Failure of intelligence is an interested subject that has drawn scholars into explaining its occurrence. Many scholars have given forth their theories in an attempt to explain why intelligence efforts have failed in many cases such as the attack on the Pearl Harbor (Baldino, 2010; Guelke, 2006). Within the intelligence community, subordination of intelligence policy; mirror imaging; received opinion; and unavailability of information when and where needed have been associated with failure in intelligence. Despite the identification of the four reasons, I believe that received opinion and subordination of intelligence to policy are the most common causes of intelligence failure.
Received opinion refers to opinions that are gathered by intelligence systems without putting much emphasis on investigations (Shulsky &Schmitt, 2002). In many cases, I believe that intelligence personnel give opinions that may reduce efforts to carry out investigation on vital issues. As a result, the intelligence efforts will be unreliable and likely to lead to a threat. For instance, Iraq’s attack on Kuwait can be categorized as being a failure of intelligence as a result of received opinion. In this case, intelligence analyst argued that Iraq would not attack Kuwait, although Iraq was moving its troops to Kuwait’s border. Received opinion in this case led to failure of intelligence that could have otherwise prevented the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq.
In addition, subordination of intelligence to policy is another reason that has made intelligence efforts to fail (Shulsky & Schmitt, 2002). This reason often results when analysts are biased towards settling on what their superiors deem as right. In this case, analysts avoid concluding against their superiors. To give an example, the rise of Saddam Hussein was a result of analyst trying to appease him being that he was a dictator. Because of this, Saddam Hussein was overthrown from power yet he had been given an order to vacate Baghdad in peace.