The Causes of Failure
DOI link for The Causes of Failure
The Causes of Failure book
The task of intelligence is to obtain information and to assess it correctly. Because intelligence is not a science it is bound to have mistakes from time to time, which may be caused by factors like insufficient knowledge, general incompetence, deception, self-deception, or bias. Foreign political surprise is more difficult to achieve than military surprise, if only because secrecy has to be maintained for a longer period of time. In today's scientific-technological field major surprises are improbable, given the relatively long lead between the emergence of a new concept and its application. The theories of surprise and intelligence failures have not provided the hoped-for answers, more attention should have been given to intelligence successes in the search for the causes of success and failure. Deception is an integral part of warfare, yet the peacetime manipulation of potential enemies, while frequently attempted, is successful only under certain conditions.