Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


Team B Intelligence Coups and Rhetoric

Just released. The field that I am interested at the intersection of rhetoric and intelligence has been very narrow so far, with only a few articles published. But now a new and interesting contribution has been made. In the leading rhetorical journal The Quarterly Journal of Speech Gordon R. Mitchell has written on Team B Intelligence Coups utilising argumentation theory:

The 2003 Iraq prewar intelligence failure was not simply a case of the U.S. intelligence community providing flawed data to policy-makers. It also involved subversion of the competitive intelligence analysis process, where unofficial intelligence boutiques ?stovepiped? misleading intelligence assessments directly to policy-makers and undercut intelligence community input that ran counter to the White House's preconceived preventive war of choice against Iraq. This essay locates historical precursors to such ?Team B intelligence coups? in the original 1976 Team B exercise and the 1998 Rumsfeld Commission report on ballistic missile threats. Since competitive intelligence analysis exercises are designed to improve decision-making by institutionalizing the learning function of debate, their dynamics stand to be elucidated through critique informed by argumentation theory. Such inquiry has salience in the current political milieu, where intelligence reform efforts and the investigations that drive them tend to sidestep the Team B intelligence coup phenomenon.


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