Executive Protection: Intelligence Writing Secrets for the Uninitiated

Intelligence writing is not mystical. It is matter of fact.

My favorite definition of intelligence comes from the Hoover Commission (1955):

“Intelligence deals with all the things which should be known in advance of initiating a course of action.”

The following are several short and meaningful statements followed by my interpretation as it relates to our role in executive protection, from the book Communicating With Intelligence: Writing and Briefing in the Intelligence and National Security Communities (2nd Edition) by James S. Major.

I highly recommend reading this book whether you’re a novice analyst or a veteran that wants to brush up on the fundamentals. You can find it on Amazon. (not an affiliate link)

“Lead With Your Knockout Punch”

This has multiple applications. First, your intelligence product needs to lead with the most important information first (not methods, or academic chicanery, just the cold hard facts and conclusions-what your reader needs to know). Be- gin with your conclusions, then follow up with your analysis of what it means. In a more broad view, each paragraph of your product must also begin with your knockout punch of that paragraph.

“The Three Missions of Intelligence Writing”

1. “Make Judgements About the Future”
With limited time, questionable information, and evolving situations, the analyst must make judgements about how various events impact the principal. Example: How will missile tests in the region impact commercial and private aviation?

2. “Interpret Foreign Cultures and Alien Problems” For our purposes, this means tofind the WHY behind any particular event that happens to be at the center of our research. Example: What caused the riot two blocks form the principal’s hotel?

3. “Support Decision Makers”
The analyst supports decision makers by INTERPRETING information, not just presenting information. They do so by answering questions, providing background for understanding a question, and by warning of potential problems.



About the EP Nexus Blog

The EP Nexus executive protection blog, is a comprehensive resource for security professionals involved in executive protection, protective intelligence, threat assessment, and related fields.

Launched in March of 2016 as a resource for executive protection professionals, command center gurus, and close protection know-it-alls, EP Nexus is quickly becoming a resource for those seeking to quench their thirst for executive protection reading.

The most popular section of the blog is Executive Protection HacksEP Hacks is a series in which we address complex topics (one topic per issue) in a convenient collection of tools & writings. I am actively collaborating with industry leaders to produce future issues. If you're interested in taking an active approach in moving your industry into the future, contact me below.

Outside of EP Hacks, I explore the following topics in writings, tutorials, and webinars: online tools for executive protection professionals, open source intelligence investigations (OSINT), threat assessment, protective intelligence, travel security, and more.

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