Intelligence Analysis
How to Think in Complex Environments
by Wayne Michael Hall and Gary Citrenbaum
December 2009, 440pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38265-9
$66, £49, 57€, A90
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38266-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

We are well into a new era of international conflict—a time where the most potentially dangerous adversaries are terrorists, insurgents, and other competitors supported by a constantly changing and seemingly invisible network. Just as the old rules of conventional warfare do not apply in this environment, neither does the old way of analyzing intelligence related these elusive, all-too-capable foes.

This book offers a vast conceptual and theoretical exploration of the ways intelligence analysis must change in order to succeed against today's most dangerous combatants and most complex irregular theatres of conflict.

Intelligence Analysis: How to Think in Complex Environments fills a void in the existing literature on contemporary warfare by examining the theoretical and conceptual foundations of effective modern intelligence analysis—the type of analysis needed to support military operations in modern, complex operational environments. This volume is an expert guide for rethinking intelligence analysis and understanding the true nature of the operational environment, adversaries, and most importantly, the populace.

Intelligence Analysis proposes substantive improvements in the way the U.S. national security system interprets intelligence, drawing on the groundbreaking work of theorists ranging from Carl von Clauswitz and Sun Tzu to M. Mitchell Waldrop, General David Petraeus, Richards Heuer, Jr., Orson Scott Card, and others. The new ideas presented here will help the nation to amass a formidable, cumulative intelligence power, with distinct advantages over any and all adversaries of the future regardless of the level of war or type of operational environment.


  • Includes quotations from a wide range of acclaimed thinkers
  • Offers an extensive bibliography of works cited and resources for further reading
  • Presents a comprehensive index
Wayne Michael Hall, PhD, is a retired U.S. Army Intelligence brigadier general. He received his degree from George Washington University and is the author of Stray Voltage: War In the Information Age. Hall spends his time working on intelligence training and education and a host of intelligence transformation issues.

Gary Citrenbaum is the president, chairman of the board, chief scientist, and CEO of System of Systems Analytics (SoSA) Corporation. He spends his time working on technical intelligence transformation issues.


"This is a brilliant work by the most brilliant intelligence professional the US Army ever produced. Too bad his career terminated at Brigadier General. In this book he continues to contribute to the intellectual improvement of professional thought in a major way. If there has been a failing in the military art in recent years it has been the failure to draw the distinction between what is merely very complicated and that which is complex. In the former the difficulty is establishing, assembling and organizing the facts. And those facts reveal the inner logic of the situation. In the latter the difficulty is establishing what facts belong, and which don't. And how you choose determines the logic of the situation. This book is about how to choose wisely. I recommend it to all who take the profession of arms seriously."—Huba Wass de Czege, Brigadier General, US Army, Retired, Founder and Former Director of the US Army School of Advanced Military Studies, Former Military Advisor to Secretary General of NATO, Manfred Werner, and Consultant to the US Army for Future Concepts

"In Intelligence Analysis -- How To Think In Complex Environments, Mike Hall, one of the very best minds in the intelligence community, lays out for those who wish to improve on the quality of their thinking both the theoretical and practical steps to become more effective. A brilliant theoretician Hall also demonstrates excellence in the practical matter of divining what the opposition might do. Intelligence Analysis -- How To Think In Complex Environments improves on Richards J. Heurer, Jr’s brilliant Psychology of Intelligence Analysis by taking the discussion beyond techniques and checks on critical thinking that enable analyst to be aware at least of bias. Hall and his coauthor suggest the means to get beyond awareness to genuine apperception, which is essential to discovering objectivity and even empathy for those who are our enemies."—Gregory Fontenot, Colonel US Army (Retired), Directory University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

"'How to think in a complex environment', what a timely and necessary topic for all of us to contemplate. BG Hall chronicles how globalization and the revolutionary change in information patterns have reshaped the operational environment in which live and work. Complex situations will place a premium on the truly 'artful' leader. Mike provides in this publication a number of suggestions on how one might improve this illusive technique. Instinct, intuition and experience are paramount in pursuit of 'artful' thought and leadership, yet there are numerous ways to improve this skill set. This book delivers. Sun Tzu offers that if the sage ('artful') commander perceives himself and the enemy better than the enemy perceives the same situation, he will win in a thousand battles. Perceiving accurately is the issue and this book provides a valuable assist to the reader in this endeavor."—Gary Luck, General, US Army (Retired), Former Commander, 2d Infantry Division, Former Commander, JSOC, Former Commander, XVIII Airborne Corps, and Former Commander, USFK and Combined Forces Command, Korea

"Analysis, Think and Complex are three powerful words from the title of this superb seminal work that clearly mark its unparalleled significance. General Mike Hall, is an erudite scholar and exemplary leader. Additionally, as a life-long developer of systems and processes that inspire critical thinking skills and insightful reflection, he has created another masterful pattern for successful transformation of caterpillars into butterflies. Grasping, understanding, and practicing his methods and logic will raise the analytical ability of our intelligence community to an all-time high. His skillful writing and engaging process draws us through an experience of teaching and understanding that allows and enables us to exceed even our own highest learning goals. Intelligence Analysis – How To Think In Complex Environments, is a remarkable masterwork destined as a classic in the field. ' "—Frank H. Akers, Jr. PhD, Brigadier General (RET), U.S. Army, Senior Fellow, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and President & CEO, Oak Ridge Strategy Group

"Mike Hall has written a brilliant book that reflects the future of intelligence and the focus of the intelligence professionals. As the battlespace evolves in future wars, the methodology of the Intelligence Community must do the same, yet few people 'Get It' the way Mike does. The 'Human Dimension' of warfighting is where the emphasis must be, beginning with prioritization of effort and Mike outlines very articulately how that is accomplished. His views on the fundamental task of analysis are spot on and exactly where we need to go in the future. I will use this book as a text in my 'Introduction To National Intelligence' classes at Hampden Sydney College. A fine piece of work."—William G Boykin, LTG(R) US ARMY, Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Wheat Chair of Leadership, Hampden Sydney College

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International security in the 21st century is not a topic that can be adequately addressed in nightly news soundbites or online articles intended to be relevant for 24 hours or less. Comprehending these complex issues requires insight from foreign policy specialists, diplomats, military officials, peace scholars, historians, and security experts—participants and observers on all sides of each conflict. This series provides the tools for understanding security issues in our uncertain, unstable world.

Covering global hot spots from Iran to Venezuela and subjects ranging from terrorism and cyber warfare to food security, books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, academic researchers, journalists, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth analysis and international perspectives that are unavailable in the mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students, researchers, and policymakers as well as for anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.


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