Applied Intelligence Analysis


Admiralty scale is referred to as the system that is used to measure the credibility of the source of the information, and reliability of the information gathered. This is taken into consideration so that the intelligence may be able to make viable decision based on the information that has been gained in the investigation. This system usually comprises of two known character notation which are adequately implemented in assessing the source of information reliability and evaluation of the information confidence and accuracy. This system is usually executed by the military enforcement and National Security Intelligence of the NATO member nations and also by the AUSCANZUKUS members. However, the analyst also uses this system to evaluate and validate the authentication of the information gathered. This system involves four stages for the information gathered to be assumed reliable and credible this includes evaluation, reliability, credibility and reporting (Beesly, 1989).

Development of the Admiralty Scale

The development of admiralty scale is mostly influenced by very many functions which projects toward intelligence analysis. This is because there are very many applications for strategic and tactical intelligence analysis available within law enforcement, intelligence and defense communities. Analysts have articulated that there are many factors which harbor the attempts to mitigate adversary deception as exemplified by Clark (1996). The most common factors which are deemed to be affecting this system are the analytical model choice, nature of formal representation induced and knowledge in addressing problems raised in information credibility and source reliability.

According to Marrin (2007) the stages which allow the development of the information gathered articulates that this system has to be developed using this angle of evaluation, reliability, credibility and reporting. Usually when these procedures are mixed or not closely administered the results are usually deceptive and have impact on the expected outcome.

Evaluation: this usually arises in the early stages of intelligence cycle which confirms that the information that has been gathered cannot be readily accepted. Every information item which is implemented in the creation of evaluation offers a hint of source reliability and reviewed accuracy; this is usually founded on validation or other evaluation. Every descriptor is officiated differently to guarantee source reliability and that it does not distort the evaluated report accuracy (George, 2004).

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Reliability: usually after sourcing the source is evaluated for reliability through various technical assessments to evaluate it capability, the history is sourced in the cases of human intelligence sources. The notation of this development ensue the Alpha coding which is from the letter A-F to document and report the reliability of the source (Seward, Et al, 2006). The scale here uses the 6×6 information evaluation systems; this is where each number represents different grading of the information assessed. 1or A) Completely reliable, 2 or B) Usually reliable, 3 or C) Fairly reliable, 4 or D) Not Usually reliable, 5 or E) unreliable and 6 or F) unworthy

The grading variation depends on the intensity of the research being carried out and the importance of the outcome thus simple assessment use 2×4 or 4×4 information evaluation system (Heuer, 1990).

Credibility: usually the item is evaluated for credibility through the ground of likelihood and other sources levels of justification. The grading is usually notated in the numeric code grading of from 1 to 6 that aims at achieving the accuracy of the data. 1) Other sources definite, 2) Perhaps true, 3) maybe true, 4) Doubtful, 5) Improbable and 6) Accuracy cannot be judged

Reporting: the evaluation will then outline the next course of action to be executed based on the item coding from the collected information. Usually the assumption is not coded as the wording can question the conclusion because of the confidence level which the code authorizes (Jøsang, 2001).

Importance of Admiralty Scale to Intelligence

There are several major importances why this system is helpful to intelligence.One of the major importances is that it regulates major international threat that a nation may be imposed on. This is usually achieved through collecting, processing, analyzing, evaluating, integrating and interpreting of the information obtained from foreign nation which may pose threats. Heuer (1999) articulates that the aims of this assessment are projected toward mitigating activities which may be hostile to the human existence of a certain region. The remedy and conclusion acquired from this assessment will then be used to devise means of how these threats can be neutralized for the benefit of human existence. Some of the intelligence committee in the United State that are concerned about mitigating threats posed by hostile foreign adversaries include; National Security Agency (NSA), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, National Reconnaissance Office, ), Telemetry Intelligence (TELINT), Communications Intelligence (COMINT), Photography (PHOTINT), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Army, Naval and Air force Intelligence Agencies.

All these intelligence agencies have diverse concerns in their line of work which mainly categorized on political assessment, economics, foreign nation intentions and military capabilities. The agencies works are to collect information which is later used to assess the population and living condition of the population of a certain nation so that they may be able ton design a comprehensive solution to that situation. Usually the information is hard to interpret when it is gathered from the public. The agency assessment and evaluation enables this information that is gathered to be transformed into intelligence through arrays of scientific procedures accurately authenticated and verified for the best result (Austin & Rankov, 1995).

After the information has been acquired then the analysts evaluate and conclude the threats and opportunities thus analyst are able to designs solution to each case. The result will have outlined the adversary capabilities and vulnerabilities in each case which have been evaluated. In cases of military combat the assessment is used to indicate the defended or most fragile resources which are essential in military capabilities (Calder, 1999). Usually point of targeting the energy and how to penetrate the enemy territory without targeting the civilians are among the few angle which military intelligence of the admiralty scale addresses.

