Reforming Intelligence: Obstacles to Democratic Control and Effectiveness

By Thomas C. Bruneau; Steven C. Boraz | Go to book overview
Save to active project


Thomas C. Bruneau and Steven C. Boraz


While there is probably agreement on the importance of the topic of studying intelligence, there is little published material on how to do so. This is paradoxical, because as a category of individuals, it would be difficult to find a more self-critical, analytical, and demanding group of people than intelligence personnel. As a profession, they more closely approximate university professors than any other discipline or calling. We thus find it striking that whereas intelligence officers and the organizations within which they function in the intelligence community (IC) are extremely rigorous methodologically in conducting their work, when we turn to the study of intelligence structures and processes by outsiders and retired intelligence professionals, there is little rigor and virtually no consensus on how to research and analyze the IC. The result is that there has been very little accumulation of public knowledge on intelligence (exceptions include the 9/11 and WMD commission reports). When studies of intelligence are in fact published, some of what passes for data or analysis in the unclassified literature can be wrong, and, unlike academia, there is no public control or competing position to correct the errors. Despite the huge array of books and articles referred to in the bibliography, there is, in fact, very little available analysis, and even less comparative analysis, on the organization of intelligence.1

Clearly, the problem in studying the IC is due to the essential, fundamental requirement for secrecy. After all, what intelligence personnel do can be effective only if they do it in secret, and the commitment to maintain secrecy after leaving the community results in minimal exposure and dissemination of information on the IC and its opera


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Reforming Intelligence: Obstacles to Democratic Control and Effectiveness


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 385

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?