Uri Bar-Joseph

Bar-Joseph, Uri. "A Bull in a China Shop: Netanyahu and Israel's Intelligence Community." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 11, no. 2 (Summer 1998): 154-174.

The author concludes: "Since June 1996, the heads of Israel's intelligence community have been confronted with a large number of incidents and crises in which they have been obliged to choose between preserving their professional integrity or pleasing their political superiors. Their dominant preference has been for the first." Clark comment: While that conclusion has some validity, Bar-Joseph goes astray in his efforts to contrast those behavior patterns with the CIA during the Reagan administration; he should have concentrated on matters Israeli.


Bar-Joseph, Uri. "The Intelligence Chief Who Went Fishing in the Cold: How Maj Gen. (res.) Eli Zeira Exposed the Identity of Israel's Best Source Ever." Intelligence and National Security 23, no. 2 (Apr 2008): 226-248.

This article investigates how Eli Zeira, Director of Military Intelligence (AMAN) in 1973, "systematically leaked the identity" of Ashraf Marwan, President Nasser's son-in-law, as a "Mossad source to journalists, writers and academic students of the subject."


Bar-Joseph, Uri. Intelligence Intervention in the Politics of Democratic States: The United States, Israel, and Britain. University Park, PA: Penn State Press, 1995.

Clark comment: Bar-Joseph analyzes four case studies of what he designates "intelligence intervention" in politics: the 1961 Bay of Pigs episode; the 1954 Israeli "Unfortunate Business" or "Lavon Affair"; and the 1920 "Henry Wilson" and 1924 "Zinoviev Letter" affairs in Britain. The author's comparative approach may prove to be heavy going for the casual reader, but the politicization issue is certainly one that deserves serious study. However, as Brody, PSQ 111.3, observes, the intervention in the Lavon and Wilson affairs was at least arguably "as much by the military as by intelligence."

According to Wirtz, APSR 90.1, the "tension created by th[e] effort to offer timely estimates while overcoming incentives to pander to policymakers ... serves as a point of departure for Uri Bar-Joseph's comparative study." He "is especially interested in situations in which intelligence agencies spiral out of control and undertake unauthorized activities that overstep policy bounds." The book's "potential contribution ... to developing a theory of civil-intelligence relations, however, is limited by several shortcomings in execution and conception." Nevertheless, this "ambitious book ... does a fine job in identifying several factors which affect the willingness and ability of intelligence officials to place their preferences into the policy arena."

Warren, Surveillant 4.3, declares that "this book is mandatory reading" for serious students of intelligence: "Bar-Joseph sets the stage historically and then fits his argument onto the stage with logic and even wit." Writing in the CIRA Newsletter, Fall 1996, Warren adds that this is "an important contribution to the continuing dialogue on the politicization of intelligence and intelligence organizations." Stafford, I&NS 11.2, judges the book to be "impressively researched and written." The work "is most likely to provoke discussion through its argument that at the root of the abuses [the author] describes lies insufficient separation between intelligence and politics."

For Clutterbuck, Political Studies 44.4, Bar-Joseph "gives an excellent analysis of how these abuses of power occurred and argues that a high degree of professionalism in the intelligence services is as important as effective political control in preventing them." Friedman, Parameters, Summer 1997, finds that "Intelligence Intervention is presented in a detailed but often humorous manner that makes for an entertaining as well as an educational experience."

[CIA/60s/BoP; Israel/LavonOp; UK/Interwar/20s & Zinoviev]

Bar-Joseph, Uri. "Israel Caught Unawares: Egypt's Sinai Surprise of 1960." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 8, no. 2 (Summer 1995): 203-219.

Bar-Joseph, Uri.

1. "Israel's Intelligence Failure of 1973: New Evidence, a New Interpretation, and Theoretical Implications." Security Studies 4, no. 3 (Spring 1995): 584-609.

2. "The Wealth of Information and the Poverty of Comprehension: Israel's Intelligence Failure of 1973 Revisited." Intelligence and National Security 10, no. 4 (Oct. 1995): 229-240.

This is a Review Article of four Hebrew-language books on the Yom Kippur War. These include the memoirs of three officers "who served in key positions in 1973" (Yoel Ben-Porat, Arie Braun, and Eli Zeira) and "the full (though still sanitized) report of the Agranat Commission."


Bar-Joseph, Uri. "Israel's Military Intelligence Performance in the Second Lebanon War." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 20, no. 4 (Winter 2007): 583-601.

There was a "gap between AMAN's correct strategic estimates prior to the war, and its failure to draw the obvious conclusions from this assessment." Also, Aman was overly reliant on "the high tech methods of collecting intelligence information." In addition, "the need to provide targets that can be destroyed by guided munitions should not overrule other, more traditional intelligence missions."

[Israel/00s/07 & Overviews]

Bar-Joseph, Uri. "The Politicization of Intelligence: A Comparative Study." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 26, no. 2 (Summer 2013): 347-369.

According to the author, "the politicization of intelligence is a universal problem, [but] sufficient evidence permits the argument that among Western-type democracies it mainly exists in the United States."

[GenPostCW/10s/Gen; Israel/10s]

Bar-Joseph, Uri. "The Professional Ethics of Intelligence Analysis." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 24, no. 1 (Spring 2011): 22-43.

The author argues for "the institutionalization of truth as the ultimate norm in intelligence reports and estimates by making it a central piece of intelligence professional ethics."

[Analysis/Gen; Overviews/Ethics]

Bar-Joseph, Uri. "State-Intelligence Relations in Israel: 1948-1996." Journal of Conflict Studies 17, no. 2 (Fall 1997): 133-156.


Bar-Joseph, Uri. "Strategic Surprise or Fundamental Flaws? The Source of Israel's Military Defeat at the Beginning of the 1973 War." Journal of Military History 72, no. 2 (Apr. 2008): 509-530.

From abstract: "Using recently released evidence, this article analyzes Israel's inadequate war deployment when firing commenced and its impact on the failure to repel the attack. It concludes that since this deficient deployment resulted from the absence of a sufficient intelligence warning, the intelligence failure was at the root of the Israeli failure at the war's start."


Bar-Joseph, Uri. The Watchman Fell Asleep: The Surprise of Yom Kippur and Its Sources. New York: State University of New York Press, 2005.

Sheffy, I&NS 21.5 (Oct. 2006), 826/fn. 2, refers to Bar-Joseph's work as the "most comprehensive and updated academic study on Israeli intelligence and the [1973] war." For Whaley, Bibliography of Counterdeception (2006), The Watchman Fell Asleep is "[s]trong, indeed virtually definitive on details." However, it is "seriously weak on theory."


Bar-Joseph, Uri, and Arie W. Kruglanski. "Intelligence Failure and the Need for Cognitive Closure: On the Psychology of the Yom Kippur Surprise." Political Psychology 24, no. 1 (2003): 75-99.


Bar-Joseph, Uri, and Zachary Sheaffer. "Surprise and Its Causes in Business Administration and Strategic Studies." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 11, no. 3 (Fall 1998): 331-349.

The authors argue that the causes for surprise in both the strategic and business arenas "are not lack of adequate information about incoming threats but a misconstrual of the meaning" of Early Warning Signals. Whaley, Bibliography of Counterdeception (2006), refers to this article as "[a] highly original analysis of the several differences between the way commercial and intelligence analysts approach the problem of surprise."


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