By Richard K. Betts
The tragic occasions of September eleven, 2001, and the fake evaluate of Saddam Hussein's guns arsenal have been bad reminders that strong details is key to nationwide defense. those disasters confident the yank public that their intelligence approach was once damaged and brought on a thorough reorganization of organisations and team of workers, yet as Richard ok. Betts argues during this booklet, critics and politicians have critically underestimated the stumbling blocks to actual reform.
One of the nation's most effective political scientists, Betts attracts on 3 a long time of labor in the U.S. intelligence group to light up the paradoxes and difficulties that frustrate the intelligence procedure. in contrast to America's efforts to enhance its defenses opposed to average mess ups, strengthening its strategic review services ability outwitting artful enemies who function past U.S. borders. It additionally calls for having a look inside of to the organizational and political dynamics of gathering details and choosing its implications for policy.
Combining educational learn with own adventure, Betts outlines options for greater intelligence collecting and review. He describes how solving one malfunction can create one other; in what methods services could be either an essential device and a resource of blunders and misjudgment; the pitfalls of continuously striving for accuracy in intelligence, which from time to time can render it valueless; the chance, although unavoidable, of "politicizing" intelligence; and the difficulty of secrecy—when it really is over the top, while it's inadequate, and the way restricting privateness can in reality guard civil liberties.
Betts argues that once it involves intelligence, voters and politicians should still concentration much less on constant recommendations and extra on reaching a fragile stability among conflicting necessities. He additionally emphasizes the titanic luck of the intelligence group, regardless of its well-publicized error, and highlights parts of the intelligence technique that desire upkeep and safeguard. Many reformers are quickly to reply to scandals and screw ups with out precise, ancient wisdom of the way the procedure works. Grounding his arguments in broad concept and coverage research, Betts takes a entire and sensible examine how wisdom and tool can interact to stand the intelligence demanding situations of the twenty-first century.
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Additional resources for Enemies of Intelligence: Knowledge and Power in American National Security
Although this solution eliminated a barrier in the communication system, it did not prevent the failure of a timely alert to the Chinese intervention in Korea or the 1973 October war because it did not eliminate the ambiguity barrier. In later years the watch committee was replaced by the DCI’s strategic warning staff and then by a national intelligence officer for warning. Surprises continued periodically despite the adjustments in the system. DIA was reorganized four times within its first ten years (and a number of times in the decades following), yet it continued to leave most observers dissatisfied.
Some problems cut across all three categories and offer a more general basis for considering changes in the system. But these general problems are not very susceptible to cure by formal changes in process because it is often impossible to disentangle intelligence failures from policy failures. Separating intelligence and policymaking has long been a concern of officials and theorists, who have seen both costs and benefits in minimizing the intimacy between intelligence professionals and operational authorities.
The personnel can be segregated, but the functions cannot, unless intelligence is defined narrowly as the collection of data, and analytic responsibility is reserved for decision makers. Analysis and decision are interactive rather than sequential processes. According to the narrower definition of intelligence, there have actually been few complete failures. When mistakes were made in predicting attacks or in assessing operations, the inadequacy of critical data, or its submergence in a viscous bureaucracy, was at best the proximate cause.