Rubles, Dollars, and Power: U.S. Intelligence on the Soviet Economy and Long-Term Competition

Rubles, Dollars, and Power: U.S. Intelligence on the Soviet Economy and Long-Term Competition

This response essay explores some of the key areas of agreement and disagreement between two recent articles on Cold War-era assessments of the Soviet economy.

Beacon and Warning: Sherman Kent, Scientific Hubris, and the CIA’s Office of National Estimates

Beacon and Warning: Sherman Kent, Scientific Hubris, and the CIA’s Office of National Estimates

Sherman Kent, the Yale historian who directed the Office of National Estimates from 1952 to 1967, is a legend at the CIA, revered for professionalizing U.S. intelligence analysis. His analytic doctrine, steeped as it was in a commitment to reason and method,…

Introducing TNSR’s Fourth Issue: Allies & Enemies

Introducing TNSR’s Fourth Issue: Allies & Enemies

This past summer, after 31 years as a member of its editorial leadership team, Sean Lynn Jones announced his retirement from running International Security. Sean is a giant among journal editors and will be missed.

TNSR: Who We Are, What We Do, and Why You Should Care

TNSR: Who We Are, What We Do, and Why You Should Care

The Texas National Security Review launches today. What do you need to know about this ambitious project aimed at changing the way we generate policy-relevant and policy-accessible knowledge about the world's toughest challenges?

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                    [post_content] => Grand strategy is one of those concepts that almost everyone agrees is important, but almost no one agrees on what it is, how it is designed, how it is implemented, how it is observed, and how it is evaluated. While the past two decades have brought a renaissance in scholarship on grand strategy, it often seems as if many scholars are talking past each other in disputations over what the best grand strategy should be without first agreeing on a common language defining terms, levels of analysis, and primary actors. As Rebecca Friedman Lissner writes in her article in this issue, “despite its importance, the proliferation of academic and policy-analytical work on grand strategy has left the field disjointed, conceptually inconsistent, and difficult to navigate.”

The Texas National Security Review does not pretend to resolve these normative debates — indeed, those questions will be endlessly debated into the fullness of time. Yet with this issue, featuring several articles on grand strategy, we do hope to bring some clarity and common intellectual ground for how these debates can best be conducted. And befitting our multidisciplinary nature, the articles are written by both political scientists and historians. Paul Avey, Jonathan Markowitz, and Robert Reardon proffer a framework for defining and assessing four schools of thought on grand strategy, while Lissner distills three types of research agendas based on three different understandings of what grand strategy entails. In this same milieu, TNSR editorial board chairman Francis Gavin’s pathbreaking article on the misunderstood role of nuclear weapons in American grand strategy simultaneously punctures some myths, offers important new findings, and highlights several questions needing further research. Meanwhile, going from grand strategy down to strategy and tactics, John Maurer uses history to test and refine political science theory, and put scholarship in the service of policy relevance, with a fascinating historical case study of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972.

Our “Strategist” section also addresses questions of grand strategy, primarily in the realm of the emerging great power contest with Russia and China and the concomitant questions of what roles instruments, such as nuclear weapons, international institutions, and military exercises, will play. Scott Cuomo, in the vanguard of the Marine Corp’s next generation of strategic thinkers, recommends some assertive new steps for the United States to counter China’s growing aggression in the Western Pacific. Elbridge Colby, most recently one of the lead architects of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, explores how the United States can maintain America’s defense commitments to its allies through extended deterrence and a more creative balance of conventional and nuclear forces. Turning to the ideational and institutional dimensions of great power competition, Liza Tobin assesses what President Xi Jinping’s “community of common destiny” concept means for China’s ambitions in reshaping the international order. Finally, Ralph Clem offers some cautionary notes on the destabilizing effect that military exercises can have by increasing the risk of war, especially in the context of NATO and Russia.

This print issue marks TNSR’s arrival into its second year as a publication. We are mindful that in the saturated marketplace of academic and policy journals, any new entrant such as TNSR needs to justify its existence. Why should readers pay attention to yet another journal? Helped by this new edition, I hope the growing collection of original and insightful articles that have appeared in these pages is providing a persuasive answer to that question. In putting peer-reviewed scholarship alongside insightful policy commentary, in featuring distinguished academics as well as younger scholars who are emerging luminaries in the field, in crossing disciplinary boundaries, and especially in tackling compelling issues of statecraft and strategy, we believe that TNSR occupies unique and valuable territory. Thank you for being among our faithful readers and walking this new path with us.

 

William Inboden is editor-in-chief of the Texas National Security Review. He is also executive director and William Powers, Jr. Chair at the Clements Center for National Security, associate professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and Distinguished Scholar at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, all at the University of Texas-Austin.

 
                    [post_title] => Introducing Vol. 2, Iss. 1 of TNSR: Hanging in the Balance of Terror
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Editor's Note: This essay is the first of a new feature for the Texas National Security Review. From this point forward, we will be publishing thoughtful and original responses to scholarship and essays published here and in other journals.

  Andrew W. Marshall and Abram N. Shulsky, “Assessing Sustainability of Command Economies and Totalitarian Regimes: The Soviet Case,” Orbis 62, no. 2 (Spring 2018), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orbis.2018.02.011. Marc Trachtenberg, “Assessing Soviet Economic Performance During the Cold War: A Failure of Intelligence?” Texas National Security Review 1, no. 2 (March 2018), http://hdl.handle.net/2152/63942.   The 2018 National Defense Strategy articulates a clear vision that “[t]he central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security is the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition” with authoritarian Russia and China.[1] Such long-term competition has many facets, but perhaps the most salient component is the economic performance of these competitors. Economic growth, financial power, and technological development are the engines for military capability and diplomatic leverage.[2] To paraphrase Cicero, the sinews of competition are infinite money. As U.S. policymakers consider this new era of long-term strategic competition, it is useful to reflect on the economic component of the last such era: the Cold War. U.S. intelligence analysts struggled to understand the opaque Soviet economic system. How well was it doing compared to the United States’ economic system? Could this authoritarian model sustain or perhaps even prevail in long-term competition? The answers to these questions were difficult, contested, and politically charged, both during the Cold War and in its aftermath.[3] Similar questions are being asked today about the Chinese economy, making this more than an issue of historical interest.[4] Fortunately, two recent articles revisiting Cold War-era intelligence on the Soviet economy provide an accessible entry point for those grappling with such questions today. The first is by two participants in the original debate about the Soviet economy. Andrew Marshall was founding director of the Office of Net Assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense after more than two decades as an economist at the RAND Corporation. Abram Shulsky was minority staff director for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence before joining the Defense Department during the Reagan administration. The second article was written by Marc Trachtenberg, one of the preeminent historians of U.S. strategy and the Cold War.[5] The two articles are strikingly different in tone: Marshall and Shulsky are critical of U.S. intelligence and Trachtenberg is more laudatory. Nevertheless, a deeper examination shows they are much more complementary than contradictory. This “Response” essay intends to highlight some of the key areas of agreement and disagreement between the two articles and provide additional context for readers. It proceeds in five parts: First, it summarizes the basic arguments put forward in each article. Second, it describes, based on the domestic context and declassified records, the impact that intelligence regarding the general state of the Soviet economy had on U.S. policymaking in the late Cold War (roughly from 1974 to 1989). Third, it examines in more detail the critical question of the Soviet economy’s ability to support its military and foreign policy commitments. Fourth, it highlights an area not addressed substantially by either article, namely Soviet acquisition of Western technology through both lawful and illicit means. Finally, the essay concludes with observations on intelligence, economics, and long-term competition.

The Stansfield Turner Paradox: Opposing Views on Economic Intelligence

The different perspectives of the two articles are encapsulated in the paradox of one former official: the recently deceased retired Adm. Stansfield Turner, who was director of central intelligence under President Jimmy Carter (1977–1981). Marshall and Shulsky quote Turner’s 1991 Foreign Affairs article in their introduction: “We should not gloss over the enormity of this failure to forecast the magnitude of the Soviet crisis.”[6] They later quote Turner’s article again: “Neither I nor the CIA’s analysts reached the conclusion that eventually something had to give: that there would be a political and economic crisis.”[7] Yet Trachtenberg quotes Turner’s testimony to Congress in 1979, in which he said, “The low growth rates we envision for the mid-1980s could squeeze their resources to the point where something has to give.”[8] How could Turner argue in 1991 that the CIA never concluded “something had to give” when he had testified in 1979 using almost exactly those words? Marshall and Shulsky address this paradox by first discussing views within economics on command economies and how they evolved from the 1930s to the 1970s. They report that economists were generally positive about the economic potential of command economies, such as the Soviet Union, into the early 1960s. They then describe some of the challenges for CIA analysts seeking to estimate the size and growth of the Soviet economy. These included reliance on deeply suspect Soviet statistics, which were almost surely inflated intentionally, both by Soviet leaders for propaganda purposes and by Soviet producers, who had incentives to misreport or otherwise “game” the presentation of results. Marshall and Shulsky highlight the example of Soviet glass manufacturers having their output measured in square feet (or meters) of glass and then making the glass thinner to meet planned goals. Never mind that the rate of glass breakage went up. Quotas were met, if not exceeded. Yet how to account for this inflation in estimates? One could apply a discount to Soviet data, but how much? Without hard data, any such adjusted estimate would be subject to attack for being merely “anecdotal.” Marshall and Shulsky quote Anders Aslund’s summation of this problem:
Any specialist is caught in a dilemma: whether to settle for a conservative assessment that can be defended by traditional arguments but is bound to be too high, or to attempt a realistic assessment based more on subjective evaluations and less on hard facts.[9]
Marshall and Shulsky concede that whatever the challenges and limitations of CIA analysis of the Soviet economy, by the 1960s CIA analysts recognized that Soviet economic growth was slowing. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the CIA reported falling productivity as well as other challenges to the Soviet economy. However, Marshall and Shulsky argue that “the numbers did not convey any sense of crisis.”[10] Marshall and Shulsky then turn from analysis of overall Soviet economic performance to specific assessment of the Soviet defense burden — a crucial question for long-term competition. How much of the Soviet economy was being consumed by the Soviet military in order to compete with the United States? Here the CIA faced analytic hurdles at least equal to those faced in assessing the size of the Soviet economy. Prices for Soviet defense goods were set not by the market but by fiat. Prices for Soviet defense labor were likewise decreed (and suppressed by conscription). Some activities that were nominally civilian were, no doubt, underwriting military activities. Marshall and Shulsky also note how difficult cost calculations can be even with official figures, citing a RAND study from the 1950s:
Even with access to official budgetary figures, the [RAND] team discovered it could only account for about half of the USAF [U.S. Air Force] budget; the other half represented various forms of ‘overhead’ that could not be allocated by mission.[11]
These challenges meant that, through the mid-1970s, the CIA persistently underestimated the defense burden on the Soviet Union. In 1976, Marshall and Shulsky note, after obtaining new information, the “CIA doubled its estimate of the defense percentage of Soviet GNP [Gross National Product] from 6-8 percent to 11-13 percent.”[12] Yet, Marshall and Shulsky then quote Robert Gates, the CIA deputy director of intelligence in the early 1980s (who would later serve as defense secretary):
I believed instinctively that, in this communist variant of Sparta, the burden of military-related spending was far greater than the 14-16 percent of Soviet Gross National Product that CIA was saying — perhaps somewhere between 25 and 40 percent.[13]
Marshall and Shulsky conclude their essay with a call for intelligence to exploit non-traditional sources of information, such as émigrés and figures on general standards of living, as a way to improve intelligence analysis of opaque economies. Their answer to the Stansfield Turner paradox is that in 1979 Turner may have used the words “something has to give” but those words did not convey crisis. Since the numbers the CIA produced were not intuitively indicative of crisis (indeed, how could they be?), policymakers believed the Soviets could carry their defense burden for years if not decades to come. Even when the CIA revised its numbers upward, there was still a belief, as Gates indicated, the estimates remained low. There was, however, no way to prove this in a systematically and scientifically defensible manner. Thus, Turner was correct in 1991 despite his words of 1979. Trachtenberg reaches the opposite conclusion about the Stansfield Turner paradox. Citing sources as varied as headlines in the New York Times, declassified CIA products, and a wealth of information from prominent U.S. economists, he demonstrates that the decline of Soviet economic growth after the mid-1960s was well understood. He further shows that, by the late 1970s and early 1980s, it was generally understood that the Soviet economy was in such dire shape that the entire Soviet system of government was in trouble, if not already in crisis. [quote id="1"] Trachtenberg demonstrates both CIA and academic economists understood why the Soviet economy was stagnating. The answer was that “the Soviets could not sustain a high rate of economic growth just by plowing more and more capital into the economy.”[14] After years of building new plants and opening up “virgin lands” for agriculture, “by the mid-1960s all the low-hanging fruit had been harvested.”[15] Future growth would require improvements in Soviet productivity, which had declined at times in the 1970s. Trachtenberg, again citing both CIA and academic economists, concludes that by the 1970s at the latest it was clear “that the USSR’s economic problems could be expected to worsen unless the Soviet economy changed in fundamental ways.”[16] Neither CIA analysts nor academics could predict whether the Soviets would attempt reform or live with continued stagnation and relative decline. Nor could they determine whether, if the Soviets attempted reform, they would succeed without undermining their entire system. Yet, Trachtenberg argues,
while the analysis might not have enabled people to see precisely how the USSR was going to develop, it did provide a certain window into the future — a hazy and uncertain window to be sure, but one of real value nonetheless.[17]
Trachtenberg concludes by observing that the wide public acceptance of Turner’s view on intelligence and the Soviet economy in 1991, despite the availability of his testimony in 1979 as well as other evidence, illustrates the weakness of the supposed democratic “marketplace of ideas” — the concept that contesting information leads to better decisions. This argument is in keeping with other arguments about the failure of this marketplace, particularly with regard to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[18] Trachtenberg does not speculate why Turner might have contradicted himself, though Turner’s poor relationship with the CIA is a plausible cause. As one CIA history notes, Turner bluntly let the CIA’s analytic cadre know its products were unsatisfactory and he intended to take steps to improve them. This account dryly concludes this “was probably a purposeful instrument of leadership, but it did not foster links between Turner and the professionals in the community, especially in [the] CIA.”[19] At first glance, these two articles appear contradictory — and so one must be right and the other wrong. On the question of intelligence on the overall Soviet economy, however, the two articles are not so far apart. Marshall and Shulsky believe that if CIA analysis were better it could have been less equivocal in predicting crisis (note Turner’s 1979 formulation — “could squeeze,” not “will squeeze”). Trachtenberg concedes that the CIA gave policymakers only a “hazy window” to the future — a more positive assessment than that offered by Marshall and Shulsky, but not wildly divergent. The dispute between the articles is not about the quality of the intelligence per se, which both agree was imperfect. It is instead about the utility of that intelligence to policymakers in assessing and planning long-term competition. The next section addresses this question.

