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At a workshop held on July 1, 2010, policymakers and intelligence officers from a diverse array of organizations gathered to discuss how consumers of intelligence might be better served by analysis whose focus is longer term or more strategic than the current reporting that dominates today's intelligence production. In these proceedings, the authors explain the purpose of strategic and long-term analysis, examine some of the challenges and issues faced by practitioners, use the example of U.S. policy in the Middle East to explore the process of testing assumptions, and present recommendations for communicating with policymakers. An appendix presents relevant lessons from the private sector.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    The Purpose of Strategic and Long-Term Analysis

  • Chapter Two

    Issues in Strategic Analysis

  • Chapter Three

    A Provocative Example: U.S. Policy in the Middle East

  • Chapter Four

    Strategic Analysis and Policymakers

  • Appendix A

    Strategic Analysis: Lessons from Practice in Other Realms

  • Appendix B

    List of Participants

The research described in this report was prepared for the National Intelligence Council. The research was conducted within the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

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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