In 1998 Abram Shulsky and Gary Schmitt wrote an essay titled as above. The burden of this essay was a detailed challenge to the methods of intelligence analysis followed by the US Intelligence commmunity since the immediate post-war era when it was largley codified by Sherman Kent. The S&S essay was largely an attempt to persuade that a "social studies research" approach to intelligence analysis was inadequate and that something else should be substituted.
Why is this of interest?
Abram Shulsky was an important member of the "Office of Special Plans" (OSP) in the Pentagon under Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld.
Gary Schmitt is a major figure in the "Project for a New American Century." (PNAC). This group is part of the "galaxy" of organizations inhabited by or created by the Jacobin neocons.
Here is the S&S paper.
I have asked David Habakkuk, a British journalist and scholar specializing in the history of intelligence services to comment on this paper. His remarks are available below, first in excerpt, then through download. He mentions my paper "Bureaucrats versus Artists," so I here offer a link to the paper.
"I stress this, because a characteristic of the neocon approach is that wherever we are, we are back in 1938. Every threat ends up being, in one form or other, Hitler reincarnated. It is difficult to be clear here how far one is dealing with genuine misperception, and how far with manipulative rhetoric. One might say that the S&S paper itself involves a major problem of ambiguity of evidence, in that it is deeply unclear how far one is dealing with conscious distortion or incomprehension: is this an ill-calculated attempt at dealing with intellectual issues relating to intelligence, or a well-calculated piece of propaganda designed to use the technique of the Big Lie in a war against the CIA? What is clear, and in some ways frightening, is the shamelessness. In her 1988 study of ‘The Political Ideas of Leo Strauss’, Shadia Drury portrayed Strauss as an interesting if deeply flawed thinker, but suggested that what was fundamentally unfortunate about him was that ‘he corrupts’; more specifically, he ‘seduces young men into thinking that they belong to special and privileged class of individuals that transcend ordinary humanity and the rules applicable to other people.’" David Habakkuk
I also asked Richard Sale to comment upon both the S&S essay and Habbakkuk’s comments. These appear below first in excerpt and then by download. Pat Lang
" The tragedy of pre-war intelligence was that it was that this tragedy was so willfully entered into. The senior officials of the first Bush administration would tolerate around them only people who were in tune with their views and predilections. People who presented rebutting evidence were not seen as simply making an honest mistake or havein different views but rather as embodying a perverse will that was ignoring truth out of pride and spiteful wickedness. This is hardly the path to humility before the facts that is part of the intellectual equipment of the good intelligence analyst." Richard Sale
Judge for yourself.