Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Public Policy Leadership

First Advisor

David Rutherford

Relational Format



The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the role National Intelligence Estimates [NIEs] in a current world scenario—human trafficking in Brazil, and the value NIEs add to the Intelligence Community [IC] and US policy makers. The IC uses NIEs as a tool to assess future implications that actions could have on the United States and how those actions can impact U.S. interests. NIEs became prominent when the National Security Act of 1947 was established, which highlighted the need for new and alternative analysis within the IC. This thesis will also investigate how approaches known as Structured Analytic Techniques [SATs] aid in refining analysis. Structured Analytic Techniques [SATs] are a tool to improve intelligence analysis and the judgements made in NIEs. SATs were brought to the attention of the IC through Richards Heuer and Randy Pherson in their 2010 published work, Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis. Throughout this thesis, an overview of SATs, their value added to analysis, and their situational employment will be discussed and analyzed. By using the case study of human trafficking in Brazil, I not only conducted an NIE, but also employed an SAT to help my audience better understand the intelligence process. During my case study in the NIE, human trafficking in multiple forms are investigated—sex trafficking, human smuggling, forced labor, and organ trafficking. The goal of including several different forms of trafficking is to better contextualize the issue of human trafficking and the potential implications it has concerning the United States. Following the NIE, I provide an analytical findings section on the value added by the SAT employed and the NIE product.



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