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Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism, and Intelligence Analytical Essay

Elements of the US Standard Intelligence Producers Cycle

Intelligence cycle denotes all the activities that are within the intelligent cycle niche. Usually, these undertakings include processes that guarantee useful decision-making for a given information. As the name suggests, Intelligence Cycle is a set of processes that includes planning, data analysis and evaluation, and integration and information dissemination (Central Intelligence Agency 2008). The five elements of the US Standard Intelligence Producers Cycle are discussed below.

Planning and direction

Planning is the primary sphere of all that takes place within Intelligence Cycle. All the processes begin with planning, and this shapes the overall framework of all that follows. Planning leads the personnel to execute a particular job in a procedural, programmed way that gives direction to what is needed, and that which must be achieved (Central Intelligence Agency 2008).


Intelligence Cycle personnel collect information by any means necessary from all the sources available. The personnel rely on the information found from newspapers, magazines, television, and radio broadcasts. Other pieces of information are usually attained by means of secret recording devices that help to authenticate their sources. Pictures taken by CCTV and satellites are usually part of this process.


The personnel rely on the information collected so that it can be processed for interpretation. It is usually upon interpretation that the information can gain access and form part of the Intelligence Report. The personnel usually document or encrypt the information for evaluation and analysis.

Analysis and production

Here, the personnel consider the information so far achieved and determine its compatibility while considering the key policy issues inherent within. The personnel assess any eventuality that could be attached to a particular piece of information or that might affect the US public interest in one way or the other.


Dissemination is usually the final step where the personnel give their final documented analysis and forward it to a policy maker. Dissemination follows analysis where learning outcomes of the original question are decoded, after which the whole process begins again for finer information synthesis.

Classes of spies

Sun Tzu forwarded five classes of spies include local spies, inward, converted, doomed, and surviving spies (The Internet Classics Archive 2005). Tzu opines that when these classes of spies are at work, the secret system becomes robust, and is beyond reproach.

Local spies

Local spies take the services of local inhabitants of a region into consideration. The intelligence may advance its collaboration with the indigenous people in an enemy country and win the locals by kind treatments with the aim of using them as spies to volunteer fruitful information.

Inward spies

Inward spies consider the services of officials in the enemy region by luring them to volunteer valuable information within their system. Usually, worthy officials who have fallen out with the system are very formidable individuals to engage because they may feel aggrieved, and would naturally augur well to play a role in the enemy court.

Converted spies

Intelligence may seek to convert enemy spies to play on their side while volunteering very insightful information since they are within the system. The intelligence, according to Lieberman (2012, p. 22), has a duty to win over these individuals by any means necessary including bribes and liberal promises capable of detaching them from the enemy side. It also involves inducing them to relay false information to the system they work for to weaken the enemy (The Internet Classics Archive 2005).

Doomed spies

This category involves a lot of deception to hoodwink the enemy side by orchestrating stage-managed acts to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the enemy side. The intelligence, therefore, capitalises on their weaknesses to deal with the enemy a big blow.

Surviving spies

This category consists of individuals attached to the enemy side to volunteer valuable information, which is usually confined within the system. Such individuals must be of keen intellect, though outwardly presumed as fools but with passion and commitment to deliver their presumed system to the enemy.

The difference between ‘Covert Action’ (CA) and ‘Clandestine Operations’ (CO)

Each of these actions entails a planned, coordinated, and well-executed operation that seeks to conceal the identity of the sponsors or nature of the operation (Daugherty 2004, p. 25). They have a net political effect with a possible ramification in the police force, the military, or the intelligence service. Covert Actions undertake their operations surreptitiously without necessarily revealing their sponsors to that effect while Clandestine Operations strive to conceal the nature of the operation (Daugherty 2004, p. 30).

However, Covert Action and Clandestine Operations, according to Stone and Williams (2015, p. 7), are distinct in their own separate ways. While Covert Action (CA) emphasises on the concealment of the identity of the sponsor of the operation, Clandestine Operations (CO) instead has information on its actions or operations concealed. Moreover, while clandestine seeks to mystify its operations, covert seeks to deny its operations.

Clandestine operation, therefore, differs from covert action due to its emphasis on concealing the details of the operation while covert action seeks to obscure the identity of the sponsor (Stone & Williams 2015, p. 10). The killing of Osama Bin Laden falls under clandestine operation since the emphasis was placed on concealing the details of the operation while the sponsors were known to be the US Government. In the operation that eliminated Bin Laden, the operations of the Seal Team Six were not revealed even after the successful killing of Osama.

The three main forms of ethics discussed in weeks 10 and 11

Ethical and moral intelligence seeks to nurture principles of just intelligence by creating theories capable of answering many ethical concerns while emphasising on the classical metaphysical laws developed over the years. No clear theory seems to conjoin community intelligence studies to the just war theory as provided for in the military ethics.

The three main forms of ethics discussed in weeks 10 and 11 consist of fundamental freedoms, rights, and utilitarianism. Utilitarianism, as Lyons (2011) notes, defines the priorities of principles and explore whether such principles conflict with those of others in practice or not. Under utilitarianism, rights and freedoms ideologies are applicable as a single comprehensive concept of justice that assents to fairness and equal treatment for all without seeking to put individual interest above all others in any way.

