Using a post-World War II military or terrorist attack of your choice that was associated with some kind of intelligence failure, prepare a comprehensive case study identifying and assessing the analytical failures associated with the attack.
The main essay task here is for you to demonstrate knowledge of key course concepts and to apply them here in the analysis of the causes of the failure–identify and examine the specific cognitive bias or organizational influence relevant to your case of intelligence analysis failure. Focus on the intelligence analysts’ actions and thinking, not the political leadership’s perceptions, unless it affected the intelligence analysis. The one topic you cannot use is the Cuban Missile Crisis, so if you propose that topic, even if I do not comment back, it is not to be used as your topic here.
Having a tough time coming up with a topic? Use the Kam course text, as it is loaded with case studies of intelligence failure. Be sure there is a specific intelligence failure to focus on and sufficient credible source material to support your analysis–that will make your research phase go much faster/smoother.
Title Page per normal APUS requirements.
Introduction Paragraph. Clearly state the purpose of your paper along with the approach you’ll be taking to answer the question. Summarize your argument theme. Finish with a thesis statement that addresses the assignment task—this must be an assertion and is the most important sentence in the entire essay, as it relates your central argument. Off-topic, missing or vague thesis statements will result in a complete letter grade reduction (10 points) in score before other rubrics are factored in.
First body paragraph. Provide a clear topic sentence that supports the thesis statement. Briefly provide a synopsis describing the event being analyzed. Be sure to address the primary actors (participants), their motivations and the larger issue(s) at stake. Think of this section as a strategic overview of the “who/what/when/where?”
Second through fourth body paragraphs.
(a) Second: Pre-Event/Event Actions. Provide a topic sentence that supports your thesis statement. Describe the key event itself that was deemed to have been a surprise. Now discuss the specific cognitive bias or organizational influences that seem to have been the main factor behind the intelligence failure. If your research did not reveal any apparent cognitive bias, make your own case with solid reasoning to support it and provide cited references to course materials to back up your logic. Ensure you relate the specific cognitive bias or organizational influence, etc., from the course texts here. Apply course concepts in your analysis and cite ALL relevant course materials.
(b) Third: Missed Indicators. Provide a topic sentence that supports your thesis statement. Relate what missed indicators/intelligence prevented the country in question (you may be assessing the Egyptian intelligence failure in the 1967 Six Day War, for instance) from properly assessing the situation.
(c) Fourth: Lessons Learned. Provide a topic sentence that supports your thesis statement. Identify the most important lesson that should have been learned and whether the parties involved in the intelligence failure seemed to have appreciated this lesson. Again, use the key concepts learned in this course (mitigation strategies, etc.) –cite course materials and incorporate key course concepts in your analysis. Here you are focusing on mitigation strategies that apply directly to the cause of the intelligence failure, backing it up with the course texts–don’t just relate any old mitigation strategy, it should be the one that Heuer and/Moore would recommend.
Closing Paragraph. Restate the thesis and quickly sum up your argument main points in general terms.
Endnotes (unless you are using footnotes). You must have at least eight substantive notes from course materials and at least one credible external source. Use of all the main course texts is mandatory in all course essays. Use Turabian format.
Bibliography. You must use at least six credible sources, including relevant course materials. Use Turabian format. Again, use of all the main course texts (Moore, Heuer, Kam) is mandatory in all course essays.