Strategic Intelligence

Intelligence is the provision of information about targets of concern, mostly foreign, for the use of decision makers, mostly governmental. The information normally prioritizes secrets and/or forecasts, and the degrees of animosity toward the targets are likely to shape the various efforts. ‘Strategic’ intelligence is especially alert to the more competitive ranges of this spectrum and is also loosely distinguished from ‘tactical’ intelligence—the strategic seen as having a wider scope, longer time horizons, and organizationally higher standing. Strategic intelligence in these senses is several thousand years old, yet lacked widely known manuals/treatises until the twentieth century, probably because of its traditional secretiveness and the belatedness of its technology-related institutionalization. At last solid nonfiction, literature is emerging: from investigative journalists, reflective veterans, multiarchival historians, and social scientists (chiefly nonquantitative). The latter—chiefly political scientists and psychologists—are taking evidence developed mostly by the others and conceptualizing/taxonomizing it and doing comparative mid-level theorizing, national and cross-national. These various outsiders’ publications can have value for enhancing knowledgeable democratic accountability. They (and outsiders’ speculative scenario writing) can also provide useful cross-checks for the practitioners themselves, who often are doing related studies in secret. In widening parts of the world, insiders are slowly acquiescing in the reduction of secretiveness overall.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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