Intelligence and Richard Pipes

Power Line's current paean to Daniel and Richard Pipes includes this:

Many of those who "marginalized" Richard Pipes for his anti-Communism are still around. It would be nice to think that a few of them, at least, learned a lesson from the collapse of the Russian Empire and the downfall of socialism generally.

The funny part is that it is Pipes that should have learned something from the collapse of the USSR. Team B, which Power Line mentions, was established in 1976 to second-guess the CIA, because hardliners like Pipes thought that the CIA was underestimating the threat posed by the Soviet Union. As it was intended to, Team B concluded that the USSR was far more threatening than the CIA thought. With hindsight, we can now see that even the CIA was overestimating the threat, as they themselves concluded in a report in 1989. The collapse of the USSR underscores the weakness that Pipes didn't see.

This same sort of ideological second-guessing of our intelligence professionals is continuing today. Read about it in this article at the Center for Defense Information. Feith did a similar thing with his Office of Special Plans which corrupted our intelligence on Iraq, and it may be that Porter Goss is bringing this ideological corruption of intelligence into the CIA itself.


At March 2, 2005 at 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark, I see I have missed a lot of interesting pieces by not checking your website regularly. I have now
bookmarked it. Your comment on Pipes is right on the money. An old friend of mine, Mel Goodman, who was head of policy analysis in the CIA's division of Soviet Affairs during the Team B period was one of Team B's targets. Bill Casey was more than Mel could stomach. He took leave from the agency to accept a chair at the National War College and never went back.


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