Intelligence details and outlines critical vulnerabilities to the expense and disposal of the advisors and intelligence personnel who then in turn convey it to the policy makers and the military personnel on the war front. According to Whaley (1982) intelligence mostly outline to the nation possible attack method which the enemy may attempt to make on the soil of that particular nation. When all this possible medium of attack are outlined and the possible counter attack measures are outlined then the intelligence will enforce all kind of alert within their capacity to keep all intelligence alert. They will then ensure that the security of the land is tight and no loopholes are available to the attackers. This will be done in a highly profiled manner that none of the occupation of the nation is told of the threats so that they may not panic and create public unrest. The enemy preparation time and impact target are all analyzed and appropriate measures place to mitigate this threats (Bruce, Et al, 1990).

Another major realization which opens new importance of intelligence is assisting the world power nation to regulate nuclear war head creation and sales to rogue nations like Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan. This usually play major roles in controlling sanity in the world as rogue politician or mercenaries might strike deals with nation which produce this mass destruction weapons and use them against humanity as noted by Keegan (2003).

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Support Word of Estimative probability to the Scale/Confuse Intelligence Message

Intelligence analyst when in the fabrication of analytic report concerning the likelihood of an incoming or future occurrence usually use the term Words of Estimative Probability (WEP or WEPS). Usually experts of the intelligence information accumulation usually express the confidence finding extent in this way to distort confusion in the message. Documented and well analyzed WEP usually offers the decision maker with estimate which is unambiguous base which is based on accuracy. However, this system is usually very vague and misleading when injected ineffectively when assessing the likelihood of an event. Usually WEP fully supports the admiralty scale however, twist by the decision makers and the policy makers would result to confusion. Usually when WEP is considered to be ineffective then it positions the decision maker in the position of the analyst as echoed by Kent (1964). This makes the decision maker to infer the forecast alone, usually this has been associated with the poor result on the likelihood or haste decision which has dire consequences on the target audience.

Kent Sherman (1964) who is the first contributors of intelligence discipline outlined the confusion and misleading expression which were fostered in the National Intelligence Estimates (NIE). Kent in his thesis distinguished between poets (wordy probabilistic statements preferences) and mathematicians (quantitative odds preferences). Kent designed a paradigm which bridged the gap between decision makers and analyst which fathered estimative terms to odds. The main agenda of the paradigm was to elucidate the finding of the intelligence in a way that the readers would be able to articulate, what reasoned judgment and certain knowledge entails. This also intended to elucidate the misconception of the varying degrees of certitude surmounted from the huge judgment realm what consequences may follow any key judgment concluded. Major influence that brings about confusion on the decision if the WEP is accurate maybe political mileage and interference, another factor is world power, religious conflict and global market competition.

One of the most documented confusion brought about by WEP is the vagueness and misleading information on the likelihood of Osama Bin Laden attack on American soil. The President’s Daily Brief (PDB) is the agency which entitles that the president of the United State is debrief of any threat that may have been assessed and their likelihood and the impact and threat that they posses as echoed by Dvornik (1974). The agency although had detected the activities which Osama had been anticipating and the likelihood of attacks were high however, the PDB report did not offers the president with the clear likelihood of the attack based on the history data gathered and evaluated. Thus the confusion arises and the decision made was that al Qaeda would not attack America and the focus was shifted to overseas targets by this radical group.

Another case which lacked and was confused is the Iraq evaluation of the mass destruction weapons. These two vague and misleading analyses were made within the same duration which complies that they were politically motivated. However, the cause of the failures has been associated with the lack of the focus and no enough present fresh intelligence from the analysis. Proper use of the WEP would guarantee intelligence the likelihood of the exact time and the location of the attacks. Proper information communication also allows the smooth running of this system to function properly. Uncertainty when conveying information reduces the vagueness and the misleading factors (George, 2004).

Oversight committee’s difference/similarities of U.S and Australia

The Australia intelligence communities also have a committee which mostly works on detecting flaws in this system and offering remedy. This is just like the United State Intelligence Committee (IC) which role is mostly to facilitate major reform on the intelligence communities so that they may offer accurate and uncertain information (Kahneman, ET al, 1982). The Australian Intelligence committee is emplaced to safe guard toward uncertainty in the information shared about through clarity and capabilities which defines the strength of this system. Unlike America where there are very numerous intelligence agency Australia have three intelligence collection agency ASIS, DIGO and DSD there are only two agency which governs assessment this are ONA and DIO. After all this have been executed then the analysis are conveyed Australia Security Intelligence Agency (ASIO), they have the sole responsibility of combining information assessment and collection and also policy advice and formulation. In the united state this is done by the President’s Daily Brief (PDB) as they advice the policy makers which action to take based on the evaluation they have done (Haselton, Et al, 2005).

Research has articulated that there is always some kind of competition between the intelligence agencies in the UnitedState. However, major research conducted about Australia Intelligence Agencies articulate that they operate effectively and cooperatively. This has been articulated to be a success because of the functioning mechanism instilled in Australian Intelligence Agencies which follows the minimal duplication of function to all three communities. This has also been because of lack of bureaucratic infighting like the American Agencies which are filled with each agency trying to out do the other limiting sharing of critical information or distorting this information and making it harbor uncertainty which result to bad consequences as echoed by Beesly (1989). However, the relation between Australian intelligence agencies and the American agencies has been performing well to counter terrorist activities. This articulates besides bureaucratic infighting both Australia and American intelligence agencies are projected toward counter terrorist activities mitigation.

