Roundtable 3-6 on “The CIA and U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1947: Reforms, Reflections and Reappraisals”133 min read

Intelligence and National Security coverThe special issue of Intelligence and National Security, Volume 26, April-June 2011 continues the process of bringing intelligence in from the cold.  It is to be hoped that the reviews here contribute to the parallel process of familiarizing diplomatic historians with what is known about intelligence and bringing in two fields closer together.  We are still a long way from understanding the degree to which intelligence influenced or reflected international politics during the Cold War, but the reviewers agree that this special issue on “The CIA and U.S. Foreign Policy Since 1947” is a significant contribution.


H-Diplo | ISSF Roundtable, Volume III, No. 6 (2011)

Diane Labrosse and Thomas Maddux, H-Diplo/ISSF Editors
George Fujii, H-Diplo/ISSF Web and Production Editor
Commissioned by Thomas Maddux

H-Diplo/ISSF Roundtable Review of:

Special Issue on “The CIA and U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1947: Reforms, Reflections and Reappraisals,” Intelligence and National Security 26:2-3 (April-June 2011).

Introduction by Kaeten Mistry (University of Warwick)

I. Challenges and Reform

  • “Transforming Analysis: The Intelligence Community’s Best Kept Secret” by Richard H. Immerman (Temple University)
  • “‘A Profoundly Disruptive Force’: The CIA, Historiography and the Perils of Globalisation” by Richard J. Aldrich (University of Warwick)

II. Intelligence and Policymaking I: Reassessing Contemporary Controversies

  • “The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: A Failure of Policy Not Strategic Intelligence Analysis” by Stephen Marrin (Brunel University)
  • “Recognising Politicisation: The CIA and the Path to the 2003 War in Iraq” by Scott Lucas (University of Birmingham)

III. Framing & Approaches

  • “Getting CIA History Right: The Informal Partnership Between Agency Historians and Outside Scholars” by Nicholas Dujmovic (CIA History Staff)
  • “Approaches to Understanding the Inaugural CIA Covert Operation in Italy: Exploding Useful Myths” by Kaeten Mistry (University of Warwick)
  • Intelligence and Policymaking II: Reassessing Cold War Crises
  • “The Pragmatic Face of the Covert Idealist: The Role of Allen Dulles in U.S. Policy Discussions on Latin America, 1953-61” Bevan Sewell (University of Nottingham)
  • “Too Little, Too Late: The CIA and U.S. Counteraction of the Soviet Initiative in the Six-Day War, 1967” by Gideon Remez & Isabella Ginor (Truman Institute, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
  • “U.S. Intelligence Performance and U.S. Policy during the Polish Crisis of 1980-1981: Revelations from the Kukliński Files” by Mark Kramer (Harvard University)

IV. Reframing Propaganda and the Cultural Cold War

  • “A Difficult Compromise: British and American Plans for a Common Anti-Communist Propaganda Response in Western Europe, 1948-1958” by Linda Risso (University of Reading)
  • “Interdoc and West European Psychological Warfare: The American Connection” by Giles Scott-Smith (Roosevelt Study Center, Middelburg)
  • “‘Money Does Not Make Any Difference to the Opinions That We Hold’: India, the CIA, and the Congress for Cultural Freedom, 1951-1958” by Eric D. Pullin (Carthage College)

Published by H-Diplo/ISSF on 14 December 2011



Introduction by Robert Jervis, Columbia University

The special issue of Intelligence and National Security, Volume 26, April-June 2011 continues the process of bringing intelligence in from the cold.  It is to be hoped that the reviews here contribute to the parallel process of familiarizing diplomatic historians with what is known about intelligence and bringing in two fields closer together.  We are still a long way from understanding the degree to which intelligence influenced or reflected international politics during the Cold War, but the reviewers agree that this special issue on “The CIA and U.S. Foreign Policy Since 1947” is a significant contribution.

Paul McGarr reviews Eric D. Pullin, “‘Money Does not Make Any Difference to the Opinions That We Hold’: India, the CIA, and the Congress for Cultural Freedom, 1951-1958,” Linda Risso, “A Difficult Compromise: British and American Plans for a Common Anti-Communist Propaganda Response in Western Europe, 1948-58,” and Giles Scott-Smith, “Interdoc and West European Psychological Warfare: The American Connection.”  As he notes, they build on the previous discussions of propaganda and cultural diplomacy but do not merely round up the usual suspects.  They concentrate on the activities of players outside of the U.S., and as McGarr notes, while these activists in India, the UK, and the Continent all strove to be independent of America, they also needed the enormous resources of the CIA.  Even when local and American goals overlapped, the locals not only had objectives of their own but also felt that they could do a better job of combating the Soviet and communist appeals than could the U.S.  They sought both to use American materials and funds and to preserve their own autonomy.  It is particularly interesting, McGarr notes, that Scott-Smith shows that the Dutch particularly saw close ties to Americans as the way to strengthen Interdoc (the International Documentation and Information Center), the European propaganda organization that was based in The Hague and in which they played a large role.

While praising these essays, McGarr also notes that they could have benefited from expanding their horizons and looking at more of the surrounding context, although he grants that this is difficult to do in a brief article.

John Prados reviews Bevan, Sewell, “The Pragmatic Face of the Covert Idealist: The Role of Allen Dulles in U.S. Policy Discussions on Latin America, 1953-1961,” Gideon Remez and Isabella Ginor, “Too Little, Too Late: The CIA and U.S. Counteraction of the Soviet Initiative in the Six-Day War, 1967,” and Mark Kramer, “U.S. Intelligence Performance and U.S. Policy during the Polish Crisis of 1980-1981: Revelations from the Kuklinski File.”  These articles deal with the CIA’s role in policy-making.  Here as in many other areas, what we can say is limited by the available documentation, much of which remains classified.  This is an unfortunate for scholars as well as for country as a whole.  (Here I should disclose that I chair the CIA’s Historical Review Panel that advises the organization on policies and disputes concerning the declassification documents that are at least 25 years old.)  Prados stresses what the authors do not:  Foreign Relations of the United States volumes only included intelligence material after Congress mandated this in 1991.  Much of what intelligence officials at all levels conveyed to what they called “consumers” or “customers” remains hidden from us, but the articles Prados reviews reveal tantalizing hints.  Thus, while Sewell’s conclusion that Allen Dulles was more pragmatic than any of us have believed is supported by what we can see, no firm conclusions are possible at this point.  Prados points out that the conclusion of Ginor and Remez that the CIA misunderstood and misinformed consumers before the 1967 Middle East war rests less on limited information (although that is a problem here as well) than it does on their hotly debated claim that the war was instigated by the Soviet Union.  Kramer’s analysis of role of U.S. intelligence in American policy during the Polish crisis of 1980-1981 has a fuller, but still incomplete, evidentiary base thanks to the CIA’s release of much of the material provided by the Polish army Colonel Ryzard Kuklinski, who until he was forced to flee the country shortly before the coup had full access to Polish planning.  Prados notes that Kramer was able to build on the post-mortem by Douglas MacEachin, a former high CIA official, and Kuklinski’s biography written by a journalist Benjamin Weiser, but that Kramer himself has greatly added to and integrated this material.

Joshua Rovner and James Wirtz review two articles that focus on interactions between intelligence and policy on the key issues of 9/11 and the Iraq War: Stephen Marrin, “The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: A Failure of Policy Not Strategic Intelligence Analysis,” and Scott Lucas, “Recognising Politicization:  The CIA and the Path to the 2003 War in Iraq.”  Marrin, they argue, does a good job of criticizing the 9/11 Commission’s critique of the intelligence community’s (IC’s) failure to give sufficient warning of the impending attacks.  There is a consensus that had the CIA and FBI cooperated more, the 9/11 hijackers might have been prevented from entering the U.S. or been arrested while they were in the country, but the reviewers agree that Marrin is convincing in his argument that intelligence did provide quite good strategic warnings about the scope and depth of the danger posed by al Qaeda.  Rovner and Wirtz stress the basic dilemma that short of the shock of an actual attack on and in the United States, it is hard to see what intelligence could have indicated that would have allowed the president to take large-scale, costly, and risky actions involved in an all-out assault on al Qaeda.  If intelligence suffered from at least a partial failure of imagination, policy-makers not only shared this, but were not in a physiological or political position to act on a more imaginative if accurate picture.

Lucas examines the way in which influence can flow in the opposite direction, from policy to intelligence.  The reviewers agree with Lucas that the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and the Office of the Vice President (OVP) both distorted and put pressure on intelligence to paint a lurid picture of the threat from Saddam Hussein.  Lucas calls this “politicization,” but as the reviewers note, he treats this concept more broadly than others he criticizes, including this writer.  My Why Intelligence Fails (Cornell University Press, 2010) sought to explain why intelligence thought that Saddam had active WMD programs and argued that the common explanation of political pressure was not correct; Lucas is less interested in the judgments of the IC than in the ways in which the Bush administration used and misused intelligence, and the reviewers discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a broad versus narrow conceptualization and note the misunderstandings that can occur when the same term is applied to different phenomena.

Adam Svendsen reviews Richard J. Aldrich, “‘A Profoundly Disruptive Force’: The CIA, Historiography and the Perils of Globalization,” and Richard H. Immerman, “Transforming Analysis:  The Intelligence Community’s Best Kept Secret,” articles that deal with the challenges the IC has and has not faced in recent years.  In a lengthy and richly documented treatment, Svendsen summarizes and builds on Aldrich’s argument that the CIA has failed to come to grips with any of the disruptive and varied aspects of globalization and that scholars and critics have only incompletely understood this.  The reviewer notes that the problems with the CIA here are a complex combination of intellectual, organizational, and political limits.  These appear as well in his analysis of Immerman’s discussion of the ways in which the IC has and has not “transformed” analysis in the wake of 9/11 and the 2004 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism and Prevention Act (IRTPA).  Immerman played a role here, having served as Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analytic Integrity and Standards for almost 18 months, but Svendsen does not detect biases in his account, and sees it as a very useful discussion of the changes in analytic procedures and practices, along with the multiple challenges that remain.

Wesley Wark reviews Nicholas Dujmovic, “Getting CIA History Right:  The Informal Partnership between Agency Historians and Outside Scholars,” and Kaeten Mistry, “Approaches to Understanding the Inaugural CIA Covert Operation in Italy: Exploding Useful Myths,” two essays that discuss our understanding of CIA’s history.  As Wark notes, Dujmovic, who is a historian at the CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence, discusses the histories that are written both by CIA historians and by “outsiders,” and also discusses the possibilities of and limits on cooperation between the two groups.  While critical of many outside histories, Dujmovic notes not only that it is inevitable and appropriate that these accounts will be produced, even if they are flawed, but that they are often used within the IC.  Mistry argues that the role of the CIA’s covert action in influencing the Italian elections of 1948 has been exaggerated, and Wark points out that a bridge between the two essays is the question of how much it is reasonable to expect intelligence agencies to be able to do.  In the Italian case, as in many others, it is often hard to see how responsibility is to be divided between the efforts of the CIA and those of the local actors.  Both those who glorify and who most blame the CIA give short shrift to the latter.  But Wark thinks that Mistry, in an effort to correct the more common view, may have gone too far in the opposite direction and ends up excessively downplaying the influence of what the CIA did.

The reviews see the Special Issue as having expanded our knowledge of multiple aspects of the CIA, and as pointing to the continuing need to deploy multiple perspectives and balance a sharp focus on what intelligence says and does with a consideration of the context in which it speaks and acts.


Kaeten Mistry is a Leverhulme Research Fellow and Lecturer in American History at the University of East Anglia.  He is currently finalising a book on U.S.-Italian relations and American political warfare in the early Cold War.  His work has been published in journals including Diplomatic History, Cold War History, and Modern Italy.  His new project examines the conceptualisation, framing, and narratives behind CIA covert action.

Robert Jervis is Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics at Columbia University.  His most recent book is Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons from the Iranian Revolution and the Iraq War (Cornell University Press, 2010.  He was President of the American Political Science Association in 2000-01 and has received career achievement awards from the International Society of Political Psychology and ISA’s Security Studies Section.  In 2006 he received the National Academy of Science’s tri-annual award for behavioral sciences contributions to avoiding nuclear war.

Paul M. McGarr is lecturer in American Foreign Policy at the University of Nottingham.  For the past three years he has been working on a major British Arts and Humanities Research Council project, Landscapes of Secrecy:  The Central Intelligence Agency and the Contested Record of U.S. Foreign Policy, 1947-2001.  In the fall of 2011, he will be a visiting fellow at the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford.  He is the author The Cold War in South Asia, 1947-1965, which is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press, and has published articles in The International History Review, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, and Diplomacy & Statecraft, among other journals.  He is currently finishing a book entitled, ‘“Playing Games with History”: The State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Foreign Relations of the United States series.’

John Prados is a senior fellow of, and project director for, the National Security Archive in Washington, DC.  He holds a PhD in Political Science (International Relations) from Columbia University.  Prados’s most recent work on a related subject is How the Cold War Ended: Debating and Doing History (Potomac) on the events of the 1980s.  His current book is Normandy Crucible (NAL/Caliber), a World War II narrative, and he is at work on another World War II project that will incorporate intelligence history into the traditional version of the campaign for the Solomon Islands in the Pacific.

Joshua Rovner is Associate Professor of Strategy and Policy at the U.S. Naval War College, and Adjunct Professor in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.  Rovner is also reviews editor for The Journal of Strategic Studies.  He is the author of Fixing the Facts:  National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011).

Adam D.M. Svendsen is an intelligence and defence strategist and educator.  He has a Ph.D. in Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick, UK, and has also been educated at the Universities of Nottingham and East Anglia (UEA), Norwich.  His current position is Researcher, Centre for Military Studies (CMS), Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.  He has worked as a Strategic Intelligence consultant, trained at various European defence colleges, and has multi-sector award-winning media and communication experience, including authoring several publications, such as the book:  Intelligence Cooperation and the War on Terror:  Anglo-American Security Relations after 9/11 (London: Routledge/Studies in Intelligence Series, 2010).  He is currently finishing work on his next book:  Understanding the ‘Globalization of Intelligence’ (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming).

James J. Wirtz is Dean, School of International Graduate Studies at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California and the Director of the Global Center of Security Cooperation, Defense Security Cooperation Agency.  He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University.  He is currently working on the 4th edition of his Oxford textbook, Strategy in the Contemporary World.

Review by Paul M. McGarr, University of Nottingham

Over the past decade a slew of important and path breaking studies have focused attention on the previously neglected cultural dimension of the Cold War.[1]  More recently, leading scholars in the fields of diplomatic and intelligence history have come together to debate and reassess the role of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the making of U.S. foreign policy.[2]  In consequence, much insightful and innovative new work has appeared which casts fresh light on the CIA’s role in the cultural Cold War.  Taken together, the three articles produced by Eric Pullin, Linda Risso, and Giles Scott-Smith, in the special double edition of Intelligence & National Security dedicated to the history of CIA, represent a significant addition to this expanding field of enquiry.

Pullin, Risso, and Scott-Smith cast a critical eye upon covert propaganda operations run by Western intelligence agencies during the Cold War.  Pullin offers up a well crafted and penetrating analysis of the CIA’s links to the Indian Committee for Cultural Freedom in the 1950s.  Risso takes the reader back to Europe, and the very beginning of the Cold War.  In a detailed and persuasive account of the interplay between the British Foreign Office’s Information Research Department (IRD) and the CIA’s International Organizations Division, Risso scrutinizes the West’s stumbling and often ineffective response to communist propaganda between the late 1940s and the early 1950s.  Scott-Smith has established a well-earned reputation as the leading authority on the International Documentation and Information Center, or Interdoc, an organisation established in the Netherlands in 1963 to oversee various groups concerned with developments in communist thought and practice.[3]  In presenting the emergence and subsequent eclipse of Interdoc as a Euro-centric riposte to a Cold War propaganda narrative hitherto dominated by the United States, Scott-Smith’s lucid and engaging article unpicks the wider inter-service rivalries and political tensions that beset Western efforts to create and sustain a cohesive anti-communist propaganda offensive.

Significantly, all three articles reinforce the extent to which the cultural Cold War was at heart a collaborative exercise, in which national governments and their intelligence services, in both the East and West, worked alongside each other and through private enterprises and ‘front groups’ across the globe.  The propaganda war waged by United States and its Western allies is presented as a complex and unpredictable business, in which minor actors frequently wielded significant and unintended influence.  Although the United States’ pivotal role in the production and dissemination of Cold War propaganda is acknowledged in all three essays, each suggests a need to reconsider the extent to which the CIA was able to keep its diverse portfolio of propaganda interests under control and on message.  More often than not, it seems that the vagaries of domestic politics in Europe and Asia, the prevalence of institutional rivalries, and the existence of deep seated national prejudices, undercut American efforts to promote transnational propaganda networks.

A strong sense emerges from Pullin’s observations on the CIA’s clandestine propaganda activities in India in the 1950s, of an Agency that was exploited and manipulated by local actors on its payroll.  Pullin argues that that India’s premier, Jawaharlal Nehru, evidenced a special animus for American propaganda, both overt and covert, viewing it as an unconscionable encroachment upon Indian national sovereignty.  Pullin outlines how opposition groups on the subcontinent worked closely with the CIA to develop an alternative and pro-Western political voice to that espoused by Nehru’s left-leaning Congress Party.  While Indian opposition groups, such as the Indian Committee for Cultural Freedom (ICCF), received financial support from the CIA, Pullin contends that these groups successfully resisted American pressure to modify their opinions and activities.  Accepting money from the Americans did, however, fatally undermine the ICCF’s political credibility in the eyes of many Indians.

Pullin’s meticulously researched and nuanced account of America’s propaganda operations in India draws extensively upon previous studies undertaken in this area, as well as an impressive range of Indian published sources and U.S. archival records.[4]  It adds considerably to the existing literature in the emphasis which its places upon the ICCF’s ability to maintain operational autonomy from its nominal parent organisation, the Paris-based Congress for Cultural Freedom, and its CIA paymaster.  Pullin details how, whilst happily swelling its organisational coffers with illicit American cash, the ICCF’s policies were driven primarily by political developments inside India, rather than external directives issued by Paris or Washington.  Perhaps the best example of the disconnect which developed between the CIA and its Indian ‘front’ organisation came in 1956, when the ICCF proved equally vocal in its condemnation of the Anglo-French intervention in Suez, as it did of the Soviet invasion of Hungary.

