Policy Lessons from Iraq on Managing Uncertainty in Intelligence Assessment: Why the Strategic/Tactical Distinction Matters

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Title Policy Lessons from Iraq on Managing Uncertainty in Intelligence Assessment: Why the Strategic/Tactical Distinction Matters
Author Heazle, Michael Andrew
Journal Name Intelligence and National Security
Year Published 2010
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Abstract This paper focuses on how pre-existing policy priorities and goals among policy elites in the US, UK, and Australia encouraged the blurring of strategic and tactical intelligence assessment as a mechanism for legitimising the Iraq invasion. Through the selective use and interpretation of sometimes vague or unsubstantiated tactical and technical intelligence and the many uncertainties it contained, proponents of the war were able to undermine existing strategic assessments on Iraq by introducing a range of possible, but largely unsubstantiated, threat scenarios as justification for military action. The paper argues that in so far as intelligence reforms are needed, they should be focused primarily on the interface between analysis and policy making, and the issue of how policy makers interpret and understand the uncertainties that intelligence assessments necessarily contain.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02684527.2010.489780
Volume 25
Issue Number 3
Page from 290
Page to 308
ISSN 0268-4527
Date Accessioned 2011-01-04
Language en_AU
Research Centre Griffith Asia Institute
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject Political Theory and Political Philosophy
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/35617
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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