Seventy-four years ago this week (Dec. 7), the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a devastating and surprise attack on the U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, killing more than 2,000 service members and ultimately accelerating America’s involvement in World War II. While the military and intelligence-gathering practices of the time may appear to be that of a distant past, there are several key lessons the United States can and should continue to derive from the attacks on Pearl Harbor.
First, despite repeated attempts to correct the process by which intelligence is gathered and shared, there will always be intelligence failures. Before the Pearl Harbor attack, the United States had managed to break the Japanese diplomatic code, but, because there was inadequate intelligence sharing among government agencies, the information did not reach the right officials. To correct this deficiency, a centralized intelligence agency, the CIA, was established after World War II.This article was originally published in Inside Sources.