Somewhat frustratingly, Pullin introduces, but then leaves underdeveloped, a number of fascinating issues and questions.  In part, this undoubtedly reflects the constraints imposed by time and space.  It would, nonetheless, have been useful to have been provided with greater context on the ‘Indian approach’ to propaganda (380-81).  We receive only a tantalising brief snapshot of the Indian External Publicity (XP) Division, for example, and learn little of its origins, structure, and activities.  Did XP follow the same path adopted by India’s intelligence service, the Delhi Intelligence Bureau (DIB), by drawing significantly on British expertise and personnel in the immediate post-independence era?  Indeed, how, if at all, was the XP’s work affected by the DIB’s close links to the British and American intelligence services?

More generally, the distinction which Pullin has a tendency to draw between an anti-American and anti-CIA Nehru government, and a CIA supported Indian opposition, is problematic.  We are told that, “The Government of India discerned in rough outline American interference in India’s domestic affairs, and, though unable to confirm it at the time, correctly suspected that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) funded the ICCF” (378).  Quiet true.  It would, nevertheless, have been worthwhile noting that India’s intelligence service, and powerful elements within the ruling Congress Party, including it has been alleged, members of Nehru’s inner circle, worked very closely indeed with the CIA for at least the first two decades following India’s independence, if not longer.[5]  Much like the ICCF, the Congress Party could justifiably be charged with accepting CIA money and support when it suited its interests to do so (for instance, when seeking to oust a democratically elected Communist government from power in the southern India state of Kerala in the late 1950s.  Or, collaborating in security and intelligence operations directed against Communist China in the early 1960s), whilst bridling at the imposition of unwarranted American influence in India’s domestic affairs, when it did not.  Overall, however, Pullin’s thought provoking study has much to commend it, not least the spotlight which it casts upon American intelligence operations in India after 1947, the significance of which has been largely overlooked by Western scholars.

The British Information Research Department’s relationship with the International Organizations Division of the CIA forms the centrepiece of Rizzo’s in-depth examination of the influence national propaganda agencies exerted within nascent international organisations, such as the Western Union and NATO.  Risso argues that the foundation of the Cominform in September 1947 proved critical in enabling the Soviet bloc and communist parties across Western Europe to launch a cohesive propaganda assault against the West.  In contrast, with the exception of Britain and the United States, early Western intelligence and information agencies were fragmented, disorganised, and poorly funded.  American enthusiasm for exploiting the potential in transnational bodies to improve the coordination and delivery of Western propaganda met opposition in Britain and Europe.  Considerations of national security and entrenched intra-European animosities and suspicions, Risso contends, ultimately undermined America’s attempts to use organisations, such as NATO, to reinvigorate the West’s anti-communist propaganda apparatus.

The work of the IRD, and its American equivalents, has attracted considerable scholarly interest.[6]  Risso breaks important new ground, however, by directing attention onto the IRD’s relationship with its European counterparts, and illustrating how these relationships impacted directly upon American inspired efforts to enhance the pooling of Western propaganda expertise and resources.  The detailed case study presented makes masterful use of unpublished British government records on the IRD, and draws judiciously upon pertinent documents from NATO’s archives.  It is difficult to fault Risso’s thesis that the IRD had little interest in forging a genuinely collaborative relationship with partners in Europe.  British suspicions that communists had penetrated European governments, fears that its anonymity would be compromised, differences of opinion on colonial matters, and concerns over future operational independence, saw the IRD oppose closer links with European partners.  As Risso underlines, “The kind of association that the Foreign Office had in mind [with Europe] was not based on cooperation among equal partners; it was rather a matter of Anglo-Americans offering leadership and help to their junior counterparts.” (354).

While the British perspective comes through clearly and convincingly in Risso’s authoritative analysis, European and American voices are more muted.  Insights into the French attitude to a coordinated Western response to Soviet bloc propaganda, for example, are presented through a British Foreign Officer lens.  Likewise, the American standpoint is conveyed principally via the use of published State Department documents.  In addition, Risso plausibly asserts that the IRD and CIA acted as “primary partners if not dictatorial ones” (354) when interacting with their Western European counterparts.  Given this assertion, it would have been valuable to have received a clearer idea of how, if at all, Anglo-American hegemony in the propaganda field influenced the manner in which the NATO hierarchy, and its various national delegations, perceived the Soviet Union and communism in general.  Some minor quibbles aside, Risso is to be applauded for producing a compelling account of an early, and ultimately flawed, American effort to harmonize Western anti-communist propaganda.

Scott-Smith has previously fleshed out aspects of the Interdoc story elsewhere.  Much work is still to be done, however, in documenting the full range and impact of Interdoc’s activities between the early 1960s and the mid-1980s.  The latest Interdoc offering from Scott-Smith is significant primarily for the insight which it provides into America’s role in the organisation’s evolution.  Scott-Smith has delved deeply into the private papers of Interdoc’s director, Cees van den Heuvel, at the Dutch National Archives, and uncovered new material from British, American, and German sources.  Having amassed an impressive array of evidence, Scott-Smith deploys it with considerable skill to demonstrate that, while Interdoc was intended to promote a distinctly Western European view on key Cold War issues, a strong American influence was, in fact, evident in the organisation’s make-up from the outset, and indeed, grew stronger over time.

Scott-Smith notes that Interdoc was an essentially French–German–Dutch conception, which at various points in its history worked closely with the British, Belgian, and Italian intelligence services.  Interdoc was intended, as Scott-Smith underlines, to counter-act, “the ideological threat posed by Soviet and Chinese communism by ensuring that Western societies could (literally) withstand its siren call.” (357).  Its modus operandi rested on a purportedly more sophisticated propaganda model, which acknowledged the appeal of communist ideology in certain sections of Western society, notably within youth and intellectual circles, and shunned a U.S.-centric approach to the Cold War which tended to demonize the Soviet Union in particular, and Communism in general.  Crucially, Scott-Smith qualifies just how independent European Interdoc really was.  The considerable financial and technical support which the CIA provided to Germany’s intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), and its Dutch counterpart, the Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst (BVD), he suggests, afforded the United States with an opening into Interdoc.  Moreover, American influence in Interdoc expanded after French involvement in the organisation was curtailed by de Gaulle’s decision to keep the country’s intelligence services on a short leash following Algeria’s independence, and Willy Brandt’s policy of Ostpolitik militated against West Germany’s participation in anti-Soviet propaganda campaigns.

Most interestingly, however, Scott-Smith shows clearly how the Dutch set out to strengthen American links to Interdoc.  Dutch enthusiasm for turning Interdoc into a ‘transatlantic affair’ (365), it is postulated, was most likely motivated by the nation’s innate sense of Atlanticism, and more practical factors such as the lure of American financial and technical support.  Certainly, Scott-Smith appears on solid ground in asserting that by the 1970s Interdoc had become “a hybrid”, reflecting aspects of European and American psychological warfare doctrine and practice.  Yet, in tracing the thread of American involvement in Interdoc much further back to the organisation’s very inception, Scott-Smith makes an extremely strong case for questioning the extent to which the organisation ever truly represented, “a European strategic culture in psychological warfare.” (376)  The Interdoc that emerges from Scott-Smith’s important study is more complex, more conflicted, and much more intriguing, than had hitherto seemed possible.

Review by John Prados, National Security Archive

The selection of articles on U.S. intelligence that appeared in the April-June issue of Intelligence & National Security represent a welcome effort to focus more light on United States activities in this area.  In addition the papers here make an effort to take intelligence study to its most rarified level—directly engaging the question of what impact intelligence had on the forging of diplomatic policy.  Collectively these papers help to illustrate how new light can be shed on crises and international relations more generally by inclusion of the intelligence aspect.  Individually the papers demonstrate some of the traps and pitfalls that face the analyst who attempts to meld secret history with older varieties of the discipline, in this instance diplomatic history.

Bevan Sewell sets out to re-interpret Allen Dulles’s role at the CIA in the 1950s, with specific reference to Latin America.  He wants to show that Dulles was more widely involved than is thought—with policy decisions, not simply intelligence missions—and that, far from being a fervid anticommunist in the style of his brother [John] Foster, who happened to be Dwight D. Eisenhower’s secretary of state even while Allen headed the CIA, Allen Dulles remained a pragmatic policy practitioner.  Within his stated area of interest, Latin America, Sewell wants to demonstrate that the CIA’s interest/activity in Latin America was broader and more intricate than the common wisdom—which restricts discussion primarily to the agency’s covert operations in Guatemala (1954) and Cuba (1960 and after)—would indicate.  His goals are laudable.  There is an excellent argument to make that the CIA had policy interests as a Cold War agency and that Allen Dulles represented them effectively.  And it is incontestable that Latin America was more than Guatemala plus Cuba.

Unfortunately the Sewell paper falls victim to the narrow base of source material—a perennial headache for the historian of intelligence diplomacy.  Almost a third of “The Pragmatic Face of the Covert Idealist” is taken up with reaching across the whole history of the Eisenhower administration to adduce a few examples of Allen Dulles saying something, anything, on any subject, that might be taken as policy advice.  Add the introduction and conclusions and this amounts to almost half the paper.  Sewell tries to picture the CIA director as cautious about his interventions—certainly true—but willing to be drawn out in many areas.  This construct suffers, however, from the author’s limited evidentiary base.  For example, the paper refers to Dulles telling Ike he is anxious to get together and talk over the recommendations of a scientific panel the president created after the Soviet launch of Sputnik, suggesting a Dulles role in general scientific and educational policy.  But it was the same panel that proposed the CIA should go ahead and develop a reconnaissance satellite.  So what was Dulles really up to?  The evidence is not clear because much of the documentary record remains classified.

There is a stark danger that confronts the historian of intelligence diplomacy—generalization from a narrow evidentiary base—that this incident epitomizes.  In Sewall’s actual discussion of Latin American policy he cites Allen Dulles briefing the Eisenhower National Security Council (NSC) in early 1953 about the state of Latin America.  The context is the crafting of an NSC paper on Latin policy, and Dulles carefully notes that social problems and ones of development, not simply the supposed communist menace, are at the heart of the hemisphere’s problems.  Sewell portrays Allen Dulles here as both pragmatic and giving advice, and this is some of the major evidence for his general argument.  Well . . . it happens that in December 1952 the U.S. intelligence estimative apparatus had produced a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) saying as much.  The paper, NIE-70, had observed the “political instability now evident . . . results from serious disturbance of the traditional social order by new economic and social forces,”[7] and it contained at least as much discussion of Peronism as communism.  So, was Allen Dulles giving the NSC his policy advice or presenting intelligence estimative conclusions?

The jury remains out.  Gathering evidence for intelligence history is one of the greatest challenges facing the researcher.  For the Eisenhower period there is actually quite a lot either out or becoming available, and widely-distributed collections are often no substitute for original documents.  A case in point: the Foreign Relations of the United States series for the Eisenhower period was compiled and published at a time when the volumes did not cover the CIA, and briefings were frequently stripped out of the text when the documents were set for publication.  Original minutes usually have Allen Dulles’s briefings intact.  Sewell draws mainly on the Foreign Relations series and thus misses access to that evidence.  This is not the place for any extensive treatment of evidentiary sources, but suffice it to say that this observer, for one, looks forward to the day when we can present the real Allen Dulles based on the full array of source material.

Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez also draw heavily on Foreign Relations volumes for their CIA evidence in their paper on the Six Day War of 1967.  But Ginor and Remez go further and make use of a smattering of official papers plus an agency official biography of Richard Helms, CIA director at that time.  While the evidence may be better the result is not more satisfactory, mainly due to the authors’ determination to make the story conform to their longstanding interpretation of the 1967 war as the product of a Soviet plot.  Here the (incompetent? willful? merely misguided? take your pick) CIA systematically either missed—or misreported—evidence of nearly every Soviet activity in the weeks leading up to the war.  As a result the United States did not do its duty and come to the aid of Israel, which had invaded the surrounding Arab countries.  Assumptions are a problem in this paper: that the U.S. had some formal duty of that nature, that Lyndon Johnson would have intervened but for the CIA hanging back, that Soviet naval infantry landing in Syria (and other Russian moves) represented the execution of a grand design, not a deterrent or contingency measure; that the National Security Agency was ahead of CIA in appreciating the Russian threat because the communications monitoring vessel Liberty was ordered to the Levant; and more.

Every intelligence report is evaluated in terms of the assumptions and every item of evidence is interpreted in the most negative way.  The Helms biography is “hagiography” (it’s actually a serious bit of historical writing, like it or not), the nonappearance of certain reports in Foreign Relations forms part of the coverup, “the CIA’s contemporary estimates contain no indication it detected or deduced any of this [Soviet plotting].”  (p. 293) Apart from the question of how you could draw such a conclusion on the basis of reports that were not there because they had been suppressed, the fact is that the agency’s actual reporting of the Six Day War consisted overwhelmingly of current (daily) papers.  There were far fewer estimates (NIEs or SNIEs).

It is true that CIA reporting did not perceive the 1967 crisis as a Soviet Cold War offensive in the Middle East.  As the Central Intelligence Bulletin observed on May 23, “There has been no indication [deleted] of any unusual Soviet military moves related to the Middle East.”[8] Ten days before the war the CIA delivered an analysis to the White House that specifically refuted the contention—made by Israeli government officials at the time—that what was happening was part of a Soviet-Egyptian scheme.  It does not follow that the CIA was, in fact, wrong; that, if it were wrong on the Soviets, it mattered; that President Johnson based himself solely on the CIA information; or that the United States in fact adopted a faulty policy in the Six Day War.  LBJ remained acutely aware of who fired the first shots in the conflict, and Ginor and Remez’s assertions to the contrary, Nasser’s expulsion of a UN peacekeeping force from the Sinai, blockade of Aqaba, or Syrian shelling of the Golan were not a casus belli in 1967 any more than Egypt’s nationalization of the Suez Canal had been in 1956.  The crisis was an opportunity for negotiation, not simply a cause of war.  Intelligence performance turned on a great deal more than the CIA’s perceptions of Soviet military moves.  Valid conclusions require a much more extensive—and balanced—analysis than the authors have presented.

By far the most sophisticated treatment of intelligence evidence in this collection is offered by historian Mark Kramer in his paper on intelligence performance and U.S. policy during the Polish crisis of 1980-1981.  A Cold War historian with a bent for intelligence, Kramer not only obtained a wide selection of actual agency material, but also compares it to accounts of the same events/situations?  that reside in Polish documents and in U.S. diplomatic records since declassified.  Kramer is thus able to make observations not only on what must be errors in the actual CIA intelligence reporting but also about the evident pattern inherent in what the agency released.

Kramer had advantages in his research.  He was dealing with the case of the Polish staff officer and CIA spy Colonel Ryzard Kuklinski, an espionage episode of which the agency is particularly proud.  Declaration of martial law in Poland and the CIA’s reporting thereon had already been the subject of an informed insider account, a monograph by former deputy director for intelligence Douglas MacEachin.  The CIA had previously permitted extraordinary access to the Kuklinski case records for journalist Benjamin Weiser, and the latter had already asked CIA to declassify the case files.  Kramer himself had participated in historical conferences where the Kuklinski affair and the Polish crisis had been discussed by former senior officials from the Polish, Russian, and American sides, and he had made direct contact with Kuklinski for a previous paper in which the Polish officer had made available a few documents that remained in his possession.  With considerable historical interest in the inside story of Poland’s 1981 declaration of martial law, once Kuklinski passed away (in 2004), the CIA, with the precedent of its revelations to Weiser, and with its own pride in the success of the Kuklinski case, had considerable incentive to disclose more material.  In December 2008, the agency released eighty-one of the Kuklinski documents.

Kramer took the case files and, after testing the Kuklinski evidence in ways described above, compared the front-line reports with materials MacEachin had gotten declassified for his study of policy and intelligence, and with the monograph itself.  The intelligence, in turn, could be held up in the light of policy decisions made by the Carter and Reagan administrations at various points during the Polish crisis.  In his paper Kramer emerges disappointed that the United States, fortified by its intelligence knowledge, did not make bolder decisions for actions that might have forestalled, or at least delayed, martial law in Poland.  That is a fair judgment.  But equally to the point, Kramer arrived at his conclusions by means of careful research.  This paper can serve as a model for the kind of intelligence-diplomatic history our discipline needs more of.

One final point also emerges from Mark Kramer’s paper on Kuklinski.  While Kramer had special advantages at the time, the CIA’s document release indicates an agency interest in making available more of the record.  This is similarly suggested by certain other recent releases—compelled by FOIA, by court filings, or otherwise—that include Vietnam war histories, Bay of Pigs histories, and other documents.  The time may be approaching when it will become practical to meld intelligence and diplomatic history across the board in a wide variety of cases from before, during, and hopefully after, the Cold War.

Review by Joshua Rovner, U.S. Naval War College

In the last decade the U.S. intelligence community has been accused of sins of omission and sins of commission.  Both led to policy disasters.  The original sin was the failure to anticipate the rise of al Qaeda and provide advance warning of the 9/11 attacks.  The second sin was the exaggerated estimate of Iraq’s nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons before the war in 2003.  In each case bewildered critics asked how intelligence was so wrong about so much, and Congress responded with a sweeping reorganization of the intelligence community.  But scholars have increasingly questioned the theory that these were obvious failures of intelligence. More precisely, they have argued that understanding these events requires a broader understanding of the relationship between intelligence, strategy, and policy.  It makes little sense to treat intelligence as if it worked in a vacuum, without reference to U.S. strategy after the Cold War or U.S. foreign policy in the Clinton and Bush administrations.  Scrutinizing intelligence without looking at intelligence-policy relations creates an incomplete and misleading picture of what happened before 9/11 and the war in Iraq.

Stephen Marrin and Scott Lucas approach the subject from opposite directions.  Marrin asks how intelligence influences policy decisions; Lucas asks how the policy process influences the content of intelligence.  Both agree that it makes little sense to evaluate intelligence without simultaneously considering the beliefs and preferences of policymakers.  Those beliefs and preferences may sharply constrain policy responses to new intelligence, as Marrin argues happened before 9/11.  They may also cause policymakers to meddle in the production of new estimates, as Lucas argues happened before the war in Iraq.

Intelligence Incompetence or Policy Indecision?

