis is true, it may in fact provide a relatively weak foundation for understanding the intersection of analysis and decision. The case studies demonstrate that proximity does not necessarily lead to distortion, thus falsifying that part of the proximity hypothesis. As a result, the concept of proximity itself should be re-evaluated for its utility in understanding the relationship between intelligence producers and consumer, and more effective organizational constructs created in order to better integrate intelligence analysis into the decisionmaking process.
Subject:Social sciences; Intelligence; Analysis; Decision-making; National security; Security studies; Political science; 0615:Political science
Added Entry:W. B. Quandt
Added Entry:University of Virginia