COVID-19 and the Need to Hear Out Devil’s Advocates

A nurse wearing personal protective equipment watches an ambulance driving away outside of Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, N.Y., April 20, 2020. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
Time after time, we seem to underestimate the possibility of the unexpected. We must recognize this tendency in ourselves and work to correct it.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I n October 1973, every intelligence organization on the planet believed all was well in the Middle East. This included the much celebrated Israeli Mossad, which knew of formulated Arab plans to attack Israel and retake the Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights, but didn’t really believe the Arabs had any immediate interest in going to war.

In the weeks leading up to war, Egypt and Syria both held “training exercises” near the Israeli border. Yet even then, the Israelis were more puzzled than threatened, because the Mossad and other intelligence services still were not convinced that either enemy was ready for war.

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