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Intelligence Studies: Politicization of Intelligence

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.

Journal Articles

What Does Politicization of Intelligence Mean?

Politicization can be described as the shading of analysis to fit prevailing policy or politics.  

Politicization of Intelligence occurs when intelligence analysis is skewed, either deliberately or inadvertently, to give policymakers the results they desire.

There are generally three most well-documented ways in which finished intelligence can be corrupted:

  • Intelligence analysts can be pressured to emphasize findings that support policies and preferences, or ignore issues that don't support these policies
  • Policymakers clearly express what they want to hear and what they don't want to hear
  • Estimates can be skewed for personal advancement

                                                                               (From James J. Drylie's Intelligence document,

Notable Scholars

Richard Betts


Robert Jervis


Online Articles