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The Problem of Secret Intelligence

Kjetil Anders Hatlebrekke

Hardback (Forthcoming)

Systematically develops a new concept of intelligence as a cognitive activity that needs to be understood holistically

  • Introduces intelligence professionals, decision makers and academics to the potential of intelligence as the art of knowing beyond classic analysis
  • Provides an innovative understanding and persuasive critique of the problems inherent in using inductive reasoning to undertake intelligence analysis
  • Demonstrates the importance of creativity and imagination in intelligence production

What is intelligence – why is it so hard to define, and why is there no systematic theory of intelligence? Classic intelligence analysis is based on an inference between history and the future – and this has led to a restriction in how we can perceive new threats, and new variations of threats. Now, Kjetil Anders Hatlebrekke rethinks intelligence analysis, arguing that good intelligence is based on understanding the threats that appear beyond our experience, and are therefore the most dangerous to society.


Part I

1. Cognition

2. Intelligence and Discourse Failure

Part II

3. Secrecy and Intelligence Tribal Language

Part III

4. On Collection

5. On Analysis

6. On Dissemination

7. On Action and Decision by the Intelligence Consumer


About the Author

Kjetil Anders Hatlebrekke is Associate Professor at the Norwegian Defence Intelligence School. He earned his PhD from King´s College, London. Hatlebrekke has served in the Norwegian Armed Forces since 1990, and has operational experience from Bosnia, Kosovo, the Middle East and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan he served as an intelligence officer in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Anaconda. The unit he was in was awarded the US Navy Presidential Unit Citation.


I commend Kjetil Hatlebrekke’s book. It challenges readers to rethink our approach to the interpretation and use of intelligence, which is crucial to modern governments.

- Lord Robin Butler, Former Master of University College, Oxford

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