...or simply view it in light of their own preconceived biases, thus misinterpreting it - or choose to selectively use only portions of the intel that agrees with their personal political agenda, etc. ad nauseum. The classic text on this specific topic is Knowing One's Enemies: Intelligence Assessment Before the Two World Wars. The book goes far beyond being merely a professional, scholarly analysis of the past and is easy to see as a deliberately constructed set of case-studies with important lessons for today’s policy makers - and others interested in such things.This case study demonstrates that even the most timely, accurate, and compelling intelligence information can be of limited value if policy-makers choose to ignore it.
The book consists of sixteen essays that illuminate intelligence collection, analysis and decision making at the national level in various countries at critical junctures in their history (Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, France, Great Britain and Italy before WWI and Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan, and the US before WWII).
In many ways, the essays spin a cautionary tale, warning that even when a nation is in possession of sufficient intelligence of a quality to make effective policy decisions, it can all come to disaster due to the inherent biases, proclivities and abilities of key policy makers. The harmful effects of internal disputes within intelligence agencies, and turf battles between competing agencies, are also laid out in careful detail.
I highly recommend this one for anyone wishing a clearer understanding of the use and impact of intelligence on the decision process at the national policy-making level.