Question Description

The purpose of this assignment is for you to demonstrate not your analytic ability (for you should be able at this point to do the appropriate thinking) but rather your ability to set up a problem, identify what you need, and how you would solve the problem using a structured method. You are given a list of 7 intelligence questions and you are expected to respond to 4 of them for this project.

Your submission should be in table form and not exceed two pages per intelligence problem. Each table should list the primary intelligence problem (given below). In your table you must break down the primary problem into its components, then listing Priority Intelligence Requirements (PIRs) / Essential Elements of Information (EEIs) for each component question. PIRs may be considered “general statements of intelligence need” or generalized questions about the operating environment (Curtis E. Lemay Center 2015). The PIRs should then be the driving force for your more specific EEIs. You should identify the analytic methods you would recommend using to analyze the information to answer the overall question. Finally you need to explain why those methods are appropriate.

Your submission will be graded using the following rubric (see rubric chart below):

1) break the intelligence problem into component questions,
2) articulate Priority Intelligence Requirements and Essential Elements of Information,
3) identify intelligence analysis methods that you recommend to address the problems (based on the type of information you identify and the nature of the question),
4) provide a textual explanation of why you chose the methods you did and what you can expect by using the methods,
5) completion of 1-4 above for 4 of the 7 problems listed below, and
6) demonstration that you have read, understood, and used the required readings

(NOTE: any submission which does not pursue the purpose of this assignment–structuring an intelligence question for analysis–will be considered “off-topic” and will assessed a zero).

A few important thoughts:

1) No one method can stand alone as an adequate method. It takes looking at the problem from more than one approach to get a meaningful view of the solution to the problem. You should list the methods that you would recommend and in a few words identify what the method would achieve. (You may choose whatever format you think works best to communicate these ideas.) Further, the questions below are broad and general. If you need to make assumptions to help you address each problem please document your assumptions (this is more important than you may at first think).

2) Feel free to draw on any method you are aware of and if you have questions on this please reach out, that’s what I’m here for. If you are concerned that I may not recognize your method, please provide a footnote explaining.

3) It is not possible to list all PIRs/EEIs so it is impossible to be complete given the time available for this assignment. However, I will evaluate your selection of component intelligence questions, intelligence requirements, and the centrality of the methods you recommend to addressing the core nature of the problem.

4) Be sure that it is clear which methods address which subproblems.

For example:

Problem: The US has become aware that the Pakistanis have provided missile technology to Yemen. This point is confirmed. However, it is unclear what the Yemenis are intending to do with the technology. What is the outlook for this development?

Subproblems: What technology was transferred? What threats does this pose to the region, and does this change the regional balance of power? What is the likelihood that Yemen will reexport this technology to substate groups or states that pose a threat to US interests?

List associated PIRs/EEIs

Then identify what methods you would use to answer the problem and subproblems and explain why these methods are the best and most appropriate to answer the questions(!).

You must select 4 out of the following 7 problems to address for this assignment:

1) A recent wave of terrorism in Egypt is threatening the stability of the central government. What does this mean?

2) Oil prices have spiked and Chinese companies have obtained operations and engineering contracts in multiple Persian Gulf states. What is the likelihood of Chinese intervention in the Persian Gulf to ensure the supply of oil to China?

3) The Brazilians have been working with Chinese engineers to design and field a new satellite system, suspected to be of military significance. What is this new satellite system?

4) The civil war in Sudan is raging and it looks increasingly likely that an even more extremist leader, a known supporter of al-Qaeda, is coming to power. The new regime is both virulently anti-American and expansionist, talking about Somalia, Egypt, and exporting its beliefs. What does this mean for the US?

5) Killings and kidnappings on the US-Mexican border have escalated, spilling over into the US. More than 2 dozen Americans have been kidnapped in California and taken to Mexico in the last year (incidentally this fact is true) and have either been held or executed. Running gun battles between drug cartels have escalated. The drug cartels are using IEDs (in fact this has not yet come to pass–but for the sake of this example we will accept it as fact), automatic weapons, and grenades. The government is unable to control the violence and thousands of Mexican troops and police patrol the border cities. Dozens of people are killed every month in what has become open warfare. What does this mean for US security?

6) The Israelis destroyed a suspected nuclear weapons facility in Syria. Was it really a nuclear weapons facility? What does this mean for non-proliferation efforts.

7) Iranian interference in domestic Iraqi politics and security is on the rise. Iranian bomb components, weapons, propaganda, and personnel are increasingly crossing the boarder into Iraq. What does this mean for the domestic Iraqi security situation.