As in past surprise attacks, 9/11 led to a burst of accusations of intelligence failure.  Bewildered critics asked how the world’s largest and most extravagantly funded intelligence community could have missed the signs that al Qaeda was preparing to strike, and why it underestimated al Qaeda’s capabilities.  The 9/11 Commission criticized intelligence agencies for possessing insufficient imagination which caused  them to underestimate the scope of the danger.[9]  Others argued that the community had failed to adapt after the Cold War, meaning that its organizational design was ill-suited to collect information against transnational groups like al Qaeda.[10]  And a third school of thought argued that the intelligence community had become risk-averse and unwilling to send agents into dangerous locations or aggressively recruit sources in places like the East Africa, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia.[11]  The cumulative implication of these critiques was that intelligence agencies might have prevented the terrorist attacks had  they been able to predict them.  Congress subsequently reorganized the intelligence community in order to repair some of the supposed shortcomings that put the United States at risk.

Stephen Marrin is one of a growing number of observers who question the conventional wisdom about intelligence failure that led Congress to act.[12]  Contrary to the notion that the intelligence community was caught unaware before 9/11, he claims that it provided ample warning to policymakers about the magnitude and imminent threat of al Qaeda.  CIA reports included analyses of Osama bin Laden’s political philosophy, al Qaeda’s strategic objectives, and a number of specific reports about its near term plans. Marrin notes that despite the 9/11 Commission’s criticism of the intelligence community, its report listed several CIA reports that raised the alarm on al Qaeda’s growing aspirations and its plans to attack U.S. aviation.  (185)  More importantly, policymakers got the message.  Clinton and Bush administration officials understood the nature and gravity of the threat, though officials not directly involved in national security policy were less aware.  (186-188)

Marrin’s discussion takes aim at a central contradiction in the 9/11 Commission report, which criticizes the intelligence community for a supposed lack of imagination while simultaneously presenting a lot of evidence that points in the other direction.  Marrin points out that the 9/11 Commission tries to reason its way out of this contradiction but ends up resorting to circular logic:

Whatever the weaknesses in the CIA’s portraiture, both Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush and their top advisers told us they got the picture – they understood Bin Ladin was a danger.  But given the character and pace of their       policy efforts, we do not believe they fully understood just how many people al Qaeda might kill, and how soon it might do it.  At some level that is hard to define, we believe the threat had not yet become compelling.[13]

Thus, says the Commission, policymakers would have acted more aggressively if the CIA painted a more vivid portrait of al Qaeda, and the fact that they didn’t act more aggressively must mean that intelligence officials didn’t deliver their briefings with enough gusto.  This dubious reasoning is based on the dubious assumption that policy moves in lockstep with intelligence.  It almost never does.

Marrin also demolishes the 9/11 Commission’s argument about the so-called “missing NIE” (196-200).  According to the Commission report, U.S. efforts were limited by the failure to produce a National Intelligence Estimate on terrorism between 1998 and 2001. Marrin notes, however, that earlier NIEs on terrorism in 1995 and 1997 had little impact on policy.  This should come as no surprise, he says, because formal NIEs are “notoriously irrelevant to the decision-making process” (198).  At best, the NIE process serves to expose differences of opinion among analysts, but before 9/11 there was broad consensus within the community about the “existence and magnitude of the terrorist threat,” meaning that another NIE would not have done much good (199).[14]  By the late 1990s the community was on high alert, and the 9/11 Commission lauds the counterterrorism operations around the time of the Millennium plot.  “Yet no NIE existed at the time,” Marrin points out, “thus indicating that the presence of an NIE on the terrorist threat is neither necessary nor sufficient for purposes of improving counterterrorism effectiveness” (199).

The article also discusses major theoretical issues that go beyond the controversies over 9/11, but the treatment of these issues is weaker.  Marrin begins by taking aim at what he describes as the “standard model” of intelligence, in which estimates influence policy in a linear process.  He complains, with considerable justification, that the model does not accurately describe the actual role of intelligence in policy making.  Theoretical models necessarily do some violence to reality in order to categorize large numbers of otherwise unique events, but a good model will still capture key elements of actual behavior.  Marrin argues that the standard model does not. There is nothing wrong with this conclusion, but nothing particularly new about it either.  Intelligence scholars have criticized the standard model for many years, both because policymakers often ignore intelligence and because the policy process is messy and non-linear.[15]  Marrin’s argument certainly provides a corrective to the conventional wisdom and adds context to the public discourse about intelligence.  But if he seeks to add to intelligence theory, it might be useful to examine the issue from the other direction: Are there cases in which model actually describes the intelligence-policy nexus?  Can we find any historical episodes in which intelligence demonstrably caused policymakers to make certain decisions in a more or less linear process?  Answering these questions might shed more light on the uses and limits of the model for intelligence scholars.

In addition, Marrin does not provide a satisfying answer to the key empirical question he raises.  If intelligence provided ample warning of the 9/11 attacks, and if policymakers accepted that intelligence as valid, why didn’t they act more aggressively against al Qaeda?   Marrin’s answer, presented very briefly at the end of the article, has to do with the psychology of decision-making in cases where no good options are available.  Individuals facing insoluble problems tend to downplay the urgency of threats.  The upshot is that while they might pay lip service to intelligence warnings, they never really come to grips with them.  Marrin speculates that before 9/11 policymakers doubted that they could tackle the underlying sources of al Qaeda’s extremism.  These issues went far beyond the existence of a sanctuary in Afghanistan; they included everything from deep seated anti-Americanism to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the effects of globalization and modernization on traditional cultures.  Thus while policymakers claimed to recognize the rise of al Qaeda, they also subconsciously reduced the threat to ease their anxiety about not being about to do anything about it (200-202).

Scholars of intelligence will find it difficult to evaluate this argument without resorting to a tautology.  If policymakers claim that they understood the nature and magnitude of the threat and yet failed to act, we might reply that their public rhetoric did not reflect their private anguish.  This might be right, of course, but if so it may be impossible to distinguish cases in which leaders were thoroughly open to intelligence from cases in which they were inhibited by some hidden psychological drama.  Even access to an extraordinarily rich and reliable documentary record about the personal beliefs of leaders would not be enough.  The reason is that if leaders truly shut out undesirable information about threats they cannot overcome, then they will not say as much in conversations, private correspondence, or diaries.  To escape this evidentiary trap, scholars may resort to judging leaders’ receptivity to intelligence by evaluating their policy choices.  Unfortunately this would mean replicating the fallacy of the 9/11 Commission Report.

Bureaucracies at War 

The controversy surrounding 9/11 was about the ability of intelligence to influence policy; the controversy over Iraq was about whether policymakers influenced intelligence.  In his contribution to the INS special issue, Scott Lucas argues that the Bush administration was effectively steered by intelligence towards a much more frightening portrait of Iraq.  Despite the fact that the information available to intelligence analysts was thin and often unreliable, formal intelligence estimates in the run-up to the war portrayed Iraq as a rogue state with a growing arsenal of unconventional weapons and suspicious ties to terrorists.  Like Marrin, Lucas attacks the findings of postwar commissions that criticized intelligence for its mistaken estimate while simultaneously absolving policymakers.  But Lucas does not simply want to take sides or deliver a counter-accusation.  Instead, he seeks to add depth to existing intelligence-policy theory in order to gain a better picture of what happened before the war.  “How then to get beyond the continuing political battle over responsibility,” he asks, “and provide an assessment of ‘politicization’ that will not only be of value in interpreting the relationship between intelligence, analysis, and policymaking during the Bush administration but to consider the subsequent evolution of the relationship between the CIA, other agencies, and the White House?”  (204-205)

His general answer is that politicization “must be linked to a conception of ‘Executive Power’, both within the American bureaucracy and in the projection and rationalization of US aims overseas.” (203).   Lucas argues that politicization is essentially a way of using intelligence to rationalize more aggressive foreign policies.  Leaders who seek to implement controversial policies turn to intelligence in order to make the case, because intelligence agencies carry the aura of secrecy and lend a special kind of imprimatur to policy statements.  Potentially costly foreign policies are easier to justify when they seem to be based on the best available intelligence.  “In the Iraq case,” he writes, “politicization was distinguished by an unprecedented outcome, turning analysis into a casus belli for an overt military operation in pursuit of regime change” (208).

More specifically, he claims that politicization occurs through bureaucratic gamesmanship.  Lucas criticizes scholars like Robert Jervis for conceptualizing politicization in a way that lets policymakers off the hook.  According to Lucas, Jervis and others have relied on a very narrow definition of politicization that only admits crude efforts to bully intelligence analysts into supporting policy preferences or rewriting estimates so they conform to policy (205-206).  Evidence of this kind of politicization is rare: intelligence analysts may be unwilling to admit to sacrificing their objectivity in the face of policy pressure.  But Lucas notes that there are many ways of shaping intelligence to become a policy advocate, including simple cherry-picking and the creation of “stove-pipes” that bypass other intelligence agencies.  Policymakers seeking to push intelligence in a certain direction create alternative structures to collect and interpret information and deliver pre-determined answers.  These ad hoc outfits simultaneously put pressure on the broader intelligence community to toe the policy line.  In some cases, the alternative structures act as a kind of internal “Team B,” providing competing estimates that deliberately confront prevailing beliefs in the intelligence community.  Such an internal auditor might serve a useful function if it forces intelligence to sharpen its own analysis, or at the very least acts as a guard against analytical sclerosis.  But competitive analysis is often used for less legitimate purposes, whether or not the competing group is composed of government officials or external reviewers.[16]

Lucas argues that this is precisely what happened before the war in Iraq.  In his account, the process of politicization occurred through the activities of the Counterterrorism Evaluation Group (CTEG), a group set up in September 2001 under Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith.[17]  CTEG was deliberately designed to locate connections between terrorists and state sponsors.  Supporters of this approach argued that aggressive sifting of the data was the only way to “connect the dots” in advance of future attacks and sever whatever links existed between rogue states and terrorist groups.  The administration was skeptical about the quality of intelligence and sought much bolder analytical judgments.  As one observer put it, “The collective output that CIA puts out is usually pretty mushy.  I think it’s fair to say that the civilian leadership isn’t terribly cracked up about the intelligence they receive from CIA.”[18]  Critics argued that its approach would inevitably be biased and produce false positives.  Worse, by sending its findings directly to policymakers, it avoided the scrutiny of the rest of the intelligence community, meaning that policymakers would have access to unvetted conclusions based on extremely tenuous data.

According to Lucas, CTEG served other purposes.  The Bush administration used its findings not just to plan counterterrorist operations, but also to win over public opinion and browbeat other intelligence officials into changing their own views.  Lucas argues that Vice President Cheney played an especially important role in using CTEG to pressure the intelligence community, though his relationship with the group is unclear.  It is hard to tell when and how the relationship began; whether Cheney’s intervention was coordinated with CTEG; or whether Cheney was simply motivated by its reports.  Whatever the case, Lucas believes that the existence of an internal alternative analysis shop provided the White House a powerful lever for manipulating intelligence (212-216).

The notion of an internal B team as a mechanism for politicization is an interesting theoretical twist.  Most scholarly attention has focused on the benefits and risks of using external analysts to challenge the intelligence community by giving them access to the same data and letting them offer an independent assessment.  The original Team B, which included a coterie of well-known academics and defense officials, was formed during the Ford Administration to offer a separate estimate of the Soviet strategic threat.  That team’s final report not only included its views of the Soviet Union, but also a scathing critique of the assumptions and methods used in the normal estimative process.  Supporters of Team B argued that it was a necessary exercise to shake the intelligence community out of a prolonged period of intellectual inertia, but critics argued that it was a barely veiled attempt to force the community to adopt a more hawkish view.[19]  Lucas offers a similar critique of internal analytical competitions, and  raises a number of interesting questions for further research.  Do internal competitions, for example, make the intelligence community more or less vulnerable to politicization?  On the one hand, we might expect their members to have sharper bureaucratic elbows than outside consultants, meaning that they likely have a better idea about how to manipulate intelligence agencies if they so desire. On the other hand, it might be easy to ignore internal B team exercises if they are become routine.  This is the same issue that bedevils institutionalized devil’s advocates: if everyone knows they are deliberately contrarian, no one needs to take their views seriously.

The notion of an internal B team also has important implications for reform proposals about improving the quality of analysis.  Instituting structured competitions within intelligence agencies might be a good way to sharpen estimates before they are sent up the line.  But if it is true that such institutions are easy mechanisms for manipulating intelligence, then the potential benefits will be overwhelmed by the danger of politicization.

Despite this conceptual innovation, the article suffers from some conceptual confusion.  Lucas rightfully argues that an exceedingly narrow definition of politicization can cause readers to neglect various ways in which policymakers or intelligence officials can manipulate estimates.  The danger of broadening the definition, however, is that it can become so large as to become meaningless.  Lucas argues that bureaucratic battles can lead to politicization, but there are always bureaucratic battles.  His article begs the question – but does not answer it – about where politicization starts and where normal bureaucratic pulling and hauling ends.

Lucas also includes some puzzling historical examples to make the case for a wider conceptualization of politicization. “Some of the earliest cases of politicization,” he writes, “were intra-Agency maneuvering, such as the Directorate of Operations’ disregard for Directorate of Intelligence assessments questioning whether the United States could stimulate an internal uprising to remove Cuba’s Fidel Castro from power in 1961” (209).  Intelligence was not politicized in this case, however, it was ignored.  Lucas goes on to list several examples of similar neglect by military officials and policymakers, but at the end of the litany he concludes that the CIA “was already sagging under the weight of politicization” (210).  In so doing he conflates politicization and neglect, which are unique pathologies of intelligence-policy relations with different causes and consequences.

The second problem is his treatment of the Iraq case.  As discussed above, the Counterterrorism Evaluation Group is central to his story because it provided the kind of analyses necessary to justify the Bush administration’s increasingly ominous rhetoric about Saddam Hussein.  According to Lucas, CTEG also enabled politicization by providing a mechanism to pressure other intelligence agencies to conclude that Iraq possessed a growing arsenal of unconventional weapons as well as possible ties to terrorist groups.  These conclusions were critical to justifying the war to skeptical domestic and international audiences. But the article does not show that CTEG had much effect on the two most important public presentations of intelligence: the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq in October 2002 and Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation to the UN Security Council in February 2003.

Lucas argues that by September 2002, director of central intelligence George Tenet had “swung into line” with policy preferences, offering congressional testimony to support the administration’s claims about Iraq’s biological weapons and its relationship with al Qaeda (218).  To be sure, administration officials were pressuring Tenet to make sure that public intelligence estimates were consistent with White House statements.  But CTEG was never conceived as a mechanism for politicization.  While it began operations in September 2001, it did not meet with intelligence community representatives until mid-August 2002.  And while CTEG added to the cumulative pressure on intelligence, the administration certainly did not need an ad hoc analysis shop to make sure intelligence leaders brought their conclusions in line with policy.

Policymakers had more direct ways to exert influence.  In June, Cheney began visiting CIA headquarters along with his chief of staff “Scooter” Libby, who took to grilling analysts about Iraq’s supposed ties to terrorism.  One intelligence official complained that the meetings created a “chill factor” at the Agency, and another complained that they sent “signals, intended or otherwise, that a certain output was desired.”  In October, national security advisor Condoleezza Rice made what Tenet later called a “frantic call” urging him to tell reporters that there was no gap between intelligence estimates and administration statements.   And in December, President Bush personally cajoled Tenet to produce intelligence that would be more persuasive to “Joe Public.”[20]

Lucas also notes that the policymakers gravitated towards pre-existing analysis shops that supported their views on Iraq.  They were particularly drawn to the CIA’s Weapons, Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center (WINPAC), which was particularly concerned about Iraq’s nuclear program.  It is not surprising that the administration smiled on WINPAC; individuals are almost always more receptive to information that is consistent with their preferences and beliefs.  The interesting question is whether WINPAC was a necessary part of the process of politicization.  In fact, policymakers did not believe that WINPAC reports would be enough to overcome skepticism from other intelligence agencies.  Instead, they intervened directly at crucial moments to make sure intelligence products would become more ominous, and Rice and Libby both took part in the heated debates over the content of Powell’s UN briefing (220-221).

Stepping Back

Marrin and Lucas seek to add theoretical sophistication to well-worn topics: intelligence failure and politicization.  Marrin convincingly argues that it makes little sense to think about intelligence failure without also considering the policy context.  He also warns that the “standard model” of intelligence is misleading, which implies that intelligence theory would profit from conceptualizing a different standard by which to measure the quality of intelligence-policy relations.  Lucas makes an intriguing argument about creating new organizations in order to politicize intelligence, even though he overstates the centrality of bureaucratic gamesmanship in the process of politicization.  The argument suggests new avenues of research on the intersection between intelligence reform and intelligence-policy relations.  If he is right, then reorganizing intelligence may create new opportunities for policymakers to manipulate estimates, whether they intend to or not.

A great deal of work has been done on bridging the gap between intelligence and policy; there is no shortage of articles and books on how to overcome the inherent friction associated with decision makers and the agencies that implicitly judge their decisions.  The articles reviewed here are different.  They offer no prescriptions on making the relationship better and no simple recommendations for ensuring that intelligence plays a routine and productive role in the policy process.  This is a refreshing change.  The literature on intelligence-policy relations is still long on intelligence memoirs – which inevitably include advice how to work with policymakers – and short on theory.  Lucas and Marrin focus on analysis rather than exhortation.  In so doing, both provoke the kind of questions that might provide a useful theoretical basis for practical debates.

Review by Adam D. M. Svendsen, University of Copenhagen


At a time in the early twenty-first century when: (i) intelligence-imbued “missing dimensions”[21] of international history are actively being better addressed; together with (ii) historical intelligence operations, intelligence institutions, and intelligence-associated interactions all being better unpacked, both empirically and in theory terms;[22] and while (iii) there is a greater foray into more contemporary dimensions of intelligence activities,[23] including some increased attempts at enhancing the connections to mainstream International Relations (IR) and other closely associated disciplines;[24] and as (iv) an increased focus on more sophisticated concepts, such as “intelligence systems”, and their closely associated implications and ramifications, is advanced,[25] a greater concentration on the dynamics of intelligence (or intelligence dynamics) emerges as a commendable way forward to be adopted in order to further extend the contemporary boundaries of the Intelligence Studies field.[26]

The two articles reviewed here appropriately head in the direction outlined roughly above, helping to further advance the communication of insights that are noteworthy in their impact. Due to the main focus of the overall discussion roundtable in which these articles are included, adopting this educative approach is particularly helpful for intelligence agencies, such as the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), as they continue to strive to optimize themselves, at least potentially, for best operation both now and into the future. Richard Aldrich’s article is examined first.


