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US IC & Foreign Policy

September 16, 2009
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Brookings just published an interesting report entitled, “The US Intelligence Community and Foreign Policy: Getting Analysis Right” — lots of interesting things here, and worth checking out.

The two top findings were:

Overemphasis on the President’s Daily Brief (PDB) – President George W. Bush elevated the PDB to an unprecedented level of importance, which had the unintended effect of skewing intelligence production away from deeper research and arms-length analysis to being driven by the latest, attention-grabbing clandestine reports from the field.


Disappointing National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) – NIEs are meant to be one of the major products of the IC, yet they are frequently too late, too long, and too detailed to serve high-level policymakers well. Moreover, NIE analytic quality is often compromised by the effort to present a unified analytic position, producing reports that can become the lowest common denominator statement that is able to achieve agreement across the IC silos.

Read the whole thing.

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