The failure to fully anticipate or prevent the 11 September 2001 (9/11) terrorist attacks and the failure to come close to correctly assessing the true state of Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) programmes both had catastrophic consequences. As a result, intelligence analysts have found their tradecraft subjected to the kind of public scrutiny previously reserved for the operational side of intelligence. In this environment a number of possible lessons have been suggested. This article discusses several of these and cautions that some are more apparent than real and that almost all proposed reforms contain within them the seeds of dilemmas that will need to be addressed if the reforms are to have optimum impact.
Posted in Asia Pacific, Defence, Federal, Governance, Information, Security and tagged 11 september 2011, 9/11, catastrophic consequences, correctly assess, Intelligence, intelligence analysis, intelligence analysts, Iraq, Mark Phythian, operational side of intelligence, optimum impact, public scrutiny, terrorist attack, weapons of mass destruction.