Download Why Intelligence Fails. Lessons from the Iranian Revolution by Robert L. Jervis PDF

By Robert L. Jervis

The U.S. govt spends huge, immense assets every year at the amassing and research of intelligence, but the heritage of yank overseas coverage is plagued by missteps and misunderstandings that experience resulted from intelligence mess ups. In Why Intelligence Fails, Robert Jervis examines the politics and psychology of 2 of the extra awesome intelligence mess ups in contemporary reminiscence: the unsuitable trust that the regime of the Shah in Iran was once safe and solid in 1978, and the declare that Iraq had lively WMD courses in 2002. The Iran case relies on a lately declassified document Jervis used to be commissioned to adopt via CIA thirty years in the past and comprises memoranda written through CIA officers in line with Jervis's findings. The Iraq case, additionally grounded in a evaluate of the intelligence community's functionality, is predicated on shut readings of either categorised and declassified files, even though Jervis's conclusions are fullyyt supported by means of proof that has been declassified. In either situations, Jervis reveals not just that intelligence was once badly incorrect but in addition that later factors analysts have been bowing to political strain and telling the White apartment what it desired to pay attention or have been willfully blind have been additionally wrong. Proponents of those reasons claimed that preliminary error have been compounded through groupthink, loss of coordination in the executive, and failure to percentage details. coverage prescriptions, together with the new institution of a Director of nationwide Intelligence, have been speculated to therapy the location. In Jervis's estimation, neither the reasons nor the prescriptions are sufficient. The inferences that intelligence drew have been really really believable given the knowledge on hand. blunders arose, he concludes, from inadequate realization to the ways that details may be amassed and interpreted, an absence of self-awareness concerning the elements that resulted in the judgments, and an organizational tradition that did not explore for weaknesses and discover choices. comparing the inherent tensions among the tools and goals of intelligence team of workers and policymakers from a different insider's standpoint, Jervis forcefully criticizes fresh proposals for bettering the functionality of the intelligence neighborhood and discusses ways that destiny research will be more desirable.

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Extra resources for Why Intelligence Fails. Lessons from the Iranian Revolution and the Iraq War

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Although most contemporary observers believed that he was strong and decisive, this was a misreading of the man. As Marvin Zonis has shown, throughout his career he was more often vacillating and hesitant,23 and in the year before the revolution he was further weakened by the deaths of two of his very few confidants. Intelligence had characterized him correctly in the decade following the 1953 coup, but in the subsequent years his effort to appear in charge of himself as well as the country took hold, partly because of his unwillingness to brook any opposition.

The problem here was that I worked mostly from the written record, and it contained few comments by [28] Failing to See That the Shah Was in Danger managers. I thought it was telling that neither the NIO nor the analysts said that the intervening levels had improved analysis or asked probing questions, but Leonhart is right that this is not definitive. Since I believe that the role of these managers is important, as I will discuss in chapter 4, it would be valuable to have greater information about what they did in this and other cases.

The Shah labored under another handicap, one that is more apparent in retrospect. This was his association with American dominance. To American officials, the Shah was an important ally deserving of full support but far from a puppet. Although the United States and United Kingdom, in conjunction with a significant segment of Iranian society, had saved his throne in 1953, a generation later he was very much his own man, or so we thought. Many Iranians, however, saw him as a tool of the Americans, and this meant that nationalism could be enlisted in a revolutionary cause.

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