The US government used the 'Lonely Planet' tourist guidebook as a source of information prior to the invasion of Iraq. That's right, the average browser in WH Smith would be as well informed as the US armed forces and intelligence. I suppose the soldiers would know where the best pubs and restaurants were but as for roads and water supplies.... they weren't exactly covered.
It reminds me of the episode of Red Dwarf where the computer Holly thinks the crew are losing faith in him so he tricks them into thinking he gets his information about space from the Ladybird Book of Space. And then along comes the backup computer Queeg who is much more efficient but ultimately makes the life of the crew harder so they want Holly back. I guess the moral of the story is people are prepared to accept second best as long as it makes things easier for them.