Estimative Intelligence Analysis and Epistemology

IWP 652
Four credits

Intelligence secrets once gathered must be analyzed, placed in cultural, historic and strategic context, and presented to policy makers and operators. The quality of estimative intelligence analysis is always at the center of debate on the performance of U.S. intelligence. The course is designed to provide an in depth understanding of the fundamentals of a central element of the intelligence and national security process: estimative analysis.

The course begins by examining the methods, validity, and scope of knowledge derived from secret intelligence and counterintelligence information. The course includes the study of the many issues affecting the quality and relevance of estimative analysis to statecraft, such as cultural, cognitive, and bureaucratic biases; moral and ethical considerations; critical thinking, including intuition, deduction, induction, and judgment; cause and effect; deception, politicization, logic and logical fallacies, and evaluation of evidence; analytic frameworks and models; quality control; and measures of effectiveness, etc.

Semester Available


Fall Semester

Principal Professor


   H. A. Ford
Professor, Senior Analyst at the Department of Defense {read more}