Imperial Secrets. Remapping the Mind of Empire
NATIONAL DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE COLL WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR STRATEGIC INTELLIGENCE RESEARCH
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A serving U.S. military officer presumably has something to answer for at the very outset when writing about a topic like Imperial Intelligence. If the issue is not one of purely academic import, and I do not believe it is, then there are obvious implications in associating the American enterprise with a highly charged term like Empire. I believe the matter is not clear-cut, and is the subject of much debate in various circles however, what I will argue is that, regardless of how the U.S. role is characterized, it does face nearly unique problems in the field of intelligence. Nearly unique, in that these problems do not so profoundly impact traditional nation-states, but have been confronted before by historical imperial formations. The genesis for this position lies in the immediate aftermath of September 11th, when perhaps the most urgently asked and passionately debated question was Why do they hate us This seems to me the essence of the Imperial Intelligence problem. Despite its broad consideration in the media and public venues, this question does constitute an intelligence problem the answer to which requires profound insights into the hidden thoughts and desires of others and presumes a predictive as well as explanatory response. The answer, or answers, will shape the course of public policy. It is also uniquely imperial, through its implications of betrayal, outrage, and anguished incomprehension. They, presumably, have no obvious reason to hate us and in fact, we expect a degree of gratitude and cooperation from others around the world who have been the beneficiaries of our largesse. We saved the Saudis from Saddam Hussein, the rebuttals run, we provided more foreign aid to the Egyptians than any other state, we helped the Afghans throw off the Soviet yoke.
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