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Intelligence Success and Failure – The Human Factor - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Intelligence Success and Failure: The Human Factor

Rose McDermott and Uri Bar-Joseph


This book examines the factors contributing to failure and success in responding to strategic surprise, and as such it differs from previous studies that looked only at cases of failure. Given that surprise attacks that started wars have almost always succeeded, we analyze the psychological mechanisms by which leaders learn from their mistakes, especially in the way available intelligence is used. In order to undertake this analysis in a systematic way, it investigates three pairs of major military attacks: “Barbarossa,” the June 1941 German invasion of the USSR (failure), and the battle for M ... More

Keywords: intelligence failure, intelligence success, surprise attack, Barbarossa, Korean War, Yom Kippur War, narcissism, need for cognitive closure, Stalin, MacArthur

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780199341733
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199341733.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Rose McDermott, author
Professor of Political Science, Brown University

Uri Bar-Joseph, author
Professor of Political Science, University of Haifa

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