The line dividing consensus from group think is narrow and not well defined. There are four principal agencies in the U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) who actually produce raw intelligence — the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research.
Why is this important? The USIC is on the record supporting the analytical conclusion that Russia is in trouble, Putin is on the ropes and Ukraine can expel Russia from Ukrainian territory as long as it gets the necessary support. How can so many people with advanced degrees from top flight universities be so blind and so deluded? The answer is simple — the USIC is a collection of gargantuan bureaucracies that do not encourage or promote thinking out of the box. Any analyst inclined to engage in counter intuitive or counter narrative analysis is not just ignored. He or she will be punished and, in some cases, fired or shuffled off to dead end jobs.
Let me take you inside the process I experienced as an analyst. I would arrive at my desk in the Central America Branch of the Middle America Caribbean Division of the Office of Africa and Latin American Affairs (ALA) around 7am and had to quickly read a 6 inch stack of paper containing the latest intelligence in order to identify any issues that would merit producing an article for the National Intelligence Daily or the Presidential Daily Brief. (Can you smell the bureaucracy?)
The intelligence I perused consisted of messages from State Department and Embassies overseas, intercepted voice and electronic communications courtesy of the NSA, DIA human intelligence reports and CIA human intelligence reports. Let’s say that after my review I knitted together several pieces of intelligence showing that the Central American leaders were working in secret to produce a peace plan that ran counter to the policy of the President of the United States regarding Nicaragua. I would go to the morning Branch meeting, brief my colleagues and Branch Chief on the story and would get the green light to produce an analytical piece explaining the particulars of the Central American plan.
You must be logged in to post a comment.