Perspectives on Security and Terrorism: Analysis of Thinking Straing and Talking Straight: Problems with Intelligence Analysis

Topics: Intelligence, Intelligence agency, Australian Secret Intelligence Service Pages: 3 (1049 words) Published: July 30, 2007
The problems faced by modern intelligence services are inherent to their composition and methods of operation. According to Douglas Hart and Steven Simon, authors of ‘Thinking Straight and Talking Straight: Problems of Intelligence Analysis', such problems include issues with recruitment of personnel, intensely bureaucratic structures, and lack of collaboration between agencies and between other intelligence professionals. This work will consider the above points from the perspective of several other works, and will add novel perspectives to selected issues. According to Simon and Hart, the intelligence community is faced with the need to recruit personnel from a pool that is ill-equipped to deal with challenges posed by the current international environment. They identify the deficiencies within the recruitment pool primarily as a complete lack of critical-thinking abilities. Colonel Andrew Smith has commented on new recruits as well, however from a completely opposite perspective. The Colonel argues that it is practical and acceptable to have fixed "countermeasures" and counter-terrorism models to particular terrorist actions. This removes the need for critical-thinking abilities. It is, however, my concern that having fixed solutions to preconceived problems poses a difficulty should the problem alter in any way. This perspective exemplifies the lack of critical thinking abilities within the intelligence services. His approach denigrates the intelligence community into mindless robots utilising pre-prepared fixes to foreseeable crises. This entails that intelligence personnel will be ill-prepared to face new, unique, and unforseen challenges that occur outside of the predicted parameters. In this respect I agree with Simon and Hart who identify critical-thinking as the primary attribute of would-be counter-terrorism personnel. Furthermore, they suggest that this lack of critical-thinking ability is due to a rise in anti-intellectualism culture....
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