Intelligence and Surprise Attack: Failure and Success from Pearl Harbor to 9/11 and Beyond
Brown Bag Lunch
Series: International Security Brown Bag Seminar
Open to the Public - Nye C, Fifth Floor Taubman Building
November 4, 2013
|Speaker:||Erik J. Dahl, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2006–2008; Assistant Professor of National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School|
Related Project: International Security
Intelligence and Surprise Attack examines the puzzle of why surprise attacks so often succeed, even though in most cases warnings had been available beforehand. Author Erik Dahl challenges the conventional wisdom about these intelligence failures, which holds that attacks succeed because warning signals get lost amid noise and intelligence officials lack the imagination to "connect the dots" of available information. By comparing cases of intelligence failure with intelligence success, Dahl finds that the key to success is not more imagination or better analysis, but rather the collection of precise intelligence, combined with the presence of decision makers who will listen to the warnings they receive.
The book offers a new understanding of classic cases such as Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway and provides the most comprehensive analysis available of the intelligence picture before the 9/11 attacks. It is especially timely today, when national security officials warn not only of the threat of terrorist attacks, but also about other kinds of strategic surprise and the risk that a future cyber attack could be the "next Pearl Harbor."
Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.
ISP Program Coordinator
International Security Program, 79 John F. Kennedy St., Mailbox 53, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
HARVARD Kennedy School