Political Bias in Intelligence Analysis

Usually intelligence analysis management is usually responsible for the process which details classifying and administration of the assessment process, which mainly indulges in the dispensation of crude intelligence information to analyzed intelligence. However, there is few biases whi8ch cloud this process such as cognitive bias. Cognitive biases are referred to as the tendency of the human in making systematic errors on particular circumstances and this is mostly based on rather than evidence but on cognitive factors. These errors are what are termed as Heuristics which is defined as the information processing shortcut. Usually political biases are rooted here where majority of the politician convey heuristics which are half baked analysis and base them on intelligence to make decision like the one of Iraq on Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) (Marrin, 2007).

Usually political biases in intelligence analysis is tainted by the authority asserted by politician who short charge the whole scenario to suit individual outcomes and agendas. This will include doctored errors in the statistical judgment, memory and social attribution. Usually as the cognitive biases is based on the human erroneous thoughts politician skew legal and anecdotal reliability (Kent, 1964). These biases are termed as biases at an individual level which mostly construe individual desires, sometimes it may be a way of getting back or settling political grudges and then the policy makers exaggerate the probability of the case and then make hasty decision which affects the other target audience. These mostly are designed to affect decision which is to be issued concerning certain assessment. Political biases in intelligence usually rely on consistency bias so that they may coin their own agenda based on the target audience past behaviors and attitudes and then induce them to their present (Keegan, 2003).

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Analysts have articulated that political biases are mostly influenced by Egoistic bias; this is usually on the psychological satisfaction of the political leaders to satisfy their positive image desire. They mix this with cold cognition biases and this intermixing of biases usually results to ignoring of important information and thus neglects the probability evaluation. This orchestrated through giving too much emphasis on the unimportant feature to generate attention on that particular circumstance (Austin, & Rankov, 1995; Bruce, Et al, 1990). Usually the decisions which result from this are erroneous and have no moral judgment like the Iraq case. These cases originate from one of the American Presidents father attempt to conquer Sadam Hussein but failed to base his intelligence and the whole operation failed. The junior of this president with the cold and egoistic biases then enters and attempts to finish the fathers attempt basing intelligence on political biases on weapon of mass destruction and putting much emphasis on this issue.

Threats in Iran due to invasion by the UnitedState

The invasion of Iraq has been highly triggered to the resolving of the invasion to Iran. Recently the unites State has been contemplating on engaging this nation on military combat if they don’t account for their nuclear activities and abandon this activity as it is assumed that they will sell this war heads to nation which are threats to the United States. However, analysts have articulated that this invasion are based on political intelligence bias and are forced just like the Iraq case (Marrin, 2007). Basing this on Barrack Obama peace and harmony speeches one would be able to account that the pressure is politically motivated and backed by neoconservative blocks of power. One of the major pointed out political bias which could also affect Barrack Obama regime based on the failing economic on the domestic level then he will like all other political figures attempt to invade Iran to earn outside supremacy so to get a reelection in the next term.

Among the most devastating implication which may arise from this invasion is that it may have greater impact than that of Iraq or Afghanistan. This has prompted radical groups to put threats on the UnitedState and Israel as they are the major power blocks behind this invasion. The political process of Iran is made up of a strong opposition and being Muslims radicals have a dislike for both United Sate and Israel. However, because the assessment of the intelligence is not fully pledged and their threat outline then one can only hope that the accuracy of the intelligence would not be bias like that of Iraq (Keegan, 2003).

Key Intelligence Needs to Mitigate the Threats

Key intelligence needs which are requirement to attempt in mitigating threats that arise from the finding of this assessment. First and foremost there is the case of bias which has been the number one source of misinterpretation of the intelligence. When biases are mitigated then the only problem now will be the accuracy of the information that is acquired and procured by the agency. Structured methods of analysis in the intelligence are one major idea which is projected toward mitigating threats which are accorded by the assessment. This with positive intuition thinking will help solve major implication that affects and makes the threats to bloom while concentrating on areas which are less threatening and neglecting the real threats making the repercussion is enormous (Clark, 1996).

Usually when intuition thinking is complied with bias information does not fit into the rigid framework fostered by the structured method. This is because structured methods proponents usually offer valid points which are requisite on the benefit associated with implementing this method to aid the analysis of intuition. Thus structured thinking then is the key to mitigating the threats which may arise as it compliment both accuracy and nuance through cognitive bias and judgmental error mitigation (Dvornik, 1974). This method allows swift and accurate decision making which then allows neutralizing of all threats which are present.


Admiralty when induced in the intelligence analysis assists the government to outline major threats and evaluate how to mitigate and neutralize these threats. However biases fostered by political and other biases indicate that the repercussion of the probability assessment can have undesired outcome like that of Iraq. Proper implementation of structured analysis would help pinpoint convey information which is accurate and works for the good of the situation but not for an individual to gain political mileage.

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