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Intelligence Studies: The Intelligence Cycle

This research guide contains information-- both current and historical--on the topic of intelligence. Areas covered include intelligence collection, the intelligence cycle, and also topics such as counterintelligence and cyber intelligence.


                                                                                                        (Image: Joint Publication 2.0)

The process of taskng, collecting, processing, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence is called the Intelligence Cycle.  The cycle involves developing unrefined data into polished intelligence for the use of policymakers.  The cycles consists of six steps: Requirements, Planning & Direction; Collection; Processing; Analysis & Production, Dissemination; and Feedback.  The process is circular in nature, but movement between the stages can be fluid.  Intelligence uncovered at one step may require going back to an earlier step before being able to move forward. (From

Online Resources

Journal Articles