The politics and psychology of intelligence and intelligence reform
in Intelligence and national security policymaking on Iraq
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Policymakers say they need and want very good intelligence. Decisionmakers might be better off if they understood the limitations of intelligence but this would place them under intolerable psychological and political pressures. One reason for the intelligence errors about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs is that the US believed that Iraq had an extensive denial and deception program. This explained why the US was seeing only scattered signs of the program. Designing policies that are likely to succeed if the intelligence is good but that will not fail disastrously if it is not is difficult. The main change to come in the aftermath of 9/11 is the establishment of a Director of National Intelligence (DNI) with significant powers over the entire intelligence community.


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