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Kjetil Hatlebrekke

Dr Kjetil Hatlebrekke

Visiting Senior Research Fellow

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Dr Kjetil Anders Hatlebrekke is a practitioner-scholar specialising in intelligence theory and training. He earned his PhD from War Studies. Hatlebrekke has served in the Norwegian Armed Forces since 1990, and has operational experience from Bosnia, Kosovo, the Middle East and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan he served as an intelligence officer in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Anaconda. The unit he was in was awarded the US Navy Presidential Unit Citation.

He is currently Specialist Director Subject Matter Intelligence in the Norwegian Armed Forces, and former Associate Professor at The Norwegian Defence Intelligence School.

Hatlebrekke's main academic and professional goal is to rethink intelligence, and present a theory of intelligence as the art of knowing beyond the limits of induction. He has been instrumental in developing intelligence studies in the Norwegian Armed Forces by establishing the intelligence studies module at the Norwegian Defence University College with considerable War Studies input. He was Programme Director between 2008 and 2010. Since then an entire Intelligence University was established in Norway. He holds, in addition to his doctor degree, two masters degrees from King’s College in War Studies and Conflict & Security and Development Studies. He has also studied Philosophy and is a qualified nurse.

Hatlebrekke is an expert advisor to the Globsec Intelligence Reform Initiative (chaired by Michael Chertoff, former Homeland Security Secretary of the United States),

He is also a member of the King’s Intelligence & Security Group.

In June 2019, Hatlebrekke published a monograph with Edinburgh University Press, The Problem of Secret Intelligence.

The book argues that classic intelligence production has been premised on an ill-founded belief in an automatic inference between history and the future. This hypothesis introduces the problem of induction, and how it has negatively shaped intelligence production in the past. Hatlebrekke uses classic intelligence failures to demonstrate how the problem of induction has created a restricted language in intelligence communities that limits threat perception, and thus decreases perception and acknowledgement of threats that appear in new variations.

This language also makes intelligence hard to define. In particular, Hatlebrekke, thus analyses the complexity of relationship between discourse failure, intelligence failure, threat perception, intelligence estimates, critical rationalism and the principle of falsification. Hatlebrekke argues that good intelligence is the art of threat perception beyond the limits of our habitual thinking and shared experiences. In his book, Hatlebrekke introduces three new Intelligence themes: Digideceptionalisation; The Courage-to-Share Strategy; and The Twelve Images of Intelligence.


  • Commisoned Officer, Basic Officer Leaders Course (BOLC A and B), Norwegian Infantry
  • BA Nursing, OsloMet
  • MA War Studies, King’s College, London
  • MA Conflict & Security and Development Studies, King’s College, London
  • PhD King’s College, London


Research Interests

  • Intelligence Theory
  • Intelligence Culture
  • Intelligence Failure
  • Intelligence Cooperation
  • National Security