Decision researchers describe a “prominence effect” that leads decision makers to choose an option with more defensible attributes when quantitative assessment of those options is difficult. Prominence is hypothesized as a factor in US policy decisions not to use military force to prevent or stop humanitarian crises. Prominence is also regarded as a behavioral failure affecting both the general public and public officials that can be mitigated to improve welfare outcomes in transnational security decisions. This article—by David G. Delaney and Paul Slovic—considers those hypotheses as they relate to attorneys advising the US president and other senior public officials addressing transnational security issues. It proposes a combination of institutional, organizational, and individual steps to mitigate prominence and related behavioral failures.
Outsourcing intelligence, while not a recent phenomenon, has become more commonplace in the face of increased operations and fiscal pressure since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. While outsourcing has many benefits, it also brings certain general difficulties. As outsourcing decisions continue, it is critical that lawmakers understand the policy and legal implications of such choices.
Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) provides legal value in presenting historical and existing facts to judicial bodies in their efforts to achieve the peaceful use of the seas, consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The 2016 South China Sea Arbitration highlighted the value of GEOINT and demonstrates how GEOINT will be important in promoting a rules-based order in the maritime domain.