James J. Wirtz

Wirtz, James J. "Constraints on Intelligence Collaboration: The Domestic Dimension." International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 6, no 1 (Spring 1993): 85-99.

Lowenthal sees this article as a "balanced discussion of the benefits and risks for U.S. intelligence in collaborating with foreign intelligence services." This same title appears in Defense Analysis 8, no. 3 (1992): 247-259.

See Scott D. Breckenridge's response in "Reader's Forum," International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 6, no. 2 (Summer 1993), pp. 229-237: This "commentary ... as to what past lessons should have relevance to consideration of the pending restructuring of the government's intelligence system is far off the mark."

See also, Wirtz' answer, pp. 237-239: "Breckenridge failed to understand my argument.... [T]he political mood within the United States ... largely drove political judgments of CIA 'misconduct'.... [R]espect for the law will only protect [CIA managers] from legal prosecution, not political prosecution. The latter phenomenon has proved to be more damaging."


Wirtz, James J. "Deception and the Tet Offensive." Journal of Strategic Studies 13 (Jun. 1990): 82-98. [Seymour]


Wirtz, James J. "Indications and Warming in an Age of Uncertainty." International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 26, no. 3 (Fall 2013): 550-562.

"Indications and warning methodologies comprise a significant tool that offers important ways to organize strategic responses to today's threats.... Because few mechanisms are available to organize and inform both intelligence professionals and government officials about their roles in the indications and warning process, indications and warning is unlikely to experience a resurgence as a key instrument of intelligence and strategic policy."


Wirtz, James J. "Intelligence to Please? The Order of Battle Controversy during the Vietnam War." Political Science Quarterly 106, no. 2 (Summer 1991): 239-263.

Wirtz also decides that, to the CIA and MACV analysts who were in opposition to each other, the dispute came to override the analytical goal. In the end, "the Order of Battle controversy became a self-sustaining phenomenon that exerted a disproportionate and ultimately counterproductive influence over commanders and analysts." Adams' "conspiracy" pales in the face of the "far more detrimental" effect of the breakdown in the distinction between the roles of intelligence analysts and policymakers.


Wirtz, James J.

1. "Miscalculation, Surprise and American Intelligence After the Cold War." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 5, no. 1 (Spring 1991): 1-16.

Wirtz identifies some problems of miscalculation and surprise in past U.S. intelligence analyses, and concludes that the post-Cold War world may exacerbate such problems in the future.

2. "Review Article: The Intelligence Paradigm." Intelligence and National Security 4, no. 4 (Oct. 1989): 829-837.

This is a review of Kam, Surprise Attack (1988); it, however, merits reading on its own. As indicated in the article's title, Wirtz provides a look at what I would call an emerging paradigm, but to which he seems to grant significant maturity, for the study of intelligence failures. This article may be a little "political sciency" for some, but this is a useful discussion of organizing principles for study.


Wirtz, James J. "Organizing for Crisis Intelligence: Lessons from the Cuban Missile Crisis." Intelligence and National Security 13, no. 3 (Autumn 1998): 120-149.

"[T]he virtual absence of any intelligence contribution to the Soviet and Cuban policymaking process leading up to the crisis is astounding.... [DCI John] McCone's willingness to stand above the political and bureaucratic fray ... contributed greatly to the American intelligence success during the Cuban missile crisis.... [For the Americans,] only a rigorous and sustained analytical effort produced timely warning of Soviet missile deployments."


Wirtz, James J. The Tet Offensive: Intelligence Failure in War. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1991. DS5598M44W57

Choice, May 1992, says this is "close to being the definitive study of the Tet offensive." But it is "repetitive and heavy going at times." According to Campbell, AIJ 14.3, the author's "thesis is that 'unmotivated biases' prevented analysts and commanders from utilization of information that contradicted their belief systems." Wirtz "has performed a significant service to the intelligence community by his scholarly discussion of how preconceptions can prevent an accurate analysis of information."

[Analysis/Surprise; Vietnam/Tet][c]

Wirtz, James J., and Jon J. Rosenwasser "From Combined Arms to Combined Intelligence: Philosophy, Doctrine and Operations." Intelligence and National Security 25, no. 6 (Dec. 2010): 725-743.

This article "advances the combined arms concept as a way to foster synergies across the intelligence disciplines.... It describes the strengths and weaknesses of each discipline in forming an analytic foundation for such a 'combined intelligence' and calls for developing theory to integrate the intelligence disciplines."


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