Malaise vs. Stagnation: Policymaker Views of Economic Competition, 1974–1989

Competition is not a one-sided affair. As such, it is important to place analysis of the Soviet economy in the context of the state of the U.S. economy. By the mid-1970s, though the Soviets were mired in what they called the “era of stagnation” (Период застоя), the United States’ problems looked almost as grim.[20] The Bretton Woods economic system was in tatters following President Richard Nixon’s suspension of dollar-gold convertibility.[21] President Gerald Ford was confronted with rising inflation, unemployment, and the 1973 oil shock.[22] Of the late Cold War presidents, President Jimmy Carter confronted the most serious economic challenges. In his famous 1979 “malaise” or “crisis of confidence” speech, Carter declared, “The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America.” Among his proposed solutions: “I ask Congress to give me authority for mandatory conservation and for standby gasoline rationing.”[23] The U.S. crisis was sufficiently deep that the president sought to impose new elements of a command economy — hardly a ringing endorsement of capitalism’s triumph over communism. Policymakers in the 1970s were unsure whether economic problems in the West were any more soluble than those in the Soviet Union. Moreover, if the United States could reform itself, it was plausible the Soviets might be able to do so as well. Indeed, the communist People’s Republic of China had begun substantial reforms in 1978, which the Soviets monitored closely.[24] As Chris Miller demonstrates, Mikhail Gorbachev’s attempted reforms were, in part, inspired by China’s efforts.[25] This point bears emphasis, as the ultimate impact of such efforts was largely unknowable to both CIA analysts and Soviet leaders before reform was attempted, underscoring the difficulty in predicting Soviet crisis or collapse. It is also important to note that, even within the CIA, views differed about the depth of Soviet problems, with some analysts more pessimistic than others about prospects for the Soviet economy.[26] American intelligence on the overall Soviet economy was, nonetheless, sufficiently compelling to illuminate future, if not immediate, opportunities for U.S. policymakers even in the Carter administration. An August 1977 meeting of Carter’s Policy Review Committee (composed of senior figures including Turner and Treasury Secretary W. Michael Blumenthal) concluded,
At the present time, we cannot exert significant influence upon Soviet behavior by economic means. … Yet, we may be missing an important point. If economic growth in the Soviet Union slows as projected, the Soviets will face difficult choices in the 1980’s regarding the allocation of resources. Does this have implications for US policy? Conceivably, our economic leverage may be much stronger than now, and we may have a unique opportunity to use it.[27]
Carter personally recognized the importance of the Soviet Union’s economic challenges. In June 1977, William Hyland, a top Soviet analyst at the CIA serving on the National Security Council staff, wrote to the president on enduring Soviet problems: “While it is always dangerous to project Soviet restraint because of their economic dilemma, it may be true for the first time that long-term problems will impinge on foreign policy decisions.” Carter made a margin note, “may be most important of all,” next to this paragraph.[28] By the early 1980s, the United States had begun its reformation and recovery, while the Soviet Union’s problems were deepening. One example is the taming of U.S. inflation under Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, with inflation rates declining from about 13 percent in 1979 to less than 4 percent in 1983.[29] The Reagan administration began receiving intelligence on the worsening Soviet problem in the context of this U.S. economic recovery. This provided exactly the sort of opportunities the Carter administration thought would come. As early as October 1981, Director of Central Intelligence William Casey sent President Ronald Reagan a CIA paper that underscored the dire straits the Soviets were in:
Slower economic growth will present President Brezhnev and his colleagues with some increasingly tough and politically painful choices regarding resource allocation and economic management. Annual increments to national output in the early 1980s will be too small to permit them simultaneously to meet mounting investment requirements, to maintain growth in defense spending at rates of the past, and raise the standard of living appreciably. Simply stated, something will have to give.[30]
The paper went on to note that Western imports were needed to ameliorate Soviet weaknesses, which could, in turn, create opportunities for pressuring the Soviets. In August 1982, Reagan’s national security adviser, William Clark, wrote to the president reiterating this theme:
The CIA has prepared a report which raises the question whether the Soviet Union, facing mounting economic problems, may at some point decide to shift resources from arms production to civilian uses … Western policies would play a major role in such a development. ‘The credit, goods, food and technology provided by the West have helped Moscow maintain its current resource allocation scheme.’ Denial of such assistance would produce additional pressure on the leadership to shift resources from military to civilian uses.[31]
Things did not improve for the Soviets, and in November 1987 Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Gates wrote to Reagan:
There is general agreement among the Soviet leaders on the need to modernize their economy — not so much for its own sake or to make Soviet citizens more prosperous but to strengthen the USSR at home, to further their own personal power, and to permit the further consolidation and expansion of Soviet power abroad. … The roots of Gorbachev’s dynamic foreign policy are to be found at home and in the need for a prolonged breathing space.[32]
Gates was skeptical that reform and the pursuit of “breathing space” would fundamentally change the nature of the Soviet regime, but he recognized that economic issues were changing Soviet domestic and foreign policy. Hyland’s view in 1977 had been borne out 10 years later. While Gates did not foresee impending collapse, he clearly believed the Soviet system was under pressure. Notably, Reagan absorbed these messages: As Trachtenberg describes, he referred to the Soviet Union as an “ec.[onomic] basket case” in a 1985 diary entry.[33] It is also worth noting that the Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy, a bipartisan effort chartered to offer the U.S. government strategic advice on long-term competition, released a final report in January 1988. It argued that Soviet economic difficulties were potentially a major element of a changing security landscape and concluded, “In the long run, the Soviet leaders would have difficulty maintaining the country’s present military position if economic reform fails.” Marshall chaired one of the committee’s working groups, as did other alumni from RAND’s economics department.[34] [quote id="2"] Intelligence on the Soviet economy appears to have been sufficiently accurate and compelling to convince policymakers in the Carter and Reagan administrations that Soviet economic weakness created opportunities for the United States in long-term competition. While it is true that, through 1988, the CIA did not foresee a collapse or fundamental change in the Soviet system, it was nonetheless clear that something had to give — a phrase that appears in multiple sources throughout the period. The available evidence suggests that Trachtenberg’s “hazy window” on the Soviet economy was sufficient to aid policymakers in formulating strategy.

How Weary the Red Titan? The Soviet Defense Burden and Long-Term Competition

If Trachtenberg is correct about the utility of U.S. intelligence on the overall Soviet economy, he says little about the crucial question of the Soviet defense burden. If the Soviet economy was stagnating in the 1980s but the defense burden was relatively small, the Soviet leadership might be able to soldier on with long-term competition as it had in the 1960s and 1970s. The hard choices CIA analysts believed were coming could be put off. In contrast, if the defense burden was high and the economy was stagnating, the Soviet leadership might not be able to delay those hard choices, even if they gained the “breathing space” Gates believed they sought. Marshall and Shulsky are right to highlight the weakness of the CIA’s assessment of the Soviet defense burden through the mid-1970s, echoing arguments Marshall made while in government.[35] These internal critiques were mirrored by external critics, such as former CIA analyst William T. Lee and University of North Carolina professor Steven Rosefielde.[36] The doubling of the CIA’s estimate of the defense burden in the mid-1970s underscores the validity of these critiques, at least to that point. Marshall and Shulsky say little about efforts to improve analysis of the defense burden, which the CIA and the intelligence community generally took as a serious challenge. One of the most notable efforts was the formation, in 1972, of the Military-Economic Advisory Panel. This panel was chartered “to help insure [sic] that intelligence on Soviet defense spending provided to the US decision maker was of the highest quality.” Members of the panel were to be granted “access to the full range of information and methodologies in use and will have full access to all intelligence community resources involved in this work.”[37] The panel was, in 1976, chaired by Herbert Levine, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the leading authorities on the Soviet economy. Other members included Abraham Becker, a Soviet expert at RAND and Lt. Col. Lee Badgett, an economics professor at the Air Force Academy who previously had been a military assistant to Marshall at the Office of Net Assessment. Throughout its existence, the panel would maintain a record of distinguished members and consultants, including Ivan Selin, a former RAND and Defense Department analyst; Soviet émigré economist Igor Birman; and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Stephen Meyer. Outside expert panels have a mixed track record, but available CIA records, including the panel’s reports to Turner when he was director of central intelligence, seem to indicate that this panel provided helpful recommendations without calling into question the CIA’s basic methodology.[38] One minor note of irony regarding the presentation of information: The CIA’s computer model for estimating the costs of Soviet military expenditures was known as the Strategic Cost Analysis Model, or SCAM.[39] To my knowledge, the Military-Economic Advisory Panel never suggested that this acronym was infelicitous branding. Yet by 1983, after several rounds of reviewing CIA methodologies, the panel concluded that one of the major problems with CIA estimates of the Soviet defense burden was the extent to which those estimates were misunderstood and politicized.[40] The panel made recommendations for changing the presentation of the estimates; these were broadly accepted at a meeting on Soviet defense estimates between Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and Director of Central Intelligence William Casey in July 1984.[41] Casey wrote to Weinberger in 1985 to confirm these changes were being implemented.[42] In a 1986 CIA report, these changes are clear: The estimate of the Soviet defense burden displayed the burden in a different format and also counted the costs of Soviet programs related to defense, such as the cost of maintaining the Soviet global position, sometimes referred to as the cost of Soviet empire.[43] The “cost of empire,” which included military and economic assistance to the Soviet bloc, had been defined and explored in research by RAND economist Charles Wolf, funded by the Office of Net Assessment.[44] While some in the CIA debated the magnitude of Wolf’s findings, the eventual inclusion of such costs meant that assessments in 1986 retrospectively showed the Soviets devoting 16 percent to 18 percent of their economy to defense in the late 1970s and early 1980s.[45] In addition to improving analytic methods, CIA analysts also took seriously Marshall and Shulsky’s charge to find new sources of data. One of the most remarkable — though not specific to the defense burden — was undertaken in 1967 by CIA analyst Gertrude Schroeder (later an economics professor at the University of Virginia). Schroeder, on temporary assignment to the U.S. embassy in Moscow, took the opportunity to travel around the capital and other parts of the Soviet Union incognito, relying on her excellent Russian and “a tacky outfit consisting of gray-green skirt, nondescript tan blouse, much-worn brown loafers, and of course head scarf,” with no stockings. After observing life from the perspective of a Soviet citizen during these excursions, she concluded, “[O]ur measurements of the position of Soviet consumers in relation to those of the United States (and Western Europe) favor the USSR to a much greater extent than I had thought. The ruble-dollar ratios are far too low for most consumer goods.”[46] [quote id="3"] Accessing such novel sources was challenging. For example, Vladimir Treml, a Duke University economics professor serving on the Military-Economic Advisory Panel in 1982, recommended the intelligence community explore unpublished material in various Eastern European libraries to collect data deleted from official Soviet publications. While reasonable, collecting the material required “language[-]trained economists,” who were in short supply. Further, CIA leaders concluded that the sources would be compromised by CIA analysts seeking to access them and nongovernment economists were “reluctant to work with us [the CIA].” The director of the Office of Soviet Analysis at the CIA nonetheless cheerfully (if perhaps cynically) concluded, “Somewhere in this mess, however, there must be a pony! We’ll keep looking.”[47] Estimates of the Soviet defense burden remained a challenge through the end of the Cold War and afterward. As William Wohlforth has observed, even after the Soviet Union collapsed there was debate about the size of the defense burden.[48] One of the most authoritative efforts, by Russian historian Irina Bystrova, concludes that the Soviet military-industrial complex accounted for about 25 percent of Soviet gross domestic product in the 1980s while absorbing 75 percent of research and development as well as the best technical people.[49] Although Bystrova’s estimate of the defense burden is significantly higher than the 1980s CIA estimate (16 percent to 18 percent), the goal of making such estimates was not finding the exact figure. As with assessments of the overall economy, the objective was to inform policymakers of how well the Soviet economy could carry the burden of competition. Here, it seems clear by the 1980s the intelligence was telling policymakers that the Soviet Union was struggling under that burden. In a note to Gates two days before the July 1984 meeting between Casey and Weinberger, National Intelligence Officer for Economic Issues Maurice Ernst wrote:
Evidence is accumulating that medium-term projections of Soviet force levels … would require a growth of military expenditures and military procurement in particular that many Soviet analysts believe to be greatly in excess of what the Soviet economy can probably support. Something will have to give. I don’t believe we can hazard an answer at this point, but simply point out to the Director and Weinberger that at a minimum a severe conflict is shaping up in the USSR over the allocation of key resources between defense and other uses, and that the outcome of the conflict remains in doubt.[50]
Marshall and Shulsky’s criticisms of CIA estimates of the Soviet defense burden are thus valid up to a point, but they give too little credit to subsequent efforts to improve those estimates. Indeed, Marshall may be selling himself short — his bureaucratic advocacy and willingness to support outside research seems to have been an important contribution to the improvement in estimates. The result was that, by the mid-1980s, policymakers were well-informed that the Soviet defense burden was becoming unsustainable. That the burden of competition could even be sustained into the 1980s seems to have been due in no small part to Soviet acquisition of Western technology, as described in the next section.

Been Caught Stealing: The Rise and Fall of Soviet Technology Acquisition

As noted earlier, by the late 1970s CIA estimates recognized the extent to which Western exports had supported the Soviet economy. Yet the extent of Soviet reliance on the acquisition of Western technology would not become clear until the early 1980s. A summit in July 1981 between Reagan and French President François Mitterrand was crucial. There, the French revealed intelligence on Soviet acquisition of technology. The “Farewell Dossier” was derived from a French human intelligence source inside Soviet technical intelligence (KGB Line X).[51] By 1982, the U.S. intelligence community described the sprawling scope of the Soviet program, which was directed by the Soviet Military Industrial Commission.[52] It included both the KGB and Soviet military intelligence, which provided clandestine acquisition, and the Soviet State Committee for Science and Technology, which oversaw licit acquisition. The Soviet program was massive. One former Reagan administration official told me that when a new technical endeavor was proposed in the Soviet Union, Soviet practice was to try to obtain the technology from the West, through legal or illicit means, before agreeing to fund any major research and development.[53] This claim was echoed in a CIA assessment from April 1982, which noted, “Soviet military designers carefully choose the Western designs, engineering approaches, and equipment most appropriate to their deficiencies and needs.”[54] A 1985 update on Soviet acquisition of Western technology noted that, by a conservative estimate, the Soviets had saved more than $1 billion in development costs from 1976 to 1980 thanks to their technology theft. The assessment noted the Soviets had saved five years in development due to acquisitions related to the U.S. F-18 fighter-jet radar alone. This undoubtedly helped the Soviet Union continue competing with the United States, even as its economy tottered toward collapse.[55] The Reagan administration’s recognition of the importance of Soviet technology acquisition led to a major counterintelligence and export-control campaign. This effort, which began in early 1982, required extensive coordination among the CIA, the FBI, and military counterintelligence organizations, with the regular involvement of very senior U.S. officials.[56] The campaign had four parts. The first and simplest was for the United States and many of its allies to expel Soviet intelligence officers engaged in technical espionage.[57] The second was to enforce Western export controls more seriously, including acting against the sale of equipment by Norwegian and Japanese firms that enabled Soviet improvements in submarine manufacturing.[58] The third part of the campaign was, apparently, to tailor the focus of other U.S. counterintelligence efforts to protect sensitive programs. For example, a U.S. Air Force officer, approached by Soviet intelligence, became a double agent pretending to provide the Soviets with information on stealth. This led to the arrest and expulsion of the senior Soviet air attaché in Washington.[59] The fourth, and most complex, part of the campaign was allegedly to feed the Soviets faulty technology and false data about U.S. programs, which required careful selection of some real data as “feed material.”[60] [quote id="4"] This campaign was broadly effective, reducing Soviet acquisition of Western technology and, presumably, curtailing the effective subsidization of the Soviet defense burden. While the extent to which cutting off Soviet access to Western technology accelerated the end of the Cold War is probably unknowable, it almost surely contributed by raising the cost of competition for the Soviets.

