Intelligence and Counterintelligence

John Prados

Observers over the years have provided many definitions for the term "intelligence." Many of these definitions are burdensome, or technical, or drawn directly from the term of art. Intelligence is simply information, gathered however necessary and arranged in such fashion as to be of use to those who require it. In foreign policy (and national defense) intelligence guides the hands of policymakers and helps them conduct relations wisely. (However, there are aspects of intelligence that can be obstacles to wise policy.) Foreign policy without intelligence can succeed, but at greater cost and difficulty than well-informed initiatives. In American foreign policy, at least since the end of World War II, there has been a conscious effort to harness intelligence in service of national goals.


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See also Cold War Evolution and Interpretations ; Cold Warriors ; Covert Operations ; Decision Making ; Presidential Power ; Propaganda ; Terrorism and Counterterrorism .

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