Knowing the adversary : leaders, intelligence, and assessment of intentions in international relations / Keren Yarhi-Milo.

By: Yarhi-Milo, Keren, 1978- [author.]Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooksPrinceton studies in international history and politics: Publisher: Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, 2014Description: 1 online resource (xi, 355 pages) : illustrationsContent type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9781400850419; 140085041X; 1306841240; 9781306841245Subject(s): Intelligence service | International relations | DetenteGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Knowing the adversaryDDC classification: 327.12 LOC classification: JF1525.I6 | Y37 2014Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Theories of intentions and the problem of attention -- Indicators of Nazi Germany's intentions and the coming of World War II, 1934-39 -- British decision makers' perceptions of Nazi Germany's intentions -- The British intelligence community's assessments of Nazi Germany's intentions -- The Carter era and the collapse of detente, 1977-80 -- US decision makers' perceptions of Soviet intentions : the collapse of detente -- The US intelligence community's assessments of Soviet intentions : the collapse of detente -- Indicators of Soviet intentions and the end of the Cold War, 1985-88 -- US decision makers' perceptions of Soviet intentions : the end of the Cold War -- The US intelligence community's assessments of Soviet intentions : the end of the Cold War -- Summary and implications.
Summary: "States are more likely to engage in risky and destabilizing actions such as military buildups and preemptive strikes if they believe their adversaries pose a tangible threat. Yet despite the crucial importance of this issue, we don't know enough about how states and their leaders draw inferences about their adversaries' long-term intentions. Knowing the Adversary draws on a wealth of historical archival evidence to shed new light on how world leaders and intelligence organizations actually make these assessments. Keren Yarhi-Milo examines three cases: Britain's assessments of Nazi Germany's intentions in the 1930s, America's assessments of the Soviet Union's intentions during the Carter administration, and the Reagan administration's assessments of Soviet intentions near the end of the Cold War. She advances a new theoretical framework--called selective attention--that emphasizes organizational dynamics, personal diplomatic interactions, and cognitive and affective factors. Yarhi-Milo finds that decision makers don't pay as much attention to those aspects of state behavior that major theories of international politics claim they do. Instead, they tend to determine the intentions of adversaries on the basis of preexisting beliefs, theories, and personal impressions. Yarhi-Milo also shows how intelligence organizations rely on very different indicators than decision makers, focusing more on changes in the military capabilities of adversaries. Knowing the Adversary provides a clearer picture of the historical validity of existing theories, and broadens our understanding of the important role that diplomacy plays in international security."-- Provided by publisher.
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JF1525.I6 Y37 2014 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt5vjvf7 Available ocn880893570

Print version record.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 259-344) and index.

Theories of intentions and the problem of attention -- Indicators of Nazi Germany's intentions and the coming of World War II, 1934-39 -- British decision makers' perceptions of Nazi Germany's intentions -- The British intelligence community's assessments of Nazi Germany's intentions -- The Carter era and the collapse of detente, 1977-80 -- US decision makers' perceptions of Soviet intentions : the collapse of detente -- The US intelligence community's assessments of Soviet intentions : the collapse of detente -- Indicators of Soviet intentions and the end of the Cold War, 1985-88 -- US decision makers' perceptions of Soviet intentions : the end of the Cold War -- The US intelligence community's assessments of Soviet intentions : the end of the Cold War -- Summary and implications.

"States are more likely to engage in risky and destabilizing actions such as military buildups and preemptive strikes if they believe their adversaries pose a tangible threat. Yet despite the crucial importance of this issue, we don't know enough about how states and their leaders draw inferences about their adversaries' long-term intentions. Knowing the Adversary draws on a wealth of historical archival evidence to shed new light on how world leaders and intelligence organizations actually make these assessments. Keren Yarhi-Milo examines three cases: Britain's assessments of Nazi Germany's intentions in the 1930s, America's assessments of the Soviet Union's intentions during the Carter administration, and the Reagan administration's assessments of Soviet intentions near the end of the Cold War. She advances a new theoretical framework--called selective attention--that emphasizes organizational dynamics, personal diplomatic interactions, and cognitive and affective factors. Yarhi-Milo finds that decision makers don't pay as much attention to those aspects of state behavior that major theories of international politics claim they do. Instead, they tend to determine the intentions of adversaries on the basis of preexisting beliefs, theories, and personal impressions. Yarhi-Milo also shows how intelligence organizations rely on very different indicators than decision makers, focusing more on changes in the military capabilities of adversaries. Knowing the Adversary provides a clearer picture of the historical validity of existing theories, and broadens our understanding of the important role that diplomacy plays in international security."-- Provided by publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

This solid scholarly book is a bit dry even though its preferred thesis emphasizes that top policy makers are often decisively influenced by vivid impressions about their counterparts from other countries. The major contribution of the book is the systematic focus on a notoriously amorphous subject-how world leaders and intelligence organizations draw inferences about their adversaries' long-term intentions. Three mainstream theories are contrasted with a new theoretical framework, selective attention, to compare respective findings about three cases: British assessments of Nazi Germany's intentions in the 1930s, US assessments of the Soviet Union's intentions during the Carter administration, and Reagan administration assessments of Soviet intentions near the end of the Cold War. In each case, the selective attention thesis is identified as the most plausible explanation. An introductory chapter on the competing theories is followed by three chapters on each case study. Chapter 11 offers a summary and implications followed by notes and an index. The conclusion that decision makers and intelligence analysts looked at different indicators and that the attention paid by both groups was highly selective is worrisome. Recommended for professionals, this book is not easily accessible to undergraduates. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate, research, and professional collections. --Michael A. Morris, emeritus, Clemson University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Keren Yarhi-Milo is assistant professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University.

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