Course Descriptions

Analyst Training: Writing, Analysis, and Preparing Briefings

An introductory course for either new or relatively new analysts who have had little hands-on experience in the skill areas described in the course title, or for analysts who want to improve their analytical writing skills by giving them more focus.   The course is designed to get analysts off to a good start in as little time as possible, recognizing that there are important time constraints in such training and that much will also be learned on the job. This course allows analysts to be more effective communicators sooner.  This course examines the role of intelligence in the policy process then offers an introduction to analytic skills, beginning with critical thinking and reading, writing analysis, and preparing and presenting successful briefings. Much of what is required for good analytical writing takes place before the analyst actually begins to write.  The scoping and planning of the intelligence analysis therefore are major areas of emphasis in this course, as well as issues of format, length, word selection, etc.  This course includes numerous in-class exercises in each of the skill sets being developed and focuses on the issues specific to the client’s role and community, such as homeland security or health intelligence and security issues. This is typically a 3-day course but we sometimes offer it as a 2-day course through the OpenAcademy.

Analytic Management Training

Prepares managers who are relatively new to intelligence analysis for the issues they will confront as they manage intelligence analysts. Among the issues that are covered are: defining and understanding policy maker needs, the nature of the interagency process, a “typical” analytic day, cultural habits of analysts and the hallmarks of good analysis – defined as analysis that will be of use to policy makers. This is a 1-day course.

Congress and National Security

Examines the role of Congress across a broad range of national security issues – defense, intelligence and foreign policy and through diverse activities – hearings, investigations, budgets. The course is designed to get individuals more accustomed to working with Executive branch agencies a better appreciation for this equally important component of the government. This is a 1-day course.

Counter Terrorism: Actionable Intelligence

The effective collection and appropriate use of actionable operational intelligence is critical to all law enforcement and national security agencies in the U.S. Whether the agency’s prime responsibility is the defeat of criminality, terrorism or espionage, to achieve success its operations need to be directed by accurate and timely intelligence. The safety of their officers and agents lives can also depend on how effectively their agency manages the interface between intelligence and operations. This one-day workshop is therefore designed to instruct operational commanders, their agents and officers, and their analysts on how to aggressively collect and use actionable intelligence in the course of their counter terrorist (CT) operations. The same intelligence techniques can also be used against criminality. The workshop is not theoretical or academic, but presents a focused explanation of how a law enforcement agency can make intelligence a vital component of its successful operations in the future.

Critical Thinking

Focuses on a key aspect of analytic tradecraft, the ability to think through a series of conflicting and competing data, but doing so in a manner that is self-aware of the quality and integrity of the thought process.  This course is specifically designed to reflect the standards for analytic integrity and tradecraft as prescribed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) in Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 203.  Using case-based discussion leadership as the predominant teaching methodology, augmented by several facilitated discussions, this two-day seminar introduces the students to intellectual virtues or traits useful in critical thinking as well as the barriers to critical thinking; structured analytic techniques; and allows  the students to apply ethics in analysis. This is a two-day course.

Cyber Collections

Offers in-depth technical training in how to perform cyber collections. This course focuses on the planning, collection and analysis of information from a multitude of online resources, including social network media, forums, blogs, domain and network information. This course is intended for anyone who has the need to gather open source intelligence in cyberspace.  This is a two-day course.

Cyberforce Superiority™ – Executive/Managers Course

Many experts agree that cyber is a new warfighting domain, requiring new approaches and new skills.  This course is a five-day distillation of the longer, more detailed Cyberforce Superiority “Belts” courses. Unlike most cyber training courses that emphasize either computer security or hacking skills, our course is designed to give students a preliminary integrated understanding of the methodologies and interrelated offensive and defensive factors that come into play when training a cyber warrior.  Students will learn a sample of the introductory, mid-level, and high-level tactics used for Computer Network Operations (CNO) including Computer Network Attack (CNA) & Computer Network Exploitation (CNE), Computer Network Defense (CND), as well as Computer forensics.  Topics of instruction include: ethical hacking, Boolean Logic, networking for both advanced Unix and Windows, vulnerability identification, computer exploit development, and reverse engineering.  This will be a practical course with instruction that is focused on in-class computer exercises and lab work.   This course is offered in partnership with Raytheon Solipsys. This course is eligible for 4.1 CEUs from George Mason University.  Select this link for detailed information on our Cyberforce Superiority education program.

