approved for4 cmhislbricfurffitiypboflrmi
TITLE: Spy Ac Your Service, Sir AUTHOR: Lowell M. Dunleigh
VOLUME: 3 ISSUB: Spring
A collection of articles on the historical, operational, doctrinal, and theoretical aspects of intenioenco.
All statements of fact, opinion or analysis expressed in Studies in Intelligence are those of
the authors They do not necessarily reflect offtcisl positions or views of the Central Intelligence Agency or any other US Government entity, past or present. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying US Government endorsement of an article's factual statements and inierprelations.
A clandestine requirementsreveals to the Intelligenceagic formula to summon and command the powerful fftnnl of last resort.
SPY AT YOUR SERVICE, SLR Lowell M. Dunleigb
"The obtaining of intelligence by covert means is anexpensive and unsatisfactory business. No secret In-telligence Is worth collecting unless It Is absolutely certain that the Intelligence Is genuinely and urgently required by some executivehe art of being an executiveecret service (and It is an art,cience) consists largely of seeing tliat the operating case officer knows exactly what intelligence he is required to obtain, or what target he has to. The further the best brainsecretdivorce themselves from this basic problem, the lessthe service will be."
Soistinguished British colleague, crystallizing these nuggets of wisdom from his wide experience and the long traditions of his service. It Is the duty of headquarters, he adds, "to see that the customers don't ask the field damn foolo this negative thumbs-down on foolish questions we would add an outstretched palm begging for good ones, questions calculated to produce the highest yield of essential Information.1
Putting the right questions to the covert collector in order to get the right answers is notatter of professional neatness. It is imperative to tbe performance of thefunction. Clandestine assets for the collection ofare limited, and In the progressive complexities of the modem world we must be sure we are aiming them at tbe pivotal factors of power. On the other hand, the flooding of
William P. Bandy, "The Qnldlns of inulUgencetudies tn InteUtgenc*ede* of<-
- enew of
In clandestine couecUon as presented toMethods Conference. -
Spy Af four Service, Sir
the tafcrmatlon channels is already acute become overwhelming. Every day morelassified documents are poured* Into the intelligence stream. How many are brightly Ruminating, how many of tow candle-power? That depends not entirely on the validity of their Information, but on what questions they answer.
Process and Rapport
From the viewpoint of tbe collector, the whole mteUigence process has four phases, represented by quadruple RRequirements, Reports. Reaction (orhe third phase Is the collector's own, but is dependent on the other three, which belong lo the analyst.
The analyst or producer must approach his analysis of the past or present and his estimate of tbe future throughassembling and collation of raw information. He usually finds that be needs more information than he has on some phases, or perhaps current coverageeveloping situation. So heuestion on the collector, overt or covert. The question is answered by an Information report Then if the system Is working properly, the analyst will react, evaluating the report to let the collector know whether he Is on the beam. So the mteUigence wheel turns: Research.Reports. Reaction. Whether It turns smoothly or develops an eccentric wobble depends very considerably on tbe relation between analyst and collector. ThisIs the keyah of most critical and soberingto get the indispensable information, andbow to avoid choking the intelligence stream with the luxuriant water hyacinth of trivia
in simpler days tbe operations of the quadruple R's could be combined In one man. In the fifth century B. C. Thucydides both reported and analyzed the Peloponnesian War, ranging the fields of politics, economics, military action, psychological and subversive warfare. He setreed that can be warmly embraced by modem practitioners of the mteUigence arts and sciences:
And totth regard to my factual reporttng of tha events^ ofaverinciple not to write down the first story that came my way, and not even to be guided by my own general impressions;as present myself at the events
Spy At Your Service, Sir
ave described oreardhem fromwhoseave checked with as much thoroughness as possible. Not that even so the truth was easy to discover: different eye-witnesses give different accountshe same events, speaking out of partiality for one side or the
other or else from imperfectwW be enough for
me, however, if these words of mine are judged useful by those who want to understand clearly the events which happened in the past and which (human nature being what it is) will, at some time or other and in much the same ways, be repeated in the
I do not think that one will be far wrong in acceptingI have reached from the evidence which Iforward. It is better evidence than that of the poets,the importance of their themes, or of thewho are less interested in telling the truthcatching the attention of theirmay claimto have used only the plainest evidence and toconclusions which are reasonably accurate.
