Intelligence and Foreign Policy: A Review Essay

Jervis, Robert

Jervis reviews Christopher Andrew and David Dilks, eds. The Missing Dimension: Govern- ments and Intelligence Communities in the Twentieth Century and Ernest R. May, ed. Knowing One's Enemies: Intelligence Assessment Before the Two World Wars. He introduces his review with the following definitions and clarifications. General Eisenhower pointed out that the U.S. Army treated intelligence as a "stepchild."1 This characterization applied to most countries, at least until the development of surveillance satellites and other technological marvels. Within the military, intelligence has been the "slow track"; aside from a few mavericks, officers were generally shunted into the area when they were deemed unfit for more important tasks. This is not surprising: the job of the military is to fight, and so positions that directly represent this function will have the greatest pres- tige. Foreign ministries, of course, carry out diplomacy, and so one might think that they would value intelligence more highly because of its closer links to this mission. But most diplomats have prided themselves on being generalists and have tended to believe, often correctly, that they can under- stand other countries better than can specialized intelligence officers


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International Security

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Political Science
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March 6, 2015