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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


Strategic Intelligence: Windows into a Secret World: An Anthology edited by Loch K. Johnson & James J. Wirtz (Roxbury Publishing Company) provides the first compre­hensive set of readings in the field of intelligence studies. Loch K. Johnson and James J. Wirtz's an­thology spans a wide range of topics, from how the United States gathers and interprets informa­tion collected around the world to comparisons of the American intelligence system with the secret agencies of other nations.

The text addresses a wide range of material in­cluding: (1) the meaning of strategic intelligence; (2) methods of intelligence collection; (3) intelli­gence analysis; (4) the danger of intelligence politi­cization; (5) relationships between intelligence offi­cers and the policymakers they serve; (6) covert action; (7) counterintelligence; (8) accountability and civil liberties; and (9) intelligence as practiced in other nations.

The text also contains valuable pedagogical fea­tures including: (1) the thirty-six classic articles on in­telligence by leading experts; (2) nine thorough, chapter-length introductory essays by editors Johnson, Regents Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia, editor of the journal Intelligence and National Security and Wirtz, professor and chair of the De­partment of National Security Affairs, Naval Post­graduate School, Monterey, California, which serve as a helpful "road map" for the reader; (4) charts and figures on intelli­gence organization and leadership; and (5) a select bibliography.

Part I. Intelligence In The United States: An Introduction

1. The Evolution of the U.S. Intelligence Community – An Historical Overview by

Aspin-Brown Commission staff member Phyllis Provost McNeil. This history of the U.S. intelligence community traces how today's intelligence institutions, while shaped by the Cold War, are based on an American tradition of supporting foreign and defense policy with clandestinely acquired information.

2. The Quaintness of the U.S. Intelligence Community: Its Origin, Theory, and Problems by Thomas F. Troy, a CIA veteran. This overview of the evolution of the U.S. intelligence "community," offers some insights into why it is so difficult to get various intelligence agencies to set aside their own agendas and work toward improving the overall intelligence picture available to policy­makers.

3. The Use and Limits of U.S. Intelligence by Frank J. Cilluffo, who has chaired two committees on homeland defense, Ronald A. Marks, a former officer at the CIA and former intelligence counsel, and George C. Salmoiraghi, attorney and re­search associate with the Global Organized Crime Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. This discussion of the "new terrorism" explains why the intelligence community was not well prepared to meet the new threat, exemplified by the September 11 terrorist at­tacks.

Part II. Intelligence Collection

4. CIA and Its Discontents by Patrick R. Riley, the nom de plume of a former case officer in the CIAs Directorate of Operations. Riley explores whether the CIA can cope with all the intelligence requirements placed on it since the end of the Cold War and calls for a more discriminating list of targets for intelligence collection.

5. Re-examining Problems and Prospects in U.S. Imagery Intelligence by John M. Diamond, who covers national security, for­eign policy, and intelligence issues for the Washing­ton Bureau of the Chicago Tribune. A perennial problem of intelligence collection is how to acquire useful knowledge from the glut of information gathered by spy machines and human agents. This article focuses on how to cope with the flood of photographs (or images) that pour back to the United States from surveillance satellites.

6. The Satellite Gap by Jeffrey T. Richelson, a senior fellow with the National Security Archive in Washington. A researcher in the National Security Archives in Washington, D.C., Richelson warns of an impending gap in U.S. surveillance satellite coverage, as one generation of "birds" begins to wear out and fall to earth without another generation ready to replace them in space.

7. The Time of Troubles: The U.S. National Security Agency in the Twenty-First Century by Matthew M. Aid, managing director in the Washington, D.C., office of Citigate Global Intelli­gence and Security. America's largest intelligence organization, the National Security Agency, is beset with a variety of bureaucratic problems according to this expert on signals intelligence, who recommends improvements in management and outreach, as well as technological remedies.

Part III. Intelligence Analysis

8. Analysis, War, and Decision: Why Intelligence Failures Are Inevitable by Richard K. Betts, Leo A. Shifrin Professor of War and Peace Studies in the Department of Politi­cal Science at Columbia University. This history of diplomatic and military affairs is riddled with instances when intelli­gence analysts failed to provide timely warning of what was about to unfold. Betts pres­ents a strong explanation of why intelligence failures are envitable, as well as insights into the myriad challenges that analysts must overcome to offer useful estimates of fu­ture events.

9. The Importance of Open Source Intelligence to the Military by Robert D. Steele, president of Open Sources, Inc., of Oakton, Virginia. Steele describes various types of information available on the World Wide Web and explains how these sources can he exploited by intelligence organizations to supplement the classified information they traditionally rely upon as a basis for their estimates.

10. A Policymaker's Perspective on Intelligence Analysis by Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill, who served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Direc­tor for European and Soviet Affairs on the National Security Council staff from 1989-90, and Jack Davis, a former CIA analyst, currently with the CIA's Sherman Kent Center. Policymakers must focus on the pressing issues of the day, leaving little time to peruse finished intelligence products. Blackwill offers the reader a glimpse into the lives of policymakers and analysts as they interact.

