CIPS Policy Brief No.18, June 2012.
By JOSHUA ROVNER, U.S. Naval War College.
- Some amount of friction is normal in relations between intelligence agencies and policymakers.
- However, intelligence-policy relations become pathological when policymakers neglect intelligence or politicize it.
- The flawed estimates of Iraq’s supposed chemical, biological and nuclear weapons were the result of a complete collapse in intelligence-policy relations. Policy pressure before the war caused intelligence agencies to transform worst-case scenarios.
Joshua Rovner is Associate Professor of Strategy and Policy at the U.S. Naval War College. He is the author of the recent book, Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell University Press, 2011).