Intelligence Failure

Topics: Cold War, Cuba, Fidel Castro Pages: 3 (1028 words) Published: July 23, 2010
This essay will analyze the key factors that may lead the intelligence failures to occur. Through discovering various materials, I find out that the failures are commonly caused by a combination of internal and external errors. Before discussing some reasons for the error, we need to understand the nature of intelligence work. The work is an outcome of team effort, as it consist a series of human endeavours, therefore it cannot be completely accurate. In fact, the intelligence failure could cause an intelligence agency or government to carry out operations that are counterproductive and improper to its own interest. Arguably saying, the worst intelligence failure is a chain of errors that could convert a fiasco to a global crisis. The detailed analysis will be illustrated in the following cases.

A: The Bay of Pigs
In 1961, The Bay of Pigs project, CIA sponsored Cuban exiles to topple the administration of Cuban leader Fidel Castro. After finish the training in Guatemala, the exile army begin their invasion at the Bay of Pigs. As we already know, the outcome was unsuccessful because the exiles were defeated within three days and about 1500 of them were captured. The failure had a negative impact on the Kennedy administration, as they were defeated and brother of the president John F. Kennedy had to sign an agreement to pay 53 million dollar worth of food and medicine in exchange of the imprisoned Cuban exiles. The aftermath of the incident was catastrophic which brought several negative effects upon the administration, the chief of CIA resigned and Kennedy’s faith in CIA had declined. Moreover, this incident directly triggered the Cuba missile crisis in 1962. The entire operation was considered as one of the greatest intelligence failure in the US history. (Trumbull, H pg154)

Internal Errors
The CIA completely underestimated the political and military power of Castro’s regime. As before the invasion, CIA made an assessment on Castro’s...
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