Small Wars Journal

Petraeus Orders Increased Military Role in CIA Analysis

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 8:36am

General-turned-Spy-Chief Gives Military Greater Role in CIA Analysis of Afghan War by Kimberly Dozier, Associated Press.

David Petraeus, the former general who led the Afghanistan war and now heads the CIA, has ordered his intelligence analysts to give greater weight to the opinions of troops in the fight... CIA analysts now will consult with battlefield commanders earlier in the process as they help create elements of a National Intelligence Estimate on the course of the war…


Peter J. Munson

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 11:14am

All fine and good as long as CIA does not become a mouthpiece of the often overly optimistic assessments of commanders. Sometimes this is due to apple polishing, other times it is due to genuine tactical success in a given area that does not necessarily reflect any increased operational/strategic success. We need someone to have a more detached and higher-level perspective on these things. Many outside observers have little issue with CIA's pessimism on Afghanistan.

Ken White

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 11:12am

One rather telling item in the article. Interesting phraseology in this quote:<blockquote>"Critics of the change say allowing the military more pushback will have a chilling effect on the analysts’ ability to give the war a failing grade, a senior intelligence official said."</blockquote>

Seems to me that those critics might better have said something to the effect that "...<i>allowing the military more pushback may have an effect on the analysts’ ability to give the war a truly objective assessment</i>, a senior intelligence official said."

I suspect Dozier's version is an accurate summation of the beliefs of many nominally objective and non-political analysts. Pity...