This final assignment is essentially a combination of the first two. There is no reason why you cannot utilise some of the research chosen in these previous assignments – however, it would be good to see you attempt to tackle something different (maybe even outside of your own personal/professional expertise and experience).

I am especially looking for the links you have made between the course material, your understanding of the structured analytic techniques and how you would apply this technique to the selected operation.

Critical in your research work here will be your ability to demonstrate the value that structured analytic techniques will bring to current and future intelligence problems, and how application of these techniques will reduce the likelihood of some of the intelligence failures that we might have seen in the past.

  • As you carry out this critical thinking work, also think about some of the following:
  • Why is understanding intelligence important?
  • Why is getting intelligence ‘right’ so important?
  • How do perceptions of intelligence activity shape our understanding of this discipline?
  • How might we assess the value of intelligence to society?
  • How has intelligence, or our understanding of intelligence analysis, evolved in the contemporary international security environment?

The above is the assessment criteria for this essay. The structured analytical techniques listed in this course include:

  • Diagnostic Techniques
    • Key Assumptions Check 
    • Quality of Information Check
    • Indicators or Signposts of Change 
    • Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH) 
  • Contrarian Techniques
    • Devil’s Advocacy 
    • Team A/Team B Analysis
    • High-Impact/Low-Probability Analysis
    • “What If?” Analysis
  • Imaginative Thinking Techniques
    • Brainstorming
    • Outside-In Thinking
    • Red Team Analysis
    • Alternative Futures Analysis

Please note I have just started Assignment 1. This assignment is explaining two analytical techniques. I am writing about the Key Assumptions Check, but have not got up to the second half of the essay.

Assignment two is a brief on describing and critically assessing an intelligence operation. I am yet to decide on what this will be about. Apologies in advance for making this difficult.

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