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Despite the importance of intelligence in the achievement of security goals, there are instances where intelligence strategies fail to achieve its goals. More than before, the world is characterized by lack of security, because of the existence of various threats, both state and non-state. In order to fight these threats, intelligence is used to gather information, which can be used to take decisions appropriate tactical responses aimed at neutralizing threats, before they occur. However, intelligence failure is common and attributed to: subordination to policy, mirror imaging, received opinion and unavailability of information when there a need. Of all these causes, subordination to policy and lack of information when needed are the least avoidable.
According to Shulsky and Schmitt (2002), this failure of intelligence results from cases where analysts are inclined towards what their superiors desire to hear. This is one of the causes that cannot be easily avoided, because most analysts are manipulated and influenced by the interest of their superior. A historical example of this failure is the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, while the United States and the whole world thought that it would not happen. The attack of Kuwait happened because analysts reported that Saddam would not invade Kuwait. The analysts' intelligence reports were influenced by the thought of leaders in the United States.
The unavailability of information, when needed is another cause of intelligence failure. This cause cannot be avoided easily because it caused by other factors such as bureaucratic processes, that hinder the flow of information that can be used to counter-attacks (Shulsky & Schmittm, 2002). The attack on the World Trade Center provides a vivid reminder of the impact of limited intelligence reports. The availability of information would have provided authorities with means of strategizing and averting the attacks. Without a doubt, the lack of information when needed and subordination will still cause intelligence to fail unless something is done.