The Politicization of Intelligence History Essay

The Politicization of Intelligence History Essay

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According to Donavan (1986) policy looks to intelligence for a logic of evidence, and analysis, looks for policy to serve. Despite the common goal of advancing national security interest, the relations between producers and consumers of intelligence assessments are not naturally harmonious. According to The Politicization of Intelligence History (2006), there are fewer accusations which carry more weight within the intelligence community than claims that the analysis and reporting of intelligence have been influenced by political considerations. The process and pressures by which political influence effected the Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) estimates, the Soviet Union military capabilities and the Vietnam military predictions will be discussed, in order to emphasis the safeguards needed to successfully manage the relationship between intelligence providers and consumers.
According to Davis (2006), tensions in the relationship between intelligence analyst and administration policymakers are a common occurrence due to their distinctive professional missions. The analyst professional commitment is to assess national security issues without bias for or against the outcomes sought by the incumbent administration, while the policy maker’s commitment is to articulate, advocate and advance the administration’s national security agenda (Davis 2006). Davis (2006) however argues that eradication of tension is unwise, as tension in the relationship helps both parties to deal more effectively with the challenges of analytic and policymaking uncertainty. Under policymaker criticism analyst tend to undertake a reappraisal of their assumptions, evidence and argumentation; however a substantial change in judgement does not commonly re...


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...no. 6, pp. 959-979.
• Kent’s Imperative, 2006, The politicization of intelligence history, visited 12th May 2010, .
• Kouri, J 2006, The politicization and irrelevance of intelligence analysis, Renew America, visited 14th May 2010, .
• New Zealand Security Intelligence Service 2009, Intelligence Cycle, viewed 8 March 2010 < http://www.nzsis.govt.nz/methods>.
• Peterson, M 2005, ‘Intelligence-led policing: the new intelligence architecture’, Bureau of Justice Assistance, NCJ 210681, viewed 7 March 2010,
• Phythian, M 2009, ‘Intelligence analysis today and tomorrow’, Security Challenges, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 67-83.
• Pillar, P 2006, ‘Intelligence, Policy, and the War in Iraq’, Foreign Affairs, vol. 85, no. 2, pp. 15-27.

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