When the Cold War ended, when the Berlin Wall fell and various states which made up the Soviet Union gained their ‘independence’ the belief was that Peace had come.
Although the C.I.A. and other espionage units kept themselves only a few feet back from Cold War level, the same conceptions prevailed.
Blind and deaf to what was happening in the Middle East; the overthrow of the Shah of Iran took people by surprise. The action of Sadam Hussein were also stunners.
For a guy driving a bus in Kingston to not know what was brewing in the Middle East is a shoulder shrug. For people paid to work in the C.I.A. to be taken by surprise was a serious failing.
The major misconception of the 90s was that the Soviet Union was America’s only enemy.