Naval War College Review


The devastating attack of 9/11 starkly revealed how the United States failed to understand its adversary and, by exten- sion, itself. The difficult, age-old chal- lenge for the United States to accurately assess foreign leaders has not changed, nor has its spotty track record of getting it right. It is a tough business getting at human identity and predicting the behavior of reclusive, complex characters to whom we have no access and who possess weapons of mass destruction. However, with America’s extraordinary resources one must ask why the United States has not brought to bear its best know-how to fill this serious vacuum of understanding.