Roger L. Simon

The Limits of Intelligence

What I thought an important NYT op-ed this morning – Opinion > Op-Ed Contributor: How Saddam Failed the Yeltsin Test” href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/21/opinion/21sest.html?ex=1248148800&en=594c17bb11299754&38;ei=5090&38;partner=rssuserland”> How Saddam Failed the Yeltsin Test – by Stephen Sestanovich (now of the Council of Foreign Relations, ambassador at large to the former Soviet Union under Clinton) – comes to this conclusion:

A decision on war is almost never based simply on what we know, or think we know. Intelligence is always disputed. Instead, we respond to what the other guy does. This is how we went to war in Iraq. The next time we face such a choice, whether our intelligence has improved or not, we’ll almost surely decide in the very same way.

Worth considering amidst all the intelligence debates…. (hat tip: Franco Aleman)