KSG CASE CATALOG
CASE STUDIES IN PUBLIC POLICY AND MANAGEMENT


Fall of the Shah of Iran

In the first months of 1979, the Shah of Iran--on whom successive
American administrations had relied as a pillar of strength in a
strategic and turbulent region--fell from power.  Less than a year
earlier, no analyst, inside or outside government, came close to
predicting that the shah was in such trouble.  This case examines the
interplay of intelligence assessment and policy in US decisionmaking
with regard to Iran.  The lack of intelligence--for instance, on the
religious opposition to the shah--was important, but even more so were
the mindsets of policymakers: the mullahs could not govern Iran; the
shah could outmaneuver the political opposition, as he had in the
1960s; and, most important, Iran and the shah were so crucial to the
United States that American officials could hardly afford to ask
themselves, or their analysts, if he might fall. The case can serve as
a vehicle for discussing American interests in the Persian Gulf and
policymaking on critical regional security issues.  Focused more
directly on the presumptions, most of them implicit, of policymakers,
the class can address the interaction of assessment and policy.  For
the latter purpose, its companion, now under production, will be the
accession to power in the Philippines of President Corazon Aquino, an
instance in which intelligence assessment was better, the process of
policymaking in the United States much different, and the outcome
apparently happier.

Fall of the Shah of Iran, 19pp, (C16-88-794.0);
Fall of the Shah of Iran: Teaching Note, 3pp, (C16-88-794.2)



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