Constructing Cassandra was reviewed in the the Winter 2013-14 issue of Parameters, the official journal of the US Army War College.
The review concludes “Jones and Silberzahn have crafted an insightful masterpiece to frame the true nature of the CIA. The depth to which their arguments are presented clearly shows the dangers a tight knit intelligence society may have when analyzing intelligence reports. Their purpose is not to craft lofty goals the agency will never reach but rather to examine the reasons why the agency failed in the past. I recommend this book to anyone with a passion in understanding the analytical framework of the CIA and who seeks to comprehend the theoretical approach, through the uses of organizational theory, in uncovering its internal mysteries.”
If you read French, a summary of the main ideas in Constructing Cassandra has just appeared in Revue Défense Nationale (issue 767). See the article “Incertitude et surprise stratégique : les leçons des échecs de la CIA” beginning on page 114.
Tonight at 8:30 PM, Milo will lead a discussion about strategic surprise and Constructing Cassandra at a meeting of the Oxford University Strategic Studies Group. The meeting will be in the Old Library of All Souls College, and all discussions will be conducted under Chatham House rules.
Milo and I have already discussed sources of disruption in this blog (see for instance Milo’s Start with Geostrategy, or call it Tactics), and we’ve particularly discussed the role of technology as a source of disruption. But it is one thing is to describe disruption, and another to experience it. In that context, I created and ran a MOOC (an online course) on entrepreneurship last November, and thought I’d share the results of this effort for two reasons. First, because MOOCs are poised to disrupt education and second, because there’s been some controversy about them. So let’s go through my experience and see what it tells us.
In this video about Constructing Cassandra, we explain how the CIA failed to anticipate the fall of the USSR. Watch it here on YouTube.
In this video about our book “Constructing Cassandra”, we explain how identity plays out in strategic surprises, using the example of Osama bin Laden. Watch it here on YouTube.
Summer has been over for a while, but I’m only now finding the time to do a post. It’s going to be short – just an update to a couple of my previous posts on reading for strategists (like Geopolitics and Investing and How to Think Like an Intelligence Analyst).
White & Red – Five Forces!
The not-so-subtle idea underpinning those posts is that much of what is called business or investment strategy “literature” is intellectual popcorn: fun to eat, temporarily satisfying, but with no long-term nutritional value. Eat only popcorn, and you’ll starve to death. (Here I could criticize business schools for serving mostly intellectual junk food to their students, but that’s what happens when you let kids create the menu!)
Posted in Methodology & Tools, Resources, Uncategorized
Tagged China, climate change, empire, Geoffrey Parker, Geopolitics, grand strategy, nuclear weapons, Philip II, sovereign wealth funds, strategy, uses of history