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Intelligence What do we know, need to know, and how do we get there?

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Old 01-03-2017   #1
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Default Failures in intelligence: historical and now

A very astute article on WoTR an Israeli SME, Uri Bar-Joseph; he links the recent Russian activity to historical examples of intelligence failures. A taster at the start:
...the Russian hacking attack of the Democratic National Committee as “the political equivalent of 9/11.” The event constitutes a classic example of a warning failure.
He concludes:
The American intelligence community is known for its outstanding technical collection capabilities, but remains far weaker in human intelligence. It had no valuable spy in Tokyo in 1941, in Moscow and Beijing in 1950, in Baghdad in 1990, or in al Qaeda in 2001. Penkovsky, who played a crucial role in the 1962 crisis, was brought to the CIA by the British. This sad record shows that despite being technologically superior to every other nation, the United States might be ill-equipped for war in the cyber age for the counterintuitive reason that its human intelligence capabilities are not robust enough. The rise of the age of cyber conflict does not obviate the imperative for well-placed human sources. Perhaps the United States should direct more of its efforts in that direction.
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Old 01-04-2017   #2
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Default RE: Intelligence Failures

Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
A very astute article on WoTR an Israeli SME, Uri Bar-Joseph; he links the recent Russian activity to historical examples of intelligence failures. A taster at the start:

He concludes:
It was actually Michael Morrell who equated the DNC hack with 9/11, and I took his claim about as seriously as I took Robert De Niro's. Morrell endorsed Hillary Clinton well before he made this controversial remark, and despite his appearance of bi-partisan service, he was only appointed as a Deputy Director or Acting Director during Obama's tenure.

The US Intelligence Community is well aware that it has historically lacked in HUMINT, especially compared to the Russians, who have successful experience dating back to the 1920s.

Bar-Joseph has no way of knowing whether we have key agents in the Kremlin. Perhaps Obama's relative restraint with respect to Russian provocations is because he has a good idea of Putin's tendencies and intentions.

As for the DNC hack itself, the only shocking aspect was who did the hacking, not what was released (what people already believed) or how much it impacted the election (mostly confined to the Democratic Primary). Had say Qatar been proven to be behind the Access Hollywood tape release, that would change the very nature of that particular leak, which did far more damage in terms of electoral probabilities of success than anything WikiLeaks released.
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cyber, failures, humint, intelligence, russia, sigint, usa

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