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Strategic Intelligence

Welcome to the research guide for Strategic Intelligence

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This course introduces you to sources that will be beneficial in your intelligence analysis research. Electronic resources are linked from here and from the library home page. You can also check to see what is in the PHC collection using our online catalog, Voyager

When using intelligence sources, it is imperative that you check the integrity of the sources, especially of websites that may or may not have a vested interest in the information provided.

Evaluate Your Sources (CAAR)

  • Current - Do they represent the most up to date information on this subject?
  • Authoritative - Is the author credentialed to speak on this subject? Who publishes the book, journal, or web content? Are they reputable? Reputable authors have degrees or other indicators of their expertise. Publishers may be peer-reviewed scholarly sites such as Cambridge, Oxford, and Yale. Government sites are helpful, as well as think tanks, but review them for accuracy.
  • Accurate- Does the source show evidence of bias? Does it fail to support assumptions or cite its sources? Do other experts agree? Are you introducing bias by including only information that proves your thesis and ignoring valid information that might disprove.
  • Relevant - Does the information actually fit in with the topic and move the discussion forward?

Your project may include everything from a country report, to an analysis of current world leaders, or a position policy report. Your instructor will provide the information on the specific type of project and the format desired.

Professional library assistance is available on campus, by phone at 540-441-8400, or by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu .


When doing research on terrorism in particular, there are often complex and differing definitions of what constitutes terrorism. A helpful construct developed by Professor Bruce Hoffman in his book, Inside Terrorism (2006), includes the following 5 aspects:

  • Violence or the threat of violence;
  • Calculated to create fear and alarm within a wider population;
  • Intended to coerce certain actions;
  • Toward a political objective;
  • Generally directed against civilian targets; and
  • Carried out by either a group or an individual.

On-Campus Resources

Structured analytical techniques for intelligence analysts, by Heuer and Pherson at JK 468 .I6 H478 2011
Intelligence analysis: a target-centric approach, by Robert M. Clark JF 1525 .I6 C548 2013
Improving intelligence analysis, by Stephen Marrin

Internet Resources

  • For specific and current information by country, check out the CIA's World Factbook
  • CSIS updated provides analysis on a number of current "hot spots," as well as continuing conflicts.
  • Brookings Institute provides research on topics such as international affairs, Homeland Security, defense, and crime. Select topics linked from the menu on the left of the web page.
  • Heritage Foundation provides research reports, fact sheets, lectures and commentaries on a wide variety of topics both international and domestic with a possibly more conservative filter.
  • Terrorism Trends Data Report tracks international and domestic terrorism trends, 2005 - 2010.

Selected Journals


  • Stratfor is a news analysis provider that covers political, economic, and military developments from around the world, including overnight intelligence analysis.
  • The JSTOR collection contains complete back issues of 241 scholarly journals in a wide range of disciplines. Issues from the most recent 3 - 5 years for each title are not included in the collection.
  • ProQuest and Academic Search Premier provide access to thousands of current general and subject specific scholarly journal articles.

Research Tips

  • Search by subject: Once you have located a potential source in the catalog, click on the subject term within the record to find other items on the same or similar subjects.
  • Once you locate a potential source, additional valuable resources may be listed in the item's bibliography.
  • If you are not able to find what you need on campus or online, you may also request an item through Interlibrary loan. Instructions for obtaining an Interlibrary loan are available in the Library Services section of the library website
  • Zotero is a citation management system that will help you collect and organize your resources and then seamlessly create footnotes, endnotes, in-text citations, and bibliographies. You can download and watch online tutorials, but you may benefit from a librarian’s help in quickly learning how to use Zotero.

Citation assistance required? Try OWL (Online Writing Lab).

Created: Watkins / Thornhill, 2015. Updated: Thornhill, 2016, 2017.

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