"Intelligence failures," do they exist?

SpitfireV

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I've just got a big list of essay topic for a security cases paper I'm doing. One is on intelligence failures, with reference to a set of four you have to choose from. I'll reveal those later but first I'd like to pose the question, do intelligence failures really exist? I mean, you can't know what you don't know exists, right?

Thoughts?
 

QC

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Seriously, that would be true,IMO. Everyone missed the Indian nuke tests years ago. The Mumbai attack, did anyone see that? Bali, I'm told, was known of but the information was not acted upon.
 

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I've just got a big list of essay topic for a security cases paper I'm doing. One is on intelligence failures, with reference to a set of four you have to choose from. I'll reveal those later but first I'd like to pose the question, do intelligence failures really exist? I mean, you can't know what you don't know exists, right?

Thoughts?

I think Coll's "Ghost Wars" showed that a lot of things that are deemed "intelligence failures" had nothing to do with the intel being developed or reported, but rather with politicians refusing to do anything with it, or thinking they know better, and then when something happens they want to blame the intel folks.
 

Marauder06

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I think it would be a good thesis to take a couple of the "intel failures" your professor provided, and analyze whether they really were failures of intel or if the fault lies elsewhere.
 

Marauder06

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Here are a couple of papers I wrote related to this subject, that you might find useful. I wrote them last year, they're not very good because I did them each in like one night but it might help spur some ideas or give you s0me useful references.
 

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BravoOne

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You could roll with what CDG said or you could question the employment/effectiveness of your collection assets as well. Could they have been tasked differently? Were they prevented from being effective in some way? Were they supported by the CoC or were guys shuffled around to go pump gas, be a do boy or something else when they could have been working an issue? The failure is likely to be MI's cross to bear any way you look at it but its not always as simple as it seems.
 

SpitfireV

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Known knowns...Rummy in da house!
Seriously, that would be true,IMO. Everyone missed the Indian nuke tests years ago. The Mumbai attack, did anyone see that? Bali, I'm told, was known of but the information was not acted upon.

There was definately an element of that bastard! Ha!

I think it would be a good thesis to take a couple of the "intel failures" your professor provided, and analyze whether they really were failures of intel or if the fault lies elsewhere.

We have to select just one of them. Actually I'll put them up here, since this thread has developed into a "help Spit" thread :p (I'm not saying I don't appreciate it!). My initial line of thinking is that if intel knows something, it's passed up the chain for action (in a perfect world), ergo it wouldn't be an intelligence failure as such but rather a policy or possibly even systemic failure.

I think Coll's "Ghost Wars" showed that a lot of things that are deemed "intelligence failures" had nothing to do with the intel being developed or reported, but rather with politicians refusing to do anything with it, or thinking they know better, and then when something happens they want to blame the intel folks.

I agree. I have the book stashed away somewhere, I'll have to break it out.

Here are a couple of papers I wrote related to this subject, that you might find useful. I wrote them last year, they're not very good because I did them each in like one night but it might help spur some ideas or give you s0me useful references.

Cheers for those! I'll print them off and have a good look at them tonight.

You could roll with what CDG said or you could question the employment/effectiveness of your collection assets as well. Could they have been tasked differently? Were they prevented from being effective in some way? Were they supported by the CoC or were guys shuffled around to go pump gas, be a do boy or something else when they could have been working an issue? The failure is likely to be MI's cross to bear any way you look at it but its not always as simple as it seems.

Two (probably three, if you include VN) of the options unfortunately won't be declass now, there would only be open source stuff (and leaked/off the record).

Anyway, question five (c) is the one I'm thinking of doing. Mostly because there are a huge amount of resources available. Question one is also a possibility at this stage.
 

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SpitfireV

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Oh shit, look at that, your intel failure one is on the same topic as I've got on my list LOL.
 

hoepoe

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  • 9/11 -Inter agency ego and not sharing intel
  • Israel Yom Kippur War - Inter agency ego and not sharing intel
  • 2006 Israel/Lebanon War - incorrect intel focus
  • WWII and the Nazi Atrocities - missing, misinterpreting or ignoring the facts on the ground
Edited to add that i only saw the questions pdf after i posted (i know, i know). I'm leaving my examples up in the spirit of sharing info.
H
 

Marauder06

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Oh shit, look at that, your intel failure one is on the same topic as I've got on my list LOL.

Time for some cut/paste/done! ;)

If you find anything useful in the papers and want to cite them, let me know and I'll send you the appropriate details.

This has to get a run



I think I quoted that in one of my papers. It sounds ridiculous, but if you think about it, it's pretty accurate.
 
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