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.
Full text (pdf)

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).

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