Library

 

views on policymaker - analyst relations (1940s),

UNCLASSIFIED

views on policymaker - analyst relations (1940s),

Debate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

regularly as an obstacle to "getting the job done." If one reads backward from his subsequent endeavors- at Yale from 1947 to 1961 and as a senior editor of the National Review from 1955 to 1963-one also concludes that the promotion of teamwork and other bureaucratic values was not his strong suit. Yale administrators saw him as a disruptive force and were happy to purchase his tenure rights to have him off their campus. The story at National Review: Kendall was never on speaking terms with more than one fellow staffer at a time. One observer of his operating style in conservative intellectual circles claimed Kendall was without peer in his speed for turning a discussion into a shouting match.15

 

 

intelligence, and he was much less willing to accept existing ("official Washington") compromises based on experience and expediency. He wished Kent would have carried his guarded criticisms about the declining quality of personnel, the misdirection of clandestine collection, the excessive concern with security to their logical ends, so that the reader might see the "intelligence arrangements . . . [Kent] would set up if all the resistances were removed."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the book was written, Kendall concluded that:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

... if all of Mr. Kent's reproofs were acted upon, and all his proposals adopted, the result would be an improvement in United States intelligence operations. But the improvement would, like the infant mentioned in Marx's famous footnote, be very small.19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Controversial," "isolated," a natural "aginner" are all characterizations Kendall would probably have proudly accepted. A memorial collection of his essays in fact was entitled Willmoore Kendall Contra Mundum.1b His brilliance, according to one observer, was "his capacity to think his way through convention and assumption finally to arrive at the irreducible and crystalline truth." 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kendall charged Kent with a misguided view of the function of intelligence, in the first instance because of a preoccupation with an "essentially wartime conception" of the analysts' role. Excessive concentration on building knowledge about current and potential enemy countries diverts attention from support for "the big job-the carving out of United States destiny in the world as a whole."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to the 1940s. The future of American intelligence was a frequently discussed topic in the nation's capital. And whatever the extent of Kendall's direct experience, his "intellectual charisma," according to one observer, warranted an audience for his views in various circles. Kendall continued working in Washington for the government part-time after he took his appointment at Yale, once again on psychological warfare. But after his 1949 essay, he left little evidence of a continued interest in intelligence analysis.18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kendall also criticized Kent (and through him prevailing practice) for a "crassly empirical conception of the research process," one favored by historians. Kendall calls instead for:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

an intelligence operation built upon a conception of the research process in the social sciences that assigns due weight to "theory" as it is understood in economics and sociology and, increasingly one hopes, in politics ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kendall's Doctrine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kendall's review of Strategic Intelligence praised Kent for his talent in describing the terminology and organizational map of intelligence. But he criticized Kent's recommendations for improving the performance of intelligence as well as of his underlying "general theory" of intelligence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throwing in as well the charge of an excessively bureaucratic concept of how the US Government should work, Kendall would free intelligence officers from "the tidal wave of documents" Kent would have them process. Kendall would recruit a "considerable percentage" of the intelligence unit "precisely for its theoretical training and accomplishments ... and enable them to work under

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apparently, Kendall was at least as alarmed as Kent over the postwar shortfalls of American

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

41

 

 

 

 

 


 

UNCLASSIFIED


Posted: May 08, 2007 08:48 AM
Last Updated: Aug 04, 2011 08:37 AM