I was reading “this Senate report”:http://www.cominganarchy.com/yh/iraq_prewar_int_senatereport.pdf about the intelligence community’s pre-war intel assessments on Iraq when I came across a section some may find interesting. Starting on page 4 (14 in the PDF) the document describes the development of professional analysts for the IC. It gives an overview of the “Career Analyst Program”:http://www.cia.gov/cia/di/trainingresouces_page.html (CAP) revealing some general details on how long budding CIA analysts spend studying what subjects. From page 7 (17 in PDF) we are given an idea of the daily life of an analyst. How estimates are drafted and how they proceed up the chain of command.
I found this document pretty interesting for 2 reasons: 1) it is always fun to read details on the CIA, and 2) it is satisfying to know that we deal very extensively with the same analytical problems in my milcol analysis course, particularly in trying to construct a rigorous analytical model that mitigates inherent assumptions and bias. This is key stuff, and is drilled into us constantly.
The rest of the doc is pretty long and involved. I would recommend reading about the first 20 pages to get an idea of the conclusions that the Senate committee came to on pre-war intel for Iraq.