Long-Term Competition and Economic Intelligence in the 21st Century

The Cold War experience of economic intelligence and long-term competition is instructive. First, in developing strategy for long-term competition, intelligence on competitors’ economic capabilities is just as important as intelligence on their military capabilities. This point underscores the continuing need for robust economic analysis in the intelligence community, ideally drawing on appropriately cleared, outside experts like those on the Military-Economic Advisory Panel. One difference between analysis of the Soviet Union in the Cold War and assessments of China and Russia today is that there is far greater private-sector interest in, and therefore analysis of, the Chinese and Russian economies. This is a mixed blessing for the intelligence community. There are many more experts and sources of data, but many of those experts have a financial (rather than strictly academic) stake in the Chinese and Russian economies and therefore may not be entirely unbiased. Second, it highlights the necessity (and difficulty) of appropriately measuring a defense burden. While Chinese growth will undoubtedly continue to underwrite defense expenditure to some extent, China may, like the Soviet Union (and the United States), face hard choices. For example, Peter Robertson and Adrian Sin argue that China’s defense expenditures, measured with a relative cost-price index, are larger in nominal terms than commonly believed but smaller in real terms due to rising labor costs.[61] Similarly, the Chinese may have “costs of empire,” such as spending on the Belt and Road Initiative, which should not be viewed in isolation from the military burden.[62] Economic growth does not automatically and seamlessly translate to military budgets, much less real military power. Policymakers need a window, however hazy, on the economic future of adversaries. Third, while the U.S. relationship with China is different than that with the Soviet Union, it is likely that the licit and illicit acquisition of Western technology supports the Chinese defense burden at least as much as it did the Soviet burden.[63] Given the recent scrutiny of Chinese trade and espionage by both the Trump administration and Congress, lessons of the anti-Soviet counterintelligence campaign are worth examining. Former national counterintelligence executive Michelle Van Cleave has called for just such a proactive strategic counterintelligence campaign.[64] Paired with greater scrutiny of China’s licit technology acquisition, as called for in pending legislation, such a campaign could make a significant difference in long-term competition.[65] The return of long-term competition is not simply the Cold War redux. Yet neither should the lessons of the Cold War simply be discounted. Marshall, Shulsky, and Trachtenberg have done contemporary analysts a great service in reviewing the critical question of economic intelligence during that long twilight struggle. Acknowledgements: The author thanks Peter Clement, Ken deGraffenreid, and other former government officials who wish to remain anonymous for their insight on this subject and Frank Gavin, Josh Rovner, Bill Wohlforth and an anonymous reviewer for helpful feedback on an early draft.  Austin Long is a senior political scientist at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation. Image: serouj [post_title] => Rubles, Dollars, and Power: U.S. Intelligence on the Soviet Economy and Long-Term Competition [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => rubles-dollars-and-power-u-s-intelligence-on-the-soviet-economy-and-long-term-competition [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-17 13:03:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-17 18:03:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://tnsr.org/?p=691 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [lead] => This response essay explores some of the key areas of agreement and disagreement between two recent articles on Cold War-era assessments of the Soviet economy. [pubinfo] => [issue] => Vol 1, Iss 4 [quotes] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [author] => [style] => left [text] => Trachtenberg demonstrates both CIA and academic economists understood why the Soviet economy was stagnating. ) [1] => Array ( [author] => [style] => right [text] => As early as October 1981, Director of Central Intelligence William Casey sent President Ronald Reagan a CIA paper that underscored the dire straits the Soviets were in. ) [2] => Array ( [author] => [style] => left [text] => Estimates of the Soviet defense burden remained a challenge through the end of the Cold War and afterward. ) [3] => Array ( [author] => [style] => right [text] => The Reagan administration’s recognition of the importance of Soviet technology acquisition led to a major counterintelligence and export-control campaign. ) ) [style] => framing [type] => Framing [style_label] => The Foundation [download] => Array ( [title] => PDF Download [file] => 834 ) [authors] => Array ( [0] => 138 ) [endnotes] => Array ( [title] => Endnotes [endnotes] => [1] U.S. Department of Defense, Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America: Sharpening the American Military’s Competitive Edge, 2, https://dod.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/2018-National-Defense-Strategy-Summary.pdf. [2] See for example Aaron L. Friedberg, In the Shadow of the Garrison State: America's Anti-Statism and Its Cold War Grand Strategy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000); Rosella Cappella Zielinski, How States Pay for Wars (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2016); Francis J. Gavin, Gold, Dollars, and Power: The Politics of International Monetary Relations, 19581971 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004); and William H. McNeill, The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force, and Society Since A.D. 1000 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982). [3] See Noel E. Firth and James H. Noren, Soviet Defense Spending: A History of CIA Estimates, 19501990 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1998); and Andrew F. Krepinevich and Barry D. Watts, The Last Warrior: Andrew Marshall and the Shaping of Modern American Defense Strategy (New York: Basic Books, 2015), esp. 149–74 for contrasting views. [4] Keith Bradsher, “China’s Economic Growth Looks Strong. Maybe too Strong,” New York Times, Jan. 18, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/business/china-gdp-economy-growth.html. [5] Truth in reviewing requires me to disclose connections to two of the authors. My first job in defense analysis was doing research for a project on military innovation sponsored by Marshall’s Office of Net Assessment. Marshall was later extremely generous with his time and expertise when I wrote about the development of deterrence theory at the RAND Corporation. Trachtenberg has likewise been extraordinarily generous with his time and expertise for subsequent projects on nuclear strategy in the United States and Soviet Union. [6] Stansfield Turner, “Intelligence for a New World Order,” Foreign Affairs 70, no. 4 (Fall 1991), quoted in Marshall and Shulsky, “Assessing Sustainability,” 220. [7] Marshall and Shulsky, “Assessing Sustainability,” 241. [8] U.S. Congress, Joint Economic Committee, Allocation of Resources in the Soviet Union and China—1979, Part 5 (Executive sessions, June 26, 1979) (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1980), quoted in Trachtenberg, “Assessing Soviet Economic Performance,” 99. [9] Anders Åslund, “How Small Is Soviet National Income?” in The Impoverished Superpower: Perestroika and the Soviet Military Burden, ed. Henry S. Rowen and Charles Wolf Jr. (San Francisco: Institute of Contemporary Studies, 1990), quoted in Marshall and Shulsky, “Assessing Sustainability,” 232. [10] Marshall and Shulsky, “Assessing Sustainability,” 236. [11] Marshall and Shulsky, 237. [12] Marshall and Shulsky, 240. [13] Robert M. Gates, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996), quoted in Marshall and Shulsky, “Assessing Sustainability,” 241. [14] Trachtenberg, “Assessing Soviet Economic Performance,” 86. [15] Trachtenberg, 88. [16] Trachtenberg, 89. [17] Trachtenberg, 92. [18] See Chaim Kaufmann, “Threat Inflation and the Failure of the Marketplace of Ideas: The Selling of the Iraq War,” International Security 29, no.1 (Summer 2004), https://doi.org/10.1162/0162288041762940; and debate in Ronald R. Krebs and Chaim Kaufmann, “Correspondence: Selling the Market Short? The Marketplace of Ideas and the Iraq War,” International Security 29, no. 4 (Spring 2005), https://doi.org/10.1162/isec.2005.29.4.196. [19] Douglas F. Garthoff, Directors of Central Intelligence as Leaders of the U.S. Intelligence Community, 19462005 (Washington: Center for the Study of Intelligence, 2005), 133, https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-and-monographs/directors-of-central-intelligence-as-leaders-of-the-u-s-intelligence-community/dci_leaders.pdf. [20] For an overview, see Charles S. Maier, “‘Malaise’: The Crisis of Capitalism in the 1970s,” and Alan M. Taylor, “The Global 1970s and the Echo of the Great Depression,” in The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective, ed. Niall Ferguson, Charles S. Maier, Erez Manela, and Daniel J. Sargent (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011). [21] Peter M. Garber, “The Collapse of the Bretton Woods Fixed Exchange Rate System,” in A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System: Lessons for International Monetary Reform, ed. Michael D. Bordo and Barry Eichengreen (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), http://www.nber.org/chapters/c6876. [22] Yanek Mieczkowski, Gerald Ford and the Challenges of the 1970s (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2005). [23] Jimmy Carter, “Address to the Nation on Energy and National Goals,” July 15, 1979, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=32596. As many commentators have noted, Carter never used the word “malaise” in his speech, yet the term has stuck. [24] For an overview, see Odd Arne Westad, “The Great Transformation: China in the Long 1970s,” in Ferguson et al., Shock of the Global. [25] Chris Miller, The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy: Mikhail Gorbachev and the Collapse of the USSR (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016). [26] My thanks to an anonymous reviewer for making this point, which was echoed in a conversation I had with a former CIA analyst, April 26, 2018. [27] “Summary of Conclusions and Minutes of a Policy Review Committee Meeting,” Aug. 31, 1977, in Foreign Relations of the United States, 1977–1980, vol. VI, Soviet Union (hereafter FRUS) (Washington: Government Printing Office, 2013), https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1977-80v06/d46. [28] “Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to President Carter,” June 24, 1977, in FRUS, 1977–1980, vol. VI, Soviet Union, https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1977-80v06/d32. [29] See data at https://www.inflation.eu/inflation-rates/united-states/historic-inflation/cpi-inflation-united-states.aspx. For an overview of Volcker’s policies, see Allan H. Meltzer, A History of the Federal Reserve, vol. 2, book 2, 1970–1986 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), chaps. 7 and 8. [30] “Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Casey to President Reagan,” Oct. 29, 1981, in FRUS 1981–1988, vol. III, Soviet Union, January 1981–January 1983. [31] “Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Clark) to President Reagan,” Aug. 9, 1982, in FRUS 1981–1988, vol. III, Soviet Union, January 1981–January 1983. The quotation within the quotation is from the referenced CIA assessment. [32] “Memorandum Prepared by the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (Gates),” Nov. 24, 1987, in FRUS 1981–1988, vol. VI, Soviet Union, October 1986–January 1989. [33] Trachtenberg, “Assessing Soviet Economic Performance,” 93 fn 85. The diary entry referenced is from Nov. 13, 1985. In contrast, Reagan wrote in his diary on Nov. 5: “Had an Ec. Briefing—our recovery is continuing—or by now I should say our expansion & growth is progressing at a slow but steady rate & on employment we’re doing extremely well. A higher percentage of the potential work force (all between 16 & 65) is employed than ever in our history.” See the full diary entry at the Reagan Foundation site: https://www.reaganfoundation.org/ronald-reagan/white-house-diaries/diary-entry-11051985/. [34] Discriminate Deterrence: Report of the Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1988), quotation on page 8. Other working-group chairs included Paul Gorman, Charles Herzfeld, Fred Hoffman, Henry Rowen, and Charles Wolf — the latter three were RAND alumni. [35] See, for example, Marshall’s statement in U.S. Congress, Joint Economic Committee, Allocation of Resources in the Soviet Union and China—1975 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1975) and CIA, Memorandum for the Record, “Conversation with Andy Marshall,” March 12, 1976; available at CIA’s Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room: https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/ (hereafter ERR). Marshall’s CIA interlocutor in this latter document was Richard Lehman, the deputy for national intelligence. [36] William T. Lee, CIA Estimates of Soviet Military Expenditures: Errors and Waste (Washington: American Enterprise Institute, 1995), and Steven Rosefielde, False Science: Underestimating the Soviet Arms Buildup (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1982). [37] CIA, Memorandum, “Background on the Military-Economic Advisory Panel,” April 13, 1977, ERR. [38] CIA, Memorandum, “Talking Points for DCI Meeting with the Military-Economic Advisory Panel (MEAP),” Aug. 24, 1977, ERR. [39] CIA, Memorandum for Deputy Director of Intelligence, “Request for Approval of ADP Project- SCAM-1,” July 19, 1967, ERR. [40] CIA, “Reports of the Working Groups on Military-Economic Analysis,” July 20, 1983, ERR. For an excellent overview of intelligence politicization, see Joshua Rovner, Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011). [41] CIA, Memorandum for the Record, “Conversation on Soviet Defense Expenditures,” Aug. 1, 1984, ERR. [42] Letter to Caspar W. Weinberger from William J. Casey, April 16, 1985, ERR. [43] CIA, USSR Review, September–October 1986, 11, ERR. [44] Charles Wolf et al., The Costs of the Soviet Empire (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corp., 1983), https://www.rand.org/pubs/reports/R3073z1.html. [45] On the debate, see Maurice C. Ernst, Memorandum for Director of Central Intelligence and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, “The Costs of the Soviet Empire: A Rejoinder,” Sept. 12, 1984, ERR. For the estimated defense burden, see USSR Review, 11. [46] Gertrude Schroeder, “Soviet Reality Sans Potemkin,” Studies in Intelligence 12, no. 2 (Spring 1968): 51, 57, https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol12i2/html/v12i2a06p_0001.htm. [47] Memorandum for Director of Central Intelligence and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, “MEAP Proposal for Additional Sources of Information of Soviet Economics Information,” June 14, 1982, ERR. The “pony” reference is to a joke much beloved of President Reagan. See Peter Robinson, How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life (New York: HarperCollins, 2003), 15–16. [48] William C. Wohlforth, “No One Loves a Realist Explanation,” International Politics 48, no. 4–5 (July 2011), https://doi.org/10.1057/ip.2011.17. See also William C. Wohlforth, The Elusive Balance: Power and Perceptions During the Cold War (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1993). [49] Irina Bystrova, Советский военно-промышленный комплекс: Проблемы становления и развития (1930-1980-е годы) (Soviet Military-Industrial Complex: Problems of Creation and Development [1930s1980s]) (Moscow: Russian Academy of Sciences, 2006). For an English-language summary, see Irina Bystrova, “Russian Military-Industrial Complex,” (Helsinki: Aleksanteri Institute, 2011). [50] Maurice C. Ernst, “Note for Bob Gates: Soviet Defense Spending,” July 18, 1984, ERR. [51] Sergei Kostin and Eric Raynaud, Farewell: The Greatest Spy Story of the Twentieth Century (Las Vegas: AmazonCrossing, 2011). [52] CIA, Soviet Acquisition of Western Technology, April 1982, ERR. [53] Conversation with former official, April 26, 2018. [54] Soviet Acquisition of Western Technology, 6. [55] CIA, Soviet Acquisition of Militarily Significant Western Technology: An Update, September 1985, 8–12, ERR. [56] Michelle K. Van Cleave, Counterintelligence and National Strategy (Washington: National Defense University, 2007), 8–9; and Gus W. Weiss, “The Farewell Dossier,” Studies in Intelligence 39, no. 5 (1996), https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol39no5/pdf/v39i5a14p.pdf. I have also benefited from substantial off-the-record conversations with participants in this campaign. [57] See for example, State Department, Foreign Affairs Note, “Expulsions of Soviet Officials Worldwide, 1986,” January 1987, http://insidethecoldwar.org/sites/default/files/documents/Department of State Report on Expulsion of Soviet Officials Worldwide 1986 January 1987.pdf. [58] Robert A. Rosenblatt, “Toshiba Sale ‘Criminal,’ Japanese Says,” Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1987, http://articles.latimes.com/1987-07-18/news/mn-736_1_japanese-government. [59] Ronald J. Ostrow, “FBI Arrests Top Soviet Air Attache as Spy: Colonel Seized When Digging Up ‘Secrets’ Left by Double Agent,” Los Angeles Times, June 21, 1986, http://articles.latimes.com/1986-06-21/news/mn-19627_1_fbi-agents. [60] See Weiss, “The Farewell Dossier.” [61] Peter E. Robertson and Adrian Sin, “Measuring Hard Power: China’s Economic Growth and Military Capacity,” Defence and Peace Economics 28, no. 1 (Spring 2017), https://doi.org/10.1080/10242694.2015.1033895. [62] The size of China’s Belt and Road Initiative is unclear at the unclassified level, which underscores the need for high-quality economic intelligence analysis. See Jonathan E. Hillman, “How Big is China’s Belt and Road?” Center for Strategic and International Studies, April 3, 2018, https://www.csis.org/analysis/how-big-chinas-belt-and-road. [63] See William C. Hannas, James Mulvenon, and Anna B. Puglisi, Chinese Industrial Espionage: Technology Acquisition and Military Modernization (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2013); U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Annual Report to Congress (2016), 289–311, https://www.uscc.gov/Annual_Reports/2016-annual-report-congress; Justice Department, “Chinese National Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Hack into U.S. Defense Contractors’ Systems to Steal Sensitive Military Information,” press release no. 16-342, March 23, 2016, https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/chinese-national-pleads-guilty-conspiring-hack-us-defense-contractors-systems-steal-sensitive; Helene Cooper, “Chinese Hackers Steal Unclassified Data From Navy Contractor,” New York Times, June 8, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/08/us/politics/china-hack-navy-contractor-.html; and National Counterintelligence and Security Center, Foreign Economic Espionage in Cyberspace 2018https://www.dni.gov/files/NCSC/documents/news/20180724-economic-espionage-pub.pdf. [64] Michelle Van Cleave, Statement on “Chinese Intelligence Operations and Implications for U.S. National Security,” U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, June 9, 2016. [65] Stephanie Zable, “The Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018,” Lawfare, Aug. 2, 2018, https://www.lawfareblog.com/foreign-investment-risk-review-modernization-act-2018. ) [contents] => Array ( [title] => [contents] => ) ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 688 [post_author] => 196 [post_date] => 2018-08-28 05:00:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-28 09:00:31 [post_content] =>

Bobby Inman Award Winner

The Bobby R. Inman Award is a competitive annual prize given by the Intelligence Studies Project, a joint program of the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law and the Clements Center for National Security. It recognizes more than six decades of distinguished public service by Adm. Bobby R. Inman, U.S. Navy (ret.). Adm. Inman served in multiple leadership positions in the U.S. military, intelligence community, private industry, and at the University of Texas. The Inman Award is designed to recognize outstanding research and writing by students at the undergraduate or graduate levels on topics related to intelligence and national security. The Texas National Security Review is proud to publish the prize winning essay.

 

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I believe it is fair to say that, as a group, [19th-century historians] thought their knowledge of the past gave them a prophetic vision of what was to come.[1]

–Sherman Kent

It is no small irony that the man who did the most to develop the U.S. government’s ability to predict the future was, by training, profession, and temperament, a historian. In August 1941, just months before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Sherman Kent was recruited to join America’s first comprehensive intelligence agency — the organization that would soon become known as the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA. At the time, Kent was a 37-year-old professor at Yale, whose Gothic walls had sheltered him for nearly 20 years: as an undergraduate, as a doctoral student, and then as the teacher of “History 10,” the freshman course on European civilization.[2] Kent had no military, diplomatic, or intelligence background — in fact, no government experience of any kind. This would seem to make him an odd candidate to serve William “Wild Bill” Donovan, a man of intimidating martial accomplishment, whom President Franklin D. Roosevelt had recently tapped to set up his spy shop.[3] Of course, Donovan did not want Kent to be a covert operative. Rather, he wanted Kent to run the Mediterranean desk of the OSS’s Research and Analysis Branch. Kent accepted the offer and spent the war churning out reports that, among other things, prepared Allied forces for their 1942 invasion of North Africa. After the war, Kent put off his return to Yale to spend a year at the newly formed National War College, where he wrote Strategic Intelligence for American World Policy, a book that outlined a framework for intelligence collection, analysis, and dissemination.[4] The book received wide attention inside and outside government. Famed columnists Joseph and Stewart Alsop declared it “the most important postwar book on strategic intelligence.”[5] Decades later, it is still considered one of the field’s foundational texts.[6] It was, in part, on the strength of that book that, in 1950, Gen. Walter Bedell “Beetle” Smith, who had been Gen. Dwight Eisenhower’s wartime chief of staff, asked Kent to join him at the Central Intelligence Agency, which President Harry S. Truman had just appointed him to lead. Kent’s role was “unprecedented in history,” as one CIA historian put it.[7] He would be deputy director and soon director of the Office of National Estimates (ONE), charged not simply with analyzing the events of the Cold War but with anticipating them.[8] The United States had just been surprised by North Korea’s invasion of the South, and with the stakes of the Cold War continuing to rise, another surprise was something that could not be tolerated. In Kent’s words,
The existence of controllable atomic energy and the dead certainty that others besides ourselves will soon possess the technical secrets, place a new and forceful emphasis upon intelligence as one of the most vital elements in our survival.[9]
Kent never returned to Yale after joining ONE. By the time he left the agency, after 17 years, he was a legend. As J. Kenneth McDonald, formerly the CIA’s chief historian, would write, “Sherman Kent is a larger than life figure in the history of the Central Intelligence Agency.”[10] Such accolades were hard-earned. When Kent joined the Research and Analysis Branch, U.S. intelligence analysis was a haphazard affair. By the time he left the CIA, it was an orderly process staffed by career analysts who hewed to a strict methodology that prioritized objectivity in the face of ambiguity and neutrality in the face of ideology. Kent’s insistence on disinterested analysis gave ONE a degree of independence from Washington politics, and his reverence for the scientific method legitimized its work on prediction. Such efforts easily could have been dismissed as crystal-ball speculation, but Kent benefited from the postwar scholarly zeitgeist, which held that human systems, like physical systems, were governed by laws that made their behavior predictable. Similar to his academic contemporaries, Kent ardently believed that even complex domains, like geopolitics, were inherently knowable. At ONE, he strove for nothing less than a science of prediction. It is this passion that both complicates Kent’s legacy and makes it particularly relevant today. On the one hand, at a moment in which expertise — indeed the very nature of truth — is under attack,[11] Kent can serve as a much-needed beacon of reason, a venerable model of Enlightenment values and their importance to national security. What’s more, Kent anticipated — by decades — seminal findings in the field of judgment and decision-making, such as the prevalence of overconfidence and the dangers of confirmation bias, that have validated the role of social science in intelligence analysis. On the other hand, Kent’s epistemological enthusiasm turned out to be hubris. In his belief that science could unmask the geopolitical future, Kent overreached. ONE’s estimates were often wrong, the experts he revered underperformed as forecasters, and a science of prediction proved elusive. Today’s world is, once again, intoxicated by the prospect of prediction, hooked this time on a cocktail of Big-Data-enabled machine learning. Artificial intelligence undoubtedly holds great promise, but the excitement about its capabilities feels familiar and feverish. So, although Sherman Kent stands as a beacon, he may prove even more useful as a warning.

