ISSN 2822-3349 (Printed)
ISSN 2822-3357 (Online)

The Need for Cognitive Closure as an Failure of Intelligence Analysis: The Case of the War of Yom Kippur

30.01.2024 | Hasan Mesut ÖNDER


There are reasons for intelligence failure stemming from the collection of information as well as the process of analyzing the collected information. Failures stemming from the collection process can be evaluated as insufficient information gathered and insufficient quality of the information gathered. Poor collection quality often negatively affects the analysis process. However, analysis errors also occur when there is sufficient quantity and quality of information. This study seeks to answer the question of why analysts fail in the processing process despite the availability of sufficient quantity and quality of information. In this context, it is thought that the concept of the need for cognitive closure should be used as an analytical framework to answer this question. Analysts authoritarian personality structure, intolerance of different opinions, and the group dynamics they are in are reported to cause a high need for cognitive closure. This study discusses how judgmental models and limited policy options affect the need for cognitive closure. In this framework, the judgment models and constrained policy options that triggered the need for cognitive closure in the Israeli Military Intelligence organization AMAN during the 1973 Yom Kippur War are examined.

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