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The Problem of Secret Intelligence$
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Kjetil Anders Hatlebrekke

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780748691838

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748691838.001.0001

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On Dissemination

On Dissemination

(p.219) 6 On Dissemination
The Problem of Secret Intelligence

Kjetil Anders Hatlebrekke

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter argues that threats in general, and terrorist threats as such, are complex in their structures and dynamics. They are hard to comprehend and foresee, and therefore highly challenging to communicate and disseminate. Intellectual courage is therefore called for, since intelligence is useless unless the intelligence producer at some point delivers a product that reduces uncertainty to the decision-maker. Intelligence institutions should therefore replace the need-to-share principle with a courage-to-share strategy. The courage-to-share strategy facilitates and stimulates the intelligence operators’ willingness and ability to believe in their own assessments, and therefore also their cognitive capability to approach complex threats. Intelligence is, in its essence, the bearer of uncertainty and complexity. Threats and the future are by their nature dubious and intelligence institutions should not try to present them as some- thing else.

Keywords:   Need-to-share, Need-to-know, Classified, Dialogue, Culture

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