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We Live in What Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld Has Called a World Defined by Surprise and Uncertainty

By Center, Sherman Kent

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Book Id: WPLBN0000704321
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 49.99 KB.
Reproduction Date: 2006
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Title: We Live in What Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld Has Called a World Defined by Surprise and Uncertainty  
Author: Center, Sherman Kent
Language: English
Subject: Government publications, CIA research reports, National security.
Collections: CIA Documents Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Central Intelegence Agent


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Center, S. K. (n.d.). We Live in What Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld Has Called a World Defined by Surprise and Uncertainty. Retrieved from

Excerpt: January 2003 Editor?s Note: We live in what Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has called ?a world defined by surprise and uncertainty.? In this timely and thoughtful paper, first circulated in draft at a workshop sponsored by the DI?s Global Futures Partnership in May 2002, Kent Center Research Scholar Jack Davis reminds us that warning is an analytic discipline and that strategic warning, in particular, is a unique analytic challenge that demands continued reassessment and improvement. Indeed, DI guidance on ?Best Warning Practices? stresses the Directorate?s longstanding conviction that ?every analyst is a warning analyst? and that ?sound analytic tradecraft is the best assurance of good warning analysis.? Jack Davis has been associated with CIA since 1956, first as an employee and since 1990 as an independent contractor. His main field of interest is analytic tradecraft. In this essay, he calls for a disciplined approach not merely to dealing with uncertainty, but to ensure that strategic warning is both persuasive and effective in helping decision makers to prevent or mitigate the negative consequences of tactical surprise. In particular, he argues for new, collaborative arrangements to make strategic warning a governmental rather than merely an intelligence responsibility. Our hope is that the recommendations suggested in this ?think piece?--which has benefited from the insightful comments of colleagues too numerous to mention here individually--will contribute to an ongoing, constructive dialogue to improve the doctrine and practice of warning tradecraft.


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