Intelligence Cycle

After raw unrefined data or information is gathered, it must be converted into intelligence and made available in a form useful to end users such as political and military leaders and policymakers. This process consists of several steps: requirements, planning/direction, collection, processing, production/analysis, and dissemination. This procedure is called the intelligence cycle. This entry discusses the steps of the intelligence cycle, what happens when intelligence fails, and advanced intelligence analysis.

First, requirements are specified information needs that must be known to ensure national security. In the case of the Central Intelligence Agency, the director of national intelligence receives guidance from the president, the national security advisor, and the homeland security advisor. The attorney general and the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation also have input ...

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