The Views of Ambassador Herman J. Cohen

By Jack Davis


Over the past several years, CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence (DI) has been engaged in a critical self-examination of its goals and practices regarding the analytic support proivided  to key policy officials. In the words of former Deputy Director for Intelligence (DDI) Douglas
MacEachin, the DI “needs to go back to the basic questions of what we do and how we do it.” His short answer: the needs of the policymaker have to be “the driving factor in intelligence production.”^ In this context, the Agency’s Center for the Study of Intelligence has been sponsoring a series of interviews on intelligence-policy relations with prominent officials who served during the administration of President George H. W. Bush. In terms of their policymaking needs, what worked, what did not, and why.

An article presenting the views of Amb. Robert Blackwill regarding his service on the NSC staff was published in the summer 1994 issue of Studies in Intelligence.  The views of Amb. Paul Wolfowitz, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, were published in an article in the spring 1995 edition of Studies. This article reports the views of Amb. Herman J. Cohen from the perspective of his service as Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, 1989-93.