These ethical principles are applicable in a broad spectrum and significance in ensuring that the law does not apply by default to certain individuals. These ethics, therefore, present the image of justice and equity concept that aim at political liberalism among individuals and within their societies without necessarily infringing on others’ freedoms or liberties.

As Richardson (2011) notes, intelligence’s concept of justice as fairness envisages a society of free citizens with equal rights whose main desire is to work in harmony within a democratic and free economic system. Intelligence account of fair and equal treatment for all is a version of political liberalism that concerns the legitimate application of political power in an egalitarian (Taylor 2008, p. 72).

As noted herein, intelligence’s pedagogy of fair and equal treatment for all is a demonstration of how enduring unity is achievable even under the multifaceted worldviews that democratic institutions are capable of offering (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2007).

The security of any person at any given moment is not subject to bargain. When the security of a society is compromised, individuals live in peril and fear of being victimised by circumstances. Security brings forth life, happiness, and abundance that makes man complete.

Since everything depends on it, a society will always pursue security for its people to thrive. Intelligence’s seeks to strengthen the laws of principles that embody the foundations of fair and equal treatment for all. The principle, to open-minded foreign policy that it seeks to mould aims at explaining how a peaceful and tolerant societal order could be productive in developing individuals regardless of their religious creeds or political affiliations.

Individuals with a utilitarian mind-set naturally agree that all that is good is by virtue of utility, which in turn points to an individual’s welfare and societal wellbeing (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2012). The concept of security delves much on basic common good, and holds that the wellbeing of individuals consists of preference while specifying right action when it comes to satisfying and justifying such preferences.

Notably, fair and equal treatment for all suffices as the best alternative in building strong institutions. Usually, individuals’ welfare consists of community, happiness, wealth, self-development, and self-worth (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2013). Accordingly, each of these elements is either a means to concomitant or preference, and this linkage with preference make individuals accountable as part of the society.

Given the absurd nature of the difficulty in gauging individuals, White (2012) opines that this association with preference makes utilitarian account for fair and equal treatment of all formidable choices in building stronger communities. Intelligence concept in these presumptions presupposes a hypothetical action where all individuals have the capacity to explore their lifelong sought after dreams since by its very nature of equal opportunities individuals are limitless in their lives.

The just war theorists hold that resorting to war is not necessarily to counter aggression, but simply as a last resort. While critics of the just war theory hold that the concept of war as a last resort would not recognise any type of war as just. Ideally, there can never be factual attempts to avoid war, especially in the face of such extreme aggression.

Under these schemes of things, Hinnebusch (2007, p. 13) notes that after all reasonable attempts have been made to reach out to the warring forces, it would be reasonable to employ the rival force capable of ending the conflict. The only problem perhaps is to decide who is entrusted with the making of such a decision.

However, once this decision is reached, questions abound whether all the possibilities to avoid war might have been met or not will always suffice. The war on terrorism in particular has raised such concerns. It is because of such considerations that Washington attempted to reach out to the Arab world severally (Lieberfeld 2005, p. 16).

Given the prospects of a terror network such as Al-Qaeda, it would be a waste of time extending diplomatic ties to resolve the conflict diplomatically, hence the inclination to apply force in pursuing its perpetrates. Under the just war theory, acts of vengeance cannot be committed to humanity while the rest of the world watch. For example, in the case of Iraq’s aggression in Kuwait, someone had to come and assist.

Naturally, the just war theory holds that an ally of a country under attack is justified to intervene and even join forces should conditions file past the morally and ethically inexcusable baseline. Therefore, the basis of US’s joining the war was in the spirit of redeeming the plight of humanity, which readily qualifies the intervening state as just in its action (Office of the Historian 2013).

While opponents of the just war theory hold views that are contrary, especially in light of the humanitarian crisis it may pose. However, the final determinant of war depends on who argues his points best under the very theory of the just war. Considerable accusations directed to the US at its hypocrisy in fighting terrorism are purely baseless and impractical.

The war against terrorism does not only pass out as a moral victory for the American people, but also for the entire world population. Clearly, it is a proof of America’s decency to the use of power proportionately. Besides, it is a demonstration that with the US as the world’s military power and intelligence might, all nations are protected against aggressors and transgressors such as Osama Bin Laden whose extremism ideologies were increasingly making the world more insecure.


Central Intelligence Agency 2008, . Web.

Daugherty, J 2004, Executive Secrets: Coved the Presidency, University of Kentucky Press, Lexington, Kentucky.

Hinnebusch, R 2007, ‘The American invasion of Iraq: Causes and consequences’, Perceptions, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 9-27.

Lieberfeld, D 2005, ‘Theories of conflict, and the Iraq war’, International Journal of Peace Studies, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 1-21.

Lieberman, J 2012, Liberalism undressed, Oxford University Press, New York.

Lyons, D 2011, Forms and limits of utilitarianism, Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Office of the Historian 2013, . Web.

Richardson, H 2011, (1921-2002). Web.

Taylor, R 2008, Reconstructing Rawls: The Kantian foundations of justice as fairness, Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, PA.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2007, . Web.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2012, . Web.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2013, . Web.

Stone, C & Williams, R 2015, All Necessary Means: Employing CIA operatives in a Warfighting Role alongside Special Operations Forces, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, New York.

The Internet Classics Archive 2005, . Web.

White, J 2012, Political philosophy: A historical introduction, Oxford University Press, New York.

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