The relationship between gathering intelligence gathering and policy

According to Nutt (2007), intelligence collection is the practice of acquiring information from other units of forces or agencies in order to make decisions. Data should be collected to satisfy a requirement after it has been issued or established. Policy, on the other hand, refers to a course of action adopted and pursued by rulers, a government, or a political party.
Intelligence collection assists authorities such as the government or police agencies in obtaining information that aids in the successful completion of their objective or duty. This means that the agency can use the information collected in strengthening its policies so as to enhance success in its work. This implies that once the government wants to develop a policy, there is the need to carry out intelligence gathering to assist in coming up with sound information to support the process (Granhag et al, 2014).

Additionally, through intelligence gathering, the government or its organs can identify the need for a policy based on the analysis of the information gathered. This is possible in an event whereby the information gathered and analyzed show there is a loophole that needs rectification using a policy. For instance, the United States intelligence community such as the FBI, CIA, and NSA may find an inadequacy in a given government policy through collection and analysis of information from the citizens. In so doing, they can recommend the government to develop a policy to enhance success in its functions (Steele, 2000).

Finally, both intelligence gathering and policy assist the government, its intelligence community or even organizations in making informed decisions geared towards promoting efficiency in their operations. For example, when the government is faced with a problem, it may use its intelligence community to collect information to assist in understanding the problem much better. The community with collaboration with the government uses the available policies to come with a course of action to address such a problem.

Qb) Answer

Intelligence cycle refers to the general intelligence process employed by civilian or military intelligence agencies or in law enforcement. The cycle determines the day to day’s activities of the intelligence community. The cycle always starts with the need of the intelligence and goes through several steps.

Requirement Collection

Requirements should be identified by defining questions to which contributions are expected to be drawn from. Priorities ought to be set since there are limited intelligence capabilities.


The intelligence is collected once the requirement and priorities are known. An intelligence collection plan is developed by an intelligence staff in response to requirements. Collection involves inputs from several intelligence gathering units such as human intelligence, use of imagery intelligence, signal intelligence among others (Hilsman, 1952).

Processing and Exploitation.

The information that is produced after collection must undergo processing and exploitation before it can be regarded as intelligence and thereafter given to analysts. At this stage, there is a translation of raw intelligence materials, evaluation of relevance and then collation of the unprocessed intelligence in preparation for exploitation.

Analysis and Production.

This stage involves integration, evaluation, and analysis of all available data. The analysis will establish the significance of the intelligence process. Integration is also done by combining pieces of information where collateral information and patterns are identified. The significance of the newly acquired knowledge is then interpreted.

Dissemination and Consumption

Dissemination and consumption is a process of moving intelligence from producers to consumers. The intelligence organization establishes the level of urgency of various types of intelligence.


After intelligence has been received, a dialog between the producers and consumers of intelligence occur before and after receiving the intelligence. The analysts know how well the intelligence requirements have been met and any adjustments that need to be made should be addressed. The degree to which the intelligence addresses the needs of the consumers is assessed by feedback. This will determine if further collection is needed.

Qn c) answer

A country may carefully hide their programs for example weapon of mass destruction programs. People and operations can be protected from the intelligence officers. This can be done through isolating scientists and technicians involved in the programs, then camouflage and deception methods are employed. This can be easily achieved especially when a country has learned about another country’s intelligence for many years. Collection of intelligence may encounter problems when technical techniques fail to produce results. The intelligence may not have conclusive evidence on what the enemy is working on, what they have achieved, the programs that are going on and the person working on them as acknowledge by Sanders (2008).

Additionally, the collection may not focuse or conceptually driven to answer questions about the validity of the premise that dangerous weapons or weapons of mass destruction are continuing in spaceThe comprehansive suport brief which described the intelligenc needs published by the director of criminal investigation in iraq case, illustrates this problem.the brief in depth described the required information to analyse iraqis weapons program. The brief intented to expose knowladge gaps. However the gaps were not revealed a factor that raised doubts about intelligence judgement .

In some cases, collection fails to address the key issues. Key topics like the social, cultural, and economic impacts on the target are not addressed. Intelligence collection strategies can be an impediment on the collection of intelligence. Seeking information on a particular subject bearing in mind of what is needed may also result in data that reinforces the existing assumptions.


Granhag, P., Vrij, A., & Meissner, C. (2014). Information Gathering in Law Enforcement and Intelligence Settings: Advancing Theory and Practice. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 28(6), 815-816.

Hilsman, R. (1952). Intelligence and Policy-making in Foreign Affairs. World Politics, 5(01), 1- 45.

Nutt, P. (2007). Intelligence gathering for decision making. Omega, 35(5), 604-622. 

Sanders, R. (2008). Conference Call with Dr. Ronald Sanders, Associate Director of National Intelligence for Human Capital. August 27, 2008. Retrieved from

Steele, R.D. (2000). On Intelligence: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World. Fairfax, VA: AFCEA International Press.

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