Intelligence Cycle Overview

The trail is subject to maintaining an efficient content management system enabling us to get a clear picture of where we should be heading. This system is based on a military intelligence process – an Intelligence Cycle.


The starting point is conventionally linked to a commanders’ brief, usually, but not always, for intelligence information prior to military operations against an enemy.

Planning and Direction is the first stage and relates to deciding what information is required. Collection is the next step and involves gathering the required information. This stage involves deciding which collection assets to use e.g. spies, capturing enemy soldiers, satellite data, etc.   Processing & Exploitation and Analysis & Production involves turning the collected raw information into usable intelligence. Dissemination and Integration respectively includes sending the intelligence reports to those in need e.g. field commanders; as well as updating the military’s general intelligence data-base through an integration process.

Why is it called a cycle? Once the raw information has been turned into qualified intelligence, a new picture emerges, which can necessitate the gathering of further information. Hence, the wheel revolves again.