What Causes Intelligence Failure

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Even the best intelligence agencies can miss major developments, fail to anticipate crises, or fail to rapidly shift analytical and collection resources, therefore resulting in intelligence failure. Whether it is a systemic or organizational inability to collect correct accurate information in a timely fashion, a failure to interpret information properly and analyze information in a timely way to alert policymakers to major new developments, or insufficient attention to bringing warning to policymakers, intelligence failure is inevitable. However, why do intelligence failures occur? Within his post-mortem examining the failure of the Central Intelligence Agency 's National Foreign Assessment Center to warn of the Shah of Iran 's inability or unwillingness to respond forcefully to the Islamic revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini in the late 1970s, Robert Jervis calls for comparative case studies of intelligence success and intelligence failure (Jervis, 35). In directly comparing intelligence successes with intelligence failures, the Intelligence Community and scholars alike will be able to better understand why intelligence failures occur. Many attempts have been launched by the United States’ Intelligence Community to determine how and why analytical reasoning goes awry. One such method is through the …show more content…
However, as Robert Jervis mentions at the beginning of his post-mortem on the Iranian Revolution of the late 1970s, comparative analysis of intelligence successes and failures could help to shed light on defects within the intelligence field. Through the creation and utilization of post-mortems of both intelligence failures and successes, the United States Intelligence Community would be able to gain a more comprehensive understanding of defects in intelligence, and ultimately come to better understand how and why intelligence failure

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