03 May 2009

Rice's Intelligence Analysis


An interesting quote from, the "Psychology of Intelligence Analysis" by Richards J. Heuer, Jr is ...

"The commonly prescribed remedy for shortcomings in intelligence analysis and estimates—most vociferously after intelligence “failures”—is a major increase in expertise. Heuer’s research and the studies he cites pose a serious challenge to that conventional wisdom. The data show that expertise itself is no protection from the common analytic pitfalls that are endemic to the human thought process. This point has been demonstrated in many fields beside intelligence analysis."

An example of the sort of intelligence expertise in question can be gleaned by considering Condoleeza Rice. Reading the link to wikipedia it is obvious that her accomplishments and talents are many. Unfortunately, as Heuer puts it, "... expertise itself is no protection from the common analytic pitfalls that are endemic to the human thought process."

I think that an example of one of these analytical pitfalls is illustrated by, "Rice gave early approval for CIA waterboarding, Senate report reveals", a story which reveals that ...

"Condoleezza Rice gave permission for the CIA to use waterboarding techniques ... as early as July 2002, the first known official approval for the technique, according to a report released by the Senate intelligence committee yesterday.

The revelation indicates that Rice, who at the time was national security adviser and went on to be secretary of state, played a greater role than she admitted in written testimony last autumn.
"

No comments:

Post a Comment