Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Name

Intelligence Studies

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Paul Medhurst


The U.S. Intelligence Community is ineffective at capturing, retaining and passing on operational knowledge to future intelligence officers. The purpose of this research was to identify effective strategies for planning and executing successful intelligence operations in the future. This study utilized case studies and a mixed-method approach to identify key factors in the success or failure of four prominent naval intelligence operations in the Twentieth Century. It was hypothesized that operations in which intelligence planning was thorough and deliberate, and whose execution provided the maximum amount of operational flexibility would be qualitatively more successful than those in which planning and execution were not as precise. This was not entirely the case however, as the primary elements of success were found to be a narrow scope of operations, small planning and execution teams, and effective communication. Recommendations which capture this operational knowledge were made immediately following the conclusion of this research.



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