Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Intelligence: Art of the Best Guess

For many years, I’ve lectured on the function of “intelligence,” specifically as a law enforcement policy advisement mechanism. The law enforcement function is no different than the intelligence function in the federal government, as an advisement mechanism to foreign policy.

I describe the intelligence function as the “art of the best guess.” As far as I know, the phrase is original to me. A Google search revealed a usage of the phrase in April 2007 on a different matter. I liken the intelligence function to the construction of a jigsaw puzzle, as an attempt to visualize the big picture. Realistically, the intelligence function is an exercise of divining the present and future by gazing into a murky crystal ball.

A good number of years ago, liberal/leftist factions within the US government stripped away much of the intelligence gathering capacity of the CIA and other government intelligence agencies. That story is beyond the scope of today’s missive, other than to note the serious consequences of such short-sighted action. The dialogue, as to whether or not Saddam Hussein did or did not have weapons of mass destruction and whether or not he attempted to acquire yellow cake from Niger, is case in point. Currently, the back and forth as to the Iranian nuclear bomb intentions is dominant in the news.

The seriousness of the potential possession of an Iranian nuclear bomb is immense given the stated goal of Iranian leaders to eliminate Israel from existence and the desire by Twelver Shi’as to cataclysmically spur the return of the Mahdi, the Twelfth Imam.

Will the Israeli’s bomb Iran, like they did Iraq’s nuclear development in 1981 or Syria in September 2007? Do we bomb Iran’s nuclear development facilities, or don’t we? This is a huge question with potentially serious international consequences. The decision is the ultimate responsibility of the US President. Since the President is to act on our behalf, it is in our best interest to provide him with the finest information possible. When it is all said and done, our intelligence advice is still the art of the best guess, or maybe not so good.

Links in this Blog:
Ahmadinejad: Report a Victory for Iran

Why did Israel unilaterally attack Iraq in 1981?

Israeli Nuclear Suspicions Linked to Raid in Syria