The Recruitment

Kent was born in California in 1903, the son of a businessman-politician who served three terms in Congress. In 1921, because nearly every other man in his family had done so,[12] he began his studies at Yale, where he promptly distinguished himself by flunking freshman history. The failure hit him hard. And because the class was mandatory, he feared he would be kicked out. “In fact, I was so pessimistic in my outlook,” he later wrote in a self-published memoir, “that whereas every other freshman bought a big blue Yale banner with the words ‘YALE 1926’ on it, I was so sure that I was not long for the Class of 1926 that I bought a banner that read simply ‘YALE’.”[13] Kent retook and passed the class, but he avoided further history courses until he registered for an introduction to medieval France with John Allison, whom he recalled as “the most interesting and perhaps the most compelling lecturer on the whole faculty.”[14] After graduation, Kent struggled to choose a profession, vacillating between practicing law and teaching high school. It was Allison who suggested that he pursue his Ph.D. at Yale, a goal that might be attainable — despite the fact that his academic record “was no great shakes,” as Kent put it — if he applied while professors still remembered him.[15] He followed Allison’s advice and was accepted. Seven years later, he earned a doctorate in history, specializing in 19th-century French politics, and joined Yale’s history faculty. In 1941, he was teaching the very class he had failed when he got a call from Conyers Read, a historian of Renaissance-era England at the University of Pennsylvania, whom he knew “both personally and professionally.”[16] The purpose of the call was vague. As far as Kent could tell, Read was “mobilizing historians” to compile information for a government propaganda effort. Kent was intrigued enough to get on a train to Washington to meet with Read and William Langer, a famed Harvard professor of diplomatic history. There, the two told Kent that Roosevelt was forming an agency under Donovan — known initially as the Office of the Coordinator of Information and, soon after, as the Office of Strategic Services — that would combine intelligence analysis, operations, counterintelligence, and propaganda. They wanted him to join the analytic branch. As Kent explained in a letter to his mother,
It seems that there is a very enormously great damn deal of information coming in to various governmental agencies — military and naval intelligence, F.B.I., State Dept. etc. — all of it gathered and put together by specialists in the multitude of special fields. As yet there is no one with the training or desire to coordinate the dope for purposes of high policy.[17]
Indeed, the prewar coordination of “dope” was poor. Today, the intelligence community — composed of 17 separate organizations, led by the director of national intelligence — is an integral part of the U.S. national security establishment. But in 1941, there was no such arrangement. The military collected information on foreign forces, as it had during World War I, and the State Department gathered political and economic intelligence, but Roosevelt was happy with neither the soldiers nor the diplomats. Kent explained,
It seemed that Mr. Roosevelt was far from pleased with the kind of intelligence support he was getting from the armed forces and was also inclined to disbelieve or give low credence to the political and economic information that was coming into the Department of State from its many diplomatic missions overseas.[18]
Kent was immediately interested in the job. Although his continuing work on French history was proceeding well, he had been worrying for months about “how remote and useless this sort of research appears in the light of our crisis values,”[19] which is to say that Adolf Hitler’s conquest of Europe made Bourbon France seem a bit arcane. The job with the Office of the Coordinator of Information seemed like a chance to use his skills to participate in the war (or, at this point, pre-war) effort. What’s more, Read and Langer assured him, he would be working alongside some of the most impressive scholars in the country: “Apparently the lure of the work has been enough to get the real top men in history, geography, and economics from all over the country.”[20] He accepted the offer and within two weeks was in Washington, serving as chief of the Mediterranean division in the office’s Research and Analysis Branch, or “R&A.” To understand why a man of action like Bill Donovan was mobilizing historians to supply the president with intelligence may require denizens of the digital age, constantly bombarded as they are by multiple streams of information, to think about what “information” meant in the mid-20th century. In 1941, information was stored on paper, catalogued on cards, and retrieved by people, not computers. What’s more, in contrast with today’s service- and information-based economy, the economy of the early 1940s was dominated by manufacturing and agriculture. Only 5 percent of the adult population had a college degree.[21] That meant that only a tiny sliver of the population could be considered “knowledge workers,” in today’s parlance — people with the skills to find, collate, and process vast amounts of information, especially information on far-flung locales and esoteric subjects. Chief among them were academics. [quote id="1"] After World War I — during which U.S. intelligence efforts had grown substantially — the Army and Navy had been charged with maintaining a “constant flow of information from almost every part of the world,” according to Kent.[22] Had they done so, by the time the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the United States would have had hundreds of encyclopedic volumes on various countries and topics. Instead, the information gathered did not seem to be enough to fill a single volume. As Kent describes,
From our visits and meetings with the various intelligence officers of the Armed Forces, we had some pretty solid evidence that any active intelligence work must have ended with the First World War. … There could be no speedier way to bring to light the shocking state of U.S. intelligence than the imminent outbreak of war.[23]
The problem the United States faced as it approached a global showdown with the Axis powers was how to collect, synthesize, and present massive amounts of information about foreign countries and potential theaters of battle. That is why, when the Office of the Coordinator of Information was first conceived, Archibald MacLeish, the librarian of Congress, gathered representatives from several tweedy organizations — the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, and the National Archives — to determine who among them could best advise the new research-and-analysis effort.[24] It was often academics — historians, political scientists, and geographers — who knew the most about the foreign lands the United States would be fighting in, and they knew how to get information they did not have and distill the data into a readable product. However well-prepared his profession was for the task, Kent was shaken by his introduction to R&A:
I’ve been new to many jobs before, but I’ve never been new to a new job. I’ve never been set down (or far better) stood up to do something, anything, not knowing how to do it [and] been unable to find anyone who has more dope than myself. It is a shattering experience.[25]
A set of notes from his first weeks on the job contains questions ranging from the mundane (“Do I need one of those badges. Where do I get it.”) to the fundamental (“Will research carried on be primarily of [a] strategic nature”).[26] As he later recalled,
There were few in Washington who could give any guidance as to how to go about the business at hand. What intelligence techniques there were, ready and available, were in their infancy. Intelligence was to us at that period really nothing in itself; it was, at best, the sum of what we, from our outside experience, could contribute to a job to be done.[27]
One expectation was met, however: Read and Langer’s promise that he would be working with the top scholars in the country was borne out. Many of Kent’s colleagues were at the peak of their profession. James Phinney Baxter was the president of Williams College. John Fairbank was the country’s leading Sinologist. Hajo Holborn was the Sterling professor of history at Yale. There were dozens and dozens more. As historian Robin Winks put it, “The list of historians who worked for the OSS reads like a Who’s Who of the profession.”[28] By contrast, Kent was not yet a full professor. He was probably tapped for the job because, like nearly everyone who was hired, he knew someone — in his case, Conyers Read — who was doing the hiring. But there were one or two other factors that might have pushed him higher on Read’s list. The first was a committee that Kent founded at Yale, in 1939, dedicated to collecting prewar German propaganda and preserving it for the historical record.[29] The second was a talk he gave to the American Historical Association in December 1940 under the heading “The Historian in Time of Trouble,” in which he described historians who, at times of political unrest, had stepped out of the ivory tower to guide the political process: “It was the scholar-statesman who knew the points of reference in the past and could use them as guides to the right regulation of future public affairs.”[30] Both activities broadcast Kent’s desire to do something of grand purpose during a time of global crisis. And, because midcentury academia was an old boys’ club — and because, as a Yale faculty member, Kent sat at one of its most exclusive tables — it may not have taken much prompting for Read to call him that August day in 1941.[31]

Research and Analysis

Whatever the proximate cause of Kent’s hiring, he rapidly distinguished himself at R&A. Kent arrived in Washington with a well-defined way of thinking — or, more accurately, a well-defined way of thinking about how one should think. Kent was not an ideologue — far from it. He was a methodologist. In fact, when Read had called him to service, he had just been wrapping up the proofs of a book on the proper way to do history. Writing History was intended primarily as a primer for undergraduates who had to produce their first history papers. (Reading the book, one gets the sense that Kent was tired of seeing the same mistakes in each iteration of his “History 10” class.) But the volume also serves as a succinct guide to Kent’s faith in reason, the scientific method, and the search for truth. The “most serious” reason to study history, he wrote, is that it brings the student into “intimate contact with the chief philosophical assumptions behind his existence. For if his work [is to] have any merit at all, it will have come from the systematic nature of his research and thought.”[32] He continued: “Chiefly does ‘systematic’ study imply skepticism of things taken for granted.”[33] To Kent, such skepticism — the willingness to criticize assumptions, particularly one’s own — was the essence of history, of estimable thought in general. What’s more, he maintained, rational, systematic thought is what enables social progress. Although Kent stressed the importance of narrative in history, he saw the discipline as “akin to the method of science which Francis Bacon put forth in the early seventeenth century.” Specifically, Kent wrote,
It consists of gathering facts. … It consists of forming hypotheses on the basis of these facts, of testing these hypotheses for traces of one’s own ignorance or bias, of cleansing them if possible. The goal of research is to build better hypotheses than already exist and to establish them as relatively more true: it is to reveal a sharper picture of what happened and to make a closer approach to actuality than anyone has yet contrived.[34]
Writing History was a manifesto for realizing truth through the scientific method, intellectual flexibility, and unrelenting skepticism of the evidence. Kent brought this attitude directly to Research and Analysis, whose purpose, he noted, “was trying by the method of science to approach truth.”[35] As his close colleague Harold P. Ford would later note,
Closely paralleling the theory and practice of professional intelligence were certain of the principles of the historian’s calling Sherman Kent enunciated in his first [sic] book, Writing History, which he had written while at Yale. In many of the passages one need only substitute the words ‘intelligence officer’ for ‘historian.’[36]
In that scholarly attitude, Kent both reflected and contributed to the approach of R&A writ large. The Research and Analysis Branch became known as “the Campus” not simply because it comprised some 900 scholars but because their methods, far from being clandestine, relied so heavily on libraries and other open-source materials, such as government testimony, newspaper articles, and radio reports. Donovan, who lacked no flair for the dramatic, embraced the “Bad Eyes Brigade” because he could see just how much information they could pull from the most prosaic of sources.[37] Kent spent his first day on the job at the Library of Congress retrieving articles from the American Historical Review and the Journal of Modern History “in an effort to discover what Americans have written on the fine red Mediterranean.”[38] It would quickly become clear that the R&A scholars could produce most of what the military (and other elements of the war effort) needed simply by hitting the books. As Winks put it, “R&A controlled the most powerful weapon in the OSS arsenal: the three-by-five index card.”[39] R&A was like a university in another crucial respect: its tolerance, and even encouragement, of free thinking — an approach that was rare in the bureaucracy and the military but that could produce brilliant ideas and reduce the risk of artificial consensus. Kent later explained the need to tolerate idiosyncrasy:
In a sense, intelligence organizations must be not a little like a large university faculty. They must have the people to whom research and rigorous thought are the breath of life, and they must accordingly have tolerance for the queer bird and the eccentric with a unique talent. They must guarantee a sort of academic freedom of inquiry and must fight off those who derogate such freedom by pointing to its occasional crackpot finding.[40]
But R&A was unlike a university faculty in a few important ways — ways that not only helped its work but that also foreshadowed developments in the academy itself by many years. For one thing, R&A did not merely encourage but demanded collaboration among its scholars. Whereas many academics were used to beavering away in solitude on a project for years on end, the breadth of knowledge needed for any one project and the speed with which reports had to be produced required cooperation. That cooperation rankled egos, and some argued that collaboration actually diluted the scientific method since no single person would collect the data, draw hypotheses, test them, and, if necessary, start over.[41] Yet analysts had no choice but to work together given wartime deadlines. As Kent noted, R&A might have had the aura of a university, but it had the pace of a newsroom.[42] R&A also forced its 900 scholars to work across disciplines. The bureau included historians, economists, political scientists, geographers, psychologists, and anthropologists.[43] As Winks notes, “Since intelligence required its own methodology, R&A would derive this methodology from several disciplines.”[44] But such interdisciplinary cooperation was not normal for the time. In particular, the economists, with their mathematical models, chafed at working with colleagues from less quantitative fields and showed a tendency toward bureaucratic expansionism: “We have taken over Europe. We are moving in on the Far East and we will shortly get going on the USSR,” one junior economist wrote.[45] As Jack Davis, a CIA expert on Sherman Kent, quipped, “One of Kent’s legendary achievements was to talk reluctant economists into serving under the direction of an historian.”[46] [quote id="2"] The first real test of such coordination — and of Kent himself — came in August 1942, when Donovan told R&A that the Allies were planning to invade North Africa and needed information on the region immediately. North Africa fell within Kent’s brief, and, in a marathon 50-hour session, he and the R&A staff produced a report on Morocco, followed by reports on Algeria and Tunisia. The military was impressed by both the rapid response and the sheer breadth of the reports, and, Winks writes, “Donovan told the unit that they had produced ‘the first victory’ for R&A’s methodology.”[47] According to Davis, “The North Africa reports helped make R&A’s reputation with the military as a valuable win-the-war asset. The event also made Kent’s reputation as a rising star in the new world of intelligence research and analysis.”[48] Kent continued to make himself useful within the organization, advancing where there were openings, and, by the end of the war, his reputation had spread. Washington had taken notice of R&A’s accomplishments. The volume of information that the analysts processed — during a single week in 1943, the branch was inundated with 45,000 pages of foreign material — was staggering. Their output was even more so — some 3,000 reports on a preposterously wide range of topics.[49] Intelligence historian Jeffrey Richelson describes the scope of their efforts:
The subjects of R&A studies covered a vast number of economic, political, sociological, and military subjects: the status of rail traffic on the Russian front in Japan, the attitudes of the Roman Catholic church in Hungary, Charles de Gaulle’s political ideas, the looting and damaging of art works, the Indian Communist party, trade routes in the Congo basin, Japan’s electric power industry, and the relation of tin acquisitions to airplane production in Japan.[50]
And yet R&A’s prodigious output and its contribution to the Allied war effort did not ensure its organizational survival.[51] Almost immediately after Japan’s surrender in August 1945, Truman fired Donovan, whom he found arrogant, and shelved his plan to create a centralized intelligence service, telling Harold Smith, who directed the Bureau of the Budget, that he had “in mind a different kind of intelligence service from what this country has had in the past.”[52] In the meantime, he disbanded the OSS, placing its clandestine operations within the War Department and the Research and Analysis Branch within the State Department, whose area experts and diplomats were all too happy to sideline a group of scholars whose skills they saw as redundant to their own.

