Toward a Theory of Intelligence: Workshop Report

RAND Corporation, National Security Research Division

On June 15, 2005, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) in partnership with the RAND Corporation convened a one-day workshop at RAND's Washington, D.C., office to discuss how theories underlie our intelligence work and might lead to a better understanding of intelligence. The Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Strategy, Plans, and Policy (ADDNI/SPP) had three primary objectives: (1) to begin a series of debates about the future of intelligence writ large (as opposed to just the future of the Intelligence Community or its organizational structure); (2) to lay the intellectual foundations for revolutionary change in the world of intelligence by challenging the continuing validity of our assumptions about it; and (3) to bridge the divide that has long separated intelligence scholars and practitioners. The following issues were discussed: (1) What is intelligence theory? (2) Is there a uniquely American theory of intelligence? (3) Which assumptions about intelligence and intelligence reform are useful, and which should be overturned? (4) Can results from intelligence be measured?