Intelligence Warning of the Occupation of the Falklands: Some Organisational Issues

  • Michael Herman


All modern states rely to some extent on their intelligence organisations, but the service they get from them is curiously uneven. Sometimes they are war-winners, as was the case in World War II: the British official historian has claimed that the Western Allies’ codebreaking successes shortened the war by three or four years.1 Yet on other occasions the possession of an apparently efficient intelligence machine seems no guarantee against misperception. This is specially true of warning of surprise attack. There have been a whole series of failures in warning of surprise military attacks, ranging from the North Korean attack on South Korea in 1950 through the Egyptian and Syrian attacks on Israel in 1973 to the Iraqi attack on Kuwait in 1990.2 Despite all the paraphernalia of modern warfare and the intelligence technology available to detect it, warning is evidently still a chancy business.


International Perspective Central Staff Falkland Island Intelligence Community Assessment Staff 
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© Alex Danchev 1992

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  • Michael Herman

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