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IWP president addresses AFIO on teaching intelligence

IWP President John Lenczowski delivered an address at the annual convention of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), the principal organization of intelligence officers outside of government.

He spoke on the subject of teaching intelligence and stressed the Institute’s unique approach to the subject.

Dr. Lenczowski observed that since intelligence is an instrument whose purpose is to support national policy and the use of other instruments of statecraft, it is most profitably studied in conjunction with the study of those other instruments and how they are integrated at the level of national strategy.

A former senior policymaker who served at the National Security Council, Dr. Lenczowski noted that today’s policymakers are insufficiently educated about intelligence and its optimal use for national security policy, and that they have an important role in helping to determine intelligence collection and analysis priorities.

He also observed that most intelligence analysis is threat-based and neglects opportunities-based collection and analysis, explaining that the study of other arts of statecraft, especially public diplomacy, counter-propaganda, psychological strategy, political warfare, economic statecraft, and offensive counterintelligence operations, reveals the possibilities and importance of opportunities-based intelligence. 

The decision, he said, to give greater priority to this principally political form of intelligence depends on policymakers who have a positive and pro-active strategic vision in contrast to the more usual reactive and defensive frame of mind.

The AFIO event took place in Maryland from October 28-31, 2004.