Sharpening Strategic Intelligence

Why the CIA Gets It Wrong and What Needs to Be Done to Get It Right

by Richard L. Russell

This book critically examines the weaknesses of American intelligence led by the Central Intelligence Agency in informing presidential decision making on issues of war and peace. It evaluates the CIA's strategic intelligence performance during the Cold War and post-Cold War periods as a foundation for examining the root causes of intelligence failures surrounding the September 11th attacks and assessments of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs in the run up to the Iraq War. The book probes these intelligence failures, which lie in the CIA's poor human intelligence collection and analysis practices. The book argues that none of the post-9/11 intelligence reforms have squarely addressed these root causes of strategic intelligence failure and it recommends measures for redressing these dangerous vulnerabilities in American security.
  • Cambridge University Press; April 2007
  • ISBN: 9780511286919
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Sharpening Strategic Intelligence
  • Author: Richard L. Russell
  • Imprint: Cambridge University Press

In The Press

"Here is a study of the CIA and its weakness that is both hard-hitting and well-informed. More in sorrow than in anger Richard Russell lays out the flaws in intelligence collection and analysis and points the way to improvements. Even if policy-makers do not respond, readers will learn a great deal."
Robert Jervis, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of Political Science, Columbia University