Intelligence communities around the world and in Israel make a vital and unique contribution to the decision-making process at all levels. For better or worse, the intelligence product affects decisions related to war and peace, military operations and political moves. Intelligence systems are complex and problematic. Therefore, deficiencies and failures are often found in the performance of the central intelligence components in the processes of intelligence collection and research, in the operational and preventive processes, and in the area of cooperation and coordination between the agencies. Sometimes these deficiencies have serious consequences.
In light of the above, there has been growing interest in the methodological research of intelligence on the part of the intelligence organizations themselves, as well as by research institutes, academic institutions and governmental entities in many countries. Methodological research of all the various aspects of intelligence is now more relevant than ever before. This is because intelligence, and in particular the research and evaluation of intelligence, have undergone a fundamental change in recent years. Instead of engaging in traditional research work alone, intelligence research now includes researching organizations, trends, social media and public opinion. This situation presents an enormous challenge for intelligence researchers, requiring them to acquire new skills that are different from those required of them in the past. They also raise basic questions about the balance between the traditional research methods and new research, and the new skills required from the intelligence researcher of today.
In the wake of this interest, many studies and analyses are written, in an attempt to understand the nature and complexity of intelligence activity, the problems related to the function of the intelligence community, its capabilities and weaknesses, its connection with other systems, and above all to examine what can be done to correct and improve its performance.