Strategic Warning:

Surprise, Intelligence Failures, and Indications and Warning Intelligence

A - B

Alexseev, Mikhail A. Without Warning: Threat Assessment, Intelligence, and Global Struggle. New York: St. Martins, 1997. London: Macmillan, 1997.

Tuttle, Choice, Sep. 1998, sees this work as "a blend of international relations and intelligence studies." The author uses three cases within his theoretical framework -- the Mongol drive for a world empire, the wars of 1792-1815 between Britain and France, and the Cold War between the KGB and the CIA in the years 1975-1985. This is "a solid piece of scholarship" that "is also a most interesting, intriguing, and well-written book."

For Finch, I&NS 14.3, Without Warning displays "a certain lack of sophistication and a few methodological flaws" but is, nonetheless, "an interesting work which provides a good initial basis for approaching" issues of cultural, economic, and political differentiation in the world.

Bullard, Times Literary Supplement, 24 Jul. 1998, notes the author's thesis that "[i]n monitoring possible threats, different states are likely to use different indicators, or to weigh them differently." In dealing with the Cold War, Alexseev "has evidently enjoyed generous access to the mass of new Russian material in the shape of declassified KGB and party files."

Allen, Charles E. "Warning and Iraq's Invasion of Kuwait: A Retrospective Look." Defense Intelligence Journal 7, no. 2 (Fall 1998): 33-44.

The author is Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Collection and was NIO for Warning at the time of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. He offers specific examples of the clear warnings issued from his staff at the time. These warnings were not heeded by senior intelligence officials or policymakers.

Arnold, Joseph C. "Omens and Oracles (Past Intelligence Failures)." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, Aug. 1980, 47-53.

According to Sexton, the author covers the German Ardennes offensive of 1944, the Chinese intervention in Korea in 1950, and the Soviet deployment of missiles in Cuba in 1961.

Baker, Bob.

1. "The Easter Offensive of 1972: A Failure to Use Intelligence." Military Intelligence 24, no. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1998): 40-42, 60.

The author concludes that U.S. and South Vietnamese commanders "had prior knowledge of NVA activity in preparation for the attack, but did not use that information to the maximum extent possible."

2. "Warning Intelligence: The Battle of the Bulge and the NVN Easter Offensive." American Intelligence Journal 17, no. 3/4 (1997): 71-79.

The author compares and discusses the role of warning intelligence in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944 and the North Vietnamese Easter Offensive of 1972. He concludes: "Though the location, numbers and types of forces were not the same, the command assumptions, the weather and the use and misuse of intelligence had almost the same catastrophic effects in both clashes....

"In studies of both campaigns, analysts and historians often cite the failure of intelligence to properly inform and alert the commanders of enemy intentions and capabilities as the chief reason for the successful 'surprise' achieved by the assaults. Upon closer examination, the 'cause' lies elsewhere.... 'It was not intelligence (evaluated information of the enemy) that failed. The failure was the commanders and certain G-2's, who did not act on the intelligence they had,' stated one of Patton's subordinates regarding the Bulge. It could just as easily have been written about Easter offensive of 1972."

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."

Belden, Thomas. "Indications, Warning, and Crisis Options." International Studies Quarterly 21, no. 1 (Mar. 1977): 181-198.

Ben-Israel, Isaac. "Philosophy and Methodology of Intelligence: The Logic of Estimate Process." Intelligence and National Security 4, no. 4 (Oct. 1989): 660-718.

The author argues that, for intelligence estimates, inductively deriving conclusions from known data is the wrong method. He, then, develops an alternative methodology, based on the scientific method, which he calls the "critical method." The refined critical methodology is used to analyze the intelligence failure of the Yom Kippur War (the use of hind-sight is acknowledged here), which he attributes to the use of conventional-inductivist logic.

Ben-Zvi, Abraham. "Between Warning and Response: The Case of the Yom Kippur War." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 4, no. 2 (Summer 1990): 227-242.

Ben-Zvi, Abraham. "The Dynamics of Surprise: The Defender's Perspective." Intelligence and National Security 12, no. 4 (Oct. 1997): 113-144.

The author uses three cases studies -- Pearl Harbor (1941), the Chinese attack on India (1962), and the Yom Kippur War (1973) -- to illustrate his point that misunderstanding the enemy's intentions may not be the cause of a nation being "surprised" by an attack. Rather, he argues that a tendency to misunderstand -- to undervalue -- the enemy's capabilities seems to be more important in explaining why surprise was achieved.

Ben-Zvi, Abraham. "Hindsight and Foresight: A Conceptual Framework for the Analysis of Surprise Attack." World Politics 28, no. 3 (Apr. 1976): 381- 395.

Whaley, Bibliography of Counterdeception (2006), finds that the author's "approach offers foresight." However, Ben-Zvi's use of only three case studies (Barbarossa, Pearl Harbor, and Yom Kippur) as the basis for his "conceptual framework" weakens the analysis.

Betts, Richard K.

Bodnar, John W. Warning Analysis for the Information Age: Rethinking the Intelligence Process. Washington, DC: Joint Military Intelligence College, 2003.

According to Peake, Studies 51.2 (2007), the author's "central theme is that in today's complex, multipolar world, we require multidimensional analysis (MDA) applied by data-mining computer programs that, he seems to suggest, have yet to be written.... Few will disagree with Dr. Bodnar's premises concerning analysis in the Web-based world[;] some may even argue that we are not so far from reaching the goal" as he seems to suggest.

Brady, Christopher. "Intelligence Failures: Plus Ça Change." Intelligence and National Security 8, no. 4 (Oct. 1993): 86-96.

"[I]t is the intention here to assert that intelligence failures are inevitable.... Given the circumstances, perhaps it is the successes that should be the surprise, not the failures."

Brody, Richard. "The Limits of Warning." Washington Quarterly 6, no. 3 (Summer 1983): 40-48.

Brooks, Robert O. "Surprise in the Missile Era." Air University Quarterly Review 11, no. 1 (1959): 73-80. [Petersen]

Burns, Arthur L. "The International Consequences of Expecting Surprise." World Politics 10, no 4 (1958): 512-536.

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