Richard Aldrich’s contribution offers intelligence scholars and practitioners alike plenty to examine. With much contemporary relevance, he focuses on ‘globalization and intelligence’ – namely, a key, and indeed increasing, theme particularly encountered in the wake of the Cold War from 1989 onwards, and encountered especially acutely in the early twenty-first century, notably after the events of 11 September 2001 (9/11), during the so-called War on Terror and Long War (c.2001-09), and during subsequent years to date.

This wide-ranging area has clearly been a huge challenge confronted by intelligence, and therefore it should not be more overlooked or underestimated by both academics and practitioners. At times, it has been and can be vexing (for example, the impact of globalization [and all of its associated nasties – Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) proliferation, organized crime, terrorism, other asymmetric threats, etc.] on intelligence); while, at other times, particularly more recently, as over time the globalization-associated trends are gradually more or less better harnessed by agencies, such as the CIA, those trends can even be somewhat empowering to intelligence (aspects of the globalization of intelligence).[27]

The essay concentrated upon during the course of this review also complements Aldrich’s other recent and extensive work both on and overlapping the theme of globalization and intelligence.[28] This contribution, with more of a focus on the CIA, is highly deserving of being further analyzed in order to gain several valuable insights.

Overall adopting a critical approach throughout his article, Aldrich conveys his concern that “the performance of the CIA over the last 20 years has been benchmarked in a superficial way.” (140). Essentially, so-called intelligence successes and failures have formed the main framing approach adopted by historians and other analysts of the CIA, and, with an eye to Aldrich’s well-placed lens, the dynamics of those events and developments do need to continue to be further examined, so that trends can be better unpacked and understood.[29]

Education needs extension, as Aldrich continues: “A more fundamental problem has been a failure to understand the transformative impact of broader trends in the international system – especially globalization – upon [the CIA’s] own activities as an intelligence agency”, presenting “a puzzle” (140). Explanation can be found  “partly in terms of the frameworks … used to conceptualize intelligence.” (141), and he makes a valid point suggesting that both practitioners and academics have been overly entrenched in the past, especially as the CIA’s main early formative years occurred during the Cold War (c.1946-89), when it was carefully configured to deal closely with that context and operating environment.[30]

Aldrich presents a compelling argument throughout his article, highlighting that “discussions on the future of the CIA … have [frequently] been framed by the context of US foreign policy machinery. Accordingly, the reform of the CIA has mostly [been] conceived of in terms of re-drawing the wiring diagrams inside the agency, or else in terms of overall intelligence community structures and management” (141). This raises a worry, which should be closely noted, that those reforms have been too introverted in their remit; being more Washington and U.S., even insider (CIA/U.S. Intelligence Community), focussed, rather than being more outsider and world/globe-focussed. This is a concerning development, particularly as Aldrich aptly notes: “Arguably, the perils of globalization remain the over-arching challenge for the CIA over the next ten years.” (141).[31]

On the topic of “The CIA and the dominance of foreign policy analysis” (143), Aldrich argues that “bizarrely” (145), despite its high public profile, for example in the media during recent years (144-5), “the CIA – and intelligence in general – still remains the ‘missing dimension’ of international relations as an academic subject.” (145), underlining that “the routine coverage of the CIA in international relations textbooks tends to be relegated to a relative backwater known as Foreign Policy Analysis” (146). Attempts towards a greater fusion of IR, even security studies, with intelligence studies are only just beginning; while worthy more mainstream textbook chapters on intelligence are indeed few and far between, and Aldrich therefore has solid grounds for his concern.[32]

Maintaining his argument, Aldrich effectively decries this conceptual narrowness (146), arguing strongly that analysts of the CIA have been too structurally obsessed, with the downside result that “the predominance of an FPA-derived organizational approach has hampered more culturally sensitive thinking about how the CIA interacts with a wider world” (147). There is certainly much scope for further work on cultural dimensions, as over time those dimensions of international affairs and closely related enterprises generally increase in their prominence.[33] Aldrich’s call for action emerges along the robustly argued lines that “In the twenty-first century we may have to think more radically about exactly what intelligence is – and where it should come from.” (147). And, equally, one might add, where it should go in the future. Wide-ranging education again emerges as an important theme.

Aldrich next examines “The CIA and globalization in the 1990s” (147). Here, he emphasizes the positive view of globalization that prevailed dominantly, certainly at the higher, more accessible to research, levels of the CIA (147-8), continuing that there “was the relatively benign interpretation placed upon the broader trends of globalization and economic liberalization that had been accelerating since the 1970s.” (148).

The impact of globalization writ large was indeed being grappled, with dominant familiar themes of overly-unfocussed information-glut and overload, ever-present during the 1990s and into new millennium, resonating strongly.[34] In his analysis, beyond merely concentrating on the more micro operational level, Aldrich has focussed with more of a macro lens on the key higher-level strategic issues then in play at the CIA (148). As a British scholar, he is able to present a suitably independent and detached top-down perspective, thereby delivering some interesting thought-provoking commentary on the CIA from the position of an outsider looking in.

Sustaining his analysis, Aldrich observes that ultimately the CIA envisaged that “The future would be increasingly populated by liberal democracies and competition between states would increasingly be economic” (148), with an emphasis on (perhaps even distracting) “economic espionage”[35] concerns, while “Al Qaeda itself only became a major focus of attention for the CIA after June 1996” (148-9), underlining that “The rise of Al Qaeda … was symptomatic of the way in which globalization was transforming the CIA’s general operating environment.” (149-150), and concluding that “Globalization … had also changed the United States.” (151) Again, this argument resonates widely in the general literature.[36]

Thus, we can see that the CIA required an enhanced degree of re-tooling for the newer globalized environment it was encountering.[37] Yet, instead, as Aldrich underlines: “Again, one detects a Cold War culture” and approach (152), effectively capturing the unevenness of the developments undergone by 9/11.[38]

Bringing his analysis more up-to-date to at least around 2008-09, Aldrich’s next section focusses on “The CIA and globalization after 9/11” (152). Adopting a categorizing approach, he argues that: “It is possible to distinguish the ongoing impact of globalization upon the CIA in at least four areas.” (152-3). In turn, these are itemized as: “the increasingly dispersed nature of the CIA’s key opponents”(153); the “‘hunters not gather[er]s’” change (154); perhaps most challenging, “the connection of what is inside and what is outside.” (155) And the impact of “informal and unintended transparency.” (155)

Different calibrations of hunting and gathering aside, there is little that can be disputed with this well-sourced framing.[39] Valuably building on a combination of lessons already learnt from history, Aldrich’s characterization adequately captures the high-degree of complexity contemporaneously encountered. The plurality of globalization-associated challenges, which are being confronted by intelligence practitioners and policy/decision-makers, and which they strive to successfully navigate on a daily basis, is equally well-demarcated.[40]

Instantly recognisable greater legal inroads into the world of contemporary intelligence are similarly delineated,[41] with Aldrich also tapping into reconfigured accountability and oversight concerns, while simultaneously highlighting that “secrecy is under serious assault from a globalized network of whistleblowers, investigative journalists and civil rights campaigners who increasingly coordinate their activities via the Internet.” (155) Beyond merely strategic impact, Aldrich notes in a well-founded manner that there are more deeper-reaching operational implications from these overarching developments for the CIA, particularly vis-à-vis foreign liaison relationships. (156)[42]

Aldrich continues, referencing “higher expectations in the realm of civil liberties and human rights” (156). Yet, as he notes, “In reality, global governance has proved to be remarkably weak and ineffective.” (156) A degree of entrenchment, even familiarity/comfort with the old, again comes through as a dominant theme, with management solutions to new problems having to be sought from off-the-shelf and out of the box from elsewhere, notably from the corporate/business world (156). This last point, too, forms an observation sufficiently reinforced by several different sources, and feeds neatly into the wider privatized intelligence theme.[43] More absent, however, is greater discussion of the CIA’s extended contemporary activities that have been undertaken during the Obama administration from 2009 to date, and which have, at their least, attempted, to be further refined. Notably, these activities have taken the form of recent operations, such as CIA’s “drone” (unmanned aerial vehicle – UAV) programme and other paramilitary-associated activities.[44]

When concluding, Aldrich observes that “The CIA has long been sceptical about intelligence reformism”, with it not being “the panacea … once thought” (157). More importantly, “dry debates over functional versus regional principles” dominate (157). Much inconclusiveness and uncertainty does appear to prevail surrounding these aspects. This outcome is perhaps hardly surprising, especially given the highly complex nature of the contemporary operational landscapes; also raising the valid question that perhaps the issues are too big and complex for a single/individual agency, such as the CIA, to handle on its own, including all at once at particular moments in time.[45]

Aldrich succinctly observes that: “globalization has placed the CIA in a double-bind. Unable to straddle the domestic–foreign divide, it is fundamentally unsuited to address many of the new security problems” (157). Maybe, if we are looking for more final closure beyond sustained issue-management solutions, the modern and generally reformed contemporary U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is today in a better position to deal with those issues? This is particularly as, over time, the FBI increasingly bridges both the foreign and domestic areas of activity and builds up its intelligence capability alongside its more traditional law enforcement role.[46]

As his article draws to a close, Aldrich astutely observes the paradoxes that are encountered by contemporary intelligence: “…globalization has conjured up a world of peculiar unsecrecy in which the CIA is increasingly confronted with what might be called ‘regulation by revelation’.” (157)[47] Ending on more of an open note, Aldrich ponders, “whether the CIA alone can ever achieve the fluidity now required by current conditions.” (158)

The existence of the more kinetic CIA operations, such as the use of the drones in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere, suggests that the contemporary CIA does indeed seek to maintain an effective and high-degree of agility, or a sufficient edge, versus contemporary risks, hazards, and threats. Perhaps today, certainly around 2010-11, we are now witnessing some greater and more effective engagement at least coming on-stream? This is while more surgical, even robotic/remote, killing appears to predominate over the earlier and highly messy capturing, symbolized by well-publicized recent rendition controversies and the continued existence of Guantánamo Bay prison.[48]

Aldrich is justified in ending on more of an open note, suggesting that the CIA needs further-reaching collaboration in order to better address the full smörgåsbord of contemporary challenges it confronts. The recent killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011 was emblematic in demonstrating that increased intelligence “jointery”, working cooperatively together by various different U.S. Intelligence agencies and Special Operations Force components, was indeed a useful approach to adopt as a viable way forward towards successful mission accomplishment. This episode perhaps even offers us helpful clues as to what problem-solving approaches will consist of in the future.[49]

Regarding the overall topic of discussion, notably the CIA and the theme of globalization and intelligence, there is much scope here for continued debate into the future. Of course not all of the CIA’s initiatives and enterprises have worked, perhaps even being more experimental, such as the referenced “‘black’ CIA stations that were supposed to look like private companies” (158). Meanwhile, adopting a slightly different angle, other analysts have argued that the CIA has essentially been “more a ‘friend’ than ‘foe’” vis-à-vis the trends associated with the “globalization of intelligence”. Although, distinct caveats do remain in place, especially suggesting that discernible “scope for improvement” still remains into the future.[50] This scenario particularly applies as management and issue-navigation solutions continue to be worked out in real-time both vis-à-vis and versus the highly complex and dynamic globalization-associated developments, and often while managers attempt to fashion those wide-ranging and ongoing solutions in high-tempo and condensed-space operating environments, such as in Afghanistan and Pakistan (AfPak) battlespaces.[51]

Adopting more of a comparative approach, as the IISS Strategic Survey 2009 argued, the U.S., and the CIA in particular, could broadly be commended for the leadership role they performed during the so-called War on Terror: notably for “knitting together a global coalition of intelligence and security services. … No other nation could have achieved this… [and] the [United Nations] could never have coordinated the requisite operational response.”[52]

Ultimately, whatever the slightly different prevailing views, as overall consensuses remain elusive – especially as the terms ‘intelligence’ and ‘globalization’ themselves remain highly contested[53] – Aldrich should be commended for helping to provoke further discussion on: how the CIA is evaluated, intelligence is conceptualized, and, especially, on this charged topic of globalization and intelligence. His article is a valuable and lively contribution to the persisting and overlapping debates.


One major intelligence-related theme of the early twenty-first century, particularly in the wake of the shocking 9/11 attacks, has been the reform and enhanced professionalization of (mainly, due to its familiar large scale/size factor[54]) the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC).[55] As U.S. intelligence scholar Stan Taylor observed in 2007: “The most significant intelligence reform since the creation of the CIA in 1947 came about in 2005 with the creation of a National Intelligence Director (NID) along with a large support office”, underlining that “the bulk of these institutional and/or procedural reforms are meant to increase intelligence coordination within each nation and greater intelligence cooperation between nations”.[56] Albeit typically fitful at times, the U.S. has been no exception.

With a well-placed focus on the process of “Analytic Transformation” recently undergone within the U.S. IC,[57] Richard Immerman’s contribution effectively overlaps with the wider intelligence reform theme. Being published in a timely manner, soon after the five-year anniversary of the creation of U.S. Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Immerman’s article neatly complements several other prominent recent evaluations.[58]

Drawing on a dominant theme for contemporary intelligence and overriding widespread fatigue with this subject, Immerman launches his article with a rich analysis of change within that context.[59] He simultaneously reminds us that, in Washington, “turf wars are more the rule than the exception” (159), thereby setting up a key pillar for his ensuing analysis.[60]

The motives for change in the U.S. IC are familiarly sketched, with Immerman noting the legacy of 9/11 and all the well-documented problems encountered leading up to the launch of the 2003 war in Iraq: “The consensus was that the system was broken and had to be fixed.” (160)[61] Yet, perhaps surprisingly one might assume, the subsequent 2004 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA), as Immerman observes, “generated little enthusiasm” (160), with the legislation possessing the inherent flaw that it “did not endow the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) with the capability to wage [his office’s turf] wars effectively”, particularly in relation to the U.S. Department of Defense and its intelligence components (160).

Immerman’s delineation of the parameters and the limits of the IRTPA resonate strongly. At the time, he surmised that: “There would be change – but little reform or improvement” (160); and, highlighting the sheer complexity of the plurality of dynamics involved and that had to be surmounted, he believed “that historical precedent dictated pessimism.” (161). Going beyond merely a snapshot analysis, his benchmarking heads in a meaningful direction. Certainly early on, around 2007, soon after the introduction of the IRTPA, Immerman was justified in his concern (161), appropriately citing Richard Betts’ and Amy Zegart’s recent scholarship, which, as he notes, “reached the same verdict” (162).

However, adjusting lenses and valuably drawing on his insider experience at ODNI during September 2007-December 2008, where he was Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analytic Integrity and Standards and Analytic Ombudsman, Immerman is able to offer some further original and primary-based insights, leading to his overarching claim that: “In a remarkably brief time … intelligence analysis has experienced genuine reform, some of which is radical and even revolutionary. That it has is one of the IC’s best kept secrets… it is a movement, to reform and thereby improve intelligence analysis [which] goes by the title Analytic Transformation.” (162-3) Thus an interesting, rarely uncovered angle, informed by adopting a slightly longer-term-reflecting perspective, is opened up for further exploration.

Immerman proceeds by unpacking the process of “Analytic Transformation” (163) in substantial depth. Engaging head-on the earlier referenced “turf wars” (159) feature of the U.S. IC, he stresses that, “The principles that underlie this effort are collaboration and integration.” (163) He also argues that, beyond the major U.S. Intelligence and National Security-related legislation that intersperses the U.S.’s history over time, historians and other analysts “have all but overlooked the executive orders that were no less pivotal in the community’s evolution.” (164) Far-sighted and long-ranging evaluations encompassing these more micro, and rather less grand, tools of IC management (which are hardly exciting reads!) have indeed generally been in short supply.

Providing a sufficient dose of overall contextualization, Immerman also keenly stresses the impact of the profound changes undergone in the broader operating environment, underscoring that “The IC’s demographics exacerbate this challenge” (165), referencing familiar managerial so-called grey (old/outdated)/green (new/inexperienced) staffing challenges, multiplied by further-extending factors, for instance, involving high-degrees of uncertainty, which Immerman captures by noting: “Then there is the complexity and disruption that has accompanied the transition from bipolarity to globalization.” (165), namely the shift from the Cold War to whatever defining era we are now in.[62]

Immerman particularly hails Thomas Fingar’s leadership of Analytic Transformation, in Fingar’s dual-hatted capacity as the first Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis and Chairman of the U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC), together with appropriately underlining Fingar’s rigorous promotion of standards. These standards have continued to perform their widespread and important best practice role generally in the realm of intelligence, more specifically centrally underpinning the reformed, professionalized, analytic tradecraft, and even becoming “a hallmark” (166-7).[63]

Immerman’s focus on highlighting the work undertaken by Fingar, together with a strong emphasis on the education of IC analysts, emerges as a fitting place on which to concentrate attention. Indeed, as Fingar himself observed constructively at the U.S. Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) during 2008: “we need to teach people… there’s no substitute for sound tradecraft, good analytic methodologies, rigorous adherence to the laws of evidence and inference… One [part] is the articulation and enforcement of standards. We didn’t have them before. The law required me to establish them. We have.”[64] Effective roadmaps have been laid out.

As Immerman’s article progresses, substantially living up to his “revelatory” intent from the article’s outset (163), he continues to provide further valuable insights into the overarching process of Analytic Transformation. These insights cover the broader centralization developments undergone within the U.S. IC, including construction of an Analytic Resources Catalogue (ARC), namely “a database of information on all IC analysts that indicates each’s expertise, experience, and special skills.” (167), and Immerman stresses the establishment of “joint training… [where] Analysts had … to develop the trust in one another that sharing, and collaboration, requires.” (168), helping to erode, at least in a beginning manner, the distinct compartmentalized intelligence-associated stovepipes and silos previously encountered frequently in the U.S. IC.[65]

Immerman also cites Analysis 101, a “tradecraft skills” and “critical thinking” course teaching “structured techniques” that is intended to underpin “rigorous analysis … regardless of the functional or geographic specialization.” (168), which he credits by arguing it has the added benefits of introducing “the students to lofty standards of critical thinking” (169), while additionally revealing that Intelligence Community Directives (ICD) “203 and 206, which taken together address the fundamentals of tradecraft and transparency, are at the very heart of Analytic Transformation.” (171).[66]

Demonstrating the degree of institutionalization, Immerman similarly argues that “training will benefit further from the 2010 publication (classified on Intelink) of a compendium of best practices and lessons learned from the evaluations” (172), reflecting the communication of a body of specialist knowledge, an important dimension of professionalization.[67]

So far so good, one might argue, but what about the effects and outcomes from Analytic Transformation? Immerman does not disappoint on this question by engaging in some further evaluation of this process. As he remarks in an upbeat manner, “the signs are encouraging” (172), emphasizing “the increased attention paid to tradecraft throughout the IC, and the sense of collegiality, even fraternity, that this attention has generated” (172), concluding “this degree of ‘jointness’ is unprecedented” in the U.S. IC (172). Increasingly emphatic strategic shaping has evidently occurred.

