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Marketing Criteria Assessment: Journal Article Critique - The Intelligence War on Terrorism

November 17, 2017
Author : Alex

Solution Code:1ACF

Question: Marketing Criteria Assessment

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Marketing Criteria Assessment

Case Scenario/ Task

Critically evaluate the following peer-reviewed journal article. The journal article critique needs to incorporate a number of things, but the most important is the actual critique of the article, as opposed to a summary of the contents.

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The peer reviewed article titled ‘The Intelligence War on Terrorism’ by Daniel Byman throws light on the role played by intelligence in counterterrorism[1]. The article gains insights from previous incidents, history, personal experience and literature to promote understanding of the concepts put forth by the author[2]. The author has drawn experiences from being a Research Director working on Middle East Public Policy at RAND Corporation Professional Staff member with 9/11 commissions, as Joint 9/11 inquiry staff in House and Senate Intelligence Committees, and publishing various articles and books[3]. Every argument made by the author is supported by a previous manifestation and hence establishment of a context that assists readers in understanding the perspective of the author[4]. The article asserts on the importance of differentiating counterterrorism intelligence from traditional intelligence and stresses on the importance of having realistic expectations when it comes to the effectiveness of counterterrorism intelligence. The main focus of the article is on gathering intelligence on Al Qaeda, the US overseas intelligence efforts, and the challenges faced by them[5]. The author argues that unlike the common notion, counterintelligence has remained efficient in protecting the country from severe threats and recommends changes to be made in US detention policy, foreign policy and domestic awareness[6]. Though the article does not follow the typical structure of a research paper, the author remains efficient in capturing the heart and soul of the reader while he enriches the article with his knowledge and style of writing.

Article Critique

The structure of the article is clear, concise and follows a logical sequence. The topic of the article and its contents are high on significance, novelty, arises curiosity, has high scope and offers insights for practice[7]. The article can be read and understood by laymen and not just specialists as the author offers introduction and explanation on all associated concepts to counterterrorism intelligence and then proceeds with conveying complex issues in the essay. The focus of the author remains unfluctuating through out the paper and gives multiple validations for a new perception brought to the forefront. The article should be appreciated for its rich content coverage and simplicity while not being overcrowded with references[8]. The article is highly qualitative in nature. The author clearly demonstrates through the presentation of a true picture to allow transferability. The author involves the reader in intuitive thinking, allowing him/her to apply author’s outlook, thereby allowing a positive judgement in favour of the author[9]. Byman remains successful in virtual demonstration of the cases in the minds of the reader and makes them remain involved.

The article also draws information from multiple sources as seek their support for validity of information, while remaining true to the author’s perspective[10]. The article is divided into five sections. The article is written with a flair that can only be found in writers and scholars with years of experience. He has drawn experiences from his research project Al Qaeda, which has now turned in to a book ‘Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the Global Jihadist Movement: What Everyone Needs to Know’[11].

The gap in research that Byman has found with respect to counterterrorism intelligence is that, no one studied on the use of intelligence as counterterrorism instrument[12]. He has worked to create a scholarly paper on terrorism and related issues[13]. There have been studies that have studied on intelligence and its role in protecting against terrorism. A Study by Richard J Hughbank and Don Githens informs on the importance that intelligence play n favour of homeland defence and security[14]. The paper by Mather M Aid especially concentrates on the role that is played by intelligence sigint on controlling events that may lead up to another terror attack[15]. The author also successfully explains how counterterrorism intelligence is different from traditional intelligence.

It is interesting how Byman explains intelligence cycle by using a standard explanation[16] and then takes-off from five components to provide insight on how different approaches towards collection of information can lead to different policy implications[17]. The intensity of the difficulty behind gathering sensitive intelligence is made clear when the author reveals that the terrorism cells are aware of being under surveillance and hence varied communications and used different means to communicate to confuse and frustrate SIGINT[18]. There is also a special stress on how liaison and allies are required in intelligence, stating obvious reasons and influencing the readers. Intelligence community consumes and produces intelligence at a price of rendering support on terms of forensics aid[19]. He also offers an understanding about the on-off relationship with an ally, who does use Al Qaeda in their favour for their needs and then seem to oppose the Al Qaeda[20]. There is an explanation to the challenges faced by intelligence community and author defends its performance against the common criticisms that includes being in a cold war mindset and not adapting to the changes required for facing the threat of terrorism[21]. The structure set for the paper leads up to the recommendations does not emanate as a shocking revelation, as he had prepared the readers in advance.

Considering the positives of the papers, Byman involves readers in the research paper with a mixture of information and examples, in a well-written, organised and clear manner. Scholarly pursuits that are evident in this paper are based on his experience as a research director, being part of 9/11 commission and his studies on policy implications[22]. The research is both interesting and informative. As Miller reports in his review of Byman, Byman’s breath of knowledge educates the reader on various issues and challenges centring Al Qaeda, but at times tend to have a one sided outlook[23].

Considering negatives, the recommendations from the research paper are so broad and lack precision that it implies on the needs of having integration of various intelligence tools, preparing public and reforming detention[24]. This is especially not practical when the new public policies concentrate on minimising misery[25]. The paper, if considered with out the authors name and the journal title, may look like an essay, and not a research paper as it lacks on information of how this knowledge was acquired and hence cannot be replicated by another author. The article is lacking on format requirements when crosschecked with the instructions from the Journal[26]. There is no direct suggestion on how to continue research, but further researchers can concentrate on researching and delivering policy recommendations.


The ‘Intelligence war on terrorism’ enlightens the readers on the challenges and issues faced by counterterrorism intelligence and its various tools across the world including liaison relationships, and how policies at time stand in the way of gaining intelligence and acting in advance to materialisation of a terror attack plan. The author has enriched the article by using his experience, knowledge and research. The article applies a context to every argument made in the form of an example, and thereby clarifying any doubts that occur in the readers. The article is of high value to laymen and readers because of its accumulated knowledge, but may fail to impress the policy makers, as the recommendations are broad. The article successfully explains different tools in counterterrorism intelligence, relationship with liaison, different challenges overseas in collecting intelligence, and how policy stands against retrieving intelligence through detention. The coverage of the article should be well appreciated and so has to be the author’s knowledge and experience.[1] Byman D. 2014, ‘The Intelligence War on Terrorism’, Intelligence and National Security, 29: 6, pp. 837.

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