Essay Title: “Yes, individuals made mistakes, but it was the system that failed us” (Amy Zegart). How far do you agree that 9/11 attacks were primarily a consequence of structural failure?
Central Argument: I will be arguing that it was the structural weaknesses surrounding the intelligence agencies led to the intelligence failures in 9/11. The structural weaknesses also include the politicisation of intelligence and especially with regards to 9/11.
Conceptual/Theoretical Framework: I believe the question has to be raised whether or not the attack of 9/11 can be considered an actual surprise attack or a surprise attack merely due to a failure of the intelligence. I will be considering it in respect of the early warning signs which the U.S Government should have acted upon. I will also be considering whether the lack of technology and other factors did contribute to this intelligence and failure and will argue that the lack of either technology or capabilities of the intelligence agencies is related to the structural weaknesses that persisted prior to 9/11 attacks.
1.The organisational structure of intelligence and failure to share information.
2.Was there a policy failure on the part of the U.S Government whereby warning signs or increased terrorist attacks were being ignored.
4.Did a lack of technology in analysing intelligence contribute to the intelligence failure that led to 9/11 attacks.
9/11 Commission (2004), The 9/11 Commission Report.
Amy Zegart (2007), 9/11 and the FBI: The organizational roots of failure, Intelligence and National Security, 22:2, 165-184
Christina Shelton (2011), The Roots of Analytic Failures in the U.S. Intelligence Community, International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 24:4, 637-655.
Dahl, Erik J, Intelligence and Surprise Attack: Failure and Success from Pearl Habor to 9/11 and Beyond, George University Press, 2013.
Hedley, J. (2005), Learning from Intelligence Failures, International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 18:3, 435-450.
Melvin A Goodman (2003), 9/11: The Failure of Strategic Intelligence, Intelligence and National Security, 18:4, 59-71.
Paul R. Pillar (2006) Good literature and bad history: The 9/11 commission’s tale of strategic intelligence, Intelligence and National Security, 21:6, 1022 – 1044.
Stephen Marrin (2011), The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: A Failure of Policy Not Strategic Intelligence Analysis, Intelligence and National Security, 26:2-3, 182-202.
Smith, David A. (2004), Intelligence in War: Knowledge of the Enemy from Napoleon to Al-Qaeda, Naval War College Review, Vol 57(3), Article 21.
Further instructions: More arguments to be raised and points should be made backed with evidence and more sources than provided should be used.