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"Point of view": How politicians and the intelligence community to anticipate the intentions of opponents
Material posted: Publication date: 22-12-2013

"How decision-makers and the intelligence community foresee the long-term plans of the States rivals?". To answer this question the author proposes to study the structure of the analytical work in the state. Based on the analysis of the scientific literature in the field of foresight, international relations, the author identifies three rational approach to identifying strategic plans of the enemy.

The first approach is based on the study of the activity of the actors of international relations in important international organizations of the acceptance or refusal to participate in military interventions and campaigns. This approach implies the analysis of information on relevant actions of the opponent, involving expenditure or the acquisition of key resources.
The second approach takes into account the military capabilities of the opponent and, therefore, what strategic goals and objectives can be achieved during the existing military power. A key role in this approach plays the information about its military-industrial policy of international military operations in which he is able and willing to participate.

The third approach is developed by the author and is called "polling". Keren Yarhi-Cute, based on developments in the field of psychology and management theory, formulates a thesis about "bias in the placement of emphasis the significance of information". The author emphasizes that the intelligence community and decision-makers have fundamentally different attitudes and ways of working with information. "In particular, the characteristic for DM interpretation of the received information in accordance with its own expectations, as well as focusing on vivid events that may be less relevant for analysts of the intelligence community". Thus cognitive and emotional component plays a crucial role.

The presence of information noise is partially overcome by modelling the opponent's actions and use heuristic strategies of information processing. However, "some information will be inadvertently misrepresented, or not included." In this regard, the researcher proposes as part of its approach to study cognitive characteristics of decision-makers and analytical structures, and how the synthesis of these features with strategic foresight.

According to the scientist, decision-maker has its own cognitive picture of the world and propensity to take into account, first of all, the information that does not contradict their beliefs about the enemy.

The analytical community, on the other hand, tend to rely on statistics, however, often only data on the military-industrial sphere of the enemy. The author emphasizes that predicting the opponent's actions solely on the basis of a study of the costs of the opponent in military programs are often ineffective. The analysts in this case, the researcher believes biased and limited. Empirical base, of course, necessary for strategic forecasts, however, it is not always sufficient for making the right decisions, especially in the field of foreign policy.

Thus, to improve decision making in foreign policy, according to the researcher, in the first place, must be carefully examined cognitive features as decision-makers, and analytical structures directly involved in the work with information.


Summary translation: Dmitry Medvedev


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