However, Immerman rightly shows that this process has not all been smooth. Considerable room for continued development into the future still exists. With reference to the critical 2008 ODNI Inspector General report on information sharing across the IC, Immerman remarks the report “is well founded… because the communal ethos must still gain traction, individual agencies remain more predisposed to hoard than to share.” (173) Partial, caveated, progress has indeed been made, but, while their improved addressing does feature, deeply embedded originator control consideration (‘ORCON’) factors are still proving hard to erode.

The dry practitioner sentiment of ‘dare to share’ prevails to some extent. Distinct structural/physical barriers continue to be manifest, as Immerman observes: “Retrieving and accessing the information that is discovered still entails surmounting the myriad obstacles that inhere in a seemingly immutable classification system. In addition, the discoverability of the intelligence, raw and finished, depends on automated means that have not yet been fully developed.” (174) Overall, even by 2011 and leaving WikiLeaks’ impact aside, developments remain in a condition of some flux during their continued and incremental evolution.[68]

Immerman argues that work is progressing in a positive direction, and, at least to an extent, the systematic building of developments does appear evident. Immerman concludes that: “Whereas joint training in IC-wide standards can be described as the front end of the reform cycle for the production of intelligence, the [establishment of the Library of National Intelligence], the depository, is the back-end.” (176) In its comprehensiveness, more of a holistic approach does appear to be coming through as part of the overall intelligence transformation process.

Generally positive technological developments have occurred, with Immerman also highlighting ODNI’s creation of “A-Space” and “Communities of Interest” (COI). (176) In essence, as Immerman goes on to argue, “the nexus between analysis and collection is tightening.” (177) By citing these structural and technology-driven mechanisms and platforms for facilitating intelligence and information sharing, alongside referring to the ‘human/cultural factor’ developments undergone in parallel, his overarching argument is convincing.

While concluding, Immerman clearly outlines where he believes IC transformative efforts should continue to be concentrated: “Dynamic, even aggressive leadership from the DNI is absolutely essential to overcome the sources of resistance.” (179) Some further top-down assertiveness is indeed helpful for providing clearer direction into the future. He also advocates advancing a greater degree of adequate contextualization, remarking that: “Finding the proper balance between sharing information and protecting sources and methods is hard.” (179) And, rightly, he encourages the engendering of what we can regard as a more realistic appreciation of what intelligence can potentially offer: “The best intelligence can achieve is to narrow the boundaries of uncertainty and allow for more informed decision-making.” (179) Remaining constant into the future, as part of the overall mission of intelligence, intelligent customers/users do need their continued fostering through their greater education by the IC producers.[69]

Despite the presence of more negative-leaning markers, Immerman reasonably emphasizes that: “While far from perfect… there is greater collaboration and integration throughout the IC.” And, positively, the imperative to “improve” is recognized, which Immerman declares “gives cause for optimism.” (180). Equally, that mode of optimism is key for further helping to underpin and propel the ongoing developments within the domain of analysis in the U.S. IC, which, in all of its observable dynamism, can indeed be broadly commended.

Ultimately, Immerman’s approach of shining a greater light onto the change-process that analysis has recently undergone in the U.S. IC is a helpful way forward. Most valuably, his timely essay overall emerges as constructive in its impact, offering several useful lessons worthy of close note. The process of intelligence analysis is indeed crucial for helping us answer the grand ‘what is it?’ and ‘what does it mean?’ questions and queries that continue to emerge, not least during the extended assessment/estimate processes of key world events.[70] Maintaining balance and optimization within those processes into the future remains necessary.[71]

However, as Immerman has appropriately observed throughout his article (for example, on page 162), analysis is only part of the overall equation or story. This is with the domain of collection also figuring substantially in the intelligence world when taken as a whole. A similar article, addressing developments undergone in the domain of intelligence collection and gathering, would now be a welcome addition to complement Immerman’s accomplished evaluation of analysis. This is so that we can better gauge the overall performance of the contemporary U.S. IC across the full spectrum of its activities as its reforms continue to be perpetuated.[72]

Review by Wesley Wark, University of Toronto

The two essays from the special issue of Intelligence and National Security on “The CIA and U.S. Foreign Policy Since 1947” that are the subject of my review are characterized by the guest editor of the issue, Kaeten Mistry, as works that consider “framing and approaches within intelligence scholarship.”  What links them is that they both offer ideas and nostrums about how to write the history of the CIA.  What distinguishes them is that the concerns expressed by my two authors about the challenges and perils of intelligence scholarship are rather different, if illuminating.  Their differences turn, particularly, on the issue of how secrecy impacts on the historical narrative of the CIA.

Nic Dujmovic currently serves as a historian at the CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence, but he has wide experience with the intelligence community, including service as a CIA analyst, editor of the President’s Daily Brief, and speechwriter for two CIA Directors.  It is a poorly kept secret that Dujmovic also wrote the charming and useful The Literary Spy: The Ultimate Source for Quotations on Espionage and Intelligence (Yale University Press, 2004) under the pseudonym Charles E. Lathrop.

Dujmovic presents two themes. One explores the nature of the work of CIA historians such as himself.  He is not the first insider to write about the CIA Historical Staff and his is a general overview of the function, making it clear that CIA History Staff have as their primary mandate an internal service to the Agency, which includes training and educating CIA officers as well as providing input on current programs and decision-making. Dujmovic makes no bones about what he regards as the most purposeful function—relevant input to current decision-making.  That this function should be regarded as more valuable than the training and broadly educative mandate of the History Staff perhaps betrays Mr. Dujmovic’s career experience, but it would have been helpful to have heard an argument about why the one outweighs the other.

Dujmovic’s second theme concerns what he calls the informal partnership between Agency and outside historians.  This partnership is something, it seems to me, that hovers between reality and aspiration, on both sides.  There is no doubt that “outside” scholars of intelligence can find extensive documentary and written material of great value on the CIA’s website–from CIA documents, to historical compilations and declassified issues of the CIA’s in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence. There is no intelligence community in the world that goes to such pains to open up its documentary record and make available its internal scholarship, mine (Canada) emphatically included. I also take at face value Dujmovic’s point that Agency historians are deeply indebted to and often have to rely on accounts by outside historians of episodes in American intelligence history.

But the partnership remains an uneasy and fluctuating reality and aspiration, dependent on many things, including levels of resources devoted to history within the CIA, the quality of work performed by Agency historians, and the willingness to embrace what is, to Dujmovic, the secondary mandate of educating the public.  I cannot forget what I regard as the glory days of the “informal partnership,” when the CIA History Staff had the resources and the will to mount pioneering conferences during the 1990s, sometimes in co-sponsorship with academic institutions, on such things as the early CIA estimates of the Soviet threat, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the U-2 program, VENONA, and analyses about the collapse of the Soviet Union, complete with the release of major documentary records.  This was heady stuff and a great boon to open scholarship.  The initiative went away in the late 1990s and was stopped cold after the 9/11 attacks.  Perhaps one reason is suggested by Dujmovic—the History Staff turned inward.

Still, Dumovic is right to stress the potential value of the informal partnership and within his rights to offer some suggestions for improvement for the community of “outside” scholars.  He might have been a bit more dramatic about it, but goes to some pains to make his criticisms of outside scholarship quite generic, even where there are individual (but unidentified) accounts that give rise to his “wince” moments.  I counted eight deadly sins in his rendering of problems in outside scholarship.  Most of these are of such base nature that I find it hard to believe that Mr. Dujmovic imagines they are routinely committed by serious scholars. There are some useful cautions among the eight, including reminders that the devil is in the details when we outsiders use terminology and sketch institutions, that there is now a big literature out there to avail ourselves of (beware the sin of sloth), and that one must treat intelligence sources, particularly of the oral history kind, with all due care.

But the most intriguing problem of all deserves much more discussion than you will find here—the problem of framing expectations about intelligence performance.  It’s easy (and trite) to say that one must not fall prey to an expectation of perfection (leave that to politicians) but how exactly to fix expectations around intelligence performance is both crucial to good scholarship, deeply contextual, and capable of being heavily politicised.   Understanding intelligence failure revolves around having a clear notion of appropriate expectations both about intelligence capabilities, intelligence systems, and the predictability of events. Whether or not you call the Pearl Harbor attack an intelligence failure depends on how you frame expectations—the same can be said for many other important episodes in U.S. intelligence history-down to the 9/11 attacks and the Iraq WMD estimates. This framing exercise, needless to say, has nothing to do with false notions about “perfection.”

Dujmovic leaves us with one other reflection—that despite the difficulties around secrecy, the “truth” of CIA history is knowable, even if it can’t all be known.  I am sympathetic to this argument, except for the fact that the unknown bits of CIA history can have a distortive effect on the historical narrative quite out of proportion to their significance.

This is where Kaeten Mistry’s own contribution, the second of the pieces reviewed by me, casts valuable light. Mistry teaches at the University of East Anglia and is an expert on U.S.-Italian relations.  In this special issue, which he guest-edited, Mistry writes about the U.S. covert action in Italy in 1947-48, designed to influence the outcome of Italy’s first post-war election and keep it from falling into a feared Communist “orbit”  (246-68).  His approach to the famous ‘first covert operation’ is nicely nuanced and historiographical in nature.  While it is possible to lament the fact that the promised release of CIA records regarding intervention in Italy in the late 1940s never materialized, Mistry doubts that the records themselves would tell us much of great value and, more importantly, suggests that the historiography has become too fixated on the CIA role, at the expense of a broader understanding.

Mistry identifies three schools of commentary about the Italian covert operation, which he labels as critical, celebratory and contextual.  The first two are easy—the critical school lumps in Italian intervention with other instances of heavy-handed U.S. global interventionism in the Cold War; the celebratory does the opposite by lauding the impact of the first CIA covert operation in helping stop a Communist onslaught and defending a fragile post-war Italian democracy.  The contextual school is largely concerned with using the Italian covert operation as a marker for what would emerge as the so-called “golden age” of U.S. interventionism in the 1950s, thus linking the Italian to the Iranian and Guatemalan operations in 1953 and 1954 respectively.

Mistry regards the historiography as essentially stuck—and not just because of the absence of those pesky secret CIA files.  Rather he argues that the Italian covert operation—and implicitly the study of all U.S. covert operations–requires a different sort of frame for research.  More effort needs to be placed on understanding the role of the State Department and U.S. foreign policy; and much more attention needs to be paid to the activities of local actors.  Mistry provides some details of how such an approach might pay off, by emphasising the role played by the U.S. embassy in Rome in 1947-48 and also by underscoring the ways in which de Gasperi’s Christian Democrat-led government tried to steer its relations with the United States during this critical period. De Gasperi attempted to perform a not altogether successful balancing act by both urgently calling for American aid (and in extremis American intervention) to prop up his government in the run up to the elections, but also asserting the requirements of Italian sovereignty. Mistry has less to say about the Italian centrist trade unions, and Italian media, but then his essay is not meant to be a full-scale history of the U.S. intervention, but rather a demonstration of how to go about writing such a history.

Mistry’s historiographic correction and his effort to chart a new path to understanding of U.S. covert operations in the Cold War are well-meaning and useful.  They might not cure us of still hankering after the secret records, but his call for a wider frame of research should be taken seriously, even if it makes the study of covert operations that much more complicated.

Where I think Mistry over-steps is in his suggestion that we can almost write the CIA out of the frame of the Italian operation altogether.  There is a baby with the bathwater problem here.  While it may be true that the CIA should not be considered the central actor in the Italian intervention, they nevertheless were an actor. And while the ad hoc nature of the CIA’s clandestine response to events in Italy were decried subsequently, and the Agency lost control over covert operations to the OPC (Office of Policy Coordination) for a while, the fact remains that a mythology attached itself to Italy that did contribute to the 1950s momentum to embrace ever larger and risker covert operations and that the CIA quickly came to the fore in the 1950s as the lead planner and operator for such covert operations.  Mistry’s “contextual” school of historiography still, it seems to me, has legs.

Review by James J. Wirtz, Naval Postgraduate School

Stephen Marrin makes a compelling case that the intelligence community understood the scope and nature of the threat to U.S. interests posed by Al-Qaeda well before the September 11, 2001 terror attacks against the United States. He notes that analysts issued increasingly sophisticated and accurate warnings about the menace of transnational terrorism. Marrin suggests that conventional wisdom, which holds that 9/11 is best understood as an intelligence failure, is based on an incorrect empirical assessment of the problems leading up to the disaster. Marrin suggests that 9/11 should be considered a policy failure.  Intelligence analysts sounded the alarm, but policymakers failed to devise an effective response to the looming threat.

Scott Lucas considers a different issue and incident.   He suggests that the George W. Bush administration got out ahead of available intelligence estimates and “cherry-picked” anecdotes and intelligence assessments to build a case for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. He claims that the accepted definition of politicization is too narrow (i.e., policymakers pressure analysts to modify their estimate to suit policy or political preferences), and that it should be broadened to reflect situations when officials exploit, modify, or selectively use intelligence estimates to support their own political objectives. Lucas might be on a slippery slope in advancing this argument in the sense that politicians are about politics and that inevitably cries of “politicization” will follow when intelligence somehow affects policy.[73]  Lucas’s argument also ignores the fact that officials have rejected or called for modifications in estimates to good effect, which suggests that cherry picking can also have a positive impact on policy.[74] Nevertheless, with that caveat in mind, I am happy to acknowledge that Lucas makes an important contribution to the ongoing debate about what actually constitutes intelligence “politicization.”

When juxtaposed, however, the articles written by Marrin and Lucas highlight the politics behind the use of intelligence in shaping foreign and defense policies and the limitations of our theoretical concepts when it comes to understanding both intelligence failure and politicization.  Read together, they also hint at how future historians might come to view 9/11 and its aftermath, not as discrete incidents, but as related events set in motion by the catastrophe that occurred on that Tuesday morning in the skies above New York City and Washington, D.C. Three observations emerge about the interaction between the intelligence community and policymakers after reading both of these articles.  The first concerns a structural or procedural weakness within the U.S. Government that makes it difficult to place intelligence estimates in their proper policy context.  The second involves the relationship between intelligence estimates and the politics of selecting and executing an effective response to warning.   The third involves a possible link between the 2003 decision to invade Iraq, described in Lucas’s article, with the intelligence estimates presented to policymakers before 9/11.

The Need For Net Assessment

There is a common point of failure behind the Clinton and the George W. Bush administrations’ inability to respond effectively to the threat posed by al-Qaeda and to the Bush administration’s ability to justify the second Iraq War on the grounds that Saddam Hussein had restarted his programs to produce weapons of mass destruction.  Specifically, the interaction between intelligence and policy communities appears devoid of any sort of net assessment or even an institutional mechanism to undertake net assessment.[75]  Net assessment is an analysis based upon a comparison of how opponents’ capabilities, plans, doctrine, tactics, operations, and intentions interact.  It is based on the notion that the so-called “bean count,” or purely quantitative measures of force structure, is a poor predictor of military outcomes.  History is replete with examples of inferior forces defeating numerically superior opponents; net assessments explore how various qualitative differences affect outcomes.

As Marrin notes, in the months leading up to 9/11, the intelligence community issued a series of warnings and estimates that painted a remarkably accurate picture of al-Qaeda, including its motivations and its intentions to attack the United States.  One piece of the net assessment – threat warnings and an accurate picture of the nature of the threat — was in fact readily available to officials. Ironically, the other piece of the puzzle also was available, but was largely ignored by policymakers. At least a dozen blue-ribbon commissions, think-tank studies, and scholarly assessments, produced in the decade before 9/11presented a compelling case that the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities suffered from several structural weaknesses that made it difficult to counter the threat transnational terrorism posed.  In other words, U.S. law enforcement, intelligence and military establishments reflected strict distinctions between foreign and domestic threats and criminal investigations and intelligence functions.  Al-Qaeda had found a way to operate within the seams these functional and jurisdictional boundaries created, which made it possible for them to pose an enormous threat with limited resources. What was missing, however, was a net assessment that explained to policymakers exactly how the United States was ill prepared to deal with transnational terrorism.  Without this critical assessment, policymakers might be forgiven for thinking that hundreds of billions of dollars the United States spent on intelligence, law enforcement and national defense would mitigate the threat al-Qaeda presented, at least until more actionable information emerged that would allow them to select a politically acceptable response.  Policymakers knew that they faced a threat, but they failed to understand how badly prepared the United States was to deal with that threat.  This part of the puzzle is omitted in Marrin’s analysis, which admittedly focuses on the nature of the threat assessment possessed by officials, but it can explain why policymakers seemed so slow to respond to increasingly dire warnings about al-Qaeda.  In other words, while officials were aware of the threat, they failed to realize that the United States was fundamentally unprepared to meet this new menace.

In the months leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, U.S. intelligence analysts and policymakers also ignored one very important issue that might have called into question the emerging case that Iraq had restarted its efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD).  Since the 1991 Gulf War, the United States had orchestrated a concerted international effort to place stringent sanctions on Iraq to prevent it from channeling resources to its clandestine nuclear, chemical and biological programs.  The U.N. Special Commission had placed a series of inspection teams on the ground in Iraq to verify compliance with international disarmament mandates.  When Iraqi compliance came into question, the United States was quick to deliver a series of “counter-proliferation” air strikes against suspected Iraqi facilities and depots.  The United States, in cooperation with the international community, had succeeded in shutting down Iraq’s WMD programs.  The failure to recognize this policy success, or put somewhat differently, the failure to undertake a net assessment that evaluated Iraq’s ability to pursue its nefarious objectives in the face of international pressure, lies at the heart of the intelligence “politicization” Lucas described.  Policies undertaken by both Bush administrations and the Clinton administration worked, but no one who participated in the debate about Iraq WMD seemed to entertain the possibility that a decade of concerted effort had succeeded in curbing Iraq’s ability to retain or rebuild its WMD programs.

