Yesterday the article “The CIA’s Latest Mission: Improving Diversity” appeared in Time magazine. I was interviewed for the story, so it is gratifying to see that Constructing Cassandra is cited. Nevertheless, it is a pity that Maya Rhodan, the author of the Time piece, did not explore more fully the link between diversity and effective analysis.
As I stressed to Ms Rhodan and as our book documents, diversity is a practical, not merely a moral issue for intelligence agencies (and for any organization charged with wide-ranging risk analysis). Racial, ethnic, religious and gender diversity is far from a perfect proxy for cognitive diversity, but homogeneity in these categories assuredly contributes to the “natural selection of accidents” that produces intelligence failures.