Cyberforce Superiority™ – “Belts”

This is a cycle of 12-16 weeks of courses, taking the student from White Belt to the level of expertise they need, up to Black Belt.  This series is designed to take individuals from novice to a highly-skilled cyber warfare practitioner.  The topics are the same as in the Cyberforce Superiority™ Introduction course but in much greater depth and detail. This series is designed to allow the student to acquire exactly the skill level needed, making it highly effective in terms of cost and time.  Again, these are very hands-on courses with in-class labs following each teaching module. These courses are offered in partnership with Raytheon Solipsys. These courses are eligible for CEUs from George Mason University.  Select this link for detailed information on our Cyberforce Superiority education program and each of our “Belts” courses.

Driving Collection

Provides analysts a firm understanding of how each of the five INTs (and their sub-INTs) are managed in terms of tasking, collection, processing & exploitation, and dissemination so that the analysts will become more facile with the INTs and better able to task them as needed under a variety of circumstances. At the end of this session, students will be able to define the basic capabilities and drawbacks of each of the INTs, as well as the types of issues for which they are best suited; explain the collection management process for each of the INTs and, as necessary, sub-INTs; prepare a coherent collection tasking request for each of the INTs; and understand how the NIPF directs and alters national collection priorities. This is a one-day course.

GEOINT 101

This one-day course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of the Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) community, core GEOINT technologies and operations, and the role of GEOINT in national security affairs supporting decision makers and operations. It is intended for those seeking a broad understanding of the evolution of GEOINT as an intelligence discipline; the current state of GEOINT collection, analysis, and community management; and the core operational and technical concepts necessary to interact within the international GEOINT community. The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (www.usgif.org) developed this course and offers it in partnership with The Intelligence and Security Academy. This is the only GEOINT 101 course certified by USGIF.

Global Perspectives on Combating Terrorism

Terrorism is a transnational problem that concerns many nations, not just the United States.  This one-day course offers an in-depth look at counterterrorism policy and practice in China, Colombia, India, Israel, Russia, Spain and the US. The course examines competing conceptions and definitions of terrorism at the national and international level and the institutions and processes designed to execute the “Global War on Terrorism,” including the balance between national security interests and civil liberties; relevant legal decisions; legislative provisions to terrorism; operational counter-terrorism considerations (including targeted killing/drone policy); intelligence gathering (including interrogations); policy recommendations; the use of military tribunals or civil courts in trying suspected terrorists; emerging law regarding enemy combatants and their detention; and the arguable need for new self-defense doctrines at the global level.  The class is based on ‘ad-hoc’ simulation exercises in which students role play decision makers addressing legal, policy, intelligence (gathering and analysis) and operational counterterrorism dilemmas. The class presents an interdisciplinary and global exploration of the law, policy, intelligence gathering, and operational decisions surrounding counter-terrorism initiatives. Case studies of seven different nations and their efforts to repel terrorism within their borders provide numerous opportunities for comparative analysis.

Health Security Analysis

Examines the still-developing field of health security intelligence (pandemics, biological terror or warfare) and examines what it is, what roles are played by health security, national and state/local intelligence and the types of analytic skills that homeland security analysis requires. This course runs from 1 to 2 days depending on the number of modules selected.

History of U.S. Intelligence

This is a five hour course that reviews the major events and trends that have shaped U.S. intelligence, from its World War II pre-history through the current day. Among the issues covered are: responses to external threats; the role of technology; espionage; Congress and partisan politics. This course gives attendees a much better context and understanding of the major forces that continue to influence or determine U.S. intelligence policy.

Homeland Security Intelligence

Examines the still-developing field of homeland security intelligence and examines what it is, what roles are played by homeland security, national and state/local intelligence and the types of analytic skills that homeland security analysis requires. This course runs from 1 to 2 days depending on the number of modules selected.

Intelligence and the Law

This half day course examines the legal and policy framework that governs the U.S. Intelligence Community. It presents the core legal authorities and restrictions — the Constitution, statutes, and Executive orders — and explores how and why they are applied to the conduct of U.S. intelligence today. Designed for a wide audience, the course reviews the history and evolution of intelligence law and policy and provides an in-depth look at selected laws that affect intelligence activities. Topics include:  Covert action; congressional oversight; privacy and civil liberties including electronic surveillance, FISA, and other restrictions on the conduct of intelligence; protection of sources and methods, classification, and leaks; the role of the DNI; and the laws and relationships that govern the fight against terrorism. This is a half-day course.

Intelligence Collection

This is a two-day course designed to explain how intelligence collection is done; the special terminology used in different collection “INTs”; their capabilities and limitations; how they are used in practice; the intelligence that is gained from them; and how that intelligence supports policy makers and military operations. This course will be of use to a broad array of intelligence professionals – all source analysts, collection discipline specialists and analysts, and collection managers who need to understand how collection assets work in practice and the challenges of managing and interacting across collection disciplines. The course also will be of value for the national policy and military communities who use intelligence products in the furtherance of U.S. national security objectives.

Intelligence Community: An Introduction

Offered as either a 1-day or 2-day course.

