Home / Articles / Evaluating CIA’s Analytic Performance: Reflections of a Former Analyst
Many people point to high profile failures like 9/11 and Iraq as indicators that CIA’s analytic performance is inadequate or flawed. Flawed by design. A legacy of ashes. A culture of failure. Or so goes the conventional wisdom. Fortunately this conventional wisdom is wrong. These so-called failures more accurately represent the perennial dilemmas and tradeoffs associated with the analytic function and, most importantly, the inappropriate expectation that these observers hold of CIA’s ability to prevent surprises. As a matter of fact, there is much that people do not fully understand about the CIA.
 Amy B. Zegart, Flawed By Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999).
 Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (New York: Doubleday, 2007).
 John M. Diamond, The CIA and the Culture of Failure: U.S. Intelligence from the End of the Cold War(Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008).