Intelligence Collection
How to Plan and Execute Intelligence Collection in Complex Environments
by Wayne Michael Hall and Gary Citrenbaum
June 2012, 505pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-39817-9
$69, £52, 60€, A94
eBook Available: 978-0-313-39818-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The nature of armed threats to the United States has changed. Asymmetric warfare, fought by irregular adversaries on largely undefined and global fronts, is forcing a reassessment of conventional strategy and tactics. As such, intelligence collection and analysis has moved to the forefront of military and defense planning and the execution of modern war. Within these rapidly changing environments, military and defense professionals need new insight and solutions in intelligence assessment.

This book examines the theoretical and conceptual foundation of effective modern intelligence collection—the strategies required to support intelligence analysis of the modern, complex operational environments of today’s military conflicts or competitive civilian situations such as business.

Just as the old rules of conventional warfare and intelligence analysis do not apply fully in the 21st-century environment, neither does the traditional methodology of collecting intelligence on these elusive, adapting foes operating as complex adaptive systems (CAS)—adversaries that excel in today’s complex contexts.

Intelligence Collection: How To Plan and Execute Intelligence Collection In Complex Environments proposes substantive improvements in the way the U.S. national security system collects intelligence and supports intelligence analysis. The work draws on the groundbreaking work of a diverge group of theorists ranging from Carl von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu to M. Mitchell Waldrop, General David Petraeus, and Orson Scott Card, communicating a unifying theory and ontology of thought for how America’s intelligence collection professionals must learn to collect data as our country faces elusive, determined, and smart adversaries in nonlinear, dynamic environments. The new ideas presented will help the nation’s intelligence collection specialists to amass a formidable, cumulative intelligence power, regardless of the level of war or the type of operational environment.

Wayne Michael Hall, EdD, is a retired U.S. Army Intelligence brigadier general. He received his degree from George Washington University, Washington, DC, and is the author of Stray Voltage: War in the Information Age and coauthor of Intelligence Analysis: How to Think in Complex Environments. Hall specializes in intelligence training and education and a host of intelligence transformation issues.

Gary Martin Citrenbaum, PhD, is the president, chairman of the board, chief scientist, and CEO of System of Systems Analytics (SoSA) Corporation. His focus is on technical intelligence transformation issues. Citrenbaum received his doctorate degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg. He is coauthor of Intelligence Analysis: How to Think in Complex Environments.


"Collection management – the alignment of limited intelligence resources against the potentially unconstrained universe of information requirements – remains more art than science, despite numerous technical capabilities available to managers. Hall and Citrenbaum’s book significantly shifts this ratio. Intelligence Collection provides the intellectual foundation defining collection management for both intelligence professionals and consumers; advancing a well-thought-out methodology with potential for making intelligence collection a de facto weapon system, capable of frustrating an adversary’s intentions." —Christopher Jackson, Chief, ISR Integration Division; U.S. Atlantic Command/U.S. Joint Forces Command

"Collecting data on the chaotic, hidden, unexpected and sometimes irrational international sphere is the responsibility of intelligence collectors. For too long this side of the equation has been speculative, scattered, more art than science. We have tolerated finished intelligence based on faulty, sketchy, or micro inputs. In this sharply-organized book, Hall and Citrenbaum provide an original, tightly-reasoned approach to rapid, multi-stream collection. This will become the foremost reference for military intelligence collection planners, for national strategic analysts, and others which - linked to the authors’ earlier work on Intelligence Analysis - now provides updated solutions to formulate answers to urgent, complex scenarios."—S. Eugene Poteat, LL.D, President, Association of Former Intelligence Officers Former Senior Scientific Officer, Directorate of Science & Technology, CIA

“This is a book about change – change in our metacognition (thinking about thinking) that forms the basis for how we think about intelligence collection operations. Brigadier General Mike Hall and his collaborator, Gary Citrenbaum, have authored another invaluable reference, an impressive how-to-do-it manual and an adventurous look into the soul of intelligence operations – the engine that makes everything run – collection. This book is a companion piece to their earlier work on analysis – and sets the standard for a contemporary examination of the single most important activity in the intelligence dynamic. Bravo to the writing team and their collaborators and helpers for illuminating what is usually hidden from view and thus frequently misunderstood and misperceived. This is a superb touchstone for future intelligence professionals. . . . worthy of great appreciation."—Lieutenant General Patrick M. Hughes, U.S. Army, Retired, PMH Enterprises LLC

"In this foundational complement to their path-breaking book on 'how to think' in complex environments, Gen Mike Hall and Gary Citrenbaum offer us tools to adaptively design a 21st Century human weapon system. Advanced Collection teaches us how to acquire the basics from which to develop intelligence, rather than taking both as a "given." By doing so, the authors provide us a means to improve our rational and intuitive capacities to seize the intellectual initiative. The implications of their synthesis of collection and analysis cut across the context, theory and application of strategy. For professional military education, such integration of rigor and relevance is precisely what is needed to prepare leaders for uncertain challenges. Moreover, every national security professional could benefit from this book that raises the thinking standard from situational awareness to decision superiority, and actually proposes how to do it."—Colonel Thomas A. Drohan, USAF Academy, Permanent Professor and Head, Department of Military & Strategic Studies

"Brigadier General Mike Hall has provided this generation a Magnum Opus. His great work is comparable in importance to Prussian military thinker Carl von Clausewitz in his classic On War. This work is now shifting conventional wisdom, transitioning the mind of all strategists from 'What to think,' to the far more important – 'How to think.' Its backbone is the valuable concept of anticipation. It’s accepted that men cannot reduce strategy to cookie cutter formulas. Deep thinking must occur on a routine basis to counter the inevitable frictions of war: chance events, imperfections in execution, and the independent will of the opposition. Instead, General Hall stresses what is most important, the concept of anticipation and its relation to the human elements of leadership, morale, and instinct. No military operations plan survives the first contact with the enemy. That contact sets in motion fundamental laws of human nature, including choice, and capability, versus intent. This book is revolutionary, controversial, and most importantly, it is embraced by the best and brightest of this generations military intelligence professionals. It is a must read for all warfighters, and business leaders alike."—Ken Robinson, Lieutenant Colonel, MI, U.S. Army, Retired 2004; Inductee, Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.

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