Social Science and the Promise of Prediction

Kent initially joined his colleagues in the State Department, but by May 1946 he had become despondent at their subordination within the Foggy Bottom bureaucracy. In this dark moment, Kent was approached by Vice Adm. Harry W. Hill and Maj. Gen. Alfred Gruenther, respectively the commandant and vice commandant of the newly formed National War College. They asked him to join their civilian staff. It was a prestigious offer: The staff already included such notables as George F. Kennan, who would soon publish his famous “X” article in Foreign Affairs, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct,”[53] and Bernard Brodie, who had just published The Absolute Weapon, the first book to explain how the atom bomb had radically changed military strategy.[54] Kent accepted the job and used the time it afforded him to write Strategic Intelligence, a manifesto on “knowledge vital for national survival”[55] and a guide for acquiring and processing it that the intelligence community would come to consider every bit as important as the seminal works by Kennan and Brodie. Meanwhile, despite its burst of wartime activity, U.S. intelligence was once again in danger of underperforming. The problem this time was not a failure of vigilance — the shock of Pearl Harbor remained vivid, and growing tensions with the Soviet Union made it clear that the United States needed a centralized intelligence agency — but, rather, a failure of execution. In 1947, Congress passed the National Security Act, which, among other things, established the CIA. Nevertheless, the United States was surprised when, in June 1950, North Korea invaded the South. At this point, Truman replaced the CIA’s first director with Gen. Walter Bedell “Beetle” Smith, Eisenhower’s wartime chief of staff. Kent soon received another phone call requesting his service. In the fall of 1950, Kent met with Smith, who explained that he was establishing an Office of National Estimates, whose sole purpose would be to illuminate, as best as possible, the uncertainty of the future, and that he wanted Kent to join — briefly as deputy and then as director (when the inaugural director, Kent’s old R&A boss Bill Langer, would have to return to Harvard). Kent initially demurred, saying that his experience at R&A had concerned research, not prediction, but Smith insisted.[56] So, on Nov. 15, 1950 — the day the Chinese crossed the Yalu River, entering the war and yet again proving the inadequacy of U.S. predictive capabilities — Kent returned to Washington to first help and then lead an effort no one there had attempted before: predicting global affairs.[57] As Kent would later put it, “In short, if there was any office in the United States Government which was and should have been perpetually wondering about the future and where its perils or the opposite lay, we were it.”[58] Why was Smith so keen to hire Kent? For one thing, R&A had amply shown how valuable academics could be to the military and therefore to national security, and Kent had established himself as the scholar/analyst-in-chief during his tenure. In a 1946 memo to Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg, who headed the Central Intelligence Group (a short-lived postwar precursor to the CIA), Kent argued that “university people” were most qualified for research and analysis work. Kent continued,
Most of the R/A type of functions are best performed by people who are experts in the so-called social sciences, i.e., economics, history, international law, international relations, geography, and sometimes even psychology or sociology.[59]
He also argued that a surge in patriotic sentiment had given the U.S. government an opportunity to leverage academia, with young scholars eager to serve their country. Kent saw the CIA’s establishment as an opportunity to lure the most senior faculty to intelligence work, cultivate the next generation of intelligence analysts, and perhaps even change the way universities thought about their responsibility to national security. Kent was a natural bridge between the previous generation of intelligence analysts and the next — between the successes of R&A and the challenges of ONE. Smith was also attracted to Kent because of what he had written in Strategic Intelligence, a book that Smith’s deputy had not only read but also reviewed and discussed with Kent.[60] Among its contributions, the book offered a new taxonomy for intelligence analysis. Whereas previous works might have classified intelligence products according to the intended consumer, the method of collection, or the degree of tactical versus strategic importance, Kent explicitly categorized intelligence analysis by time — that is, whether it focused on the past, the present, or the future.[61] Thus, he divided all intelligence into the “basic descriptive form” (the sort of data one might find in an almanac or, today, in the CIA’s World Factbook), the “current reportorial form” (contemporary information that could come from the day’s newspaper or the report of an intelligence operative), and the “speculative-evaluative form” (analysis of what other states were likely to do and what the United States could do to alter their course of action, if necessary).[62] [quote id="3"] The first two categories involved description, but the third involved the very thing Smith was looking for: prediction. Kent devoted an entire chapter to the practice and promise of prediction — or “estimation” — concluding that, if one had sufficient descriptive and reportorial information, “intelligence ought to be able to make shrewd guesses — estimates they are generally called — as to what [any country] is likely to do in any circumstance whatsoever.”[63] That, itself, was a bold prediction. A key reason for Kent’s confidence was his assessment of the growing abilities of the “university people” he had praised to Vandenberg:
The social sciences have by no means yet attained the precision of the natural sciences; they may never do so. But in spite of the profound methodological problems which they face, they have advanced prodigiously in the last fifty years. Taken as a block of wisdom on humanity their accomplishments are large not merely in the area of description but more importantly in the area of prognosis.[64]
In the event that anyone disagreed, Kent huffily concluded, “If the record did not read thus, this book most emphatically would not have contained a chapter on this element of the long-range intelligence job.”[65] Writing in 1947, Kent was describing radical changes in the postwar academy, both in its practices and in its promises. The social sciences had been trying to identify causal relationships in human behavior for decades, but whereas they had initially been more philosophical in orientation and qualitative in their evidence, by midcentury the social sciences had begun to turn toward a harder, analytic style that used quantitative methods to test hypotheses.[66] They began to treat social systems much like physical systems — that is, subject to discoverable natural laws. As intellectual historian Louis Menand has put it, they adopted a “self-consciously scientific model of research.”[67] Each of the disciplines underwent a paradigm shift that led to a new emphasis on theory, with a particular stress on modeling. As historian of science Hunter Heyck has catalogued,
Before 1940, zero research articles published in the flagship journals of the five largest social sciences in America described what they were doing as “modeling” something. Zero. By the 1970s, half of all articles in those journals did so.[68]
The use of mathematics similarly spiked, as did the tendency to explicitly connect empirical findings to theoretical literature. Effectively, American scholars thought they would soon be able to codify and quantify human behavior. The result was greater faith in social scientists’ ability to explain and predict.[69] Usable findings are what both scholars and policymakers hoped for. With the war, the academy had ceased to be an ivory tower and instead had become an engine of military innovation as scientists and engineers turned out everything from more reliable ammunition to the atomic bomb. Though in not quite as flashy a fashion, social scientists had made their own contributions to the Allied victory, tweaking and even guiding the war effort to maximize American power — for example, by managing production so as to speed the manufacture of materiel and by optimizing the effectiveness of military tactics through operations research. Social science had shown that it could have a concrete impact, not simply philosophical implications. It stood to reason that if the social sciences suddenly had a greater base of scholars to draw from (because of the GI Bill), more funding (because of government contracts), and new tools that allowed for more powerful analysis (computers, data, and statistical models), then they could accomplish even more. Menand wrote, “The idea that academics, particularly in the social sciences, could provide the state with neutral research results on which pragmatic public policies could be based was an animating idea in the 1950s university.”[70] It was an intoxicating idea that recalled the heights of the Progressive Era. Sociologist Daniel Bell captured the enthusiasm of the moment this way:
To put the question grandly, if physics and its allied sciences have given us a greater and more complex understanding of nature so that we have been able to transform nature, what have the social sciences learned about human nature…[that] would enable us to achieve the utopian visions of our forebears? Or to put the issue in the vernacular: if we have been able to engineer E=MC2 into a nuclear bomb, and to put a man on the moon, can we educate our children better, design a more pleasing environment, utilize productivity to conquer poverty, or create an “artificial intelligence” that would extend men’s powers to think, as machines have extended our physical powers? In the mid-twentieth century these were the promises.[71]
It was prediction, however, that most concerned the U.S. national security establishment. Smith established ONE because, having been surprised at Pearl Harbor, the United States had to do everything possible to foresee, and thereby forestall, a nuclear Pearl Harbor. The belief that social scientists — experts — were best equipped to make such predictions reflected the contemporary academic worldview, of which Kent was a proponent. “[S]ome of the problems having to do with national survival involve long-range speculations on the strength and intentions of other states, involve estimates of their probable responses to acts which we ourselves plan to initiate. These cannot be dealt with except by the special techniques of the expert,” Kent wrote.[72] ONE would give him the chance to develop those techniques — and, implicitly, to test the promise of social science.

Toward a Science of Prediction

Smith dubbed ONE the “heart of the CIA.” Unlike R&A with its hundreds of scholars, ONE had a research staff of only 25 to 30 people (most with advanced degrees in the social sciences or history), capped by a board of experts (on which Langer, Kent, and other notables served). In addition to intelligence from the agency itself, the bulk of ONE’s information came not from libraries but from the Army, the Navy, the State Department, the Atomic Energy Commission, the FBI, and, later, the Department of Defense — each of which had its own intelligence operation. An advisory board composed of representatives from each of those agencies decided on what subjects ONE would produce National Intelligence Estimates, or NIEs, which Kent described as one of Smith’s “major innovations” — a tool for fulfilling the CIA’s legal and bureaucratic mandate to coordinate and disseminate intelligence in a manner that best aided national security.[73] ONE thus served a management function — as an office of the only “national” intelligence agency, the CIA — and “had the pen” on all estimates. But its drafts were reviewed by all participating agencies, and the final product was supposed to represent a consensus view.[74] The bureaucratic, cooperative, and consensual nature of NIE production — however agonizing it must have been at times — should have lent the process credibility. If everyone from generals to G-men to nuclear scientists participated in a forecasting exercise, it should have been difficult to dismiss the results out of hand. Instead, Kent often found himself confronting a no-win situation. Policymakers who agreed with the conclusions of a given NIE would find it of little value because they had already made the same projections themselves. Policymakers who disagreed with the conclusions would challenge the NIE’s methodological validity or even the credibility of those who produced it. And because intelligence is sometimes trumped by exogenous factors (like domestic politics), even the best estimate could be prescient but, in the end, worthless.[75] Given such challenges, Kent said, the only thing one could do was to produce the most objective and disinterested product possible. Strive to uncover the truth “until it hurts” and present it credibly, and analysts would have the greatest chance of influencing policy.[76] That is why he endeavored to make estimation a scientific process — and to depict it as such. Kent had spent his entire career lauding the scientific method — in Writing History, during his time at R&A, and in Strategic Intelligence. ONE was no different. In an article he wrote for the in-house CIA journal he helped to establish, Studies in Intelligence, Kent likened the formulation of a “perfect estimate” to building a pyramid. Analysts would start with a base of facts and, using the “classical methodologies” of induction and deduction, reason their way to the peak.[77] The ideal progression would move the analyst from “the known to the unknown with a certain amount of tentative foraying as new hypotheses are advanced, tested, and rejected.” In a final extrapolation, the analyst might estimate the precise location and shape of the apex — that thing to be known — or “leave the pyramid truncated near its apex [which tells] the reader that you have narrowed the range of possibilities down to only a few.” [quote id="4"] This was as good a summation as any of how Kent applied the scientific method to forecasting, but, in addition to the “classical methodologies,” Kent also advanced a number of novel guidelines. If some of them seem today like common sense, it is worth noting that the psychological mechanisms underlying them would not be understood for decades. In these elements of what Davis called his “analytic code,” Kent the historian was something of a savant.[78] He anticipated the dangers of confirmatory bias, the importance of allowing dissent, and the need for precision when estimating probabilities. Beware Bias In addition to being wary of the policy preferences of intelligence consumers, Kent was well aware that analysts could suffer from their own preconceived notions. Armed with (or burdened by) a specific hypothesis, analysts could find themselves all too easily attracted to information that fit, rather than challenged, their beliefs. Kent’s worries about bias can be seen in his admonitions to undergraduates in Writing History: “Willingness to criticize his own judgments, his own conclusions in the light of what he knows or suspects of his own prejudice is the quality that separates the intellectually honest historian from the irresponsible apologist.”[79] One defense against this tendency, Kent advised, was to explicitly consider multiple explanations:
What is desired in the way of hypotheses, whenever they may occur, is quantity and quality. What is desired is a large number of possible interpretations of the data, a large number of inferences, or concepts, which are broadly based and productive of still other concepts.[80]
In his warning against partiality and his suggestion that it could be tamed by considering multiple explanations, Kent anticipated what is now known as the “confirmation bias.” As psychologist Thomas Gilovich puts it, when people encounter evidence that supports their beliefs, they ask “May I believe it?” But when they encounter that which disproves their beliefs, they ask “Must I believe it?”[81] It may seem intuitive that people would prefer information that confirms their beliefs, but it requires a further leap to understand, as Kent did, that disconfirming evidence can be more valuable.[82] What’s more, Kent realized just how pernicious confirmation bias can be. Modern psychologists believe that it contributes to overconfidence, which may be what Max Bazerman and Don Moore have called “the mother of all biases,” with calamitous consequences for decision-making, including national security decision-making.[83] Kent’s solution is the basis for various foresight methodologies, such as scenario planning, that explicitly consider multiple possible futures. Indeed, scenario planning is useful, in part, precisely because it reduces the overconfidence that can degrade predictive accuracy.[84] Encourage Dissent Recognizing that groups could gravitate toward an artificial consensus — what would become known in the 1970s as “groupthink”[85] — Kent actively encouraged dissent. According to Jack Davis,
In Kent’s day, before electronic coordination and review, it was common to assemble in a room 20 or 30 analysts with a wide range of factual expertise and points of view to review a draft assessment, at times fighting their way through the text paragraph by paragraph.[86]
Representatives from different agencies were bound to disagree with one another, and Kent allowed unresolvable disagreements to be included in the texts of NIEs, a practice that continues to this day.[87] More interestingly, he encouraged participants to speak up, even on subjects outside their area of expertise. He recalled,
One ground rule we established very early in the game was that no matter what the nature of the area that a Rep represented, anyone present should feel free to comment on any section of the paper whatsoever. In other words, someone representing the Air Force was free, and actually encouraged, to comment on any of the other areas, say of a political or economic nature.[88]
This was a remarkable management insight. Kent seems to have anticipated, by more than 40 years, the work of organizational behavior scholar Amy Edmondson, who found that the most effective teams encourage an atmosphere of “psychological safety,” in which members feel free to voice opinions without worrying that they might hurt their reputation or career.[89] Psychological safety has since been shown to impact outcomes in a variety of high-stakes domains, such as surgical theaters.[90] It is not hard to see how the quality of intelligence analysis could suffer in a psychologically “unsafe” environment. Be Precise Kent had always been a stickler for precise language — his own prose is so exact as to be turgid — and he insisted upon it at ONE.[91] Particularly given the existential nature of Cold War threats, Kent abhorred the “confusions” that had taken hold in the lexicon of intelligence analysts. These vagaries were particularly insidious when it came to estimating probabilities.[92] One day, he recalled in his memoir, “I asked everybody to write down the numerical odds that he ascribed to the expression ‘serious possibility.’ To my horror, I found that the spread of odds ranged all the way from 80 to 20 to 20 to 80.”[93] To rectify the situation, Kent recommended that estimators provide odds (e.g., two-to-one, five-to-one) of an event occurring instead of using the “infantile imprecision of the language of intelligence” (e.g., “good chance,” “real possibility,” “strong likelihood”).[94] When one colleague complained that phrases like “50-50 odds” would make the CIA sound like a “bookie shop,” Kent replied, “I’d rather be a bookie than a goddamn poet.”[95] Here, again, Kent was ahead of his time.[96] People assign wildly different probabilities to different words. Nevertheless, for decades the U.S. intelligence community resisted assigning quantitative measures to qualitative estimates and, as a result, failed to communicate its forecasts clearly.[97] Recent research has shown, however, that one of the primary objections to quantitative probabilities — that they convey a false sense of precision on the part of the analyst — is unfounded.[98] This is true even of specific probabilities as opposed to ranges.[99] What’s more, in a multiyear geopolitical forecasting tournament sponsored by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the best performers were the most granular in the probabilities they assigned their forecasts.[100] Apparently, it really is better to be a bookie than a poet!