Alas, no modem Thucydides is competent to undertake alone the lull reportorlal description and the analyticof the Cold War; theyask for many men and many minds. And, perhaps unfortunately, the stylus and papyrus which limited even the prodigious Industry of the phenomenal Greek have been replacedoundlessof paper and tbe ever faster writing machines of today. But let us waste no time In tears for the past, for we cannot become our own ancestors; we have no choice but to seek some contemporary means of elevating the quality and reducing the quantity of information which now pours into the intelligence hopper.
I believe the way liesloser integration of the question and answeretter understanding between producer and collector as to their functions and mutuala realization that they arc parts of the same body, lobes of the brainaster Institutional Thucydides. To the superficial observer there Is no problem here. Machinery exists, and generally it Is good machinery. With minorit wouldood rating from managementThe river of paper, properly diked and leveed, flows smoothly from port to ordained port. Thererocedure to
Spy Al Your Service, Sir
fit everyood bureaucratic procedure. Everyone does what be should do according to the boot But what Is often lacking, and this Is the crucial point, is an empathy, anappreciation, between analyst and reporter.
The collector has many obligations indeed to the harried analyst/producer, and many faults to account for and to remedy; these we shall discuss another time If we are invited back to these pages. At present our concern Is with the analyst* obligation to the reporter, If action In his ownshould be called an obligation It Is really only theuse of his opportunity to ask questions and criticise the answers- This process can give him an overwhelmingon the collection course, can make him an effective navigator of tbe overseas flight piloted by the collector. The navigator Is obliged to indicate the route, the pilot Is obliged to pursue It. The failure to exercise these roles with mutual helpfulness canumpy ride or even ditch the craft Tbe British colleague we quoted spoke of the expense of clandestine collection. If the checks and balances ofenterprise onlyteUigence. and the produccr were charged for his raw material on the basis of cost and rarity, be would make sure his requests concerned only real and Imperative needs. His parsimony with orders and his generosity with complaints about quality would ensure the most efficient use of the precious assets of clandestineBy its nature,ureaucracy Is akin toor stateystem which can achieve efficiency only through an esprit de corps, an elan vital springing from the seal and drive of personal responslblUty. Without these, means wUl be mistaken for ends, shadow for substance,for achievement, and worst of aU the slae of thevehicle for tbe value of its cargo.
The RoUing Stock
Let's look at some of the vehicles on this highway between questionerore famous road, with most laudableweigh those that carry guidance to collector*.
Priority National Intelligence Objectives. These plot the cardinal points of the mteUigence compass, the North. East, South and West for research, production and collection of all
Spy At Your Service, Sir
types, overt and covert. They list, In order of priority, the areas of dancer to national security. Here are the grand.
heroic questions which must be answered for policy-makers. From an indifferent beginning nine years ago, they haveincreauhgly valuable with each revision. Tbe latestwith Its functional appendices. Is an excellent document. Most heartening is this serious attempt to bring the great galaxies of the intelligence firmament into telescopic focus, though they are perforce beyond our quick and easy reach.
Interagency Clandestine Collection Priorities Lists, Keyed to the PNIO's, these lists are tailored for the clandestineand formulatedower level of abstraction. In many cases they not only list specific requirements but even suggest targe's, for Instance an Installation which mlgbt yield the required Information. They are growing steadily better, and so are used mcreasingly for collection andUnfortunately the IPC has confined Itself almost wholly to the Domed Areas. In obeisance to the questionable notion that only the Sino-Soviet Bloc, particularly itspower,eally worthy intelligence target. There's no denying the dangers of hot war or military blackmail, but the hazards and manifestations of the cold war ireThe IPC would seem to be somewhat In conflict with Messrs. Alien Dulles and Nudta Khrushchev, whoare duet of agreement have pictured the main battle linesacross the field of economics, chiefly In the underdeveloped areas outside the Bloc.
Post Mortems ol National Intelligence Estimates. These report Information gaps revealed In the preparation of rTIE's. Properly they should be translated Into collectionby the contributors to tbe estimate In question, but this responsibility Is too often overlooked.
