Challenges in Intelligence Analysis:  Lessons from 1300 BCE to the Present

Welcome to the website for Challenges in Intelligence Analysis:  Lessons from 1300 BCE to the Present, published by Cambridge University Press.

Challenges in Intelligence Analysis was prepared as a resource for university-level classes in intelligence, and to give students thinking about applying for jobs in this interesting and important field an idea of what the work is like.

The book will also be of interest to general readers who want to know more about the history of intelligence, and to be better informed about the controversies surrounding this field.

After two introductory chapters on the nature of intelligence analysis, there are more than forty examples of how analysts have grappled with various political, military, economic, and social problems over the centuries.  Some of these efforts were successful; others were not.

Challenges in Intelligence Analysis was designed to provide brief introductions to a large number of complicated historical episodes, and to prompt thinking and research.  It is the beginning, rather than the end, of a journey of understanding.

Professors who adopt Challenges in Intelligence Analysis for classroom use will be granted access to an Instructor's Guide that includes supplementary materials such as model answers to the Questions for Further Discussion that are at the end of each chapter, suggested exercises to hone analytic thinking, and additional examples.


“Timothy Walton has written the best beginner’s guide to the complex world of intelligence analysis with a historical perspective that also deserves to be pondered by experienced analysts.”

– Christopher Andrew, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge, author of The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 and The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West

“Timothy Walton offers in these pages a readable and reliable survey of secret intelligence operations, from Biblical times through the contemporary efforts of the Western nations to thwart global terrorist activities perpetrated by Al Qaeda and its allies. The work is a rich mosaic of espionage down through the years, filled with images of shadowy figures and dazzling spy machines.”

– Loch K. Johnson, University of Georgia

 “Serious students of intelligence learn far more from examining the successes and failures of actual cases than they do from abstract theorizing. They want to hear it from someone who has been there and who can speak from firsthand experience. In my opinion, it would be hard to find anyone with better credentials to write a book on intelligence analysis from a practitioner’s standpoint than Tim Walton.”

– James M. Olson, The Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University, and former Chief of CIA Counterintelligence