I N TEL L I G ENe ESE R V ICE S have been investing enormous resources in trying to decipher enemy codes, but less thought has been given to the question of whether it is at all beneficial for a state to keep its intentions and capabilities secret. The prevailing assumption is that a state involved in a confrontation should do its utmost to keep secret its strength and its plans, and thus leave the enemy groping in the dark. This mode of operation has tactical advantages in enabling the launching of a surprise attack at the outbreak of war and in providing victories in battles afterwards. However, at the strategic level it entails a substantial risk, as it may foment the very war it sought to avert and prolong it unnecessarily after its eruption. The risk stems from the fact that the country which is groping about in the dark, in the absence of clear information about the other side's capabilities and intentions, advances a worst-case scenario and then acts upon it. Intelligence services are generally pessimistic organizations, preferring to exaggerate dangers rather than minimize them, so in cases where information is meager and uncertainty high, they tend to attribute to the enemy greater strength and more diabolical intentions than is actually the case.