Why Intelligence Fails : Lessons Learned From The Iranian Revolution And The Iraq Wars

1929 Words Sep 25th, 2014 8 Pages
To conduct effective analysis, which leads to decision-making, it is important to have an understanding of cognitive biases and how they impact the analysis provided. How does our government decide if they are going to get involved in a war? A lot of information is provided and analyzed to form the intelligence they use to arrive at their final decision. The concern with this is the amount of cognitive bias involved. Most people make decisions all day long without realizing the biases they have. When it comes to things like National Security it is imperative the agencies, committees and individuals all have an understanding of their own biases. One case of National Intelligence where you can see cognitive bias play a role is with the Iraq Weapons Of Mass Destruction (WMD) program. Robert Jervis discusses this topic in his book Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons learned from the Iranian Revolution and the Iraq Wars. Even though Jervis identifies many failures, the ones I am going to address are: Curveball, and the puzzle of the Aluminum Tubes and Uranium from Africa, analyze them against Richard J. Heuer Jr’s defined biases and explain lessons learned.
Background
There are not too many people alive today who do not know what happened on September 11, 2001 when terrorists attacked the Worlds Trade Centers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. utilizing passenger jets. In addition, the name Saddam Hussein is joined to this event for eternity. It is import to also…

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