Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Loch K. Johnson
Intelligence refers to an awareness that leaders hope to have about the threats or opportunities that face their nation, either internally or from abroad. Armed with this information, they may make better decisions about how to protect and advance the national interest. An understanding of threats and opportunities can be reliably acquired only through the careful collection and study of information about domestic and foreign situations, such as plotting by internal subversives or the machinations of external terrorist factions and rival nations. This gathering of information, along with the interpretation of its meaning, lies at the heart of intelligence. Stated more formally, intelligence is the knowledge and foreknowledge of dangers and opportunities—both domestic and foreign—as a prelude to decision and action by a nation's leaders. Strategic intelligence refers to the objective of achieving a global understanding of dangers and opportunities; tactical intelligence is concerned more with threats and opportunities on ...