Related Mission Directive. This basic Instruction for the operationlandestine stationection devoted to Informational objectives. The producers are Invited totheir general requirements for Integration In thisThe response varies in quality and specificity.
Periodic Requirements Lists. These are regional or country hats Issued quarterly through cooperative effort of CIA'sof Current Intelligence and the State Department.not tailored to clandestine collection, they are valu-
Al Your Service, Sir
able guides for the covert operator. They are ImprovingIn comprehensiveness and general quality.
Clandestine Collection Requirements. These are thequestions directed specifically to the clandestineIn present usage "requirement" covers almost any expression of need for field response, and these questionsover tbe widest range. In concept, understanding, andequirement may be the Joy or the despair of the collector. It may be one of those -damn fool questions" or on the otherarefully conceived, skillfullyrequirement which will stimulate the enthusiasticinstincts of the field operator.
Now It Iselieve, to Indicate quite clear'y what makes It foolishotent catalyst to action. If the analyst will only give heed to the following recipe for concoctionecret love potion, he can bend the collector gently lo bis wfll. The analyst who knows this secret will be able tothe most rewarding kind of one-upmanship on bisor careless colleague whose appeals to the field reporter evoke indifferent responses, or none.
The Magic Formula
Tbe ploy, like so many general formulae, is simple to state, but not so easy to employ. It is this:
Be surehat the Information requested does not already exist la the catacombs of an mteUigence horary,hat the information cannot be gathered overtly, oruestion has both overt and covert aspects, that the latter are spelled out, S) that questions expensive to answer In money andare really significant,hat the formulation contains background Information to help the collector understand what he is doing, most particularly in scientific and technical subjects,hat the questions are not analytic conclusions to Interrogative form but are directed at specific informational unknowns upon which the conclusions must be buUt,hat the requirements statementerious effort to suggest targets and Indicators (signs, portents and outcropplngs that signal subsurface developments, present or future).
Each element of this formulaice or virtue which Is manifested every day to the requirements traffic-Let's examine these elements one by one.
Spy At Your Service, Sir
Be Sure It's Sot tn the File. Resist the lure toeld collection requirement until the repositories of Information have been searched. This is the analyst's responsibility. The admonition ts obvious, though often Ignored, to the great and righteous annoyance of the collector.egional service unit askedransportation facilityeniedable alerted the clandestine station.urious intelligence officer at headquarters, stirred by vague remembrance, found the information reposing In the Dies, quite where it belonged. And the shades of Dale Carnegieitibrary search is cheaper than clandestine field collection, certainly In precious manpower if not In cash.
Don't Ask tor What's in the Newspaper. Never ask tbe covert operator to collect overt Information. You arepecansUedriver If you see the field operator as an all-purpose collector and refuse to believe that he cantsuch easy tasks as collecting publications, clipping the press, etc. One avid and able analystovert office for overt collection on his specialty because the overt collectors were busy entertaining important visitors from Washington I
The demands for this kind of thing are greatest in times of crisis, when analysts and policy-makers expect the covert operator to turn himselfews association. His proper role on these occasions Is to probe behind the news, using his covert sources to illuminate events by Infra-red; and this roleonderful opportunity for the analyst.risis-stricken analyst, suggesting with apologies that he take Just five minutes from his dizzy whirl toew Important questions whose answers would be helpful in his round of analyses. Interpretations, briefing papers, etc From past reporting he was familiar with the generalof our sources. He produced three questions, of which one became obsoleteew hours; but the others werenext day, to his profit and delight. This Is the proper use of an important Intelligence tool.
The working analyst who through Ignorance or eagerness wants everybody to collect and transmit everything Is not the sole culprit More elevated chiefs may be even worse They often generate the greatest confusions by
Spy At foure. Sir
expecting and encouraging their particular collector* to range the spectrum of conditions and events. The result Is wasteful competition, duplication, and superficial coverage. Policy-makers have even greater expectations.and conSIctlngly In this age of science, their naive faith In the collector as seer and soothsayerast refuge of the belief in magic.
