Tradecraft Primer from the CIA

Wednesday September 16, 2015

•  books •  free stuff •  intelligence analysis •  methodology • 

The CIA has on their website a PDF booklet called A Tradecraft Primer: Structured Analytic Techniques for Improving Intelligence Analysis. The booklet reviews methods of intelligence analysis including:

  • Alternative Futures,
  • Outside-In Thinking, and
  • “What if?” Analysis

It’s not (as it says in the introduction), a guide to intelligence analysis, but it is a good outline for how and when to use the techniques on business and academic problems. On a related note, we used Psychology of Intelligence Analysis by Heuer extensively in my undergraduate international studies courses at College Park. Both are fantastic books and well worth reading for insight on understanding applications of intelligence methods on real-world problems.

Image by U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff via Wikimedia.