GABRIEL KOLKO is the leading historian of modern warfare. He is the author of the classic Century of War: Politics, Conflicts and Society Since 1914 and Another Century of War?. He has also written the best history of the Vietnam War, Anatomy of a War: Vietnam, the US and the Modern Historical Experience.
Paid to be Ignored
Counterpunch, 20-21 January 2012
At no time has the U.S. based its foreign policies on facts — as opposed to its conceptions reliant on sheer wishes, interests, or pretensions, (its ambitions are often a mixture of all of these). Nor has it had fears that are warranted by reality. It has needs, whether economic or geopolitical. It has, however, often had the correct intelligence and the facts before it to warrant entirely different policies on its part. At the same time as it gets into tenuous military situations, situations it is often destined to lose and pay a great deal for while in the process of doing so, it employs people to produce rational analyses—which it then ignores. Why?
Phi Beta Iota: This is one of the longest, most cogent pieces we have seen on the internal and external contradictions inherent in the CIA archipelago of contrasting functions, values, and marginal outputs. It is totally consistent with the many books reviewed here on intelligence.