Here we get into the problem of expecting from the covert collector not exactly overt information, but something more than raw, unevaluated Information, some analysts orEven the experienced analyst will sometimes be led astray by undue faith tn the wisdom of field collection, in its on-the-spotness.ecent upheaval abroad the covert operator tried to analyze anduzzling development His reasonable. Informed, but too parochial Interpretation was not so good as thatashington analyst. The collector was fitting news events Into tbe frameworkocallytrend. The Washington analyst, without personal Involvement, bad been considering material from all sourcesarger context.
Tho role of tbe collector as analyst or Interpreter is highly controversial. But in no case can it properly be moreecondary, contributing function, whether voluntary or by request. The clandestine collector, to particular, though often extremely well informed,ethods specialist,ubject specialist. His interpretations and estimates, while they can often be helpful thought-provokers, should be taken Into consideration not as authoritative but as tentativeto the ever elusive truth. So the good analyst will not encourage the covert collector to act the pundit and write editorialsait to which many leaput rather will ply him with questions to keep him busy as adeveloping toforrnation. Sound information to the covert field is more precious than prophecy.
Be Sure It't Really Significant. Be sure the questions are inspired by necessity, not curiosity, and that their answers wfll yield Important dividends. This shouldatter of design, not of chance. Resist tbe temptation to play It safe and cover everything, thus nullifying the whole effort tolimited assets on targets of major importance.
Spy Al Your Service, Sir
ecentroup of economic analysts setist of industrial establishments on which they wantedAlmost all were vulnerable to attack. But to get complete Information on all of them would hare required the total assets ol the collectors, with nothing left over for other targets. It was discovered that tbe analysts didn't really need complete information; what they needed was to fill in certain significant gaps in the production picture. Bo amiable negotiations between representatives of the collector and the analysts produced, first, an arrangement of theIn some order of priority, and second, specifics as to what quantity and kind of Information was needed on each.
This kind of complex determination requires stem self-discipline by the analyst, as well as understanding byoncentrated specialist could easily use up all existing covert assets on the gaps In his ownood analyst is always ravenous and omnivorous, but quick and greedy satiety might well be followed by Intestinaland future famine!
Be Sure fo Give Background. The operator needs towhat be Is collecting, and why. One disconcerting phenomenonureaucracy is the descent of instructions or requests down through the echelons, losing direction and momentum like the steel pelletsinball machine bobbllng unpredictably down among Its plus. Requirements should have the speed and sharpnessart, and the feather end is background information to steady the shaft toward Its goaL
The ultimate collector may be an agent limited InIdeally, of course, the case officer should be able to fill him in and tailor the requirement to his limitations. But if the case officer getsist of questions or. worseare request for "Information" on some topic, bealways Illuminate the subject. The field collectors are not always blameless, to be sure: some are so concerned with the operation of their delicate covert mechanisms that they do not dig deeply enough into the substance of their
Considerable progress Is now being made on this count IPC lists are including increasingly good background Economic analysts are adding blood and sinew to
Al Your Service, Sir
tbe bare bones of requirements. Exceptionally good in this respect was the recent Guided Missiles Task Force study, which not only reviewed past collection but described present gaps and pointed tbe path to future collection. Itrue fade mecvm for tbe case officer. Though mildly encyclopedic. Its items could be split up and developed for specific purposes and individual agents. The physician, no matter how refined his specialty, must be well informed on the anatomy of tbe whole body.
Our British colleagues do these background studies fOrccn Line papers, they call them) exceedingly well. Theyuzzling subject Important to future policy, analyze It, and indicate lines of Inquiry. We have experimented with abut more elaborate procedure,arget country, relating It to Its environment, reviewing existingspeculating on alternative developments, pointing out avenues and targets for collection, and searching lor valid indicators. Producers may be asked to participate In this exercise when the technique is better developed and better Insured against getting bogged down in endless coordination. Meanwhile the producer can contribute by providing as much background as he can with his collection requests.