Estimating Kent

Despite Kent’s best efforts, ONE often erred in its predictions. One of its biggest mistakes was its insistence, in September 1962, that the Soviets would not place nuclear weapons in Cuba.[101] In fact, the Soviets had already placed intermediate-range missiles and tactical nuclear weapons on the island, and their discovery by U.S. surveillance precipitated what was probably the greatest crisis in human history — one that could have led to the deaths of hundreds of millions of people. Kent subsequently published an article that critiqued the estimate in detail, assessing how his office got it wrong.[102] There were other errors as well. In 1973, Robert Gates, a young CIA analyst who would go on to become director of central intelligence and secretary of defense, wrote, “We failed to anticipate the construction of the Berlin Wall, the ouster of Khrushchev, the timing of the invasion of Czechoslovakia, and other events of importance.”[103] ONE had successes, too, including anticipating the Soviet launch of Sputnik. But evaluating ONE’s record is difficult for several reasons: Some facts remain murky, NIEs contained many different judgments, and those judgments were often presented not as testable predictions but as qualitatively expressed degrees of confidence. That is why Abbott Smith, who succeeded Kent as director of ONE, concluded,
What it comes to is this: a complete, objective, statistical audit of the validity of NIE’s is impossible, and even if it were possible, it would provide no just verdict on how ‘good’ these papers have been. Like the Bible, the corpus of estimates is voluminous and uneven in quality, and almost any proposition can be defended by citations from it.[104]
That ambiguity is, in part, why the Nixon administration abolished ONE in 1973. Henry Kissinger, who was national security adviser at the time, had become enormously frustrated with the documents’ opacity, which he reportedly felt required a “Talmudic” degree of interpretation.[105] He had the National Security Council staff compile its own, competing estimates, and finally CIA Director William Colby replaced ONE with a collection of “national intelligence officers.” Those officers were eventually organized into the National Intelligence Council, which still produces NIEs. The challenge in measuring the accuracy of National Intelligence Estimates makes it difficult to judge Sherman Kent’s career. Kent’s admirers — and there are many — insist that his contributions were significant, noting his development of intelligence as a “profession.” Harold P. Ford paid tribute to his former colleague as “a principal father of the modern intelligence profession.”[106] Donald Steury, a CIA historian and editor of a volume on Kent, similarly lauded the ONE director’s “formative role in the growth of intelligence as a profession.”[107] And Jack Davis concluded, “If intelligence analysis as a profession has a Founder, the honor belongs to Sherman Kent.”[108] This is why, in 2000, CIA Director George Tenet dedicated the Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis, saying that it would “prepare generations of men and women for the vital, demanding, and exciting profession of intelligence analysis in the 21st century.”[109] [quote id="5"] By the time Kent retired in 1967, American intelligence analysis certainly had become professionalized, especially compared with the ad hoc approach that had marked the early days of R&A, when Kent knew little and was “unable to find anyone who has more dope than myself.” As early as 1955, he was able to write of the CIA,
We are officered and manned by a large number of people with more than a decade of continuous experience in intelligence, and who regard it as a career to be followed to retirement. By now we have orderly file rooms of our findings going back to the war, and we have methods of improving the usefulness of such files. … Most important of all, we have within us a feeling of common enterprise and a good sense of mission.[110]
Crucially, he continued, intelligence “has developed a recognized methodology; it has developed a vocabulary; it has developed a body of theory and doctrine; it has elaborate and refined techniques.” In that, it met the formal definition of a profession laid out by sociologist Andrew Abbott, who wrote that “professions are exclusive occupational groups applying somewhat abstract knowledge to particular cases.”[111] Or, as Davis put it, “His analytic code … perhaps Kent’s most valuable contribution, was carefully refined to distinguish professional analysts not only from fortune-tellers and policy action officers, but also from academic specialists on national security affairs.” In short, it was a defined, and even rarified, activity. At the same time, Kent had wanted more: As a historian swept up in postwar scholarly excitement, he wanted to turn intelligence into not simply a profession but a discipline — which is to say, a science. His 1955 article claimed that analysis had taken on “the aspects of a discipline,”[112] but Steury, while praising Kent, argues that he was the “practitioner” of a “craft” — never able to transform intelligence analysis into a science because of his innate preference for empiricism over theory:
Intelligence analysis in the CIA never achieved an explicitly, broadly based epistemological and doctrinal structure. … Like most historians of his generation, Kent was uncomfortable with theoretical constructs, preferring in their stead empirical judgments that were founded in an ordered methodology.[113]
Despite his occasional claim otherwise, Kent’s own writings support this critique. The thing he felt intelligence needed most to help it become a discipline was a body of literature, which is why he lobbied for the creation of Studies in Intelligence. Its authors, he said, should grapple with “first principles,” but by “first principles” he meant, “What is our mission?” and “What is our method?”[114] Despite repeated references to theory, in a quarter-century of intelligence work Kent never articulated an intelligence equivalent of, say, political science’s “realism.” He never even attempted such a contribution despite his insistence that intelligence needed the kind of brilliant thinkers — he cited Darwin, Freud, Keynes, and Pareto — who had defined or redefined their fields at the theoretical level.[115] But is such a critique fair? To demand that intelligence analysis, and in particular estimation, be made a discipline is awfully close to asking for Isaac Asimov’s science-fiction concept of “psychohistory” — in which statistics provide a guide to the future — to be made real.[116] Barring a deterministic view of human behavior, that is not possible. As Daniel Bell has written,
Most events, even in the physical world, are not completely deterministic but stochastic, i.e., they involve random or chance probability. We do not live completely in a Newtonian universe, either in the micro-phenomena of quantum physics or in the social world.[117]
Nor are estimates inert observations. Rather, they interact with the policymaking process. An intelligence estimate can be a self-fulfilling or a self-negating prophecy — a hawkish assessment of Soviet policy, for example, could lead to tougher U.S. policy, which in turn could prompt an increase in Soviet military spending. Social sciences with tasks less intimidating than predicting Soviet nuclear intentions could not maintain the epistemological enthusiasm of the 1950s, upon which Kent drew and to which he contributed. Human systems are complex, and unlike other complex systems — such as the weather — there is often inadequate theory and data with which to accurately model them and, therefore, to predict their behavior. Even economics — the “hardest” of the social sciences — has fared poorly. Economists are largely unable to predict recessions, GDP forecasts have a margin of error of more than 6 percent (which can easily mean the difference between contraction and robust growth), and virtually the entire field failed to foresee the 2008 financial crisis.[118] It may be that social science is more useful for explanation than prediction.[119] The forecasts of geopolitical experts, for example, are on the whole no more accurate than those of the average well-informed citizen.[120] The purpose in highlighting the shortcomings in Kent’s efforts is not to suggest that Kent was a failure — far from it — but, rather, to show that intellectual enthusiasms can overwhelm good judgment. The academy is as vulnerable to fads as any profession and must, therefore, exercise a certain conservatism, especially when it comes to subjects as grand as the future. There are, of course, genuine scientific revolutions, but the future will always retain an element of irreducible uncertainty. That uncertainty is both empowering and threatening. Without it, human beings would lack agency. With it, we are vulnerable to surprise. The best way to cope with this danger is by developing resilience, the ability to adapt to unexpected circumstances. But the belief in the predictability of the future is once again on the rise. Today, spurred by Big Data, the social sciences are undergoing a shift akin to the one that marked the postwar years. According to Gary King, the head of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, “The social sciences are in the midst of an historic change… [with] consequences for everything social scientists do and all that we plan.”[121] In King’s view, Big Data will lead to a more thorough understanding of why people do what they do. The result, he claims, will be nothing less than a “renaissance” in knowledge production. It is a renaissance that the U.S. government is supporting through, for example, IARPA and the Pentagon’s Minerva initiative. Already, the law enforcement and intelligence communities have established fusion centers around the country to collate and share data in an algorithm-driven attempt to anticipate, identify, and stop threats to national security. Such efforts are powerful but rife with potential problems. Data-driven correlations can be spurious, algorithms may reflect the biases of their programmers, and a glut of data can decrease the signal-to-noise ratio, diminishing, rather than enhancing, the ability to predict. The enthusiasm for Big Data, however, pales next to that for artificial intelligence, a blanket term for a variety of approaches that enable computers to supplement or surpass human cognition — and even intuition. For example, Bridgewater Associates, the highly successful macro hedge fund, is using artificial intelligence to build a predictive machine. As a statement from the company explains,
We believe that the same things happen over and over again because of logical cause/effect relationships, and that by writing one’s principles down and then computerizing them one can have the computer make high-quality decisions in much the same way a GPS can be an effective guide to decision making.[122]
Within the national security establishment, there is great concern about the threat of AI-enabled weapons, but there is little discussion about the threat of AI-driven prediction. Artificial intelligence can be seen as a primarily predictive technology, in that many of its tasks are intended to anticipate what a human would do, including how a human would make predictions. It is a meta-prediction technology. As three scholars at the University of Toronto have written, “As machine intelligence improves, the value of human prediction skills will decrease because machine prediction will provide a cheaper and better substitute for human prediction, just as machines did for arithmetic.”[123] But that argument is undercut by the irreducibility of uncertainty. If uncertainty is endemic, then imagination — the ability to envision possible futures — becomes a matter of vital national interest. Because the future remains at least partly unknowable, the best defense comes from anticipating multiple futures and working backward to find their antecedents in the present. The greatest limitation comes from the ability (or inability) to imagine such futures. “The danger is in the poverty of expectations,” as Thomas Schelling wrote in his foreword to Roberta Wohlstetter’s classic study of Pearl Harbor.[124] This is why the 9/11 Commission’s report includes a section on the importance of imagination: “It is therefore crucial to find a way of routinizing, even bureaucratizing, the exercise of imagination.”[125] Otherwise, surprise — the avoidance of which was the rationale for establishing ONE in the first place — becomes more likely. But imagination is the purview of humans, and in ceding more and more cognitive tasks to machines, the United States risks undercutting its imaginative capacity.[126] That, in turn, threatens its predictive potential and, by extension, American security. None of this is to deny a central role for AI in prediction or to suggest that human forecasting cannot be improved. On the contrary, research has demonstrated how to improve geopolitical prediction, most notably via the work of Philip Tetlock, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, whose team of scholars participated in IARPA’s multiyear forecasting tournament. That tournament generated a slew of findings on the traits, teams, and training that improve forecasting ability.[127] The best forecasters generated by Tetlock’s method were reportedly able to outperform CIA analysts by a significant margin.[128] And there is hope that even better forecasting may come from a hybrid of AI and human efforts.[129] The key is to test those hopes instead of being swept away by them. This, then, is how Kent is both a beacon and a danger. The danger lies in the hubris of the latest enthusiasm — zeal, after all, is not a methodology — but it is a danger that can be corrected by scientific sobriety, of which Kent is a beacon. In his legacy lies a guide to the promises and the limits of prediction.   Acknowledgements: The author wishes to thank Walter Friedman at Harvard Business School for his advice on this article and to thank Peter Bergen, Andrés Martinez, Fuzz Hogan, and the Fellows Program at New America for their support. J. Peter Scoblic, a doctoral candidate at Harvard Business School, is a fellow in the International Security Program at New America and the author of U.S. vs. Them: Conservatism in the Age of Nuclear Terror. Image: CIA [post_title] => Beacon and Warning: Sherman Kent, Scientific Hubris, and the CIA’s Office of National Estimates [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => beacon-and-warning-sherman-kent-scientific-hubris-and-the-cias-office-of-national-estimates [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-17 13:04:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-17 18:04:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://tnsr.org/?p=688 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [lead] => Sherman Kent, the Yale historian who directed the Office of National Estimates from 1952 to 1967, is a legend at the CIA, revered for professionalizing U.S. intelligence analysis. His analytic doctrine, steeped as it was in a commitment to reason and method, lent the agency’s work rigor and credibility in its foundational years. From bias to probabilities, Kent anticipated the findings of modern scholars by many decades. However, in his conviction that intelligence analysts would soon be able to forecast geopolitical events with scientific accuracy, Kent overreached. Enthusiasm turned out to be hubris, and the predictive record of the Office of National Estimates was decidedly mixed. In light of this history, today's enthusiasm for the predictive potential of Big Data and artificial intelligence seems overzealous. Kent’s relentless pursuit of the truth makes him a model in today’s political climate, but his failures should serve as a warning to those who believe that technology can eliminate the uncertainty of the future. [pubinfo] => [issue] => Vol 1, Iss 4 [quotes] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [author] => [style] => left [text] => Read and Langer assured him, he would be working alongside some of the most impressive scholars in the country... ) [1] => Array ( [author] => [style] => right [text] => R&A also forced its 900 scholars to work across disciplines. The bureau included historians, economists, political scientists, geographers, psychologists, and anthropologists. ) [2] => Array ( [author] => [style] => left [text] => Kent explicitly categorized intelligence analysis by time — that is, whether it focused on the past, the present, or the future. ) [3] => Array ( [author] => [style] => right [text] => He anticipated the dangers of confirmatory bias, the importance of allowing dissent, and the need for precision when estimating probabilities. ) [4] => Array ( [author] => [style] => left [text] => Kent’s admirers — and there are many — insist that his contributions were significant, noting his development of intelligence as a “profession.” ) ) [style] => framing [type] => Framing [style_label] => The Foundation [download] => Array ( [title] => PDF Download [file] => 835 ) [authors] => Array ( [0] => 196 ) [endnotes] => Array ( [title] => Endnotes [endnotes] => [1] Sherman Kent, “The Historian in Time of Trouble: The Age of Metternich” (paper presented at meeting of the American Historical Association, December 1940), folder 213, box 36, MS 854, Sherman Kent Papers, Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University Library (hereafter Sherman Kent Papers). [2] Sherman Kent, Reminiscences of a Varied Life (San Rafael, CA: The Printing Factory, 1991), 185–86. [3] Jeffrey T. Richelson, A Century of Spies: Intelligence in the Twentieth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 131. [4] Sherman Kent, Strategic Intelligence for American World Policy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1949). [5] The Alsop brothers quote is from Bret Barnes, “CIA Official Sherman Kent, 82, Dies,” Washington Post, March 14, 1986, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1986/03/14/cia-official-sherman-kent-82-dies/e22ef6e0-a118-42be-b529-7e39f2babaaa/. [6] Jack Davis, “Sherman Kent and the Profession of Intelligence Analysis,” Sherman Kent Center for Intelligence Analysis Occasional Papers 1, no. 5 (November 2002), https://www.cia.gov/library/kent-center-occasional-papers/vol1no5.htm. [7] Donald P. Steury, “Introduction,” in Sherman Kent and the Board of National Estimates, ed. Donald P. Steury (Central Intelligence Agency, 1994), 13. [8] To be precise, William Langer served as director for ONE’s first year, with Kent as his deputy, but Smith had made it clear upfront that Kent would take Langer’s position when the Harvard historian had to return to Cambridge in 1951. Kent, Reminiscences, 244. On ONE’s remit, see Kent, Reminiscences, 257–58. [9] Sherman Kent, “Prospects for the National Intelligence Service,” Yale Review 36, no. 1 (Autumn 1946): 116–17. [10] J. Kenneth McDonald, “Foreword,” in Steury, Sherman Kent and the Board of National Estimates, 7. [11] See, for example, Thomas M. Nichols, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017); and Michiko Kakutani, The Death of Truth (New York: Tim Duggan Books, 2018). [12] Antonia Woodford, “Sherman Kent at Yale: The Making of an Intelligence Analyst,” Yale Historical Review 3, no. 1 (Spring 2014): 64, https://historicalreview.yale.edu/sites/default/files/spring_2014_yhr_web_0.pdf. I am indebted to this article for pointing me to certain correspondence between Sherman Kent and his mother. [13] Kent, Reminiscences, 77. [14] Kent, Reminiscences, 101. [15] Kent, Reminiscences, 108–9. [16] The information in this paragraph comes from Sherman Kent letter to his mother, Elizabeth Thatcher Kent, Aug. 20, 1941, folder 996, box 50, MS 309, William Kent Family Papers, Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University Library (hereafter William Kent Family Papers). [17] Sherman Kent letter to his mother, Aug. 27, 1941, folder 996, box 50, MS 309, William Kent Family Papers. [18] Kent, Reminiscences, 185–86. [19] Sherman Kent letter to his mother, March 12, 1941, folder 995, box 50, MS 309, William Kent Family Papers. [20] Sherman Kent letter to his mother, Sept. 12, 1941, folder 997, box 50, MS 309, William Kent Family Papers. [21] “1940-2010: How Has America Changed?” U.S. Census Bureau, March 14, 2012. https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/2012/comm/1940-census-change.html. [22] Kent, Reminiscences, 198. [23] Kent, Reminiscences, 187–88. [24] Richelson, Century of Spies, 204. [25] Sherman Kent letter to his mother, Sept. 6, 1941, folder 997, box 50, MS 309, William Kent Family Papers. It is not clear what Kent was referring to when he wrote that he had been new to many jobs before, given that he had worked at Yale his entire career. [26] Sherman Kent, untitled notes that Kent dates to “about 10 Sept 1941,” folder 58, box 43, MS 854, Sherman Kent Papers. [27] Sherman Kent, “The Need for an Intelligence Literature,” Studies in Intelligence 1, no. 1 (September 1955), https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol1no1/html/v01i1a01p_0001.htm. [28] Robin W. Winks, Cloak & Gown: Scholars in the Secret War, 1939–1961 2nd ed. