NightWatch Concepts of Analysis
September 29, 2010 – 1:00pm to 5:00pm
4400 Fair Lakes Ct.
Fairfax, Virginia 22033-3899
Lecturer and Facilitator: John F. McCreary, Esq.
Note: No one knows intelligence analysis as a professional discipline better than John McCreary. The KGS series of intelligence courses is the first to present the lessons learned and collective wisdom of the past 60 years of US experience in intelligence analysis. As an introductory course, an understanding of the terms and usages in Concepts of Analysis is a requirement for the more advanced offerings in the KGS analysis series.
US intelligence agencies continue to train analysts in much the same way as they have for the past 60 years, but expect different results. The overriding lesson from all the after-action reports of the past 60 years is that analysts have not been right most of the time and when it counted most.
While the reforms since 9/11 are valuable, they are not transformative so that they ensure the degree of accuracy that decision makers require, as the Christmas 2009 bombing attempt showed.
This KGS introductory course breaks the pattern of conventional training by focusing on achieving and sustaining highly accurate, actionable intelligence judgments. It answers four basic questions at the core of all intelligence analysis: what is analysis; what have we learned about intelligence analysis in the past 60 years; why do intelligence analysts fail; what works?
It answers them by examining the strengths and weaknesses of the four dominant theories of analysis in common use by intelligence analysts, compared to the NightWatch approach and discusses the meaning of professionalism in intelligence analysis.
Who Should Attend - Industry and Government
This course is a must-attend for all analysts and frontline managers of analysts in industry or government. Any analysts who seek to improve the precision and accuracy of their assessments, whether in international affairs or private industry, will benefit from this different, but proven approach to analysis.
Course Outline: NightWatch Concepts of Analysis
The problem with Analysis (1 hour)
- No golden age of analysis
- The four theories of analysis in common use compared to the NightWatch approach
- US Agencies doing the same things over and over and getting the same result
- Alternative approaches to intelligence work in other intelligence systems
The Senses of Analysis (1 hour)
- Confusion in language — the different usages of the term "analysis"
- Back to basics
- The purpose of intelligence as prescribed in the National Security Act of 1947
- The definitions of analysis and intelligence analysis
- Four cognitive processes – an introduction
Exercise: Kissinger's Memo to Nixon in 1971 (1 hour)
- Application of techniques
What have we learned about intelligence analysis in the past 60 years? (1 hour)
- Key lessons from the pivotal events of the past 60 years
- The four primary causes of intelligence failures
- What works to achieve high accuracy
- Professionalism in Analysis
Neustadt, Richard E., and May, Ernest R., Thinking in Time, The Free Press, New York, New York, 1988
AFCEA Members: $565.00
Lecturer and Facilitator
John F. McCreary, Esq.
John McCreary is the Chief Analysis Officer for KGS. Mr. McCreary has over 42 years of experience as a professional analyst and is a distinguished 38 year veteran of defense intelligence. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed newsletter NightWatch. He is the only Defense Intelligence Agency analyst to receive a Presidential Rank award.
Prior to joining KGS, he served as the Highly Qualified Expert (HQE) for analysis transformation with the United States Air Force where he taught and mentored the analysts of the Air Force Intelligence Analysis Agency, wrote and taught the first course in advanced intelligence analysis for the Air Force and installed an end-to-end, systematic analysis evaluation and feedback program for the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.
Mr. McCreary joined the Defense Intelligence Agency in 1968 as an intelligence analyst specializing in Chinese language and studies. Between 1980 and 1992 he was the senior analyst and Director, National Warning Staff, Office of the Director of Central Intelligence. In 1992 he served as the lead attorney-investigator for the Senate Select Committee for POW/MIA affairs.
From 1993 until his retirement from DIA in 2006, he was the senior analyst in the Directorate of Intelligence, J2, Joint Staff in the Pentagon. He was promoted to senior rank in the first class of Defense Intelligence Senior Level Experts in DIA. At the time of his departure from DIA in 2006, he was the senior ranking Defense Intelligence Senior Level Expert in the agency and in the J2.
He has received dozens of commendations, citations, medals and awards from the Intelligence Community, the CIA and the DIA. In 2004 he received a Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service.
His publications include NightWatch, an executive style, nightly analysis of significant international events with impact on U.S. national security; The Latest Intelligence Crisis, with Richard A Posner, in Intelligence and National Security, Volume 23, Issue 3, 2008; Intelligence as Evidence, J2 monograph,1996; Analysis of Political Instability, J2 monograph, 1995; Warning Cycles, Studies in Intelligence, 1983.