The point Is that there Is an Important type of analysis whose aim Is not to weigh precisely all facts and arrive at agreed conclusions, but rather to appraise tentatively, to speculate on alternative developments and their Import, so as to stimulate the collection activity which will make agreed conclusions possible. The purpose here, again. Is tolimited assets on significant linesarge context
Ask Collection Questions, Not Conclusions. Conclusions are reached by totaling all evidence from research and all types of collection. The bane of the clandestine collector Is thewho thinks he haseen requirement when be asks, "Will the government ofemain stable until the nextr in variant form requests "all evidence of the stability of the government ofho, the collector might ask, can determine better than the analyst what type of evidence shows thats crumbling? He sits at the center of all Informatione's an expert. Let him tell us what kind of evidence be wants, and well look for it.
Spy At Your Service, Sir
Of course. It's not quite so clear-cut as that. The collector ts no mere mechanic. He often has an intimate knowledge of his area, but his position and his myriad chores (and perhaps his temperament) do not usually permit him an analytical approach.
So the analyst must not putin the positionudge passivelyerdict Rather he Is an attorney orolice officialifficult quest for evidence, deploying all his overt uniformed police and covert plain-clothesmen. Success depends upon search of police records, research by laboratory technicians, and interchange ofbetween field and headquarters, as well as upon the skill and seal of the detectives In applying headquarters'
Suggest Targets; Point Out Indicators. Although thewill certainly have good Ideas of his own, the analyst can turn his In tens! re knowledge to good advantage by the selection of targets for investigation and indicators that bear watching. He is like the trained petroleum geologist who by carefully studying the terrain can show the field crews where best to drill because be will recognize Indicators in theenvironment that signal the likelihood of oil.
A medical diagnostician will suspect from preliminarythat the patient has one of several possible ailments. This preliminary diagnosis enables him to order specialiied examinations and laboratory tests to develop newwhich, upon evaluation, will confirm, narrow, or change his original views. He has thusew significantand indicators for investigation. He does not send tbe patientlinic for all the tests in the book, with theto "tell me what's wrong withhe whole galaxy of tests would require endless time, and most would be useless. The intelligence producer Is In effect an Internist, concerned with diagnosis and prognosis, whose successon the care with which be guides the collection of data by specialist-technicians.
In medicine, too, Indicators are commonly watched to signal deeperpulse and respiration, the condition of tongue, skin, or fingernails, for example. In Intelligence, the simpler military Indies tori are cornmon enough: clearing of the border toneortent of invasion.
At Your Service, Sir
cancellation of leaves,ost of other earl; warning signs. Scientific and technical Intelligence has developed manyIn Its field: "What color smoke issues from theof the chemicalIs the nozzle of the tank car frosted?"
The determination of simple indicators forromising field for expansion,orthy and profitable task for the analyst It should be particularlyIn the boundless expanse of the socialpolitics, economics, psychological and social reactions, etc We stand here greatly In need of Indicators and measuring devices which will reveal trends or show where to dig. In the questionovernment's stability, for example, the analyst might point out vulnerabilities which the opposition could be expected to attack effectively.
Tbe indicator approach should have fruitful application to the known Communist tactical pattern, in detecting the first hints of infiltration before It becomespress and radio, ta the army, among the police, in key ministries. For instance, an early move toward getting control of tbe press Is to get control of newsprint The target for thismightocal business firmewsprintabroad.
Mutual Under;landing and Responsibilities
If the analyst asks Important, practical, and appropriate questions, if he tries to convey to the collector an appreciation of why they are important, and if he helps select high-yielding targets and Indicators, he is likely to get good Information: the collector for his part Is obliged to use bis classic formula and operate good agents against good targets. Tbe mutuality of this responsibility Is Inescapable. Producer/analyst and collector/operator are tied together, for better or for worse.
In the bad good-old-days, particularly when the end of the war opened large new areas, the Information-hungry analyst welcomed almost everything, and the operator collected with slim discrimination. In those honeymoon days of tbe analyst Owl and tbe spying Pussy-cat, they dined on mince and slices of quince and danced by the light of the moon. But as every marriage counselor warns, the honeymoon does not last Ideally It mergesorkaday world of practical
Spy At Your Service,
partnership, exchanged tolerances, happy dialogue, andaccepted responsibilities. So we hope it will be with this couple; it would be too badheir beautiful peagreen boat foundered on too many "damn fool questions."Original document.