The Intelligence Process and the Verification Problem

by F. S. Feer

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In an effort to improve public understanding of the relationship between intelligence and the feasibility of verifying compliance with arms control agreements, this paper provides a primer on the intelligence-gathering process, discusses the need for secrecy, and analyzes 15 potential pitfalls in the process of gathering intelligence. The author suggests that verification is working, as evidenced by the U.S. government's publication of data demonstrating alleged Soviet noncompliance. The fundamental problem is that our political processes have yet to yield a credible means of responding to violations.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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