Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mumbai Terror Attack & Missing Link in Intelligence: Scenario Planning

What was missing link in Intelligence which could have avoided or let India better prepare for Mumbai Terror Attack? I believe the missing link is scenario planning.

There is growing evidence now that some intelligence agencies have some information but it was not precise and actionable and consequently this was not diffused or acted upon.

Intelligence can rarely be precise. There are signals and one has to construct possible scenarios.
I wrote about Scenario Planning in Corporates and its emergence of most important career in 21st century.

In governments also the same will be true. The way credit crisis driven changes in global business environment highlighted the importance of Scenario Planning , similarly the Mumbai Terror Attacks might highlight its importance in public governance.

There is news report of setting up National Investigation Agency which will integrate all inputs from different agencies and make it actionable information

From the report ...Commenting on the intelligence machinery, Chidambaram said: "We have a number of intelligence gathering agencies. Intelligence is shared, evaluated and acted upon. However, I have found that there is a tendency to treat some intelligence inputs that are not specific or precise as not actionable intelligence." He said the responsibility for acting upon intelligence inputs is quite diffused. "While the basic structure seems sound, there is a need to make intelligence gathering and intelligence sharing more effective and result-oriented," he said adding, some changes have already been made and more were underway.

I believe effective scenario planning will find its place in new changes..