Intelligence Officer Simming Guide/The Intelligence Cycle

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Guide To The Intelligence Duty Post
Written by Brayden Jorey

Chapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4

3.0 The Intelligence Cycle
One basic model of the intelligence process is called the "intelligence cycle". This model, like all basic models, does not reflect the fullness of real-world operations. Intelligence is processed information. The activities of the intelligence cycle obtain and assemble information, convert it into intelligence and make it available to its users. The intelligence cycle comprises five phases:

  1. Planning and Direction
  2. Collection
  3. Processing
  4. Analysis and Production
  5. Dissemination

3.1 Planning and Direction

Deciding what is to be monitored and analyzed.

3.2 Collection

Obtaining raw information using a variety of collection disciplines: HUMINT, SIGINT, etc.

3.2.1 Coding Data

Code Source rating Explanation
A Reliable No doubt of authenticity, trustworthiness, or competency; has a history of complete reliability
B Usually Reliable Minor doubt about authenticity, trustworthiness, or competency; has a history of valid information most of the time
C Fairly Reliable Doubt of authenticity, trustworthiness, or competency but has provided valid information in the past
D Not Usually Reliable Significant doubt about authenticity, trustworthiness, or competency but has provided valid information in the past
E Unreliable Lacking in authenticity, trustworthiness, and competency; history of invalid information
F Cannot Be Judged No basis exists
Code Rating Explanation
1 Confirmed Confirmed by other independent sources; logical in itself; consistent with other information on the subject
2 Probably True Not confirmed; logical in itself; consistent with other information on the subject
3 Possibly True Not confirmed; reasonably logical in itself; agrees with some other information on the subject
4 Doubtfully True Not confirmed; possible but not logical; no other information on the subject
5 Improbable Not confirmed; not logical in itself; contradicted by other information on the subject
6 Cannot Be Judged No basis exists

An "A" rating, for example, might mean a thoroughly trusted source, such as your own communications intelligence operation. That source might be completely reliable, but, if it intercepted a message that other intelligence proved was sent for deceptive purposes, the report reliability might be rated 5, for "known false". The report, therefore, would be A-5. It may also be appropriate to reduce the reliability of a human source if the source is reporting on a technical subject, and the expertise of the subject is unknown.

Another source might be a habitual liar, but gives just enough accurate information to be kept in use. Her trust rating would be "E", but if the report was independently confirmed, it would be rated "E-1".

Most intelligence reports are somewhere in the middle; a "B-2" is taken seriously. Sometimes, it is impossible to rate the reliability of source, most commonly from lack of experience with him, so an F-3 could be a reasonably probable report from an unknown source. An extremely trusted source might submit a report that cannot be confirmed or denied, so it would get an "A-6" rating.

SIM TIP: Don’t forget that all information might be useful, including information provided through the sims of other players. However, information is not intelligence until it is collected, coded and analysed.

3.3 Processing

Refining and analyzing the information.

3.3.1 Characteristics of Effective Intelligence

  • Relevance: Do the intelligence products pertain to your mission and support your concept of the operation?
  • Usability: Are the intelligence products in a format you can easily use? Can they pass the "so what?" test? Do they clearly tell you their significance to your concept of the operation?
  • Timeliness: Are you getting the intelligence, targets, electronic warfare (EW) support, and BDA when you ask for them?
  • Accuracy: Are the intelligence products and targets correct? Are targets given with locations sufficiently accurate to attack them?
  • Completeness: Are you getting the whole story or are the portions that are known versus those that are analytical estimates made clear to you?
  • Objectivity: Is the intelligence unbiased, undistorted, and free from political influence or constraint?
  • Predictive: Do the intelligence estimates of enemy capabilities give a set of possible enemy COAs which are prioritized in order of likelihood of occurrence

3.4 Analysis and production

The data that has been processed is translated into a finished intelligence product, which includes integrating, collating, evaluating, and analyzing all the data.

3.4.1 Organizing What You Have

Collection processes provide analysts with assorted kinds of information, some important and some irrelevant, some true and some false (with many shades in between), and some requiring further preprocessing before they can be used in analysis. Raw information reports use a standard code for the presumed reliability of the source and of the information.

Term Definition Example
Fact Verified information; something known to exist or to have happened. A confirmed inventory of a resource of one's own service
Direct Information The content of reports, research, and analytic reflection on an intelligence issue that helps analysts and their consumers evaluate the likelihood that something is factual and thereby reduces uncertainty, Information relating to an intelligence issue under scrutiny the details of which can, as a rule, be considered factual, because of the nature of the source, the source's direct access to the information, and the concrete and readily verifiable character of the contents COMINT or OSINT quoting what a foreign official said; IMINT providing a count of the number of starships at a starbase. HUMINT from a Federation diplomatic officer who directly observed an event.
Indirect Information Information relating to an intelligence issue the details of which may or may not be factual, the doubt reflecting some combination of the source's questionable reliability, the source's lack of direct access, and the complex character of the contents HUMINT from a reliable agent, citing secondhand what an informant said that a government official said. OSINT providing a foreign government document that gives the number of starships at a starbase. Indirect OSINT from a Federation embassy officer. COMINT that contains a report by a foreign official to his government, about what something he cannot confirm, but states with a probability.
Direct Data Organized information that provides context for evaluating the likelihood that a matter under scrutiny is factual. A chronology of events based on observations by Federation officers
Indirect Data Organized information that provides context for evaluating the likelihood that a matter under scrutiny is factual. A chronology based on reports from a liaison intelligence service

Collation describes the process of organizing raw data, interpolating known data, evaluating the value of data, putting in working hypotheses. The simplest approaches often are an excellent start. With due regard for protecting documents and information, a great deal can be done with a few pads, a viewscreen, and a table.

3.5 Dissemination

Providing the results of processing to consumers, including those in the intelligence community, command, and other senior officers.

3.6 Feedback

The intelligence cycle is a closed loop; feedback is received from the decision makers and consumers. This feedback is reviewed and then requirements are revised and issued.

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