Intelligence: Art of the Best Guess
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