Marrin believes that the George W. Bush administration failed to act despite adequate warning prior to 9/11, while Lucas believes that the Bush administration acted on less than compelling information prior to the Second Gulf War. In neither instance, however, did the administration actually stop to consider how its policies interacted with the threats intelligence estimates depicted. One might be forgiven for thinking that in both instances it was a failure to appreciate the relative effectiveness of U.S. policy, not the failure to properly use intelligence estimates per se, that led to what are commonly perceived to be sub-optimal outcomes.

The Politics of Response

It would be tempting to dismiss the two events considered here as simply a matter of bad policy choices and overcompensation on the part of the Bush administration and the U.S. intelligence community.  The months leading up to 9/11 are characterized by Type II errors: members of the administration failed to respond accurately to threat warnings and instead behaved as if the developing situation was tolerable.  By contrast, the months leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq are full with Type I errors:  members of the administration and intelligence analysts apparently believed that the situation was threatening when in fact Saddam Hussein’s WMD programs had been shut down by concerted U.S. and international action.  In other words, the history here might simply reflect the old adage: “If you don’t make one mistake you make the other.”

Marrin, however, makes an important point that places this history in a somewhat different context.  He suggests that it might have not been possible in a political, policy or practical sense for officials to respond in an effective way to the warnings they received concerning the threat posed by al-Qaeda.  The problem they faced was that the costs of an effective response were certain and high, while the costs posed by not responding to the threat are best thought of as uncertain and probabilistic.  For instance, the Bush administration could have grounded the U.S. airline industry in response to reports that al-Qaeda was interested in hijacking airliners.  The hijacking would have been averted, and the administration would have been forever ridiculed as overreacting to what now would have appeared as a greatly exaggerated threat.  Admittedly, the administration might have taken more modest actions that would have slowed or derailed al-Qaeda’s preparations to attack the United States, but it failed to explore these possibilities.  Lacking a clear mandate from the election, Bush officials probably sensed they did not possess the political backing to tighten security and surveillance to cope with al-Qaeda.  No effective response that entailed tolerable costs emerged as a policy option.   When the costs of taking effective action to respond to a potential threat are very high, policymakers tend to see potential responses to threat as politically or practically impossible.

For the Bush administration, what was considered to be politically possible changed significantly in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.  As Lucas suggests, the administration was eager to take direct military action to eliminate the threat they perceived as emanating from Baghdad.   Indeed, Lucas concludes that the Bush administration made the decision to invade Iraq without the benefit of any supporting intelligence: “policy had been determined before the analyst entered the bureaucratic arena” (224).  The Bush administration had apparently calculated that it would be impossible to recover politically if an attack on the United States was somehow linked to Saddam Hussein.  Under these circumstances, the administration treated intelligence as a source of information to justify or bolster a decision that had already been made.  Intelligence managers and analysts facilitated these efforts by answering queries and providing analyses that identified the potential threats Iraq posed.  Without a net assessment, or information that disconfirmed that Iraq remained a menace, or a mandate to comment on the administration’s policy, there was little that the intelligence community could do to influence policy.  As many observers also have noted, it would have been hard to make a convincing case based on information available at the time that Iraq’s WMD programs were in fact moribund.

Marrin’ and Lucas’s analyses suggest that the impact of intelligence is shaped by the prevailing political context.  Lacking a net assessment of the unfolding situation, the Bush and Clinton administrations seemed to act on their appreciation of what was politically possible or necessary in responding to indications and warnings of nefarious activity. Before 9/11, policymakers failed to entertain effective responses because such responses appeared politically intolerable or impractical, while in the months leading up to the Second Gulf War, a lack of action appeared to raise the distinct possibility of political suicide and disaster.   Ironically, when juxtaposed, the two cases covered here suggest that intelligence was largely epiphenomenal when it comes to explaining the Bush administration’s actions before 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq.

The Link Between 9/11 and the Invasion of Iraq

Both authors believe that policymakers should be expected to take intelligence estimates and warnings at face value.  In Marrin’s account, officials should have responded to the stream of warnings and analysis emanating from the intelligence community.  In Lucas’s narrative, officials were wrong to attempt to mine intelligence estimates to suit their policy preferences; they tortured the data until it screamed out the answers they were seeking.  Nevertheless, Marrin raises an important point about the pre-9/11 estimates that in fact links the decision to invade Iraq with al-Qaeda’s decision to attack the United States.  There is a basis for the invasion of Iraq in the estimates produced by the intelligence community.

The international policy to contain Iraq’s ambitions to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons was successful, but it was not without costs.  As Marrin points out, prior to 9/11, intelligence analysts recognized that the U.S. presence in the Persian Gulf, especially the U.S. military presence on bases in Saudi Arabia, provided terrorists with grievances that motivated al-Qaeda to attack the United States (189).  9/11 demonstrated that terrorist groups were in fact willing to act on these grievances, which emerged as an unintended consequence of the U.S. effort to keep Saddam in his box.  Additionally, by the turn of the century, the international consensus that supported the containment and sanctioning of Iraq was beginning to fray.  Baghdad’s policy of obfuscation, selective cooperation, and humanitarian appeals was making it increasingly difficult to apply sanctions that appeared draconian and unreasonable to many observers.  The Bush administration thus faced a quandary: the United States was paying an intolerably high cost, which was in fact anticipated by intelligence estimates, for what appeared to be an increasingly problematic containment policy.  Given a political setting in which it would have been impossible to justify leaving Iraq to its own devices, the Bush administration decided to cut the Gordian knot in the Gulf and to take direct action to eliminate Saddam Hussein and his Ba’athist regime.  Eliminating Saddam, which would allow a reduction in the U.S. military presence on the ground in the surrounding states, would help to eliminate the grievances that fueled terrorist rage against the United States.


The analyses provided by Marrin and Lucas describes situations in which relatively accurate intelligence estimates led to outcomes that were at best unintended and at worst illogical or downright counterproductive.  It would be easy to simply blame these outcomes on the incompetence, brashness or perfidy of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.  But this would be a mistake because such a conclusion would reflect a mechanistic view of the relationship between intelligence analysts and policymakers.  Admittedly, this view is supported by our dominant perspectives on intelligence-policy relations that posit that intelligence analysts should, on the one hand, stand aloof from the political or policy fray, and, on the other, be more responsive to official requests to produce more “actionable” intelligence products.[76]  But these dominant approaches to intelligence-policy relations fail to account for the issues uncovered in Marrin’s and Lucas’s analyses.  By contrast, the articles reviewed here suggest that what is needed is a more sophisticated understanding of how politics and officials’ understanding of the political and strategic constraints they face shapes their ability to make best use of available intelligence.  We need better theory to explain how intelligence shapes politics and is in turn constrained in its impact by the political setting of the day.

The need for better theory and a better understanding of the nexus between intelligence and policy is not just an academic concern.  At the moment, the government of another Gulf State appears determined to acquire a nuclear arsenal, despite international condemnation and sanctions.  Intelligence analysts look for a smoking gun to determine once and for all if Tehran is indeed intent on developing a nuclear arsenal, and the balance of evidence suggests that Iran is on the path to acquiring a nuclear weapon.  Iranian nuclear scientists are meeting with accidents involving explosives and gunshots to the head, suggesting that some international actors have already determined that Iran is in fact hell-bent on acquiring a nuclear device.  Meanwhile, Washington is again distracted by domestic issues, this time not related to the amorous distractions in the White House, but by the need to cap a runaway budget deficit and a lingering economic recession. The Barack Obama administration also seems to be moving quickly to extract U.S. forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.  How will this contemporary political setting affect the Obama administration’s receptivity to intelligence about the Iranian nuclear program?  Which mistake will the administration make?

Response by Kaeten Mistry, University of East Anglia

It may appear somewhat obligatory from the outset of such responses to thank the participants and editors of H-Diplo, yet that should not detract from my tremendous gratitude to each of them for making this roundtable possible.  It is flattering, not to mention instructive, when leading experts take the time to carefully critique one’s work.  I would also like to take the opportunity to reiterate my appreciation to the authors who contributed to the special issue of Intelligence and National Security; the value of any edited collection depends on the quality of the essays and, judging by the comments in the roundtable, this volume has met many of the goals set out at the beginning.  Given the nature of the commentaries on each sub-section of the special issue, I will not respond to specific points regarding individual articles – that will be left to the discretion of each author – but instead will offer some general comments that pertain to the collection as a whole.

Several of the reviewers note that the articles make important contributions to enhancing our awareness of the past, as well as outlining possible ways that intelligence scholarship could develop in the future.  As this was one of the objectives for the collection, it is especially pleasing that the essays were deemed to advance both historical and historiographical debates.  Joshua Rovner suggests that the approaches of Stephen Marrin and Scott Lucas offer a “refreshing change” in investigating the relationship between intelligence and policymaking, while John Prados notes the “welcome effort” made by the authors in section IV.  Of course, these are by no means definitive treatments and should be considered as part of a broader conversation on an issue of continued importance vis-à-vis U.S. foreign relations.  Adam Svendsen and Paul McGarr are also complimentary in their reviews while questioning whether authors could have developed their studies in further directions.  Beyond the familiar factor of space and time constraints, the comments are also encouraging with respect to possible future avenues of research.  The questions that Richard Immerman, Eric Pullin, and Linda Risso pose will no doubt be addressed in subsequent works, if not by them then by other scholars.  Indeed, Svendsen’s comprehensive commentary – an essay in itself – could be part of the discussion.  Part review and part historiographical overview, his piece merits analysis itself (and one imagines would be well suited for graduate teaching).


There are, however, objections on theoretical and empirical grounds.  James Wirtz and Rovner both point to a shortage of theory in discussions of the intelligence-policymaking nexus.  The former claims that this is vital not only for academics but politicians dealing with contemporary crises.  While this may be the case, it is certainly important for scholars to explore the issue in and of itself, without having to grapple with the thorny question of relevant ‘lessons’ for officials.  This perhaps taps into some of the traditional disciplinary differences between history and international relations.  It is nonetheless useful to recall that even the most celebrated efforts to use the past as a guide for the future remain inconclusive as to the value of historical lessons for contemporary decision-makers.[77]


Meanwhile, Prados flags the recurrent problem of restricted access to primary records and its distorting effect on intelligence scholarship.  He warns of the danger in “generalization from a narrow evidentiary base,” which is certainly true although something of generalisation itself.  The very purpose of historical inquiry is to generalise from a selection of the primary record; good scholarship is respectful and conscious of documents but not bound by the documentary problematic.  Prados eagerly anticipates “the day when we can present the real Allen Dulles based on the full array of source material.”  Few would dispute this notion but in the meantime the challenge is to write good histories, even with imperfect records, that contest simplistic characterisations of individuals and episodes.  This is equally true of topics that enjoy better access to primary records, as Mark Kramer’s paper effectively demonstrates.  Prados praises the essay, especially Kramer’s ability to cross-check against Polish sources and his participation in several high-level conferences, which he suggests “can serve as a model for the kind of intelligence-diplomatic history our discipline needs more of.”  It should nonetheless be recalled that the essay relies on a major release of documents by the CIA that coincided with a symposium it organised in honour of Ryszard Kukliński.  While important not to underplay a significant public release of records, the occasion was inspired, in part, by Agency pride over a major Cold War ‘success.’[78]  One wonders whether this would have occurred for a less celebrated episode.  More than most state bureaucracies, intelligence agencies have a vested interest in both restricting and granting access to primary materials.  The effectiveness of Kramer’s deconstruction is of course reliant on the new records but, moreover, his sound historical methodology.


It is, in my mind, essential to remain mindful of the larger picture: CIA documents can tell us only so much and should not be the crux of our inquiries.  The efforts of other American government agencies, non-state protagonists, and, above-all, foreign actors need to also be considered.  Learning languages and shifting the focus away from the CIA may make our lives more complicated as scholars but it will also result in more stimulating and dynamic work.  As recent trends in several disciplines and fields – from diplomatic history, to American Studies, to international politics – have  demonstrated, it is critical to reconsider the place and role of the U.S. in a global, interconnected world.  That is not to suggest that existing approaches are redundant although we should look to build on solid foundations by making connections between traditional intelligence actors and other protagonists and global forces.[79]  In his review of my article on the inaugural CIA intervention in Italy, Wesley Wark notes the utility of such an approach yet identifies a potential “baby with the bathwater problem here.”  However, I am not suggesting that we “write the CIA out of the frame,” but rather, acknowledge the limits of the Agency – and intelligence – in our work.  In Italy the CIA was an actor although an extremely minor one.  Even though its efforts to block leftwing Italian groups during the 1948 election campaign were late-in-the-day and improvised, covert action is invariably equated with the Agency.  Wark is correct that the mythology attached to Italy provided momentum for subsequent covert operations – an issue I explore in greater detail elsewhere – yet the immediate ‘lesson’ for leading American national security officials was to prevent a repeat of the ad hoc Italian operation.  For this reason the CIA was bypassed in the following years as the seminal agency for covert action.  In many respects the key issue is historiographical in nature since scholars have been crucial in filtering the election episode through a CIA-lens, in spite of the habitual shortage of documents.  However, even if records were one day released to show how much money the Agency spent or how operations unfolded, they would still not explain why Italians sought American help and how they used it.  Exploring the motives behind the decisions of Christian Democrat Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi better defines the 1948 election campaign and, in turn, the CIA role within in.


One final point worth mentioning relates to a theme permeating several of the articles in the special issue: that of self-proclaimed ‘success’ stories, in other words, the notion that the CIA succeeded, or failed, at specific junctures.  It is a useful starting point to acknowledge that success often lies in the eye of the beholder, and while interrogating the validity of ‘success’ claims should not be discarded, it is also necessary to consider the ramifications of such narratives.  For instance, how did the Kukliński episode influence the subsequence CIA approach toward defectors and double-agents?  What did the experience of inconvenient collaboration with non-state actors in the propaganda war mean for later American efforts?  And what were the legacies of Agency intervention – real or imagined – on the collective memory of foreign countries?  In encouraging alternative ways to analyse the CIA and U.S. foreign policy, such questions might also reveal more about the societies and cultures we study and inhabit.  The Agency fascinates and disturbs in equal measure, both inside and outside the United States.  The competing narratives that describe, celebrate, and condemn its role should be examined.  Rather than lament the “unknown bits of CIA history,” interrogating the existing narratives – both fact and fiction – is a worthwhile enterprise.



© Copyright 2011-2015 The Authors.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.



[1] Notably, Frances Stonor Saunders, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters (New York: The New Press, 1999); Hugh Wilford, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002); and David Caute, The Dancer Defects: The Struggle for Cultural Supremacy during the Cold War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).

[2] For example, ‘The CIA & US Foreign Policy: Reform, Representations and New Approaches to Intelligence’, 20–21 February 2009, Clinton Institute for American Studies, University College Dublin, Ireland; and most recently, ‘Landscapes of Secrecy: The CIA in History, Fiction, and Memory’, 29 April-1 May 2011, The University of Nottingham, United Kingdom.  A full audio record of papers presented at the latter is available at

[3] See, in particular, Giles Scott-Smith, ‘Interdoc: Dutch-German Cooperation in Psychological Warfare’, in Graaff, Jong and W. Platje (eds.) Battleground Western Europe: Intelligence Operations in the Netherlands and Germany in the Twentieth Century (Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis 2007); and, Giles Scott-Smith, ‘Confronting Peaceful Coexistence: Psychological Warfare and the Role of Interdoc 1963–1972’, Cold War History 7/1 (2007): 19–43.

[4] Notably, Margery Sabin, Dissenters and Mavericks: Writings about India in English, 1765-2000 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002); and Peter Colman, The Liberal Conspiracy: The Congress for Cultural Freedom and the Struggle for the Mind of Postwar Europe (New York: The Free Press, 1989).

[5]  See, for example, Ellsworth Bunker, Oral History, 18 Jun. & 17 Jul. 1979, New York, Butler Library, Columbia University, pp. 67-8; Daniel Patrick Moynihan, A Dangerous Place, (Boston: Little Brown, 1978); Sarvepalli Gopal, Jawaharlal Nehru: A Biography, Vol.3, 1956-1964 (London: Jonathan Cape, 1984).

[6] See, Paul Lashmar and James Oliver, Britain’s Secret Propaganda War, 1948–1977 (Stroud: Sutton 1998); Andrew Defty, Britain, America, and Anticommunist Propaganda, 1945–53: The Information Research Department (London: Routledge 2004); Hugh Wilford, Calling the Tune?  The CIA, the British Left and the Cold War (London: Frank Cass 2003); Nicholas J. Cull, The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945–1989 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2008).

[7] CIA, NIE-70, “Conditions and Trends in Latin America Affecting US Security,” December 12, 1952; in CIA/Center for the Study of Intelligence, Revolution and Subversion in Latin America: Selected US Intelligence Community Estimative Products, 1947-1987.  Washington, CIA/CSI, NIC 2010-001, September 2010, p. 25.

[8] CIA, “Current Intelligence Bulletin, “Egypt-Israel,” May 23, 1967; in Directorate of Intelligence 1952-2002: Fifty Years of Informing Policy.  CIA, Directorate of Intelligence, no date [2002], p. 212.

[9] Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, The 9/11 Commission Report (New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 2004), 339-344.

[10] Amy B. Zegart, “September 11 and the Adaptation Failure of U.S. Intelligence Agencies,” International Security, Vol., 29, No. 4 (Spring 2005): 78-111.

[11] Reuel Marc Gerecht, “A New Clandestine Service: The Case for Creative Destruction,” in Peter Berkowitz, ed., The Future of American Intelligence (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2005).

[12]  See, for example, Joshua Rovner, Austin Long, and Amy B Zegart, “Correspondence: How Intelligent is Intelligence Reform?” International Security, 30:4 (Spring 2006): 196-208.

[13] 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 342-343.

[14] Interestingly, the head of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden unit in the 1990s argued that top intelligence leaders “deliberately downplayed the al Qaeda menace.”  On the other hand, the fact that the unit was given the same administrative rank as a major city or country station overseas suggests that the CIA took the threat quite seriously.  See Anonymous, Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror (Washington, D.C.: Brassey’s, 2004), 238.

