Enemies of Intelligence: Knowledge and Power in American by Richard K. Betts

By Richard K. Betts

The tragic occasions of September eleven, 2001, and the fake evaluation of Saddam Hussein's guns arsenal have been bad reminders that strong info is vital to nationwide safeguard. those disasters confident the yank public that their intelligence approach was once damaged and brought on a thorough reorganization of corporations and team of workers, yet as Richard okay. Betts argues during this ebook, critics and politicians have seriously underestimated the stumbling blocks to real reform.

One of the nation's most appropriate 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 strategy. not like America's efforts to enhance its defenses opposed to ordinary mess ups, strengthening its strategic overview functions capability 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 info and settling on its implications for policy.

Combining educational examine with own adventure, Betts outlines concepts for higher intelligence collecting and evaluate. He describes how solving one malfunction can create one other; in what methods services may be either an essential device and a resource of errors and misjudgment; the pitfalls of continuously striving for accuracy in intelligence, which now and again can render it valueless; the risk, even though unavoidable, of "politicizing" intelligence; and the difficulty of secrecy—when it truly is over the top, while it's inadequate, and the way restricting privateness can actually guard civil liberties.

Betts argues that once it involves intelligence, electorate and politicians may still concentration much less on constant options and extra on reaching a fragile stability among conflicting necessities. He additionally emphasizes the colossal good fortune of the intelligence neighborhood, regardless of its well-publicized error, and highlights components of the intelligence method that desire maintenance and safeguard. Many reformers are fast to reply to scandals and screw ups with no targeted, old wisdom of ways the process works. Grounding his arguments in huge thought and coverage research, Betts takes a finished and life like examine how wisdom and gear can interact to stand the intelligence demanding situations of the twenty-first century.

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Extra resources for Enemies of Intelligence: Knowledge and Power in American National Security

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Producers of intelligence have sometimes been culprits, but less often than consumers. Policy perspectives tend to constrain objectivity, and authorities often fail to use intelligence properly.  . By the time you are sure it is always very close to the event. So I don’t think the analysts did such a lousy job.  . 13 This charitable view of intelligence is widely accepted among the small corps of scholars who have studied cases of failure, but not among politicians or the public. 14 This misunderstands the difference between understanding the probability of frequent failures and absolving players of responsibility for them.

In some cases these changes work. In many instances, however, they persist formally but erode substantively. Standard procedures are constant. Dramatic failures occur only intermittently. If the reforms in procedure which they have provoked do not fulfill day-to-day organizational needs—or if, as often happens, they complicate operations and strain the organization’s resources—they fall into disuse or become token practices. 33 Efforts to increase responsibility in the process did not take p e r m a n e n t e n e m i e s / 33 hold.

Gen. S. estimates of enemy military strength and effectiveness in the run-up to the 1991 Persian Gulf War were shown to be excessive by the precipitous collapse of Iraq’s defense in the first days of the ground war. S. Army plans initially assumed the need for an invasion force much larger than that preferred by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, but the conventional phase of the 2003 invasion succeeded easily with the smaller force. On the other hand, Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki’s estimate that hundreds of thousands of troops would be needed to occupy Iraq effectively was dismissed by civilian authorities, but later was proved prescient.

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