Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Robert Jervis

American Professor of International Affairs at Columbia University

"All too often… intelligence estimates tell us more about interests and foreign policy preferences of powerful groups in government than it does about the other side’s intentions and capabilities are."

"Once countries know that the U.S. is going to use military force in Iraq, they may accept it, although not with the same support that the U.S. has had in Afghanistan. A lot of countries will decide to at least passively acquiesce. The military success in Afghanistan is helping to carry this support, but if the situation there deteriorates, how the world perceives a possible Iraqi option will change."

"Ever since Roberta Wohlstetter?s path-breaking study of why the United States was taken by surprise at Pearl Harbor 50 years ago, both academics and members of the Intelligence Community (IC) have made significant progress in understanding intelligence failures. About how to correct these errors and do better we know much less, however, and it is to this subject that this volume makes a major contribution."

"Perceptions of the world and of other actors diverge from reality in patterns that we can detect and for reasons that we can understand."

"You build up a store of information which allows you to piece the information together. Part of what you do is compare what you learn with what you're getting from other sources."