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In June 2005, the RAND Corporation and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence convened a one-day workshop to discuss how theories underlie intelligence and might lead to both a better understanding and better practice of U.S. intelligence. Forty attendees (practitioners, academics, and specialists) participated in four panels: What Is Intelligence Theory?; Is There an American Theory of Intelligence?; Which Assumptions Should Be Overturned?; and How Can Intelligence Results Be Measured? Issues debated included whether intelligence should be defined narrowly, as secret state activity, or broadly, as information for decisionmaking; whether there is a uniquely American theory or practice of intelligence, in its technology, militarization and congressional oversight; whether closer relationships between intelligence officers and policymakers leads to politicization; and how to devise metrics for assessing the performance of intelligence. Readers will find opinions that look familiar as well as others that challenge or refine the customary formulations.

The research described in this report was carried out within the RAND National Security Research Division, which conducts research for the U.S. Department of Defense, allied foreign governments, the intelligence community, and foundations.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation conference proceeding series. RAND conference proceedings present a collection of papers delivered at a conference or a summary of the conference.

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