Roundtable with Dr. Thomas Fingar


June 5, 2024





CAPRI Roundtables is a series of closed-door discussions, wherein guest speakers, key stakeholders, and opinion leaders explore and debate critical policy topics in Taiwan and the Asia Pacific. Our inaugural roundtable on June 5 featured Dr. Thomas Fingar, former Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis and Chairman of the U.S. National Intelligence Council (2005–2008), as well as policymakers and leaders of major Taiwanese policy think tanks from across the political spectrum.

Dr. Fingar offered an insider’s perspective on national intelligence, emphasizing the critical role of nonpartisan analysis in intelligence work. Drawing on his extensive experience in national intelligence, including advising on the Iraq War and developing the President’s daily briefs, Dr. Fingar stressed the necessity of trust, transparency, and equal access to information amongst decision makers. Ultimately, intelligence work should aim to provide objective insights to enable informed decision-making instead of prescribing policy and drive shared understanding on critical issues.

Dr. Fingar’s remarks were followed by a lively discussion exploring the integration of diverse intelligence sources, the transformative role of AI and technology, innovative approaches to independent analysis, and the complexities of long-term forecasting. The dialogue also touched on the role of intelligence in shaping US foreign policy toward China and Taiwan. Common themes emerged, such as ensuring collaborative inquiry, maintaining objectivity, and balancing immediate demands with long-term foresight. 

This first CAPRI Roundtable fostered a rich conversation, leveraging the diverse viewpoints of the participants to improve decision-making processes and enhance intelligence practices. All participants acknowledged the significant contribution of independent policy think tanks in providing fresh perspectives to both the intelligence community and policymakers.