11. Intelligence Estimates and the Decision-Maker by Shlomo Gazit, a major general in the Israeli army. Gazit highlights the importance of establishing what he describes as a "reciprocal rela­tionship" between analysts and policymakers and ways to bridge the gap that exists be­tween them.

12. CIA's Strategic Intelligence in Iraq by Richard L. Russell, professor at the Near East­South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, the Na­tional Defense University. This report on the CIAs performance prior to the first Gulf War gives analysts high marks for accurate estimates of Iraqi intentions and capabilities and the performance of U.S. forces in battle.

13. Early Warning Versus Concept: The Case of the Yom Kippur War 1973 by Ephraim Kahana, a senior research associate in the National Security Center at the University of Haifa and a faculty member in the Political Science Department in the Western Galilee College. This study of Israeli intelligence performance prior to the 1973 Yom Kippur war de­scribes how the analytic framework that dominated Israeli perceptions of events in the fall of 1973 led both analysts and officials to misinterpret information about the threats they faced.

Part IV. The Danger Of Intelligence Politicization

14. The Politicization of Intelligence       by Harry Howe Ransom, professor emeritus in political science at Vanderbilt University. This overview of how politicization occurs within the intelligence community suggests that it is inherent in the production of intelligence, because information is crucial to "aiding and preserving political power.”

15. Intelligence to Please? The Order of Battle Controversy During the Vietnam War by James J. Wirtz. In this account of a dispute that occurred within the U.S. intelligence community on the eve of the 1968 Tet offensive, Wirtz explores charges made by Samuel Adams, a CIA analyst, that a conspiracy existed to prevent accurate information about enemy troop strength from reaching senior members of the Johnson administration.

16. Inside Ivory Bunkers: CIA Analysts Resist Managers’ ‘Pandering’ by H. Bradford Westerfield, recently retired as Damon Wells Professor of In­ternational Studies and professor of political sci­ence at Yale University. Westerfield describes the controversy surrounding the 1991 nomination of Robert Gates as Director of Central Intelligence, who was disliked by many analysts because they believed that he pressured them to produce finished intelligence that supported White House policy preferences.

Part V. Intelligence And The Policymaker  

17. Intelligence and National Action by Michael Herman, a leading British intelli­gence scholar. In this introduction to the role played by intelligence in shaping diplomacy and military action, Herman suggests that many things can influence the making of policy in peace­time and war, not just information.

18. Tribal Tongues: Intelligence Consumers, Intelligence Producers by Mark M. Lowenthal, assistant director of Central Intelligence for anal­ysis and production. Lowenthal suggests that the different bureaucratic cultures of the policymaking and intelligence communities often form a significant barrier to a close relationship between the consumers and producers of intelligence.

19. Building Leverage in the Long War: Ensuring Intelligence Community Creativity in the Fight Against Terrorism by James W. Harris, senior analyst for Central Technology

In this call for intelligence reform in the wake of the September 11 tragedy, Harris highlights the role elected officials can play in shaping the intelligence community to meet the terrorist threat.

Part VI: Covert Action         

20. Interfering With Civil Society: CIA and KGB Covert Political Action During the Cold War by Kevin A. O'Brien, a former research associate with the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies and currently a senior analyst for RAND Europe. The Cold War was in large part a subterranean battle between the intelligence services of the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, as carried out by their premier intelligence services: the CIA and the KGB. O'Brien examines the political dimension of covert actions undertaken by these two intelligence behemoths.

21. Covert Action: Swampland of American Foreign Policy by Senator Frank Church, who led the 1975­-76 Senate inquiry into allegations of CIA abuses and served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Church finds in the excesses of the CIA abroad the symptoms of an illusion of American omnipotence that entrapped and enthralled the nation's presidents through­out the Cold War.

22. Covert Action Can Be Just by James A. Barry, who served as deputy director of the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence. Exploring the use of covert action from the point of view of just-war theory, Barry establishes benchmarks for judging the morality of this controversial form of secret foreign policy. He eschews highly invasive operations but advances an ethical justification for certain forms of covert action.

Part VII. Counterintelligence

23. Cold War Spies: Why They Spied and How They Got Caught by Stan A. Taylor, professor of political science at Brigham Young University, and Daniel Snow, a published economic espio­nage author. Why do some people commit treason against their own country? Taylor and Snow examine this question and find that the answer is simple enough: for money.

24. Bane of Counterintelligence: Our Penchant for Self-Deception by Tennent H. Bagley, who served as deputy chief of the CIA operations. Bagley claims to have found the counterintelligence enemy and the enemy is us: or at least the penchant of intelligence bureaucracies to avoid the reality that they may have been penetrated by a hostile intelligence service.