In the one-day session, we offer a broad introduction to the major current issues in U.S. intelligence, typically including the current structure of the Community and the role of the agencies and the DNI; collection; analysis; current national security issues; the intelligence budget; and the role of Congress. This is an appropriate course for those who are fairly new to intelligence issues or as a refresher for those returning to intelligence issues. The 1-day course is eligible for .6 CEUs from George Mason University.

In the two-day session, we provide a broad overview of the roles, functions and activities of the U.S. Intelligence Community. This course is specifically designed to provide government employees or contractor professionals who work with Intelligence Community clients a firm basis for understanding the Community’s roles, needs and culture and the issues that they are facing today as the Community deals with a new structure and new threats. This course places special emphasis on the changes that have been implemented since 2001 and how they are progressing. For the two-day session we typically cover six of the modules below.

  • The legal basis of the Intelligence Community
  • Structure & Missions: which agencies do what and why
  • 21st Century national security threats to the United States
  • Intelligence Collection: how the system works, what each type of collection does, its relative strengths and weaknesses
  • Issues in intelligence analysis
  • Intelligence Programs: structure of the intelligence budget
  • The role of Congress in intelligence
  • Intelligence Management Issues: major current management issues, especially those that tend to be obstacles to a more integrated approach to intelligence, including the agencies vs. the DNI, roles and missions, acquisition, security et al.
  • Intelligence and the Policy Maker: examples of how intelligence is used with senior policy makers, including the International Court of Justice and foreign officials

We also incorporate threat and collection exercises into the 1-day and 2-day sessions. These are particularly useful in helping the students to begin applying their knowledge to real problems.

If a client is interested in all of the modules we have to offer or would like additional exercises incorporated, we can extend to a 2 1⁄2 or 3-day course.

Intelligence Community: Advanced Seminar

Provides more in-depth examination of many of the issues covered in the introductory course, with a greater emphasis on viewing these as Community-wide issues at the managerial level. This course is designed for current or upcoming managers who will be supervising programs and staff in support of the Intelligence Community. The Advanced course also includes exercises to begin putting the course information to use. This is a 1-3 day course depending on the number of modules selected.

Intelligence Community 101 (IC-101)

This course is tailored for new intelligence officers, with presentations on the structure, mission and main issues facing U.S. intelligence and intelligence officers, regardless of agency or function. Topics include policy maker goals, issues in collection and analysis, the role of Congress, legal and ethical frameworks, and many others. The goal of the instruction is to provide the students with an understanding of key events in the history of the IC; the Intelligence Cycle; sourcing for the IC budget (National Intelligence Program and Military Intelligence Program) and the role of Congressional oversight (HPSCI and SSCI); the role of each of the 16 IC organizations, the major IC occupations, and the value of working joint IC projects through collaboration; the mechanisms and value of information sharing, partnerships, and teamwork; ODNI major components and functions; the Joint Duty Program goals; key events that shaped the ODNI’s establishment and contribute to its vision and leadership in the IC; how ethics and values underpin decision-making and mission accomplishment in the IC. Exercises enable students to apply their knowledge on a real-time basis. Case studies are conducted as a means of both enhancing the learning experience and testing the students’ knowledge of the material. This is typically a four-day course.

Intelligence Concepts for Cyber Conflict (Basic & Advanced)

The cyber/cyber intelligence issue is one of the most dynamic national security issues.  Basic issues of doctrine and intelligence requirements are still being created and will continue to evolve over the next several years.  Our intelligence concepts for cyber conflict courses reflect and attempt to address these areas of change and uncertainty.These courses are offered in partnership with the Kiernan Group (www.Kiernan-Group.com) and Delta Risk, LLC (www.delta-risk.net).

Intelligence Concepts for Cyber Conflict (Basic) is a one-day course intended for individuals starting a career in the field or who are interested in separating the hype from the reality of intelligence in cyberspace. It introduces students to intelligence support to warfare conducted in cyberspace, and addresses computer network attack, defense and exploitation. This course covers the nature of cyberspace; understanding cyber attacks and adversaries in cyberspace; U.S. organizations; and the latest intelligence concepts to support computer network defense and offense. From indications & warning (I&W) and battle damage assessment (BDA), this course will give you your crucial first steps to understanding your role in cyber conflict.  Please note that we offer two different levels of this course, both Basic and Advanced.Students should not register for both courses, rather should choose one based on their familiarity with the cyber issue.

