Prospects for Iraq’s Stability: Some Security Progress but Political Reconciliation Elusive. August 2007 update to the National Intelligence Estimate

This assessment updates the January 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq entitled, Prospects for Iraq’s Stability: A Challenging Road Ahead; it has been prepared at the direction of the Director of National Intelligence in response to a request from the National Security Council. It provides the Intelligence Community’s analysis of the status of the critical factors identified in the January Estimate that are driving Iraq’s security and political trajectory. Using the January Estimate as a baseline, this update examines the prospects for progress on the security and national reconciliation fronts over the next six to 12 months.

Mission Al Jazeera: Build a Bridge, Seek the Truth, Change the World by Josh Rushing

Josh Rushing was a US Marine Corps Captain who served as a spokesperson for United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) during Operation Iraqi Freeedom (OIF) in 2003. Unbeknownst to him the documentary film, Control Room, captured his efforts to communicate the American message on Al Jazeera. He currently works for Al Jazeera English as a military and current affairs correspondent.

If we are to win the war on terror, Rushing explains, we have to interact with the media at home and abroad in order to control the way we are perceived. By refusing to appear on Al Jazeera, Western leaders allow people who disagree with the current administration to represent the West to the Arab world in a skewed, negative way. By taking readers inside Al Jazeera, Rushing offers a unique behind-the-scenes look at the controversial news channel and shows how the West can harness it to its advantage, relay a positive message to the Arab public, and hear what it has to say in return.

While challenging Pentagon assumptions and policies, Rushing continues to remain passionately engaged with the US military. He regularly addresses conferences of flag officers and speaks at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the National Defense University, Command and General Staff Colleges, and the Defense Information School.

Video: Interview on 'Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone'

Josh Rushing Website

Spin: The Art of Selling War Part 1, Part 2
War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death by Norman Solomon

CDC Influenza Pandemic Operation Plan (OPLAN)

The Operation Plan (OPLAN) delineates how Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will prepare for and fight a devastating outbreak of infectious disease for our Nation, and the world. This CDC Influenza Pandemic OPLAN describes the internal processes within the CDC as a subordinate operating division (OPDIV) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Information provided in this OPLAN is intended as directive guidance for subordinate CDC organizations but will assist responsible individuals and others at all levels outside CDC to understand operational planning. All OPLANS need to be comprehensive enough to be used as guides for day-to-day operations, once an influenza pandemic appears anywhere in the world. This OPLAN is designed to allow the planners at every level within CDC to gain insights into "what" actions need to be taken in preparing for an influenza pandemic. The "how" to carry out these actions is left for the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) selected to review and take actions articulated in this plan.

This document in no way prescribes guidance for any entity other than CDC agencies.


Scenarios: The Art of Strategic Conversation by Kees van der Heijden

This book deals with how managers can set out and negotiate a successful course into the future for an organization in the face of significant uncertainty. Uncertainties about the future are often felt to be uncomfortable and thus “swept under the table” by collapsing them into a single-line forecast. This is tantamount to abdication of managerial responsibility. Facing up to uncertainty changes the perspective on the future completely. The secret of success moves from “finding the best strategy” to “finding the best process.” Thinking about scenarios – the different plausible future environments that can be imagined – is the key to thinking the process through and to keep thinking about it as the plans for the future unfold. Scenarios deals first with the principles of organizational learning and then moves on to describe practical and down-to-earth ways in which the organization can develop its skill in conducting an ongoing scenario-based strategy process. The methods described are based on many years of experience of managers in both large and small organizations, and they are grounded in solid logic.

This second edition features brand-new material throughout, and places increased emphasis on the essential link between organizational success and unique insights and original ideas. In addition, the entire text has been rewritten to bring it up to date and make it more practical, while retaining its underlying rigor.

Handbook of Intelligence Studies by Loch Johnson

This topical volume offers a comprehensive review of secret intelligence organizations and activities.

Intelligence has been in the news consistently since 9/11 and the Iraqi WMD errors. Leading experts in the field approach the three major missions of intelligence: collection-and-analysis; covert action; and counterintelligence. Within each of these missions, the dynamically written essays dissect the so-called intelligence cycle to reveal the challenges of gathering and assessing information from around the world. Covert action, the most controversial intelligence activity, is explored, with special attention on the issue of military organizations moving into what was once primarily a civilian responsibility. The authors furthermore examine the problems that are associated with counterintelligence, protecting secrets from foreign spies and terrorist organizations, as well as the question of intelligence accountability, and how a nation can protect its citizens against the possible abuse of power by its own secret agencies.

The Handbook of Intelligence Studies is a benchmark publication with major importance both for current research and for the future of the field. It is essential reading for advanced undergraduates, graduate students and scholars of intelligence studies, international security, strategic studies and political science in general.