John A. Gentry and Joseph S. Gordon update our understanding of strategic warning intelligence analysis for the twenty-first century. Strategic warning—the process of long-range analysis to alert senior leaders to trending threats and opportunities that require action—is a critical intelligence function. It also is frequently misunderstood and underappreciated. Gentry and Gordon draw on both their practitioner and academic backgrounds to present a history of the strategic warning function in the US intelligence community. In doing so, they outline the capabilities of analytic methods, explain why strategic warning analysis is so hard, and discuss the special challenges strategic warning encounters from senior decision-makers. They also compare how strategic warning functions in other countries, evaluate why the United States has in recent years emphasized current intelligence instead of strategic warning, and recommend warning-related structural and procedural improvements in the US intelligence community. The authors examine historical case studies, including postmortems of warning failures, to provide examples of the analytic points they make. Strategic Warning Intelligence will interest scholars and practitioners and will be an ideal teaching text for intermediate and advanced students.
Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs comprises more than 70 full-time faculty and more than 200 adjunct faculty, scholars, and practitioners. All have distinguished themselves in research and leadership in the policy world, and have produced scholarship in a wide variety of subjects, including international relations, democratization, elections, demography, and social policy.