[15] One reason the 9/11 Commission implicitly accepted the model is that it ignored the mountainous literature on surprise attack.  It might not have fallen victim to circular logic and contradictory findings if it paid more attention to intelligence scholarship, which is much more skeptical about the straight line between intelligence estimates and policy decisions.  Joshua Rovner and Austin Long, “The Perils of Shallow Theory: Intelligence Reform and the 9/11 Commission,” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Vol. 18, No. 4 (Winter 2005-2006), 609-637.

[16] Kevin P. Stack, “A Negative View of Competitive Analysis,” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 10:4 (Winter 1997-1998): 456-464.

[17] The slightly longer name was the Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group (PCTEG).  This groups was often confused with the Office of Special Plans.  Both PCTEG and OSP were organized in the office of the undersecretary of defense for policy, but OSP was not assembled until September 2002.

[18] Reuel Marc Gerecht, quoted in Robert Dreyfus, “The Pentagon Muzzles the CIA,” The American Prospect (online), December 16, 2002;

[19] See especially Anne Hessing Cahn, Killing Detente: The Right Attacks the CIA (College Station, PA: Penn State Press, 1998).

[20] Joshua Rovner, Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011): 150-155.

[21] Christopher M. Andrew and David Dilks (eds), The Missing Dimension: Governments and Intelligence Communities in the 20th Century (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1984); Richard J. Aldrich, ‘“A Profoundly Disruptive Force”: The CIA, Historiography and the Perils of Globalization’, Intelligence and National Security, 26, 2 & 3 (2011), p.143.

[22] Much literature can be cited here, see, e.g.: Christopher Andrew, Secret Service: The Making of the British Intelligence Community (London: Heinemann, 1985); Michael Herman, Intelligence Power in Peace and War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press/Chatham House, 1996); Essays in Harold Shukman (ed.), Agents for Change (London: St Ermin’s, 2000); Michael Smith, The Spying Game (London: Politico’s, 2004); see also Christopher Andrew, Richard J. Aldrich and Wesley K. Wark (eds), Secret Intelligence: A Reader (London: Routledge, 2009); Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm (London: Allen Lane, 2009); Keith Jeffrey, MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949 (London: Bloomsbury, 2010); Keith Jeffery, ‘A secret history: unravelling MI6’s past’, The Daily Telegraph (UK) (22 September 2010); Richard J. Aldrich, The Hidden Hand: Britain, America and Cold War Secret Intelligence (London: John Murray, 2001); Michael S. Goodman, Spying on The Nuclear Bear: Anglo-American Intelligence and the Soviet Bomb (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007); Kristian Gustafson, Hostile Intent: U.S. Covert Operations in Chile, 1964-1974 (Dulles, VA: Potomac, 2008); Abram N. Shulsky and Gary J. Schmitt, Silent Warfare: Understanding the World of Intelligence, (Washington, DC: Potomac, 2002 [3ed.]); Mark M. Lowenthal, Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy (Washington, DC: CQ, 2006 [3ed.] [4ed., 2008]); Jeffrey T. Richelson, The US Intelligence Community (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2008 [5ed.] [6ed., 2011]); Robert Dover and Michael S. Goodman (eds), Spinning Intelligence: Why Intelligence Needs the Media, Why the Media Needs Intelligence (London: Hurst, 2009); Robert Dover and Michael S. Goodman (eds), Learning from the Secret Past: Cases in British Intelligence History (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, forthcoming); Peter Hennessy, The Secret State: Preparing For The Worst 1945-2010 (London: Penguin, 2010); Philip H.J. Davies, MI6 and the Machinery of Spying (London: Frank Cass, 2004); Peter Gill, Stephen Marrin and Mark Phythian (eds), Intelligence Theory: Key Questions and Debates (London: Routledge, 2009); Loch K. Johnson (ed.), Strategic Intelligence (London: PSI, 2007); Loch K. Johnson (ed.), Handbook of Intelligence Studies (London: Routledge, 2007); Stuart Farson, Peter Gill, Mark Pythian and Shlomo Shpiro (eds), PSI Handbook of Global Security and Intelligence (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2008); Loch K. Johnson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010); Gregory F. Treverton, Intelligence for an Age of Terror (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009 [PB ed., 2011]); Christopher R. Moran, ‘The Pursuit of Intelligence History: Methods, Sources, and Trajectories in the United Kingdom’, CIA Studies in Intelligence, 55, 2 (June 2011), pp.33-55.

[23] Again, several sources can be cited here, see, e.g.: Richard J. Aldrich, GCHQ: The Uncensored Story of Britain’s Most Secret Intelligence Agency (London: HarperPress, 2010); Matthew M. Aid, The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency (NY: Bloomsbury, 2009); Adam D.M. Svendsen, Intelligence Cooperation and the War on Terror: Anglo-American Security Relations after 9/11 (London: Routledge, 2010); Alastair Finlan, Special Forces, Strategy and the War on Terror: Warfare by Other Means (London: Routledge, 2009); Chapters in Steve Tsang (ed.), Intelligence and Human Rights in the Era of Global Terrorism (London: PSI, 2007); Peter Gill and Mark Phythian, Intelligence in an Insecure World (Cambridge: Polity, 2006); Anthony Field, ‘Tracking terrorist networks: problems of intelligence sharing within the UK intelligence community’, Review of International Studies, 35, 4 (October 2009); Frank Foley, ‘The expansion of intelligence agency mandates: British counter-terrorism in comparative perspective’, Review of International Studies, 35, 4 (October 2009); Frank Foley, ‘Reforming Counterterrorism: Institutions and Organizational Routines in Britain and France’, Security Studies, 18, 3 (July 2009); Kristian Gustafson, ‘Strategic Horizons: Futures Forecasting and the British Intelligence Community’, Intelligence and National Security, 25, 5 (October 2010), pp.589-610; Philip H.J. Davies, ‘Twilight of Britain’s Joint Intelligence Committee?’, International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 24, 3 (2011), pp.427-446.

[24] On these themes, see, e.g., Richard J. Aldrich, ‘Dangerous Liaisons: Post-September 11 Intelligence Alliances’, Harvard International Review, 24, 3 (Fall 2002); Donald Munton, ‘Intelligence Cooperation Meets International Studies Theory: Explaining Canadian Operations in Castro’s Cuba’, Intelligence and National Security, 24, 1 (February 2009), pp.119-138; Adam D.M. Svendsen, ‘Connecting intelligence and theory: Intelligence Liaison and International Relations’, Intelligence and National Security, 24, 5 (October 2009), pp.700-729; James I. Walsh, The International Politics of Intelligence Sharing (NY: Columbia University Press, 2009); see also the further sources cited in fn.14, below.

[25] See, e.g., Gregory F. Treverton and Wilhelm Agrell (eds), National Intelligence Systems (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009); David Omand, Securing the State (London: Hurst, 2010); Hans Born, Ian Leigh, Aidan Wills (eds), International Intelligence Cooperation and Accountability (London: Routledge/Studies in Intelligence, 2011).

[26] See also as argued in Adam D.M. Svendsen, Understanding the ‘Globalization of Intelligence’ (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming).

[27] See, e.g., Adam Svendsen, ‘The globalization of intelligence since 9/11: frameworks and operational parameters’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 21, 1 (March 2008), pp.129-144; Adam D.M. Svendsen, ‘The globalization of intelligence since 9/11: The optimization of intelligence liaison arrangements’, International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 21, 4 (December 2008), pp.661-678; Adam D.M. Svendsen, ‘The CIA and the “Globalisation of Intelligence”’, paper presented at ‘Landscapes of Secrecy: The CIA in History, Fiction and Memory’ Conference, East Midlands Conference Centre, University of Nottingham, UK (April 2011); Svendsen, Understanding the ‘Globalization of Intelligence’. Also valuably covering these themes, see, e.g., A. Denis Clift, ‘The Evolution of International Collaboration in the Global Intelligence Era’, ch. 13 in Johnson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence, from p.212; A. Denis Clift, ‘Intelligence in the Internet Era: From Semaphore to Predator’, CIA Studies in Intelligence, 47, 3 (2003); Kevin A. O’Brien, ‘Managing national security and law enforcement intelligence in a globalised world’, Review of International Studies, 35, 4 (October 2009), pp.903–915; Richard J. Aldrich, ‘International intelligence cooperation in practice’, ch. 2 of Born, et al (eds), International Intelligence Cooperation and Accountability; Alexander Martin and Peter Wilson, ‘The Value of Non-Governmental Intelligence: Widening the Field’, Intelligence and National Security, 23, 6 (December 2008), pp.767-776; Mark Mansfield, ‘Reflections on Service: A Conversation with Former CIA Director Michael Hayden’, CIA Studies in Intelligence, 54, 2 (June 2010), esp. p.5, col.1.

[28] See, e.g., Richard J. Aldrich, ‘Beyond the vigilant state: globalisation and intelligence’, Review of International Studies, 35, 4 (October 2009), pp.889-902; Richard J. Aldrich, ‘Global Intelligence Co-operation versus Accountability: New Facets to an Old Problem’, Intelligence and National Security, 24, 1 (February 2009), pp.26-56; Richard J. Aldrich, ‘US–European Intelligence Co-operation on Counter-Terrorism: Low Politics and Compulsion’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 11 (2009), pp.122-139.

[29] See also, e.g., Robert Jervis, Why Intelligence Fails (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2010); Robert Jervis, reply by Thomas Powers, ‘The CIA & Iraq – How the White House Got Its Way: An Exchange’, New York Review of Books (15 July 2010).

[30] John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War (London: Allen Lane, 2005).

[31] See also David Ignatius, ‘What the CIA needs in David Petraeus’, The Washington Post (6 July 2011).

[32] For various attempts at these ‘fusions’, see, e.g., the sources cited above in fn.4, as well as, e.g.: Mark Phythian, ‘Intelligence theory and theories of international relations: shared world or separate worlds?’, chapter 4 in Gill, Marrin and his (eds), Intelligence Theory, and Jennifer E. Sims, ‘A Theory of Intelligence and International Politics’, ch. 4 in Treverton and Agrell (eds), National Intelligence Systems, pp.58-92; see also for textbook chapters on intelligence, e.g., Stanley A. Taylor, ‘The Role of Intelligence in National Security’, ch. 14 in Alan Collins (ed.), Contemporary Security Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp.248-269 – for an updated version, see Stanley A. Taylor, ‘The Role of Intelligence in National Security’, ch. 18 in Alan Collins (ed.), Contemporary Security Studies (Oxford: OUP, 2010 [2ed.]), from p.299; Roger George, ‘Intelligence and Strategy’, ch. 8 in John Baylis, James J. Wirtz and Colin S. Gray (eds), Strategy in the Contemporary World (Oxford: OUP, 2010 [3ed.]).

[33] See, e.g., Simon Murden, ‘Culture in world affairs’, ch. 24 in John Baylis and Steve Smith (eds), The Globalization of World Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005 [3ed.]); ‘The influence of culture’ in Rod Thornton, Asymmetric Warfare (Cambridge: Polity, 2007), pp.168-173; Montgomery McFate, ‘Culture’, ch.14 in Thomas Rid and Thomas Keaney (eds), Understanding Counterinsurgency (London: Routledge, 2010); Javier Solana and Mary Kaldor, ‘Time for the Human Approach’, OpenDemocracy (17 November 2010); Robert D. Kaplan, ‘The Humanist in the Foxhole’, The New York Times (14 June 2011); Robert Dean, ‘Introduction: Cultures of Secrecy in Postwar America’, Diplomatic History, 35, 4 (September 2011), pp.611-613, and the other essays in the ‘Special Forum: Cultures of Secrecy in Postwar America’; for ‘SOCINT’, Kerry Patton, Sociocultural Intelligence (London: Continuum, 2010); Daniel Soar, ‘Short Cuts’, London Review of Books, 33, 13 (30 June 2011), p.22; ‘Spies, Meet Shakespeare: Intel Geeks Build Metaphor Motherlode’, Wired Blog (25 May 2011); Jeannie L. Johnson and Matthew T. Berrett, ‘Cultural Topography: A New Research Tool for Intelligence Analysis’, CIA Studies in Intelligence, 55, 2 (June 2011), pp.1-22.

[34] See, e.g., Harold Shukman (ed.), Agents for Change: Intelligence Services in the Twenty-first Century (London: St Ermin’s Press, 2000), pp.xx–xxi; see also findings of major official inquiries, e.g., The US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (PSCI) and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), Report of the Joint Inquiry into the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 (December 2002), p.220; see also ‘The CIA’s World-View’, Jane’s Foreign Report (16 February 1989), where a shift from ‘regional issues’ to ‘global ones’ was generally acknowledged.

[35] See also, e.g., Peter Schweizer, Friendly Spies (NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1993); James Adams, The New Spies (London: Hutchinson, 1994).

[36] See, e.g., Maryann K. Cusimano (ed.), Beyond Sovereignty (Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000).

[37] See also, e.g., Barbara Starr, ‘CIA to refocus as new top team is announced’, Jane’s Defence Weekly (1 August 1997); George J. Tenet, CIA Director, ‘The CIA and the Security Challenges of the New Century’, International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 13, 2 (2000), pp.133-143; Tony Karon, ‘The CIA’s Stormy Crystal Ball’, TIME Magazine (20 December 2000).

[38] See also Stephen Marrin, ‘The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: A Failure of Policy Not Strategic Intelligence Analysis’, Intelligence and National Security, 26, 2 & 3 (2011), pp.182-202.

[39] See, e.g., Martin Rudner, ‘Hunters and Gatherers: The Intelligence Coalition Against Islamic Terrorism’, International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 17, 2 (2004).

[40] See also as characterized in Adam D.M. Svendsen, ‘Intelligence Liaison: An essential navigation tool’, chapter in Josef Schröfl, Bahram M. Rajaee and Dieter Muhr (eds), Hybrid and Cyber War as Consequences of the Asymmetry (Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang, 2011); Steven Aftergood, ‘Two Cultures of Secrecy and Disclosure’, Federation of American Scientists Secrecy News blog (14 June 2011); see also CIA, Strategic Intent 2007-2011: One Agency, One Community (2007).

[41] See also Louis Fisher, ‘Rethinking the State Secrets Privilege’, ch. 40 in Johnson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence, from p.657; ‘Editorial: Hiding behind the “state secrets privilege”’, Los Angeles Times (18 May 2011); Laurel J. Sweet, ‘U.S. seeks to contain “top secret” evidence in Mehanna trial’, (25 July 2011).

[42] See also, e.g., Alexander Nicoll (ed.), ‘WikiLeaks: the price of sharing data’, IISS Strategic Comment, 17, 3 (January 2011); ‘CIA’s WikiLeaks Task Force: WTF, Indeed’, Wired Blog, and Greg Miller, ‘CIA launches task force to assess impact of U.S. cables’ exposure by WikiLeaks’, The Washington Post (22 December 2010); François Heisbourg, ‘Leaks and Lessons’, Survival, 53, 1 (February/March 2011), pp.207-216; Dave Clemente, ‘WikiLeaks: Unsteady Drip’, The World Today (March 2011), pp.17-19.

[43] See, e.g., Joby Warrick, ‘CIA honors 12 officers, contractors killed in action’, The Washington Post (8 June 2010); Patrick R. Keefe, ‘Privatized Spying: The Emerging Intelligence Industry’, ch. 18 in Johnson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence, from p.296; ‘Pakistan Case Highlights US Reliance on Intelligence Contractors’, Voice of America (1 March 2011); Julie Tate, ‘CIA’s brain drain: Since 9/11, some top officials have moved to private sector’, The Washington Post (12 April 2011).

[44] See, e.g., Karen DeYoung and Joby Warrick, ‘Under Obama, more targeted killings than captures in counterterrorism efforts’, The Washington Post (14 February 2010); ‘Gitmo Shutdown Means More Drone Strikes, Officials claim’, Wired Blog (19 May 2010); Adam Entous, ‘Special Report: How the White House learned to love the drone’, Reuters (18 May 2010); Kimberly Dozier, ‘Counterterrorist Pursuit Team: 3,000 Man CIA Paramilitary Force Hunts Militants In Afghanistan, Pakistan’, Associated Press (22 September 2010); ‘UAV attacks on Pakistan-based militants reach peak’, Jane’s Missiles & Rockets (10 January 2011); Tara Mckelvey, ‘Inside the Killing Machine’, Newsweek (13 February 2011).

[45] See also Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo, ‘At CIA, Grave Mistakes Led To Promotions’, Associated Press (9 February 2011); Ken Dilanian, ‘CIA has slashed its terrorism interrogation role’, Los Angeles Times (10 April 2011); Cori Crider, ‘The CIA and Proxy Detention’, The Huffington Post (22 April 2011); Jon Swaine, ‘Sept 11 terrorist mocks CIA interrogators’, The Daily Telegraph (UK) (18 May 2011); ‘U.S. official: CIA interrogating terror suspects in Somalia’, CNN (12 July 2011); Tabassum Zakaria, ‘NSA is looking for a few good hackers’, The Washington Post (3 August 2011).

[46] See also Adam D.M. Svendsen, ‘The Federal Bureau of Investigation and change: Addressing US counter-terrorism intelligence’, Intelligence and National Security (forthcoming, due 2011); Charlie Savage, ‘F.B.I. Agents Get Leeway to Push Privacy Bounds’, The New York Times (12 June 2011); ‘Editorial: Backward at the F.B.I.’, The New York Times (18 June 2011); ‘Al-Qaida suspect held on ship without legal advice for two months’, Reuters (6 July 2011); ‘Terrorism and the Law’, The New York Times (16 July 2011).

[47] See also, e.g., ‘Intelligence in Contemporary Media: Views of Intelligence Officers’, CIA Studies in Intelligence, 53, 2 (Summer Supplement 2009).

