Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I Seldom Have Much With Which To Quibble, With Arthur Silber

And today is no exception. There is hardly a more literate, better informed, more critical Jeremiah in all the Left-Blogosphere. From his present disquisition, on the utter irrelevance of "Intelligence" in strategic decision-making processes:
Let us start with the most crucial point. The reaction from all quarters to the NIE relies on several interrelated central assumptions, ones that are regarded as so unquestionably true that no one thinks they need to be stated: that major policy decisions, including decisions of war and peace, are based on intelligence in the first place; that a decision to go to war is one made only after cool and careful rational deliberation; and that nations go to war for the reasons they announce to the world.

Arthur Silber is not for those easily distracted. He requires the payment of attention. His prose is dense, self-referential, but seldom oblique. And absolutely necessary for anything like a comprehensive outlook on the 'realities' of contemporary political life.

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