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The Intelligence Failures

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Big new NYT drop on the intelligence failures that enabled 10/7:

Overall, arrogance among Israeli political and security officials convinced them that the country’s military and technological superiority to Hamas would keep the terrorist group in check.

“They were able to trick our collection, our analysis, our conclusions and our strategic understanding,” Eyal Hulata, Israel’s national security adviser from 2021 until early this year, said during a discussion last week in Washington sponsored by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank.

“I don’t think there was anyone who was involved with affairs with Gaza that shouldn’t ask themselves how and where they were also part of this massive failure,” he added.

Many senior officials have accepted responsibility, but Mr. Netanyahu has not. At 1 a.m. Sunday in Israel, after his office was asked for comment on this article, he posted a message on X, formerly Twitter, that repeated remarks he made to The New York Times and blamed the military and intelligence services for failing to provide him with any warning on Hamas.

I’m going to stick with my argument that this is the biggest intelligence failure of the 21st century… the decision to invade Iraq wasn’t really about the intelligence failures (although these certainly existed) but rather about the policy decisions made by elected and appointed officials. The 9/11 failures were serious but the preparation for those attacks were on a completely different scale than what we saw earlier this month. Perhaps more importantly, a decent level of warning and preparation would have enabled the IDF to defeat Hamas’ incursions at a point before the massive loss of civilian life in southern Israel. This would have been enormously consequential politically; the entire Israeli political system is unlikely to have lined up behind a ground invasion in the wake of a much less successful set of Hamas attacks.

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