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Intelligence analysis and the EU

Intelligence Doctrine by Stealth: Developing Professional Practice in Intelligence Analysis for the European Union

Intelligence is commonly understood to mean information collected on targets actively seeking to conceal their capabilities and intentions. Information so acquired is, therefore, rarely comprehensive and subject to significant challenges in terms of truthfulness, accuracy and relevance. Consequently, there is a premium on interpreting, collating and fusing those sources as effectively as possible. This phase of analysis and assessment is the most likely aspect of the intelligence process to fail. Both Prof. Davies, and Dr Gustafson, have examined challenges arising from organisational structure to managing effective intelligence community functions including analysis.

Prof. Davies and Dr Gustafson were commissioned by the European Union’s (EU) Intelligence and Situation Centre (INTCEN) to design an annual training programme for analysts in order to create a body of professional practice that would serve as an INTCEN internal intelligence doctrine.

The aim was to provide a suite of common operating standards and methods shared by INTCEN, the EU Military Staff (MS) Intelligence (Int) Directorate, and the EU Satellite Centre, for personnel from 89 intelligence and policy organisations across the EU.

Following the adoption of Prof. Davies’ and Dr Gustafson’s research, INTCEN significantly improved the quality and impact of intelligence products and successfully provided a suite of common concepts for the 3 agencies. This resulted in improved working between INTCEN and EU MS Int analysts and the promotion of common intelligence analytic standards and practices across the EU.2. 

Approximately 20 INTCEN staff participated in the programme each year, resulting in approximately 120 personnel receiving training, most of them from INTCEN and EU MS with smaller proportions coming from SATCEN and EU policy departments. The programme, therefore, served to establish common operating concepts and standards across a range of EU intelligence and policy organisations.


Philip H.J. Davies. Collection and Assessment on Iraq: a Critical Review of Britain’s Spy Machinery. Studies in Intelligence 49:4 (50th Anniversary Edition; Fall 2005), pp 41-54.

Philip H.J. Davies. Intelligence and the Machinery of Government: Conceptualising the Intelligence Community. Public Policy and Administration 25:1 (January 2010) pp.29-46. 

Philip H.J. Davies. Intelligence and Government in Britain and the United States (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Security International, 2012). Book monograph, 2 vols. ISBN 978-0-275-97572-2.

Kristian C. Gustafson. Strategic Horizons: Futures Forecasting and the British Intelligence Community. Intelligence and National Security 25, no. 5 (Oct. 2010): 589-610. 

Philip H.J. Davies & Kristian C. Gustafson. Intelligence Elsewhere: Spies and Espionage Outside the Anglosphere. (Washington DC: Georgetown University Press, 2013). ISBN: 9781589019560.

Philip H.J. Davies & Kristian Gustafson. Intelligence and Military Doctrine: Paradox or Oxymoron? Defence Studies Vol.19 No.1 (January 2019). 

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Professor Philip Davis
Dr Kristian Gustafson
Dr Kristian Gustafson - Dr. Gustafson is Reader in Intelligence & War. He is the Deputy Director of BCISS and runs our very successful Distance Learning MA in Intelligence and Security Studies. After an MA at the University of Alberta, Canada, he moved to the UK to take his PhD at Downing College, Cambridge. Before coming to Brunel, Dr. Gustafson was senior lecturer in War Studies at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He has served in the Canadian Army and as a Reservist in the British Army, and taught at the Joint Services Command and Staff College of the United Kingdom. Dr. Gustafson has conducted consultancy and advisory work for the MOD's Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre, including an integral role in developing UK Joint Intelligence Doctrine. He has provided other work for the UK Land Warfare Centre, the UK Cabinet Office, and multiple units and formations across the UK military. Dr. Gustafson has delivered professional development courses to multiple Allied and partner organisations, including the EU Intelligence Centre, and the governments of Norway, Latvia, France and the United Arab Emirates. In 2013 he worked as an intelligence advisor for the General Command Police Special Units (GCPSU) of the Afghan Ministry of Interior. 

Related Research Group(s)


Intelligence and Security Studies - As an inter-disciplinary research centre, established to deal specifically with intelligence issues, policy and institutions, to promote and develop social science and policy-oriented approaches to intelligence.

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Project last modified 08/11/2022