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Failures in Leadership: Assessing Organizational, Strategic, and Tactical Intelligence Failures Prior to 11 September 2001

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Studies Volume: 25 Issue: 3 Dated: September 2012 Pages: 301-317
Lawrence Paretta
Date Published
September 2012
17 pages
This research examines the intlligence and leadership failures leading up to 9/11.
The events of 11 September 2001 still haunt many Americans. More troubling are the failures of the Federal Government and the intelligence community to prevent the attacks of that day. While there is much research and scholarship identifying those failures, the most popular of which is the 9/11 Commission Report, there is little research and information available regarding the failures of specific leaders in the Government. The extant research regarding pre-9/11 intelligence failures mainly describes the organizational, strategic, and tactical intelligence failures as attributable to either a failure of imagination or a failure of information sharing, which are the two primary culprits according to the 9/11 Commission Report. There is little scholarship on the failures of leadership and how pre-9/11 political and intelligence community leadership failed to create a comprehensive strategy for combating terrorism, failed to appreciate the threat presented by Al-Qaeda by means of hijacking and failed to institute an organizational structure that provided for a prompt response to terror threats. This paper found that while organizational, strategic and institutional failures can be committed by individuals other than political or intelligence community leadership, the direct and indirect responsibility for all three kinds of failure belongs to leadership. Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor and Francis.