[48] See, e.g., Scott Shane, ‘U.S. Approval of Killing of Cleric Causes Unease’, The New York Times (13 May 2010); Kimberly Dozier, ‘CIA chief spices up spy shop’s image on reality TV’, Associated Press (31 August 2010); ‘The new detainee dilemma’, The Washington Post (26 December 2010); Jeff Stein, ‘How will the CIA deal with “rendition” supervisor?’, The Washington Post (14 May 2010); Jeff Stein, ‘CIA lawyer: U.S. law does not forbid rendition’, The Washington Post (4 November 2010); Ken Dilanian, ‘Alleged CIA operative criticizes “extraordinary rendition” of Muslim cleric’, Los Angeles Times (26 May 2011); Emily Berman, ‘Will Rendition Always Remain a State Secret?’, The Huffington Post (27 May 2011); ‘New scrutiny of CIA torture, botched rendition’, CBS (14 June 2011); Peter Finn and Julie Tate, ‘Justice Department to investigate deaths of two detainees in CIA custody’, The Washington Post (30 June 2011); Ed Pilkington, ‘Obama under fire over detention of terror suspect on US navy ship’, The Guardian (6 July 2011); M. Ilyas Khan, ‘Kashmiri killing: Worrying times for Pakistan militants’, BBC (5 June 2011); ‘US steps up stikes on Yemeni militants’, Jane’s Intelligence Weekly (9 June 2011); ‘CIA’s Drones Join Shadow War Over Yemen’, Wired Danger Room Blog (14 June 2011); Elisabeth Bumiller and Thom Shanker, ‘War Evolves With Drones, Some Tiny as Bugs’, The New York Times (19 June 2011); Jessica T. Mathews, ‘Another New Strategy in Afghanistan’, Carnegie, and William Saletan, ‘Metal Allies – The new face of a faceless global war: drones and the CIA’, Slate (22 June 2011); Christian Caryl, ‘US Expert Says Robots Are Changing the Face of War’, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and ‘Will Petraeus Rein In the Drone War?’, Wired Blog (23 June 2011); Paul Rogers, ‘Drone Warfare: Cost and Challenge’, OpenDemocracy (28 June 2011); Greg Jaffe and Karen DeYoung, ‘U.S. drone targets two leaders of Somali group allied with al-Qaeda, official says’, and Karen DeYoung, ‘Brennan: Counterterrorism strategy focused on al-Qaeda’s threat to homeland’, The Washington Post (30 June 2011); ‘U.S. Spurns Pakistani Call to Shut Down Drone Base’, Global Security Newswire (1 July 2011); Greg Miller, ‘Bin Laden document trove reveals strain on al-Qaeda’, The Washington Post (2 July 2011); Trevor McCrisken, ‘Ten years on: Obama’s war on terrorism in rhetoric and practice’, International Affairs, 87, 4 (July 2011), pp.781-801; Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo, ‘Osama Bin Laden’s Hunter: CIA Analyst Examined’, Associated Press (5 July 2011); Gordon Corera, ‘Dead or alive? US indecision over killing Bin Laden’, BBC (15 July 2011); ‘Current and former US officials at odds over CIA drone strikes aimed at al-Qaida’, Associated Press (29 July 2011); ‘Drones Kill Another “Irreplaceable” al-Qaida Leader’, Wired Blog (30 August 2011); Greg Miller and Julie Tate, ‘CIA shifts focus to killing targets’, The Washington Post, and ‘How the CIA Became “One Hell of a Killing Machine”’, Wired Blog (2 September 2011).

[49] See, e.g., Bob Woodward, ‘Phone call pointed U.S. to compound — and to “the pacer”’, The Washington Post (7 May 2011); Declan Walsh, ‘Osama bin Laden monitored for months before raid’, The Guardian (6 May 2011); Caren Bohan, Mark Hosenball, Tabassum Zakaria and Missy Ryan, ‘The bin Laden kill plan’, Reuters (12 May 2011); ‘Surveillance, Not Waterboarding, Led to bin Laden’ and ‘With Drones and Satellites, U.S. Zeroed in on bin Laden’, Wired Blog (3 May 2011); Ken Dilanian, ‘In finding Osama bin Laden, CIA soars from distress to success’, Los Angeles Times (8 May 2011); ‘Gates: Bin Laden Mission Reflects Perseverance, Determination’, (27 May 2011); Nicholas Schmidle, ‘Getting Bin Laden’, The New Yorker (8 August 2011); ‘Petraeus leaves legacy of ramped-up special operations fused with intelligence in Afghanistan’, Associated Press (19 July 2011); ‘Panetta Discusses Security Challenges in Stratcom Visit’, (5 August 2011); Elisabeth Bumiller, ‘Soldier, Thinker, Hunter, Spy: Drawing a Bead on Al Qaeda’, The New York Times (3 September 2011).

[50] Svendsen, ‘The CIA and the “Globalisation of Intelligence”’; see also Adam D.M. Svendsen, ‘“Friend” or “foe”? The CIA and the “Globalisation of Intelligence”’, paper presented at the ‘CIA & US Foreign Policy: Reform, Representations and New Approaches to Intelligence’ conference, Clinton Institute for American Studies, University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland (February 2009).

[51] See also, e.g., Sebastian Abbot, Kathy Gannon and Kimberly Dozier, ‘AP Exclusive: Timing of US drone strike questioned’, Associated Press (2 August 2011); Ginger Thompson, ‘U.S. Widens Its Role in Battle Against Mexico’s Drug Cartels’, The New York Times (6 August 2011); for associated activities, ‘U.S. Commandos Raid Pakistan All the Time’, Wired Blog (1 August 2011); Kevin Sieff and Greg Jaffe, ‘22 Navy SEALs among 30 U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan as NATO helicopter is shot down’, The Washington Post (6 August 2011); Jonathan S. Landay and Hashim Shukoor, ‘In valley where SEALs died, U.S. raids boost Taliban support’, McClatchy Newspapers (7 August 2011); Nicholas Schmidle, ‘Al Qaeda and the SEALs’, The New Yorker Blog (8 August 2011).

[52] IISS Strategic Survey 2009 (London: International Institute for Strategic Studies [IISS]/Routledge, 2009), p.38.

[53] See, e.g., Finlan, Special Forces, Strategy and the War on Terror, p.112; Michael S. Goodman, ‘Intelligence Education: Studying and Teaching About Intelligence: The Approach in the United Kingdom’, CIA Studies in Intelligence, 50, 2 (2006).

[54] Svendsen, Intelligence Cooperation and the War on Terror, p.236, col.1.

[55] See, e.g., Jennifer Sims and Burton Gerber (eds), Transforming U.S. Intelligence (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2005); Paul R. Pillar, ‘Intelligent Design? The Unending Saga of Intelligence Reform’, Foreign Affairs (March/April 2008); IISS Strategic Survey 2008 (London: Routledge/International Institute of Strategic Studies, 2008), pp.33-47 and pp.47-58; Tim Starks, ‘Intelligence: Reorganization Fatigue’, CQ Weekly (4 October 2008); Bill Gertz, ‘Candidates eye better use of spies’, Washington Times (23 October 2008); William Nolte, ‘Ongoing Reform in the Practice of American Intelligence’, Harvard Journal on Legislation, 45, 1 (2008), pp.209-217; Nancy Bernkopf Tucker, ‘The Cultural Revolution in Intelligence: Interim Report’, The Washington Quarterly, 31, 2 (Spring 2008), p.51; Treverton, Intelligence for an Age of Terror.

[56] See also Taylor, ‘The Role of Intelligence in National Security’, pp.263-4.

[57] Further useful sources on this theme, include: Mark M. Lowenthal, ‘Towards a Reasonable Standard for Analysis: How Right, How Often on Which Issues?’, Intelligence and National Security, 23, 3 (2008), pp.303-315; Jerome Clauser and Jan Goldman (revised/ed.), An Introduction to Intelligence Research and Analysis (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2008); Uri Bar-Joseph and Rosemary McDermott, ‘Change the Analyst and Not the System: A Different Approach to Intelligence Reform’, Foreign Policy Analysis, 4 (2008), pp.127–145; Josh Kerbel, ‘Lost for Words: The Intelligence Community’s Struggle to Find its Voice’, Parameters (Summer 2008), pp.102-112; Roger Z. George and James B. Bruce (eds), Analyzing Intelligence: Origins, Obstacles and Innovations (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2008); Jonathan D. Clemente and Stephen Marrin, ‘Modeling an Intelligence Analysis Profession on Medicine’, International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 19, 4 (Winter 2006-2007), pp.642-665, and their ‘Improving Intelligence Analysis by Looking to the Medical Profession’, International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 18, 4 (2005), pp.707–729; see also Stephen Marrin, ‘Training and Educating U.S. Intelligence Analysts’, International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 22, 1 (March 2009), pp.131-146; Ken G. Lieberthal, ‘The U.S. Intelligence Community and Foreign Policy: Getting Analysis Right’, Foreign Policy Paper Series, 18 (Washington, DC: Brookings, 19 September 2009); Matthew Frankel, ‘A Response to Ken Lieberthal’s Report on the Intelligence Community’, Brookings (19 October 2009); ‘Spooks Get New Workout Routine… For Their Minds’, Wired (7 June 2011); see also Lars D. Nicander, ‘Understanding Intelligence Community Innovation in the Post-9/11 World’, International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 24, 3 (2011), pp.534-568.

[58] See, for instance, Patrick C. Neary, ‘The Post–9/11 Intelligence Community: Intelligence Reform, 2001-2009: Requiescat in Pace?’, CIA Studies in Intelligence, 54, 1 (March 2010 [Unclassified]); Richard A. Best, Jr., ‘Intelligence Reform After Five Years: The Role of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI)’, Congressional Research Service (22 June 2010); see also Walter Pincus, ‘Hearings on new intelligence director may center on job’s powers’, The Washington Post (12 June 2010); Walter Pincus, ‘Intelligence official restructures office’, The Washington Post (12 October 2010); ‘One Spy to Rule Them All: Top Spook Launches Push for Real Power’, Wired Blog (3 November 2010); Steven Aftergood, ‘Office of Director of National Intelligence to be Downsized’, Federation of American Scientists Secrecy News (14 February 2011); Martin Petersen, ‘What I Learned in 40 Years of Doing Intelligence Analysis for US Foreign Policymakers’, CIA Studies in Intelligence, 55, 1 (March 2011 [Unclassified]), pp.13-20.

[59] See also, e.g., Aldrich, ‘“A Profoundly Disruptive Force”: The CIA, Historiography and the Perils of Globalization’, p.157.

[60] See, e.g., Mark Mazzetti, ‘Turf Battles on Intelligence Pose Test for Spy Chiefs’, The New York Times (9 June 2009); Robert Baer, ‘Independent Intel: High Stakes in a CIA Turf War’, TIME Magazine (12 June 2009);Walter Pincus, ‘Settling an intelligence turf war’, The Washington Post (17 November 2009); Bobby Ghosh, ‘CIA Chief Panetta Winning Over Doubters at the Agency’, TIME Magazine (24 November 2009); Jerry Markon, ‘FBI, ATF squabbles are hurting bombing inquiries, Justice official says’, The Washington Post (26 August 2010); Ewan MacAskill, ‘US agencies fought internal war over handling of detainees’, The Guardian (25 April 2011).

[61] For background, Svendsen, Intelligence Cooperation and the War on Terror, pp.33-164.

[62] See also the account rendered in, e.g., ‘Book excerpt: “The Interrogator: An Education” by former CIA officer Glenn L. Carle’, CNN Blog (17 June 2011).

[63] On the importance of standards in the intelligence context, several sources exist – see, e.g., Michael Herman, ‘Ethics and Intelligence after September 2001’, ch. 12 in Len Scott and Peter D. Jackson (eds), Understanding Intelligence in the Twenty-First Century: Journeys in Shadows (London: Routledge, 2004), p.187; David Carment and Martin Rudner (eds), Peacekeeping Intelligence (London: Routledge, 2006).

[64] ‘Speech by Dr. Thomas Fingar at the Council on Foreign Relations’, Media Highlights (Wednesday, 19 March 2008 [UNCLASSIFIED]), p.13.

[65] See, e.g., Svendsen, Intelligence Cooperation and the War on Terror, pp.26-27, p.105, pp.148-9.

[66] See also, e.g., Stephen Marrin, Improving Intelligence Analysis: Bridging the Gap between Scholarship and Practice (London: Routledge, 2011); Clauser and Goldman (revised/ed.), An Introduction to Intelligence Research and Analysis.

[67] See, e.g., Richard Heslop, ‘The modern professionals’, Jane’s Police Review Community (29 October 2010); Allyson MacVean, ‘What is a professional?’, Jane’s Police Review Community (18 September 2009); see also on these themes, e.g., Gregory F. Treverton, Reshaping National Intelligence for an Age of Information (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003); Russell G. Swenson with Susana C. Lemozy, Intelligence Professionalism in the Americas (US Center for Strategic Intelligence Research, Joint Military Intelligence College, 2003); Roger Z. George and Robert D. Kline (eds), Intelligence and the National Security Strategist: Enduring Issues and Challenges (NY: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005); Thomas C. Bruneau and Steven C. Boraz (eds), Reforming Iintelligence: Obstacles to Democratic Control and Effectiveness (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2007).

[68] See also, e.g, ODNI, 2009 Data Mining Report (February-December 2009); Kshemendra N. Paul, ODNI Program Manager, ‘Annual Report to The Congress’, Information Sharing Environment (ISE) (Washington, DC: July 2010); ODNI, 2010 Data Mining Report, For the Period January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010 (Washington, DC: 2011); Steven Aftergood, ‘Meeting Set on Sharing of Classified Info’, Federation of American Scientists Secrecy News blog (10 January 2011); Dan Goodin, ‘WikiLeaks accused of tapping P2P [peer-to-peer] for secret docs’, Register (20 January 2011); Gordon Rayner, ‘Bradley Manning copied secret documents thanks to lack of safeguards, book claims’, The Daily Telegraph (UK) (30 January 2011); Steven Aftergood, ‘Agencies Boost Surveillance of Classified Networks’, Federation of American Scientists Secrecy News blog (14 March 2011); Elizabeth Montalbano, ‘Government Eyeing Security Technology To Prevent Another Wikileaks’, InformationWeek (21 March 2011); Mark Ward, ‘Tracking the internal threats’, BBC (6 April 2011); Steven Aftergood, ‘House Intel Bill Mandates Insider Threat Detection’ and ‘Defense Employees Told to Report Suspicious Activities’, Federation of American Scientists Secrecy News blog (5 and 24 May 2011); Terry Costlow, ‘Bin Laden operation underscores importance of info sharing’, DefenseSystems (2 May 2011); John Foley, ‘U.S. Intelligence Connects The Dots On Bin Laden’, InformationWeek (3 May 2011).

[69] On the important ‘producer/consumer relationship’, see, e.g., Lowenthal, Intelligence, pp.54-67 and ibid., pp.174-190; Mark M. Lowenthal, ‘The Policymaker-Intelligence Relationship’, ch. 27 in Johnson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence, from p.437; see also ODNI, National Intelligence: A Consumers Guide (28 May 2009); Dennis C. Wilder, ‘An Educated Consumer Is Our Best Customer’, CIA Studies in Intelligence, 55, 2 (June 2011), pp.23-31.

[70] Recent prominent world events include: Sarah Johnstone and Jeffrey Mazo, ‘Global Warming and the Arab Spring’, Survival, 53, 2 (2011), pp.11-17; Chas W. Freeman, Jr., ‘The Arab Reawakening: Strategic Implications’, Middle East Policy, 18, 2 (Summer 2011), pp.29-36; ‘Room for Debate: Why Didn’t the U.S. Foresee the Arab Revolts?’, The New York Times (24 February 2011); ‘Intelligence chiefs: Social media helped in monitoring recent revolts’, CNN, and Mark Landler, ‘Secret Report Ordered by Obama Identified Potential Uprisings’, The New York Times (16 February 2011); ‘UPDATE 1-After Egypt, top U.S. spies promise to do better’, Reuters (17 February 2011).

[71] See, e.g., Sir David Omand, ‘Securing the State: A Question of Balance’, Chatham House Meeting (8 June 2010); Nigel Inkster, ‘The Protecting State’, Survival, 52, 5 (October 2010), pp.203-209; Dana Priest, ‘Are We Safer?’, PBS FRONTLINE (18 January 2011); Ross Douthat, ‘It’s Still the 9/11 Era’, The New York Times (4 September 2011); Greg Jaffe, ‘A decade after the 9/11 attacks, Americans live in an era of endless war’, The Washington Post (5 September 2011).

[72] See also, e.g., Amy B. Zegart, Eyes on Spies: Congress and the United States Intelligence Community (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2011); Richelson, The US Intelligence Community (6ed., 2011); Daniel Byman, ‘Deterring Enemies in a Shaken World’, The New York Times (4 September 2011).

[73] Joshua Rovner, Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011); and Richard K. Betts, “Politicization of Intelligence: Costs and Benefits,” in Richard K. Betts and Thomas Mahnken (eds.) Paradoxes of Strategic Intelligence (London: Frank Cass, 2003), p. 59.

[74] In September 1962, for instance, Dirctor of Central Intelligence John McCone  objected to the findings of Special National Intelligence Estimate 85-3-62, which estimated that the Soviet Union would not place offensive weapons in Cuba.  He sent analysts back to the drawing board with instructions to look for evience of Soviet activity on the island see James J. Wirtz, “Organizing or Crisis Intelligence:Lessons from the Cuban Missile Crisis,” in James G. Blight and David A. Welch (eds.) Intelligence and the Cuban Missile Crisis (London: Frank Cass, 1998), pp. 132-139.

[75] There is an Office of Net Assessment that is part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, but since the end of the Cold War it has largely focused on popularizing concepts related to the so-called Revolution in Military Affairs. For a recent treatment of the issue see Dima Adamsky, The Culture of Military Innovation (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010).

[76] James J. Wirtz, “The Intelligence Policy Nexus,” in Loch K. Johnson (ed.) Strategic Intelligence: Understanding the Hidden Side of Government Volume I (Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Security International, 2007), pp. 139-150.

[77] The classic attempt remains that of Richard E. Neustadt and Ernest R. May, Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision Makers (New York: New Press, 1986).  For a more positive spin on the IR-history divide, see: Robert Jervis, “International Politics and Diplomatic History: Fruitful Differences.” H-Diplo ISSF Essay 1 (March 2010): .

[78] CIA, “Preparing for Martial Law: Through the Eyes of Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski.” FOIA Electronic Reading Room: .

[79] This has of course led to passionate debate, especially among diplomatic historians.  While the discussion has been ongoing since the early 1990s (and arguably before), two recent debates neatly encapsulate the key issues: see the responses to David Kaiser’s “The Evolution of H-Diplo, 1994-2011,” posted on H-Diplo (8 October 2011) and the roundtable on Matthew Connelly’s call for a more international and transnational approach: “SHAFR in the World,” Passport: The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Review 42.2 (September 2011): 4-16.