Intelligence Concepts for Cyber Conflict (Advanced) is a two-day course that helps students begin to apply intelligence and national security concepts with the technical realities of conflict in cyberspace.  This course reviews the material included in the Basic course as a refresher and then goes on to group discussion and exercises on the issues of attack attribution and national responsibility, and the latest developments in legal issues, such as “when is a cyber attack an act of war?”.  Other topics include strategic cyber warfare, deterrence and arms control, and other advanced topics.  Individuals should have a minimum of four years’ experience. Please note that we offer two different levels of this course, both Basic and Advanced.Students should not register for both courses, rather should choose one based on their familiarity with the cyber issue.

Intelligence Process

Covers in detail the issues and stress points that exist in each stage of the intelligence process or intelligence cycle: requirements, collection, analysis, dissemination, policy consumption and covert action. This course examines the interdependencies of each step in the process and includes the role of executive branch and congressional policy makers in each stage of the process. This is a 1-day course.

Intelligence Resource Management (Intelligence Budget)

Intelligence Resource Management thoroughly examine the financial management of intelligence resources in the federal government. This course provide students an in-depth understanding of the intelligence budget components, the creation of the budget in the Executive branch, consideration of the budget in Congress, and the actual expenditure of funds. Covered in detail are the National Intelligence Program (NIP) and its component programs and the Military Intelligence Program (MIP); the resource management systems used to formulate budgets for these programs; the roles of the Office of the DNI and the Under Secretary of Defense/Intelligence in formulating and coordinating the NIP and MIP; the role of the President’s Office of Management and Budget; the congressional budget process, with special emphasis on the authorization of intelligence activities, and highlights of budget execution. This is a highly interactive course with many in- class exercises. This is a 3-day course.

Intelligence Support to Policy Makers

Designed to give analysts a much better sense of what policy makers want & expect from intelligence.  The course assesses policy-analyst relationships, the nature and importance of requirements and the fundamental of sound analysis, thus enabling the analysts to prepare papers that are intellectually sound, more on target as well as more creative.  This is a one-day course.

National Security Policy Process

Examines the role of the interagency process in the formulation of national-level security polices and intelligence. It provides an overview of security policy and strategy development and reviews the institutions, mechanics and output of this complex dynamic. The course reviews the roles and responsibilities of the White House and NSC, departments and agencies, Congress and the private sector. Through a critical review of relevant case studies, the course improves understanding of the national security decision making process and provides a practical foundation for policy consumers and intelligence analysts. This course complements our intelligence courses by providing a firm policy context. This is a one-day course.

National Security Policy Seminar

Offers an extensive exploration of the key processes, players and factors that influence U.S. national security policy.  The issues discussed include the national security policy process; bureaucratic cultures of key players; the interconnectedness of the various aspects of national security, including law, diplomacy, defense and intelligence; the role of Congress; the role played by external factors such as domestic and global economics, health issues and the media; and the challenges presented by transnational threats, counterinsurgency, radical Islam, energy security, cyber security, etc.  The course includes lectures, guest speakers and a variety of in-class exercises, including a capstone graduation exercise.  This course is either a 1-week or 2-week course, depending on the preferences of the client.

Operational Intelligence

Designed to provide the student with an understanding of how intelligence is gathered and operationalized to support standing requirements and in support of specific operations.  One of the key roles of intelligence, especially in this period of active wars and counter-terrorism operations, is the nature, strengths and weaknesses of intelligence intended to support operations in the field.  This course describes how operational requirements are derived, transmitted to and responded to by intelligence elements; how operational intelligence is collected, analyzed and then used.  These processes are important to understand this level of requirements function, the stresses inherent in today’s Intelligence Community and as part of an understanding as to how all other intelligence processes support their benefactors. This is a one-day course.

Risk Awareness Intelligence (RAI)®

This course offers an analytical approach that explores how to identify, analyze and evaluate unexpected risks; risks that are ignored because they seem irrelevant or unlikely; or are not considered because of the crush of day-to-day analysis.  The course begins with a discussion of indications and warning and issues involved in conveying warning and in estimating.  It then moves on to RAI, which is a concurrent, issue specific, focused and active approach to “defensive risk scouting.”  It helps identify, evaluate and manage the probable consequences of unknown, or overlooked, political, economic, technological, social, cultural, security and military risks likely to derail the best-laid strategy in private industry, or the best thought-out public policy. This course has been taught for multiple clients, including the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Joint Information Operations Warfare Command, and universities within the U.S. and overseas. This is a two-day course.  This course is also taught in Spanish or Portuguese at the client’s request.

Regional Seminars

The Intelligence Academy will bring together groups of experts in a given region (current and former government officials, academics, journalists, business) to explore the current issues in a given region and their importance for the United States. Because of the nature of the people upon whom we rely for presentations, these seminars typically are unclassified. These are usually one to three-day seminars.

All of our courses can be held at your site and tailored as appropriate.

In addition, we offer some of our courses for individual enrollment through our OpenAcademy®. Please see our OpenAcademy® schedule!