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1987), 495. [29] Woodford, “Sherman Kent at Yale,” 80. [30] Kent, “The Historian in Time of Trouble.” [31] The clubbiness of Research and Analysis is vividly demonstrated by Kent’s description of his own hiring practices: “My first and most pressing task was to begin recruiting staff for my Mediterranean section. Rudolph Winnacker immediately came to mind … he was a fellow French historian whose interests and sympathies often paralleled my own. … It was Bill Langer who directed us to Rick (Richard P.) Stebbins who had done his graduate work at Harvard. … Soon after Dick, we hired Henry Cord Meyer from Yale where he was doing his graduate work on ‘Mittel Europa’ under Hajo Holborn. I had been close to Holborn while at Yale and was happy to invite Henry with Hajo’s strong recommendation. … Also largely on Holborn’s advice we recruited Bob (Robert G.) Miner. Bob was also doing his graduate work at Yale. … Another one of our early recruits and again from Yale was Henry L. Roberts.” Kent, Reminiscences, 100–02. [32] Sherman Kent, Writing History (New York: F.S. Crofts & Co., 1941), 4. [33] Kent, Writing History, 5. [34] Kent, Writing History, 29–30. [35] Sherman Kent, “Research and Analysis Branch, 1943–1945,” folder 58, box 43, MS 854, Sherman Kent Papers. [36] Ford, “A Tribute to Sherman Kent,” 26. Kent’s first book was actually Electoral Procedure Under Louis Philippe (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1937). [37] Winks, Cloak & Gown, 67. [38] Sherman Kent letter to his mother, Sept. 6, 1941. [39] Winks, Cloak & Gown, 62–63. [40] Kent, Strategic Intelligence, 74. [41] Winks, Cloak & Gown, 69. [42] Kent, Strategic Intelligence, 75. [43] Central Intelligence Agency, “The Office of Strategic Services: Research and Analysis Branch,” https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/2010-featured-story-archive/oss-research-and-analysis.html. [44] Winks, Cloak & Gown, 72. [45] As quoted in Barry M. Katz, Foreign Intelligence: Research and Analysis in the Office of Strategic Services 1942–1945 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989), 102. [46] Davis, “Sherman Kent and the Profession of Intelligence Analysis.” [47] Winks, Cloak & Gown, 85. [48] Davis, “Sherman Kent and the Profession of Intelligence Analysis.” [49] Richelson, Century of Spies, 204–5. [50] Richelson, Century of Spies, 205. [51] The extent of R&A’s contribution is disputed. For example, Barry Katz concludes, “The work these scholars produced was, as a general rule, of exceptionally high quality … [but] there is precious little evidence that the reports, analyses, and forecasts churned out in the Branch figured decisively in the determination of military or diplomatic policy.” Katz, Foreign Intelligence, 197. [52] Diary entry, Sept. 13, 1945, “Conferences with President Truman, 1945,” Smith papers (Roosevelt Library) as cited in Thomas F. Troy, “Truman on CIA,” Studies in Intelligence 20, no. 1 (Spring 1976), https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol20no1/html/v20i1a02p_0001.htm. [53] George F. Kennan [X], “The Sources of Soviet Conduct,” Foreign Affairs 25, no. 4 (July 1947), https://doi.org/10.2307/20030065. [54] Bernard Brodie, The Absolute Weapon: Atomic Power and World Order (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1946). [55] Kent, Strategic Intelligence, vii. [56] Kent, Reminiscences, 245. [57] Sherman Kent, “The First Year of the Office of National Estimates: The Directorship of William L. Langer,” in Steury, Sherman Kent and the Board of National Estimates. [58] Kent, Reminiscences, 258. [59] Sherman Kent, “Memorandum for General Vandenberg,” Nov. 18, 1946, folder 46, box 41, MS 854, Sherman Kent Papers. To the memo, he appended a list of seven economists, 11 historians and international relations experts, and one geographer, all of whom he felt Vandenberg should consult immediately. [60] Kent, Reminiscences, 248. [61] “On the theory that the consumers of intelligence are interested in things of the past, present, and future, I have adopted the element of time as the element of overruling importance.” Kent, Strategic Intelligence, 8. [62] Kent, Strategic Intelligence, 7. [63] Kent, Strategic Intelligence, 59. [64] Kent, Strategic Intelligence, 60. [65] Kent, Strategic Intelligence, 60–61. [66] Daniel Bell, The Social Sciences Since the Second World War (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1982), 2–5. Dorothy Ross, “The Changing Contours of the Social Science Disciplines,” in The Cambridge History of Science, ed. Theodore M. Porter and Dorothy Ross, vol. 7 (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2003). [67] Louis Menand, The Marketplace of Ideas: Reform and Resistance in the American University (New York: W.W. Norton, 2010), 74. [68] Hunter Heyck, Age of System: Understanding the Development of Modern Social Science (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015), 18. [69] Interestingly, statistician Nate Silver has found that use of the word “predictable” surged in academic journals in the 1950s while use of the word “unpredictable” dropped. Nate Silver, The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — But Some Don’t (New York: Penguin Press, 2012), 453. [70] Menand, Marketplace of Ideas, 75. [71] Bell, Social Sciences, 6. [72] Kent, Strategic Intelligence, vii–viii. [73] Sherman Kent, “The Law and Custom of the National Intelligence Estimate,” in Steury, Sherman Kent and the Board of National Estimates. The legal mandate came from the National Security Act of 1947, and the bureaucratic mandate came from National Security Council intelligence directives issued in late 1947 and early 1948. [74] Kent, “The Law and Custom of the National Intelligence Estimate.” [75] Sherman Kent, “Estimates and Influence,” Studies in Intelligence 12, no. 3 (Summer 1968), https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol12i3/html/v12i3a02p_0001.htm. [76] Quote from Kent, Strategic Intelligence, 41–42. Concept from Kent, “Estimates and Influence.” [77] The quotes in this paragraph are all taken from Kent, “Estimates and Influence.” [78] Davis, “Sherman Kent and the Profession of Intelligence Analysis.” Davis highlights similar themes in Kent’s work. [79] Kent, Writing History, 9. [80] Kent, Strategic Intelligence, 174. [81] Thomas Gilovich, How We Know What Isn’t So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life (New York: Free Press, 1991). [82] As Kent put it in Writing History, “The goal of research is to build better hypotheses than already exist and to establish them as relatively more true: it is to reveal a sharper picture of what happened and to make a closer approach to actuality than anyone has yet contrived.” Kent, Writing History, 29–30. [83] Max H. Bazerman and Don A. Moore, Judgment in Managerial Decision Making 8th ed. (New York: Wiley, 2013), 14–15. [84] Paul J.H. Schoemaker, “Multiple Scenario Development: Its Conceptual and Behavioral Foundation,” Strategic Management Journal 14, no. 3 (March 1993), https://doi.org/10.1002/smj.4250140304. [85] I.L. Janis, “Groupthink,” Psychology Today 5, no. 6 (1971): 43–46, 74–76; I.L. Janis, Victims of Groupthink: A Psychological Study of Foreign-Policy Decisions and Fiascoes (Oxford, England: Houghton Mifflin: 1972). [86] Davis, “Sherman Kent and the Profession of Intelligence Analysis.” [87] Kent, Reminiscences, 260. [88] Kent, Reminiscences, 259. [89] Amy Edmondson, “Psychological Safety and Learning Behavior in Work Teams,” Administrative Science Quarterly 44, no. 2 (June 1999), https://www.jstor.org/stable/2666999. See also Amy C. Edmondson, The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety for Learning, Innovation and Growth (New York: Wiley, forthcoming). [90] Amy C. Edmondson, “Speaking Up in the Operating Room: How Team Leaders Promote Learning in Interdisciplinary Action Teams,” Journal of Management Studies 40, no. 6 (August 2003), https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-6486.00386. See also Amy C. Edmondson, Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2012). [91] Writing History contains this amusing (at least to modern ears) line: “Avoid those words in current collegiate slang which have little or no precise meaning. For example the word ‘meatball’ is used now as a term of disapproval when applied to a fellow man. But exactly what the qualities of a ‘meatball’ are is very difficult to discover.” [92] Sherman Kent, “Memorandum for Mr. Baird [Matthew Baird, CIA Director of Training],” Dec. 21, 1953. [93] Kent, Reminiscences, 263. [94] Kent, “Memorandum for Mr. Baird.” [95] Davis, “Sherman Kent and the Profession of Intelligence Analysis.” [96] Kent’s chief treatment of this subject is found in Sherman Kent, “Words of Estimative Probability,” Studies in Intelligence 8, no. 4 (1964): 49–65. https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol8no4/html/v08i4a06p_0001.htm. [97] Baruch Fischhoff, Intelligence Analysis for Tomorrow: Advances from the Behavioral and Social Sciences (Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2011), http://www.nap.edu/catalog/13040. [98] Jeffrey A. Friedman, Jennifer S. Lerner, and Richard Zeckhauser, “Behavioral Consequences of Probabilistic Precision: Experimental Evidence from National Security Professionals,” International Organization 71, no. 4 (Fall 2017), https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020818317000352. [99] Jeffrey A. Friedman and Richard Zeckhauser, “Handling and Mishandling Estimative Probability: Likelihood, Confidence, and the Search for Bin Laden,” Intelligence and National Security 30, no. 1 (2015), https://doi.org/10.1080/02684527.2014.885202. [100] Barbara Mellers, et al. “Identifying and Cultivating Superforecasters as a Method of Improving Probabilistic Predictions,” Perspectives on Psychological Science 10, no. 3 (May 2015), https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1745691615577794. [101] “Special National Intelligence Estimate 85-3-62: The Military Buildup in Cuba,” Sept. 19, 1962, https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1961-63v10/d433. [102] Sherman Kent, “A Crucial Estimate Relived,” Studies in Intelligence 8, no. 2 (Spring 1964), https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol8no2/html/v08i2a01p.htm. He concluded that the Soviets had behaved in a way that was inconsistent with their past behavior and with their understanding of how seriously the United States would view the move. In other words, Kent and his team had expected Nikita Khrushchev to behave “rationally,” and he had not. [103] Robert M. Gates, “The Prediction of Soviet Intentions,” Studies in Intelligence 17, no. 1 (Fall 1973), https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol16no4/html/v17i1a06p_0001.htm. [104] Abbot E. Smith, “On the Accuracy of National Intelligence Estimates,” Studies in Intelligence 13, no. 4 (Fall 1969), https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol13no4/html/v13i4a04p_0001.htm. [105] Lawrence Freedman, US Intelligence and the Soviet Strategic Threat (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986), 49. [106] Ford, “A Tribute to Sherman Kent,” 25–26. [107] Steury, “Introduction,” 20. [108] Davis, “Sherman Kent and the Profession of Intelligence Analysis,” 2. [109] “Remarks of the Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet at the Dedication of the Sherman Kent School,” CIA speeches and testimony archive, May 4, 2000, https://www.cia.gov/news-information/speeches-testimony/2000/dci_speech_05052000.html. [110] Kent, “The Need for an Intelligence Literature,” 2. [111] Andrew Abbott, The System of Professions: An Essay on the Division of Expert Labor (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), 8. [112] Kent, “The Need for an Intelligence Literature,” 3. [113] Steury, “Introduction,” 16. [114] Kent, “The Need for an Intelligence Literature,” 5. [115] Kent, Strategic Intelligence, 174. For all the self-assurance with which Kent wrote, whatever the longevity of Strategic Intelligence, and despite the brash manner with which he carried himself, this lacuna may have been a source of insecurity. In his memoir, he wrote of ONE’s “rarefied intellectual atmosphere” and confessed, “I never completely rid myself of my feelings of intellectual inferiority.” Kent, Reminiscences, 248. [116] Isaac Asimov, Foundation (New York: Gnome Press, 1951). [117] Bell, Social Sciences, 51. [118] Silver, The Signal and the Noise, chap. 6. [119] Gerald F. Davis and Christopher Marquis, “Prospects for Organization Theory in the Early Twenty-First Century: Institutional Fields and Mechanisms,” Organization Science 16, no. 4 (July–August 2005), https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1050.0137. [120] Philip E. Tetlock, Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005). [121] Gary King, “Restructuring the Social Sciences: Reflections from Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science,” PS: Political Science and Politics 47, no. 1 (January 2014), https://doi.org/10.1017/S1049096513001534. [122] “Bridgewater Clarifies Its Artificial Intelligence Strategy,” ValueWalk, March 12, 2015, http://www.valuewalk.com/2015/03/bridgewater-artificial-intelligence-2/. [123] Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb, “The Simple Economics of Machine Intelligence,” Harvard Business Review, Nov. 17, 2016, https://hbr.org/2016/11/the-simple-economics-of-machine-intelligence. For a longer treatment, see Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb, Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence (Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2018). [124] Thomas C. Schelling, “Foreword” in Roberta Wohlstetter, Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision, (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1962), viii. [125] The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 2004), 344. [126] See, for example, Ed Finn, What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2017). [127] For a readable overview of this research project and its findings, see Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardner, Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction (New York: Crown, 2015). [128] David Ignatius, “More Chatter Than Needed,” Washington Post, Nov. 1, 2013, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/david-ignatius-more-chatter-than-needed/2013/11/01/1194a984-425a-11e3-a624-41d661b0bb78_story.html. [129] See, for example, IARPA’s Hybrid Forecasting Competition as described at https://www.iarpa.gov/index.php/research-programs/hfc. ) [contents] => Array ( [title] => [contents] => ) ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 812 [post_author] => 49 [post_date] => 2018-08-11 15:06:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-11 19:06:54 [post_content] => As an undergraduate at the University of Chicago in the 1980s, my first exposure to great thinking about world politics and foreign policy came through reading articles from International Security. It was a golden age for security and strategic studies, and it played out in the pages of the journal with the funky font, snappy titles, long, discursive footnotes, unconventional article length, and alternating cover colors. The questions asked and answered were big, scholars actively engaged the concerns of policymakers, and no one questioned journal issues that focused on crucial historical events and that included articles by a former national security advisor, a historian, leading natural scientists, and top international relations scholars. International Security published so many articles that changed the way we looked at the world. A few of my favorites from my younger days: At a time when the overwhelming consensus was that NATO was seriously outgunned, John J. Mearsheimer demonstrated in the 1982 essay, “Why the Soviets Can’t Win Quickly in Central Europe,” that NATO could hold the line if a full-on Warsaw Pact attack came.[1] In the spring of 1983, using never-before-seen documents, David Rosenberg, in “The Origins of Overkill: Nuclear Weapons and American Strategy, 1945-1960,” painstakingly reconstructed the policies and processes that led to the massive nuclear forces of the United States.[2] In “The Long Peace: Elements of Stability in the Postwar International System,” John Lewis Gaddis wrestled with the puzzle of why the fearsome ideological and geopolitical competition between the superpowers stayed peaceful.[3] Marc Trachtenberg’s winter 1989 piece, “A Wasting Asset: American Strategy and the Shifting Nuclear Balance, 1949-1954,” revealed that the rapidly shifting military balance had profound political consequences during the most dangerous period of the Cold War.[4] All four authors, it should be pointed out, penned these path-breaking pieces — articles that reached beyond their disciplinary bounds and spoke to questions of great policy relevance — while relatively young and before they had attained their current “moose-head” status. Why do I bring this up in the introduction to this edition of the Texas National Security Review? First, our goal is to publish articles possessing similar range, style, importance, and impact. Sean, like his predecessors Steve Miller and Steve Van Evera, is a legend, having created a home for the best work of emerging scholars in international relations. Policy-relevant diplomatic history, security studies, and strategic studies have found themselves under siege in recent years, but under Sean’s leadership, International Security has stayed true to the mission of publishing clear and rigorous scholarship that help us better understand the consequential — and often contentious — issues surrounding war and peace. Sean deserves deepest thanks and best wishes from all of us. The International Security that I grew up with has been a model for us as we think about what the Texas National Security Review can and should be. This is, admittedly, a high bar. But we are aiming very high. And we have not only learned from their successes. I suspect our pages will not see a repeat of the heavy dose of arcane theory — the so-called “battle of the -isms” — that took up much space in International Security and other international relations journals in the 1990s. And like all journals, we also hope to become a platform for more diverse voices. Like most, we are nowhere near where we want or should be. The Texas National Security Review is dependent upon the submissions we receive and the blind peer review process we embrace, but we are cooking up a variety of initiatives to identify, support, and publish new voices. The excellent contributions in this issue have brought me back to those old issues of International Security. They include, amongst other excellent contributions, Philip Bobbitt combining constitutional law and history to bring unique reflections to the question of world order. Ulrike Franke diagnoses the recent troubles afflicting the transatlantic alliance. Daniel Sobelman engages the debate within international relations over alliances and entrapment by showing how the United States and Israel engaged in a sophisticated effort to shape each other’s behavior. And J. Peter Scoblic offers a fascinating window into how a young historian transformed research and forecasting within the American intelligence community, foreshadowing many of the methodological and substantive debates we are having today. As we give thanks and bid Sean well, we hope that he and all those who understand and appreciate the crucial importance of rigorous and accessible scholarship — scholarship that transcends disciplines, speaks to the world of practice, and wrestles with big questions on —  national and international security will enjoy this issue of the Texas National Security Review and those yet to come!   Francis J. Gavin is the Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Texas National Security Review. He is the Giovanni Agnelli Distinguished Professor and the inaugural director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at SAIS-Johns Hopkins University. His writings include Gold, Dollars, and Power: The Politics of International Monetary Relations, 1958-1971 (University of North Carolina Press, 2004) and Nuclear Statecraft: History and Strategy in America’s Atomic Age (Cornell University Press, 2012).   Image: Penn State [post_title] => Introducing TNSR's Fourth Issue: Allies & Enemies [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => introducing-tnsrs-fourth-issue-allies-enemies [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-17 13:07:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-17 18:07:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://tnsr.org/?p=812 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [lead] => This past summer, after 31 years as a member of its editorial leadership team, Sean Lynn Jones announced his retirement from running International Security. Sean is a giant among journal editors and will be missed. [pubinfo] => [issue] => [quotes] => [style] => framing [type] => Framing [style_label] => The Foundation [download] => Array ( [title] => PDF Download [file] => ) [authors] => Array ( [0] => 49 ) [endnotes] => Array ( [title] => Endnotes [endnotes] => [1] John J. Mearsheimer, “Why the Soviets Can’t Win Quickly in Central Europe,” International Security 7, no. 1 (Summer 1982): 3–39, https://muse.jhu.edu/article/446738/pdf. [2] David Rosenberg, “The Origins of Overkill: Nuclear Weapons and American Strategy, 1945-1960,” International Security 7, no. 4 (Spring 1983): 3–71, https://muse.jhu.edu/article/446756/summary. [3] John Lewis Gaddis, “The Long Peace: Elements of Stability in the Postwar International System,” International Security 10, no. 4 (Spring 1986): 99–142, https://www.jstor.org/stable/2538951. [4] Marc Trachtenberg, “A Wasting Asset: American Strategy and the Shifting Nuclear Balance, 1949-1954,” International Security 13, no. 3 (Winter 1988-1989): 5–49, https://www.jstor.org/stable/2538735. ) [contents] => Array ( [title] => [contents] => ) ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 631 [post_author] => 49 [post_date] => 2018-05-03 12:38:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-03 16:38:25 [post_content] => What role do academic journals play in fostering and disseminating new knowledge and understanding of national and international security, statecraft, and strategy? At the Texas National Security Review, we ask ourselves this question a lot. There are so many good outlets generating terrific work. How can we best contribute? This issue of the journal demonstrates at least three ways we believe we can make a difference. First, academic outlets should provide a platform for people in various points in their career. Melvyn Leffler is the dean of Cold War studies, whose work has shaped how we understand international relations after World War II. Senior scholars can offer broad-gauged, synthetic approaches to important questions, as Leffler does here in his reflections on Ronald Reagan and the Cold War. This pairs well with the work of emerging scholars like Adam Liff, who brings new eyes and penetrating insight to the issues surrounding national security reform in Shinzo Abe’s Japan. Our hope is to balance the vigor of fresh insights with the wisdom gained from experience, placing rising stars together with established voices. The second way our journal can be helpful is by bringing divergent intellectual communities together into conversation. In this issue, we are publishing historians, strategists, policymakers, and political scientists of various stripes. Crossing disciplines and bridging gaps is increasingly difficult, but well worth striving for to improve the vibrancy and impact of debates on international affairs. For example, Theo Farrell’s impressive exploration of the sources of the Taliban’s success would not have been possible without his many years of direct engagement with Western military officers, Afghan officials, and even Taliban leaders. His work cannot easily be defined as belonging to one discipline or another. In a related, but different vein, the important work of dialogue and cross-fertilization between various communities is highlighted in Julie Smith’s description of her efforts to engage audiences about America’s role in the world beyond the usual suspects in the beltway and ivory tower. The third contribution is temporal. The articles in this issue blend rigorous exploration of the past as well as contemporary challenges with an eye to understanding the future. The best offer insight on all three: Whether it is the future of statecraft and world order, as laid out by Michael J. Mazarr and Michael Kofman, the fascinating challenges and opportunities of artificial intelligence presented in Michael Horowitz’s sharp analysis, Kori Schake’s insights into the possibility of a Cold War with China, or Patrick McEachern’s cautions on the promises and perils of negotiations with North Korea, this issue reminds us that the future is best viewed through a comprehensive and sophisticated understanding of what is happening right now and what has come before. We won’t always achieve the right balance, and as a journal that includes peer-reviewed contributions, our content is shaped by what people send us and how our referees respond. We are committed, however, to working diligently to expand the range and diversity of voices and ideas contributing to our understanding of strategy and statecraft. To accomplish this mission, we need your help. If you haven’t already, please consider submitting your best work to the Texas National Security Review.   