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Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs) by [Rovner, Joshua]
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Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs) Kindle Edition

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Length: 277 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"Intelligence should inform policymakers without pandering to them. In practice, it proves easy to honor either one of these aims but surprisingly hard to accomplish both at once. Joshua Rovner's careful study of the subtle dynamics of this balancing act is a model of intelligent, balanced, and policy-relevant scholarship." Richard K. Betts, Director, Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, Columbia University"

"If leaders are free to disregard unwelcome intelligence estimates, why would they pressure analysts to alter their reports? Joshua Rovner answers this question by identifying how intelligence can empower officials facing domestic political pressures and constraints. Fixing the Facts advances our theoretical and practical understanding of intelligence politicization by highlighting the politics at the heart of the intelligence-policy nexus." James J. Wirtz, Dean of the School of International Graduate Studies, Monterey, California"

"Fixing the Facts is an insightful exploration of how relations between intelligence officers and policymakers too often go sour.Joshua Rovner convincingly shows that politicization has been a persistent phenomenon and that many of the best-known errors and controversies involving intelligence are rooted in politics and in efforts by leaders to sell their policies to the public." Paul R. Pillar, Georgetown University, former senior CIA official"

"In this rigorous and penetrating examination of the oft-mentioned but virtually opaque mystery of how politicization affects intelligence work, Joshua Rovner accomplishes more even furnishing a taxonomy of the genus than anyone in decades. No interested reader or intelligence professional can afford to miss Fixing the Facts." John Prados, author of How the Cold War Ended "

"Does intelligence shape policy, or do policy and politics shape intelligence? Joshua Rovner's careful theorizing and in-depth historical studies provide a comprehensive and systematic analysis of the complex relationships among intelligence, policy, and politics. Fixing the Facts is essential reading for theorists, historians, and the intelligence and policy communities." Jack S. Levy, Board of Governors' Professor, Rutgers University"

About the Author

Joshua Rovner is the John Goodwin Tower Professor of International Politics and National Security at Southern Methodist University, where he also serves as Director of Studies at the Tower Center for Political Studies.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1299 KB
  • Print Length: 277 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (29 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005F667E2
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,663,302 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A thrilling yet tightly written book with bags of facts and links to many other of organisations in the murky world of Intelligence collection and analysis. Fascinating quotes from multiple actors and politicians who appear naive and only focussed on their own ends and not that of independent intelligence analysts who strive to be objective. In the undersea world of Intelligence this adds real SA to your understanding for the environment.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9991aa74) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99a55ba0) out of 5 stars It Takes Two: Strategic Intelligence and National Security Policy 30 Sept. 2011
By Retired Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In the U.S., the relationship between strategic intelligence and the formulation of national security policies has been to say the least complex and often confusing. This book provides what has long been needed, an objective and scholarly review of this relationship.

Rovner provides an excellent theoretical background to guide his examination of specific case histories that he has chosen to illustrate the relationships between strategic intelligence and policy. Ideally intelligence analysts should be able to operate without interference to produce strategic intelligence reports that are honest, objective, and supported by the best information available. Again ideally policy makers should be free to challenge such reports. Finally both analysts and policymakers should be able to hold rational discussions over differences in interpretation and conclusions in which the supporting evidence is considered objectively. Unfortunately this ideal is often thwarted by what Rovner calls "the pathologies of intelligence-policy relations." He has identified three such `pathologies': 1) neglect-policy makers ignore intelligence that does not fit their assumptions; 2) politicalization-the most egregious of the pathologies and one that has several different forms; and 3) excessive harmonization - intelligence analysts and policymakers are in such close agreement that they fail to critically scrutinize their conclusions. In the course of his discussion, Rovner also makes an interesting observation about secrecy. Secrecy he notes can be used by intelligence agencies as a source of power and as a means to support dubious analysis. Policymakers can use secrecy to support dubious policy decisions by implying that there classified evidence supporting their conclusions.

In any event Rovner provides case studies from the Vietnam War, the ongoing controversy of Soviet Military capability and intentions, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. These case studies accurately illustrate the pathologies hampering of productive intelligence-policymaker relations. Rovner does not assign blame but explains how this relationship got off track.

Originally, U.S. Strategic intelligence was largely produced by the Office of National Estimates (ONE) of CIA from 1947 through 1972. ONE was an in house CIA operation whose main analytic arm was the powerful Board of National Estimates (BNE) under the legendary Sherman Kent. BNE actually produced very good strategic intelligence which was often ignored by policymakers. For example as the U.S. moved toward ever greater commitments in South Vietnam based on the so-called "domino theory", it BNE that produced two estimates pointing out that this theory was hopelessly flawed. They were ignored, but were nonetheless presented good intelligence. President Nixon decided that ONE was too independent and ordered it disbanded and replaced with the more politically pliable National Intelligence Council (NIC) and a system of National Intelligence Officers who could be political appointees. This began the long process of decline of the U.S. ability to produce accurate strategic intelligence.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b15715c) out of 5 stars Politicization of Intelligence 27 Sept. 2013
By F. Rafiq - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author presents several cases that explain his model, but offers no cases in non-democracies where politicization of intelligence can occur. Additional analyses should be done for autocratic and hybrid regimes on intelligence-policy relations function.
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