5. Weighing indicators helps resolve ambiguity. In combat, Intelligence Analysts are
usually confronted with conflicting indicators. Enemy forces may simultaneously portray
patterns associated with attack, defense, and delay. Conflicting patterns may result from:
Deliberate deception by enemy forces.
Bad execution of operations by the enemy force.
Temporary indecision displayed by the enemy force commander.
Transition between missions.
Incomplete or inaccurate information on enemy forces.
Ambiguity of the indicator itself.
6. When confronted with ambiguous or conflicting indicators, analysts weigh some
indicators more heavily than others to determine the enemy's actual intent. Which
indicators weigh heaviest is decided by knowledge of doctrine, the current enemy
situation, and the experience of the analyst.
7. Integrating friendly and enemy capabilities is playing both sides of the war at the
same time. The analyst mentally wargames advantages and disadvantages to identified
enemy capabilities from the enemy commander's point of view. This is a valuable
technique, but potentially dangerous if it becomes mirror-imaging. The analyst must
avoid preconception as they could be his principle nemesis. He must reserve judgment,
maintain objectivity, remain aware of uncertainties, tolerate dissent and constantly test
his theory against available evidence. Where practical, he should consider establishing a
"devil's advocate" system to test, challenge, and think the unthinkable.
The Intelligence Analyst has to be able to prepare a wide variety of reports and
disseminate those reports as covered in the previous lesson.