Francis J. Gavin is the Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Texas National Security Review. He is the Giovanni Agnelli Distinguished Professor and the inaugural director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at SAIS-Johns Hopkins University. His writings include Gold, Dollars, and Power: The Politics of International Monetary Relations, 1958-1971 (University of North Carolina Press, 2004) and Nuclear Statecraft: History and Strategy in America’s Atomic Age (Cornell University Press, 2012). Image: Tim1965 ISSN (Print): 2576-1021 ISSN(Online): 2576-1153 [post_title] => Introducing TNSR’s Third Issue: From Superpower to Insurgent [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => introducing-tnsrs-third-issue-from-superpower-to-insurgency [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-17 14:11:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-17 19:11:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://tnsr.org/?p=631 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [lead] => The chair of TNSR's editorial board, Francis J. Gavin, introduces our third issue. [pubinfo] => [issue] => Vol 1, Iss 3 [quotes] => [style] => framing [type] => Framing [style_label] => The Foundation [download] => Array ( [title] => PDF Download [file] => 646 ) [authors] => Array ( [0] => 49 ) [endnotes] => Array ( [title] => Endnotes [endnotes] => ) [contents] => Array ( [title] => [contents] => ) ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 443 [post_author] => 49 [post_date] => 2018-02-06 04:00:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-02-06 09:00:25 [post_content] => The academic study of strategy and statecraft dwells awkwardly in the space between art and science. For decades, if not centuries, analysts have tried to develop general principles about the important activities that surround war and diplomacy, with the hope that we might better anticipate the future and avoid repeating the disasters of the past. As the excellent articles in our second issue of the Texas National Security Review reveal, this is an extraordinarily daunting task. Global policy is made in the face of radical uncertainty about the future, while confronting a multitude of often inscrutable actors who are driven by complex, deeply intertwined, and often indecipherable factors. As the world’s leading scholar on the subject, Lawrence Freedman reminds us that the very meaning of the term strategy has changed over time. The role of politics and emerging technologies — crucial topics we now take for granted — were virtually absent from strategic conversations during the 18th and 19th century in Great Britain. Hal Brands reveals this challenge through the lens of more recent history, reconstructing the development and role of the George H.W. Bush administration’s controversial Defense Policy Guidance. Facing a world transformed by the end of the Cold War and the decline of the Soviet Union, U.S. strategists and statesmen balanced the euphoria surrounding emerging American unipolarity with fear and worry about a global order in flux. The legacy of this document remains deeply contested, but thanks to Brands’ scholarship, is now far better understood. Few questions vex contemporary international relations more than nuclear proliferation, and in particular, the nuclear weapons program of North Korea. Nicholas Miller and Vipin Narang confess that, despite an extraordinary renaissance in nuclear studies in recent years, our best theories did a less than stellar job of predicting the speed and breadth of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Their article is an admirable exercise in humility and stock-taking, all too rare amongst academics, but crucial if we are to do better. Of course, even when researchers and analysts do get hard questions right, they often don’t get the credit they deserve. Marc Trachtenberg’s revealing study demonstrates that the conventional wisdom that the scholarly and intelligence worlds did not recognize the deep, long-term structural flaws in the Soviet economy, is flat out wrong. In fact, it was an exemplary case of the experts getting it right — a history policymakers and the public largely missed. As always, the Texas National Security Review is proud to pair original scholarship in international affairs with the thoughts of policymakers. Rep. Mike Gallagher advocates for the renewed importance of seapower as a critical tool of American strategy and statecraft, while Michael Singh recounts the George W. administration’s efforts to confront Iran’s nuclear program in the context of an ever-shifting global order. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s speech laying out United States interests and policies in Latin America is also presented here. We hope you enjoy and learn from these articles. We also urge you to consider writing for us. While the first two editions have included familiar, more established names, we are eager to hear new voices and fresh scholarly perspectives on the enduring questions of war, peace, strategy, and statecraft. Francis J. Gavin is the Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Texas National Security Review. He is the Giovanni Agnelli Distinguished Professor and the inaugural director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at SAIS-Johns Hopkins University. His writings include Gold, Dollars, and Power: The Politics of International Monetary Relations, 1958-1971 (University of North Carolina Press, 2004) and Nuclear Statecraft: History and Strategy in America’s Atomic Age (Cornell University Press, 2012).   ISSN (Print): 2576-1021 ISSN(Online): 2576-1153 Image: U.S. State Department [post_title] => Introducing TNSR's Second Issue: The Guesswork of Statecraft [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => introducing-tnsrs-second-issue-guesswork-statecraft [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-17 13:58:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-17 18:58:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://tnsr.org/?p=443 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [lead] => The chair of TNSR's editorial board, Frank Gavin, introduces our second issue. [pubinfo] => [issue] => Vol 1, Iss 2 [quotes] => [style] => framing [type] => Framing [style_label] => The Foundation [download] => Array ( [title] => PDF Download [file] => 562 ) [authors] => Array ( [0] => 49 ) [endnotes] => Array ( [title] => Endnotes [endnotes] => ) [contents] => Array ( [title] => [contents] => ) ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 180 [post_author] => 49 [post_date] => 2017-11-24 09:10:55 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-11-24 14:10:55 [post_content] => Today, we launch a new journal and I am honored to serve as the chair of its editorial board. The goal of the Texas National Security Review (TNSR) is to become the intellectual home to a growing global, interdisciplinary network of scholars working on questions of foreign policy, international relations, and national and international security. With generous and deliberate support from the University of Texas, this journal seeks the best, most innovative scholarship that transcends disciplines and speaks to a wider world. Over time, we hope TNSR will become the go to source for scholars, decision-makers, military and government practitioners, and concerned citizens from around the world concerned about questions of war and peace. This journal is animated by four core principles:
  1. Questions of war and peace are of fundamental importance.
International conflict, competition, and cooperation shape the world that we live in. War has been both a great scourge on humanity as well as a driver of historical change, for both ill and good. The profound consequences of war unfold along a wide spectrum, from heart-wrenching individual tragedies to the very structure and shape of the modern state and the global economy. The study of war and peace goes far beyond assessing the tactics of the battlefield or understanding the diplomacy between capitals: It would be impossible, for example, to comprehend a variety of crucial issues, from modern medicine and public health, technology, finance, accounting, taxation, literacy, mass education, race and gender relations — to say nothing of how humans move about, what they eat and wear, and how they communicate with each other — without reference to war. Most national cultures, including literature, music, visual art, and even language, are suffused with reference to or inspiration from conflict. War and peace challenge and shape our core beliefs, our ethics, and our sense of identity. Still, despite great intellectual effort, we know far less about the causes, conduct, and consequences of war and peace than we’d like. Over time, the questions surrounding conflict and cooperation have become even more complicated and consequential. Civil war, clashes driven by scarcity and environmental change, irregular conflict, information attacks, and terrorism have joined great power competition as pressing concerns. New technologies and new domains alter how and where conflict takes place. The power of norms, culture, and institutions to shape outcomes is recognized if not fully understood. The shadow of nuclear apocalypse hovers over international politics, surpassed only by the fear of some yet unknown pathogen-wreaking havoc. TNSR recognizes and appreciates that the scope of study surrounding war and peace is extraordinarily wide-ranging, the questions endless, and the answers of great interest and consequence to the world beyond the ivory tower.
  1. Scholarship on these questions should strive to be rigorous, creative, and cumulative.
What are the best ways to examine and explore crucial questions surrounding war and peace? To succeed, our scholarship must be held to the highest standards of rigor and excellence. TNSR seeks to go far beyond the world of punditry and to encourage work that generates powerful and consequential questions, employs clear and convincing research designs, and produces innovative insights. TNSR also recognizes the benefits of divergent communities of scholars, from different intellectual backgrounds and traditions, engaging in rigorous debate and cross-fertilizing ideas. Furthermore, style matters. It is hard for important ideas to be influential if few people read or understand the writing. We also recognize that achieving these goals is not easy. There are different views of what constitutes rigor, impact, style, and creativity in scholarship. Even cumulating knowledge is hard. Despite over a century of effort and scores of books, scholars still cannot agree on what caused World War I. Even when consensus on such matters is elusive, however, TNSR believes rigorous debate and discussion has great merit and makes everyone smarter. TNSR is agnostic as to method and discipline, as long as the tools used to answer the question are appropriate and employed rigorously and honestly. We are not, however, interested in methodological prowess or in theory generation for the sake of itself. Archival work in scores of government repositories is beside the point if the issue examined is unimportant or if the findings are buried in jargon. Certain questions lend themselves more clearly to certain approaches. Quantitative analysis may be crucial to examine international financial flows. On questions surrounding nuclear weapons, where the Ns we truly care about are 9, 2, and 0, regressions for their own sake may hold less appeal. In other words, methods and research design are tools to identify important questions and to try to answer them the best one can. They should not be ends in themselves. Our authors will have succeeded when their arguments and evidence engage and enlighten those who do not share their methodological and disciplinary preferences and backgrounds. In the end, we will not be the final arbiters of what constitutes great scholarship: over time, our readers and the wider world will determine TNSR’s value. A richer, deeper understanding of important questions surrounding war and peace will be our measure of success.
  1. Our work should confront big questions of great concern to a larger public and be written in a way that is accessible to them.
In the pages of our sister publication, War on the Rocks, many voices from the national and international security communities have talked about ways for scholars and thinkers to engage different audiences and communities, to confront questions of great interest and consequence in ways that reach and influence those beyond the ivory tower. There can be an unfortunate tendency in academic scholarship to ask small-bore questions and to write for “inside baseball” audiences (see principle 4). TNSR seeks scholarship on war and peace that go beyond these limits. We will also publish, in a separate section, insights and provocations from policymakers, military leaders, and others outside of the academic bubble. That being said, we are not unaware of the potential pitfalls of a devotion to policy relevance. It is not the role of scholars to curry favor with governments or important people or institutions or to advise them on day-to-day decisions. Many of the most important issues surrounding war and peace have little to do with daily grind policy, such as shifting demographic patterns, slow developing but critical shifts in national and international economic circumstances, and the impact of new technologies. Great scholarship can provide longer temporal and chronological reaches, more global and comparative national approaches, and broader topical horizons. We do not seek to court historians or scholars using these pages to get a job on Capitol Hill or in this or the next administration. Good work will challenge deeply held beliefs and assumptions. The best scholarship is often unpopular to those in power and makes people and institutions uncomfortable. TNSR does believe, however, that scholarship should be public-minded, policy-accessible, and engage issues and audiences beyond universities. War and peace are too important to be discussed and debated in a manner that appeals only to the professorate.
  1. The current institutional structure for understanding issues of war and peace is not performing as well as it should.
Few would contest the importance of rigorous, accessible, relevant, and innovative scholarship on questions of war and peace. Why then do we need a new journal? TNSR is motivated both by a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge: It is our belief that the way universities allocate resources, incentives, and support to teaching and producing scholarship on issues of conflict, competition, and cooperation is sub-optimal. To understand why, reflect upon the role that disciplines play in universities, the function that journals play within disciplines, and how these factors influence the incentive structure for scholarship. Consider the two disciplines that have, in the past, been seen as responsible for studying and teaching about war and peace: history and political science. The story is discouraging. Academic history departments have all but abandoned serious scholarship on the causes, course, and consequences of war. If you doubt this, take some time to look at the most “prestigious” academic history departments — say, the top 15 in the United States — and count how many professors are working on what one might consider issues of international conflict, competition, and cooperation. Even if you were to take the broadest definition — perhaps a scholar whose work focused on “sports tourism in the 1920s” — the numbers would be small compared to other subjects, with many large departments having no tenured faculty working on these issues. Examine the handful of professors who do work on these issues in these departments, then ask — how many are under the age of 60? Are you confident their university will replace them with a scholar working on similar issues when they retire? Next, make a list of the scholars you think are doing the best historical work on war and peace. Are they in departments of history in major research universities? Or are they employed by schools of public policy, centers for international affairs, and even political science departments? The discipline of political science has done far better, especially the sub-fields of international relations and comparative politics, where talented scholars of all ages fill departments and teach interesting courses. The narrow concerns of the discipline, however, often burden this scholarship. An obsession with methods and theory for their own sake, inaccessibility and jargon-laden prose, efforts to mimic economics and physics, and other shortcomings too often plague political science scholarship. Those outside the discipline might wonder if the overall contribution made by political science to general understanding of issues of war and peace has been relatively modest, given the amount of human capital invested. Not all observers will agree with these assessments, and we encourage you to prove us wrong, either in the pages of TNSR or more established disciplinary outlets. To see where you stand, perform the following task: Look over the articles published by the intellectual gate-keepers — the leading disciplinary journals in both history and political science — over the past few years. If you find their offerings to consistently provide rigorous, engaging, compelling, accessible insights into important questions of war and peace, and leave you saying “more of this please,” then TNSR may not be for you. If you think we can and should do better as a community, we welcome your help, guidance, and submissions. This brings me to the opportunity: we hope TNSR will become the outlet for those who want to see their disciplines do better on principles 1 through 3. But we passionately believe questions of war and peace should engage disciplines and methods beyond history and political science. Economics, anthropology, psychology, law, public health — the list of disciplines whose insights bear on conflict, competition, and cooperation is long. Scholars from any discipline who share these principles should feel welcome in the pages of TNSR. In fact, one might imagine these principles animating a new way of organizing research, teaching, and public outreach in higher education around questions of war and peace, a field perhaps devoted to international history, strategy, and statecraft. One step at a time, however…. We recognize that what we propose will be difficult. We expect to make many mistakes along the way. We seek your advice, your guidance, your participation. Most of all, we count on your support for the mission to generate and disseminate innovative, rigorous, accessible, and influential scholarship on the critical issues around war and peace.   Francis J. Gavin is the Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Texas National Security Review.  He is the Giovanni Agnelli Distinguished Professor and the inaugural director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at SAIS-Johns Hopkins University. His writings include Gold, Dollars, and Power: The Politics of International Monetary Relations, 1958-1971 (University of North Carolina Press, 2004) and Nuclear Statecraft: History and Strategy in America’s Atomic Age (Cornell University Press, 2012).   ISSN (Print): 2576-1021 ISSN(Online): 2576-1153 Image: Wikimedia Commons [post_title] => TNSR: Who We Are, What We Do, and Why You Should Care [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => tnsr-who-we-are-what-we-do-and-why-you-should-care [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-17 13:35:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-17 18:35:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://tnsr.org/?p=180 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [lead] => The Texas National Security Review launches today. What do you need to know about this ambitious project aimed at changing the way we generate policy-relevant and policy-accessible knowledge about the world's toughest challenges? [pubinfo] => [issue] => Vol 1, Iss 1 [quotes] => [style] => framing [type] => Framing [style_label] => The Foundation [download] => Array ( [title] => PDF Download [file] => 463 ) [authors] => Array ( [0] => 49 ) [endnotes] => Array ( [title] => Endnotes [endnotes] => ) [contents] => Array ( [title] => [contents] => ) ) ) [post_count] => 7 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 826 [post_author] => 22 [post_date] => 2018-11-07 17:21:55 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-11-07 22:21:55 [post_content] => Grand strategy is one of those concepts that almost everyone agrees is important, but almost no one agrees on what it is, how it is designed, how it is implemented, how it is observed, and how it is evaluated. While the past two decades have brought a renaissance in scholarship on grand strategy, it often seems as if many scholars are talking past each other in disputations over what the best grand strategy should be without first agreeing on a common language defining terms, levels of analysis, and primary actors. As Rebecca Friedman Lissner writes in her article in this issue, “despite its importance, the proliferation of academic and policy-analytical work on grand strategy has left the field disjointed, conceptually inconsistent, and difficult to navigate.” The Texas National Security Review does not pretend to resolve these normative debates — indeed, those questions will be endlessly debated into the fullness of time. Yet with this issue, featuring several articles on grand strategy, we do hope to bring some clarity and common intellectual ground for how these debates can best be conducted. And befitting our multidisciplinary nature, the articles are written by both political scientists and historians. Paul Avey, Jonathan Markowitz, and Robert Reardon proffer a framework for defining and assessing four schools of thought on grand strategy, while Lissner distills three types of research agendas based on three different understandings of what grand strategy entails. In this same milieu, TNSR editorial board chairman Francis Gavin’s pathbreaking article on the misunderstood role of nuclear weapons in American grand strategy simultaneously punctures some myths, offers important new findings, and highlights several questions needing further research. Meanwhile, going from grand strategy down to strategy and tactics, John Maurer uses history to test and refine political science theory, and put scholarship in the service of policy relevance, with a fascinating historical case study of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972. Our “Strategist” section also addresses questions of grand strategy, primarily in the realm of the emerging great power contest with Russia and China and the concomitant questions of what roles instruments, such as nuclear weapons, international institutions, and military exercises, will play. Scott Cuomo, in the vanguard of the Marine Corp’s next generation of strategic thinkers, recommends some assertive new steps for the United States to counter China’s growing aggression in the Western Pacific. Elbridge Colby, most recently one of the lead architects of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, explores how the United States can maintain America’s defense commitments to its allies through extended deterrence and a more creative balance of conventional and nuclear forces. Turning to the ideational and institutional dimensions of great power competition, Liza Tobin assesses what President Xi Jinping’s “community of common destiny” concept means for China’s ambitions in reshaping the international order. Finally, Ralph Clem offers some cautionary notes on the destabilizing effect that military exercises can have by increasing the risk of war, especially in the context of NATO and Russia. This print issue marks TNSR’s arrival into its second year as a publication. We are mindful that in the saturated marketplace of academic and policy journals, any new entrant such as TNSR needs to justify its existence. Why should readers pay attention to yet another journal? Helped by this new edition, I hope the growing collection of original and insightful articles that have appeared in these pages is providing a persuasive answer to that question. In putting peer-reviewed scholarship alongside insightful policy commentary, in featuring distinguished academics as well as younger scholars who are emerging luminaries in the field, in crossing disciplinary boundaries, and especially in tackling compelling issues of statecraft and strategy, we believe that TNSR occupies unique and valuable territory. Thank you for being among our faithful readers and walking this new path with us.   William Inboden is editor-in-chief of the Texas National Security Review. He is also executive director and William Powers, Jr. Chair at the Clements Center for National Security, associate professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and Distinguished Scholar at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, all at the University of Texas-Austin.   [post_title] => Introducing Vol. 2, Iss. 1 of TNSR: Hanging in the Balance of Terror [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => introducing-vol-2-iss-1-of-tnsr-hanging-in-the-balance-of-terror [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-14 18:06:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-14 23:06:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://tnsr.org/?p=826 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [lead] => Our editor-in-chief, William Inboden, introduces Vol. 2, Iss. 1 of TNSR. 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