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Making intelligence more transparent: A critical cognitive analysis of US strategic intelligence reports on Sino-US relation

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This paper attempts to make a critical cognitive analysis of US strategic intelligence reports and aims at investigating language strategies and cognitive biases that occur in the reports and how the reports create the “realities” that may influence policymakers’ decisions. The data for analysis include seven reports released by US Intelligence Community which analyze, more or less, the Sino-US relations currently and in the foreseeable future as well as the implications of a rising China on US policies. The analytic framework is built up by integrating Critical Metaphor Analysis, Conceptual Blending Theory and Discourse Space Theory, each of which deal with different aspects of the discourse and on the whole provide a comprehensive analysis of it. The critical cognitive analysis of intelligence reports could disclose the views that analysts hold on particular issues, providing valuable reference for understanding or evaluating their reports’ contents, and reveal the ideology inherent in US strategic thinking, helping to estimate US strategic policies in the long term.
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Keywords: CDA; Cognitive Linguistics; Sino-US relation; conceptual blending; discourse space theory; intelligence analysis; metaphor

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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