A-to-Z Index

Strategic Vision

Overview of INSA:

Our nation's greatest national security asset is also its most neglected: the reasoning methods of our analysts, strategists, and decision makers. The fundamental purpose of the Institute for National Security Analysis (INSA) is to help transform that national reasoning so it can more adeptly engage unexplored, complex, and multidimensional challenges with innovative, rigorous, and transdisciplinary methods to produce proactive, reliable, and integrated solutions.

Most external support for the Defense and Intelligence Communities (from academia or business) offer one of three types of assistance: a) new technologies to improve the collection and/or exploitation of data, b) policy-making support through high-level strategic proposals, or c) complete analysis in the form of outsourced analysis on specialized topics. By contrast, INSA offers support for the most central (and neglected)  element of Defense and Intelligence analysis: the cognitive process by which analysts reason to well-justified conclusions for their decision makers. The majority of intelligence failures evolve from errors in the reasoning process of analysts. Yet, that reasoning process is typically taken for in favor of technology, policy, or specialized subject matter expertise. Hence, most external organizations support the Defense and Intelligence Communities by telling analysts what to think, but INSA seeks to support them by educating analysts how to think.  


Objectives of INSA:

The strategy of INSA is to discover, develop, and deliver analytic methods for intelligence and national security.

1. Discover the most fundamental structural challenges to effective reasoning in national security along with rigorous and relevant methods to address them.

2. Develop an innovative new model of advanced critical thinking and reasoning specifically designed to address the fundamental reasoning challenges in national security.

3. Deliver completed reasoning methods directly to national security community (via select national security partners) by means of a) resources for analysts, strategists, and decision makers such as “analyst guides” and professional-improvement publications, b) resources for national security training/education departments such as “curriculum guides” and educator-improvement publications, and c) support for education and training programs across the Defense and Intelligence Communities (where appropriate) through related internal training and educational bodies.