What enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge.
Sun Tzu, Art of War, VI bc.
Intelligence agencies deals everyday with a massive amount of information collected by different gathering methods and they have to process them in order to produce assessments, reports and briefs for politicians and decision-makers. This is a real challenge, given the limited time, the huge quantity of data they have to go through and the imprecise and incomplete nature of these data. This intellectual challenge is the task of intelligence analysis, that stage of the process that has to “make sense” out of all this information received at the agencies’ headquarters. Both the institutional and the academic world have been concerned with issues about intelligence analysis, as it seems to be one of the most critical parts of intelligence: it is here that raw information are transformed and politicians receive the materials on which decide from here. Thus everyone would like to improve intelligence analysis as much as possible and many articles and books have developed and offered techniques and tools to reduce analysts’ errors while increasing their analytical ability.