Joshua Rovner

Rovner, Joshua. Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011.

Freedman, FA 91.1 (Jan.-Feb. 2012), says Rovner addresses the issue of politicization "in a neat and systematic manner." For Wirtz, IJI&C 25.1 (Spring 2012), this "is a provocative contribution to the literature of intelligence." Peake, Studies 56.2 (Jun. 2012) and Intelligencer 19.2 (Summer-Fall 2012), finds that in this "stimulating and challenging contribution," the author "analyzes the problem from a political science point of view."

[GenPostCW/10s/Gen; GenPostwar/NatSec/10s]

Rovner, Joshua. "Intelligence in the Twitter Age." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 26, no. 2 (Summer 2013): 260-271.

"While social media have created an explosion in new sources of information, the rise of private sector intelligence has intensified competition for policymakers' attention. Both issues raise important questions about whether and how traditional intelligence agencies can remain relevant to policymakers and contribute something useful to the policy process."


Rovner, Joshua. "Preparing for a Nuclear Iran: The Role of the CIA." Strategic Insights 4, no. 11 (Nov. 2005). []

"The CIA should address two puzzles that, once solved, will help deter Iran from proliferating nuclear materials and using its own arsenal coercively: First, it should attempt to isolate the unique characteristics of nuclear material produced at Iranian facilities.... Second, the CIA should provide a detailed analysis of Israel’s ability to strike Iranian facilities."


Rovner, Joshua, and Austin Long. "Did the New Spooks on the Block Really Fix U.S Intelligence?" Foreign Policy, 27 Apr. 2015. []

"[T]he intelligence community has a lot to be proud of over the last decade.... But it is not clear ODNI deserves the credit.... Rather than facilitating coordination, the additional layer of bureaucracy can create friction.... [T]here are reasons to believe that the 'failure of coordination' argument is overstated. There was quite a lot of coordination before 9/11, and the failures were mainly due to human error rather than poor organizational design.... Ultimately, the major successes in U.S. counterterrorism after 9/11 were not due to intelligence reorganization but a change in policy."


Rovner, Joshua, and Austin Long. "The Perils of Shallow Theory: Intelligence Reform and the 9/11 Commission." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 18, no. 4 (Winter 2005-2006): 609-637.

Clark comment: This is an interesting critique of the "reform" recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. Although the "theories" of failure are more assumed by the authors than articulated by the Commission, the criticisms are well reasoned and supported. The conclusion that the Commission "got it wrong" is inescapable.

The authors present "two principal arguments...: First, the proposed reforms are mostly unrelated to the postulated causes of failure. Second, the theories are underdeveloped, contradictory, and basically unsatisfying on their own."



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