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The intelligence function comprises the gathering, evaluation and dissemination of information relevant to decision-making, and may include prediction based on such information, as well as planning for future contingencies. In short, intelligence involves the acquisition of information and planning in exercise of all five of the intellectual tasks required of decisionmakers. The relation between the intelligence function and community goals is particularly subtle: although intelligence operates within the frame of authorized goals, one duty of effective intelligence is to appraise these goals in the context of knowledge and, where appropriate, to bring new attention areas, for the purposes of goal clarification, to the focus of decisionmakers.

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