Measuring the Degree of Politicization of Intelligence Data: A Basic Qualitative/Quantitative Model

Measuring the Degree of Politicization of Intelligence Data: A Basic Qualitative/Quantitative Model

Eugene de Silva (Virginia Research Institute, USA)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7904-6.ch001
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Abstract

The politicization of intelligence and how it leads to failures in intelligence have been recognized for many years. Those who lead the intelligence community have also been staunch advocates against politicization. Nevertheless, the intelligence community has always been influenced by policymakers at various stages of the intelligence cycle. This chapter discusses politicization and presents a model to determine the degree of politicization qualitatively/quantitatively. The recognition of five factors related to politicization and the use of a simple scale would enable the intelligence team to determine the extent of politicization and insulate each stage of the intelligence cycle. This chapter also applies the new model to two instances where politicization has occurred.
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Background

The politicization of intelligence has been observed in almost all countries, whilst the extent to which the politicization happens varies. The work by Hegemann (2018) focuses on how parliaments can be sites for the politicization of intelligence and security and brings examples from the German federal parliament. Seo (2018) studied the politicization of intelligence in South Korea and President Moon's attempts to be transparent in government work. Bar-Joseph (2013) examined the politicization of intelligence in the US, Britain, and Israel. Davies (2019) detailed the problems of politicization in Malaysia.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Quantitative/Qualitative Model: This is a model where the user can either generate a piece of descriptive information related to the politicization or obtain a numerical value that indicates the degree of politicization.

Simple Scale: This is a numerical range ranging from zero to 2 with positive and negative directions on a two-dimensional scale.

Politicization: In this chapter, politicization refers to the influence by the policymakers or senior, management intelligence officers on the intelligence personnel involved in gathering, processing, and presenting intelligence reports to distort or deviate from the facts.

Hard Politicization: Hard politicization happens when intelligence personnel is directly influenced, coerced, pressurized, threatened to produce the desired report favorable to the policymaker.

Soft Politicization: Soft politicization happens when intelligence personnel is indirectly influenced, coerced, pressurized, threatened to produce the desired report favorable to the policymaker.

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