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The Intelligence-Policy Nexus: Synthesizing with Clients, Not Analyzing for Customers

February 2, 2011

Studies in Intelligence, vol. 54, no. 4: What is the Proper Distance Between Analysts and Policymakers?

Histories of the early stages of the modern Intelligence Community (IC) concur that by the start of the Cold War, most senior policymakers wanted more information to support their strategies and so tinkered with ways to configure an IC supportive of those efforts. There is no suggestion, however, that they were ever concerned about analysts somehow getting too close to them, and so usurping their policymaking prerogatives. The fear that analysis might be tainted or compromised by proximity to the policy process seems to have come entirely from the analytical community, which struggled from the beginning to keep itself at arm’s length from policymakers…

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