Handbook of Warning Intelligence

Title:                      Handbook of Warning Intelligence

Author:                 Cynthia Grabo

Grabo, Cynthia M. (2015) with Jan Goldman. Handbook of Warning Intelligence: Complete And Declassified Edition. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield

LCCN:    2015024848

JF1525.I6 G73 2015

Partial contents

  • Foreword to the new edition — Foreword to the previous edition — Author’s note to the original edition — Part 1. Why warning intelligence and what is it? Some fundamentals — Part 2. Organization and tools of the trade — Part 3. Introduction to the analytical method — Part 4. Specific problems of military analysis — Part 5. Specific problems of political, civil and economic analysis — Part 6. Some major analytical problems — Part 7. Problems of particular types of warfare — Part 8. Reaching and reporting the warning judgment — Part 9. Conclusions.



  • Previous ed. published: Lanham, Maryland : Scarecrow Press, 2010, under title Handbook of Warning Intelligence, as part of the Scarecrow professional intelligence education series, no. 12.

Date Posted:      January 26, 2017

Reviewed in The Intelligencer[1]

This new and final edition is a follow-up to the author’s first book, Anticipating Surprise[2] (2002) and the Handbook of Warning Intelligence (Scarecrow Press, 2010). The first book was an abridged version of Grabo’s 1972 manuscript, of which only 200 pages were allowed to be published by the government. The second book was published after it was agreed that the last 10 chapters would remain classified. These final 10 chapters have recently been released by the government and complete the manuscript, finally, as it was originally intended to be published by the author in 1972.

Originally written as a manual for training intelligence analysts, it explains the fundamentals of intelligence analysis and forecasting, discusses military analysis, as well as the difficulties in understanding political, civil, and economic analysis, and assessing what it means for analysts to have “warning judgment.” Much of what Grabo wrote in her book seems to appear in many of the numerous commission reports that emerged after the 9/11 attacks. However, her book was written in response to the “surprise attack” of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. According to the author, that event was no surprise. And while analysts have to take some of the blame for their failure to strenuously present their case that the threat was real and imminent, what occurred was a failure by policymakers to listen to the warning intelligence reports that were written at the time. In these last chapters, Grabo discusses scenarios where the United States will need to take action, especially describing Soviet indicators of such action. She also talks on how to influence policymakers to take, or not take, action based on intelligence. After the Soviet Union fell, the government was hesitant to release this information—especially considering what’s going on with Putin today.

[1] The Intelligencer: Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies (21, 3, Fall/Winter 2015, p. 134).

[2] Grabo, Cynthia M. (2002). Anticipating Surprise: Analysis for Strategic Warning. Washington, DC: Center for Strategic Intelligence Research, Joint Military Intelligence College

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