Download Paradoxes of Intelligence: Essays in Honor of Michael I. by Richard K. Betts, Thomas Mahnken PDF

By Richard K. Betts, Thomas Mahnken

A part of a 3 half assortment in honour of the lessons of Michael I. Handel, one of many most excellent strategists of the past due twentieth century, this assortment explores the paradoxes of intelligence research, shock and deception from either ancient and theoretical views.

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Paradoxes of Intelligence: Essays in Honor of Michael I. Handel

A part of a 3 half assortment in honour of the lessons of Michael I. Handel, one of many most excellent strategists of the past due twentieth century, this assortment explores the paradoxes of intelligence research, shock and deception from either ancient and theoretical views.

Additional info for Paradoxes of Intelligence: Essays in Honor of Michael I. Handel

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Of course, this is always easier said than done, since even in the largest, most ethnically diverse society there are few who are intimately familiar (in the Weberian sense of ‘Verstehen’) with other cultures; moreover, such experts are not necessarily available for intelligence work. As it is self-evident, this point need not be elaborated upon here. More original is the suggestion calling for intelligence organizations to spend more time studying their own culture and society in depth in order better to comprehend (a) how the adversary reacts to or perceives the observer; and (b) how one’s own environment can bias the perception of another society.

Therefore, the more successful a concept has proven to be as a tool for explanation and prediction, the less its fundamental premises will be questioned. But since few areas of human or political activity remain unchanged in antagonistic situations, its very success is eventually bound to be self-negating. If, however, a concept is not founded on any deep-rooted beliefs, and if it has had limited success as a basis for explanation and prediction, then it will be easier to change. Each of these ideal types has its strong and weak points.

Perhaps the only logical observation that can be made regarding this strategy, on the basis of historical evidence, is that, while it can prevail in the short run, it is bound to fail in the long run. Napoleon and Hitler are the best known practitioners of this approach. ’24 But once someone is prepared to pay a high price, it may be added, his price is actually reduced. This leads to the following paradox: ‘The greater the risk, theless likely it seems to be, and the less risky it actually becomes.

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