25. OSS and the Venona Decrypts by Hayden B. Peake, adjunct professor at the Defense Intelligence College in Washington. Examining the Soviet "Venona" cables intercepted by U.S. Army intelligence during the Cold War, former CIA officer Peake finds evidence of KGB and GRU infiltration of the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA.

26. Counterintelligence: The Broken Triad by Frederick L. Wettering, retired CIA operations officer who managed clandestine operations in Europe and Africa for more than three decades. An expert on counterintelligence formerly with the CIA, Wettering sees U.S. counterintelligence as a discipline in disarray and in need of radical reform.

Part VIII. Accountability And Civil Liberties          

27. Intelligence: Welcome to the American Government by Gregory F. Treverton, who served as vice chairman of the Na­tional Intelligence Council, and is currently with RAND. Treverton explores the merits of viewing intelligence organizations as a regular part of America's government, as subject to constitutional safeguards as any other department or agency.

28. Covert Action and Accountability: Decision-Making for America's Secret Foreign Policy by Loch K. Johnson. Johnson examines the specifics of congressional oversight and its implications for co­vert action.

29. Unleashing the Rogue Elephant: September 11 and Letting the CIA Be the CIA  by Frederick P. Hitz, inspector general of the CIA from 1990 to 1998, a lecturer in public and inter­national affairs at Princeton University. In hopes of maintaining accountability without stifling the effectiveness of intelligence officers, intelligence reformers and anti-reformers have debated the proper level of supervision of the CIA. Hitz argues that the leash on the CIA is too tight and suggests how to improve effectiveness without eroding civil liberties.

30. Ethics and Intelligence by E. Drexel Godfrey, Jr., who served in the Intelligence Directorate of the CIA from 1957 to 1970, as well as the CIA's director of current intelligence. Godfrey maintains that even in the dark domain of intelligence one must have certain limits of restraint – at least in nations like the United States that have long displayed a concern for morality in the making of foreign policy.

31. Another System of Oversight: Intelligence and the Rise of Judicial Intervention by Frederic F. Manget, with the Office of Legal Af­fairs at the CIA. The judicial branch of government is a latecomer to the world of intelligence, but, as Manget notes, it is now very much a part of that world as the courts provide yet another check on intelligence abuse.

32. Congressional Supervision of America's Secret Agencies: The Experience and Legacy of the Church Committee by Loch K. Johnson, former assistant to Senator Frank Church. Johnson reviews the experiences of that investigation and gauges the contribution made by the Church Committee.

Part IX. Intelligence In Other Lands

33. The Heritage and Future of the Russian Intelligence Community by Robert W. Pringle, adjunct professor with the Patterson School of Diplomacy at the University of Kentucky. In this postmortem of the KGB, Pringle describes how it kept Soviet citizens in line and protected the regime from both internal and external political threats. He also describes the difficult task facing the Russian government as it creates new intelligence organizations from the remnants of the KGB.

34. The Fall and Rise of France's Spymasters by Percy Kemp, author of novels and articles about Islam, geopolitics, and espio­nage. Following the upheaval that accompanied the collapse of the Soviet Union and the first Gulf War, Hemp explains how the French government realized that it needed a compe­tent intelligence community to cope with emerging challenges.

35. Controlling Intelligence in New Democracies by      Thomas C. Bruneau, who teaches in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, and is director of the school's Center for Civil-Military Relations. Bruneau describes an issue that is often overlooked in the literature on transitions to democracy: the reform of intelligence organizations and their role in fledgling democracies.

36. Intelligence and Policy by Sir Percy Cradock, who served as British Ambassador to China (1978-84) and Chairman of the British Joint Intelli­gence Committee from 1985 to 1992. Cradock assesses the performance of Brit­ish intelligence since World War II.

Loch Johnson and James Wirtz have produced a vitally important volume on the future of strategic intel­ligence. At a time when U.S. and other intelligence services are adapting quickly to the new threat envi­ronment, in part by returning to the basics of collection, analysis, counterintelligence, and covert action, this volume offers historical parallels and contemporary discussions about the challenges of doing so. Drawing upon traditional and sometimes controversial experts, this book covers the rich intelligence landscape and incorporates updated discussions on ethics and accountability, politicization of intelli­gence, and even a section on intelligence in other lands. One of the richest volumes on intelligence in the past decade. – Kevin O’Connell, Director, Intelligency Policy Center, RAND

The editors have done a masterful job of selecting truly edifying pieces for this anthology. The approach is logical and clear, and the editors' introductions to each section are indispensable for making sense of the essays that follow. – Edward Schatz, Southern Illinois University

Directed at students, the collection of articles in Strategic Intelligence covers the range of topics in intelligence. The readings are written by renowned experts, and each article is pref­aced by a brief, framing introduction written by the editors.Taken together, they provide a deeper understanding of the field of intelligence than has yet been available – they are much needed and will be well received.

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