Intelligence & Policy


K - Z


Kerbel, Josh, and Anthony Olcott. "The Intelligence-Policy Nexus: Synthesizing with Clients, Not Analyzing for Customers." Studies in Intelligence 54, no. 4 (Dec. 2010): 1-13.

"What if the Intelligence Community were to reimagine itself as a serice-provider geared to engaging in goal-focused conversation as a well-defined regular activity? What, in other words, would happen if the IC were to become a provider of knowledge services, rather than a producer of information?"

Kissinger, Henry A. "Misreading the Iran Report: Why Spying and Policymaking Don't Mix." Washington Post, 13 Dec. 2007. []

"The executive branch and the intelligence community have gone through a rough period. The White House has been accused of politicizing intelligence; the intelligence community has been charged with promoting institutional policy biases. The Key Judgments document [of the NIE on Iran's nuclear program] accelerates that controversy.... Intelligence personnel need to return to their traditional anonymity. Policymakers and Congress should once again assume responsibility for their judgments without involving intelligence in their public justifications."

Kitts, Kenneth. Presidential Commissions and National Security: The Politics of Damage Control. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2005.

Freedman, FA 85.3 (May-Jun. 2006), calls this a "neat and readable little book [that] describes and evaluates the use of blue-ribbon panels to defuse crises of confidence in the government's handling of national security." However, "it fails to provide international context" for its discussion or to"consider how these various scandals changed the terms of U.S. foreign policy."

Matthias, Willard C. America’s Strategic Blunders: Intelligence Analysis and National Security Policy, 1936-1991. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001.

According to Peake, Studies 48.1, the author was a "charter member of the CIA's Office of National Estimates.... The bulk of the book concentrates on the Cold War.... Matthias faults the United States for the Cold War's unnecessary length and vitality.... The reader learns much about the behind-the-scenes exchanges within the Board of National Estimates, the use of their product by the government, and the relationship between CIA analysts and academic experts.... [T]he book gives a unique look at strategic analysis from the inside and is worth serious attention by today's analysts and policymakers alike."

May, Ernest R., and Philip D. Zelikow, eds. Dealing with Dictators: Dilemmas of U.S. Diplomacy and Intelligence Analysis, 1945-1990. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006.

Barnhill, Air & Space Power Journal (2008), notes that this work "is a collection of case studies developed for the intelligence and policy course offered between 1986 and 2002 at Harvard University to senior government and military intelligence officials.... [T]he authors present six case studies.... Arranged chronologically, the cases include the collapse of China, the United Nations intervention in the Congo, the removal of the Shah of Iran, the US relationship with Nicaragua's Somozas, the fall of Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines, and the run-up to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.... Assuming a competent instructor, these scenarios will serve as the basis for raising awareness of how much harder it is to handle a crisis in real time than in retrospect."

Pateman, Roy. Residual Uncertainty: Trying to Avoid Intelligence and Policy Mistakes in the Modern World. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2003.

From publisher: The author "gives numerous examples of where security has been breached, and networks, severely, even irreparably compromised and explains how the consequences of intelligence failure will surely be graver in the future. Pateman pinpoints the causes of failures in intelligence and policy in today's world and offers solutions that will drastically overhaul and improve our intelligence networks."

Rothkopf, David J. Running The World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power. New York: PublicAffairs, 2005.

To Destler, FA 84.5 (Sep.-Oct. 2005), "[e]xtensive quotations from ... many ... important players are the strongest element of the book, illuminating how policymaking really happens.... As a comprehensive analysis of its topic, however, the book falls short." The author "provides lots of raw material ... but no clear set of conclusions or even a general idea of how everything adds up."

Sewall, Parameters, Spring 2006, finds that this work "is less a systematic assessment of the NSC as an institution than a popular history of the making of American foreign policy." The author "writes well and holds the reader despite the scope and slipperiness of his nominal subject. But his underlying goal seems to be recommending a particular flavor of foreign policy.... Rothkopf’s signal contribution lies in demonstrating the importance of personality and relationships in the formulation of American policy."

Ryan, Maria. "The Myth and Reality of US Intelligence and Policy-Making After 9/11." Intelligence and National Security 17, no. 4 (Winter 2002): 55-76.

"[T]he most recent CIA intelligence simply does not support the hardline stance taken by [President] Bush" with regard to the "axis of evil" countries, Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. Instead, the CIA "has been sidelined as far as policy is concerned and the Departments of State and Defense vie for influence on implementing their long-standing policy preferences by fashioning the post-9/11 war on terrorism to fit them."

Shanker, Thom. "Military Scuttles Strategy Requiring '2-War' Capability." New York Times, 13 Jul. 2001. []

"The United States is abandoning requirements that its military be prepared to fight two major wars simultaneously, according to a classified strategy document. Instead, the new strategy will order the armed forces to 'win decisively' in a single major conflict, defend American territory against new threats and, at the same time, conduct a number of holding actions elsewhere around the globe.... The changes are laid out in a 29-page document known as the 'terms of reference,' which the Pentagon will use to guide specific policy and budget requests for personnel and weapons."

Vital, David. "Images of Other Peoples in the Making of Intelligence and Foreign Policy." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 16, no. 1 (Spring 2003): 16-33.

"[F]oreign policy decisionmaking begins and ends with the actual makers of policy -- invariably to be found weltering in an imperfectly charted sea of data, some constituents of which are hard, others soft, but virtually all tainted in one way or another as regards precision and reliability."

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