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African Numbers Game, Walter McDonald. The proliferation of independent tropical African states has been reflected in a proliferation of U.S. government publications, including intelligence papers, on these countries. The National Intelligence Survey program has sharply increased both the coverage of its series on Africa and the frequency with which articles are updated. National Intelligence Estimates on the area have multiplied. More recently there have been a number of National Policy Papers. These publications require, in varying degree, supporting socio-economic statistics. At a minimum they are likely to carry population data (present size and rate of growth), Gross National Product, and per capita variations on the GNP theme. Many, if not most, such statistics contained in these reports-and drawing prestige from the high classification at the top and bottom of every page are patently absurd ...
Telemetry Analysis, David S. Brandwein. A ballistic missile stands on the launch pad poised for a test flight. As the countdown nears zero, its rocket engines light up, the umbilical cable linking it to the launch pad is cut, and the "bird" lifts off to begin its trip into space. From the moment the umbilical cable falls away, the missile's designers must rely on telemetry (measurements of key variables converted into electrical signals and radioed to ground stations) for their observation of the performance of its components ...
The Diyarbkir Radar, Stanley G. Zabetakis & John F. Peterson. In September of 1938 five British radar stations which had just been set up to cover the approaches to the Thames estuary were able to monitor Mr. Chamberlain's historic flight to Munich. These stations were the first of an extended network that was soon maintaining twenty-four-hour radar surveillance of the English coast. With this act the art of war entered a new technological stage, and intelligence acquired a new instrument for data gathering. Today collectors of scientific and technical intelligence use radar for gathering denied information on missile and space activities, as well as aerodynamic developments, which is necessary for the analysis of opposing weapon systems ...
Words of Estimative Probability, Sherman Kent. The briefing officer was reporting a photo reconnaissance mission.1 Pointing to the map, he made three statements:
1. "And at this location there is a new airfield. [He could have located it to the second on a larger map.] Its longest runway is 10,000 feet."
2. "It is almost certainly a military airfield. "
3. "The terrain is such that the Blanks could easily lengthen the runways, otherwise improve the facilities, and incorporate this field into their system of strategic staging bases. It is possible that they will." Or, more daringly, "It would be logical for them to do this and sooner or later they probably will." ...
The Definition of Some Estimative Expressions, David Wark. Finished intelligence, particularly in making estimative statements, uses a number of modifiers like "highly probable," "unlikely," "possible" that can be thought of as expressing a range of odds or a mathematical probability, and these are supplemented by various other expressions, especially verb forms, conveying the sense of probability less directly "may," "could," "we believe." Certain other words express not probability but quantity, imprecisely but perhaps within definable ranges"few," "several," "considerable." Some people object to any effort to define the odds or quantities meant by such words. They argue that context always modifies the meaning of words and, more broadly, that rigid definitions deprive language of the freedom to adapt to changing needs. ...
Against Footnotes, Allan Evans. The eloquent lead article in the last issue 1 challenges anyone to come forth with a valid defense of the status quo that prevails in our community with respect to footnotes. Age predisposes me to defend status quos; my frequent statements in talking to intelligence officer groups put me on the spot to repeat my arguments against the use of footnotes. It may be that these views are conditioned by circumstances in the Department of State and that these circumstances differ materially from those in the Department of Defense if so, it will be all the more useful to unearth variations in the taste and requirements of major groups of consumers at whom our community is aiming. Let us see what can be said. ...
More Against Footnotes. Dear Sirs:
Mr. Alexander does not consider the different circumstances that apply to intelligence analysis and research in the academic world. First, intelligence analysis is a team activity. The analyst commonly does his work under the professional supervision of a section or branch chief; he coordinates his manuscript with other specialists; and the results are reviewed by an editor who is, in my experience, a professional in his own right. Mr. Alexander omits the first two and deprecates the last of these mechanisms most unjustifiably. This team effort constitutes a properly rigorous apparatus for maintaining quality control. Admittedly, it doesn't always do what it should, but then neither do footnotes. If a report is of doubtful quality, it is the competency of staff rather than the adequacy of apparatus that we need worry about. ...
Two Witnesses for the Defense, Harlow T. Munson and W. P. Southard. We have read Mr. Rumpelmayer's statement of his reservations1 and we feel both qualified and obliged to offer some testimony. We were the principal officers of two CIA groups which spent a year -- working separately on complementary studies -- making reconstructions of the Soviet venture in Cuba; neither of us had been previously engaged with Cuba. Our two studies,2 which considered the same range of questions but different bodies of evidence, arrived at similar conclusions, which are far from Mr. Rumpelmayer's. ...
The Invisible Government by David Wise and Thomas B. Ross. Book review by Charles E. Valpey. The journalist-authors of this best-seller admit that Communist subversion and espionage pose a unique threat to the American people and their government, and they accept the necessity under certain circumstances for secret American efforts to prevent Moscow and Peking from gaining new allegiances. But they profess to believe that our secret attempts to meet the Communist challenge constitute so real a threat to our own freedoms that they must be exposed in as detailed and dramatic a way as possible. If the Soviets are profiting from these revelations, as they are, -Vise and Ross apparently think that such self-inflicted wounds must be endured in the battle against excessive secrecy. ...