Review: Analyzing Intelligence: Origins, Obstacles, and Innovations

4 Star, Intelligence (Government/Secret)

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Of, By, and For USA Status Quo Bubbas–Essential but Very Partial

July 14, 2009
Roger Z. George
This is a very fine book, not least because of its inclusion of Jack Davis (search for <analytic tradecraft> as well as Carmen Medina (see her presentation to global audience via oss.net/LIBRARY), but in its essentials this is a book of, by, and for the status quo ante bubbas–the American bubbas, I might add.

If you are an analyst or a trainer of analysts or a manager of analysts, this is assuredly essential reading, but it perpetuates my long-standing concerns about American intelligence:

1) Lack of a strategic analytic model (see Earth Intelligence Network)

2) Lack of deep historical and multi-cultural appreciation

3) Lack of a deep understanding and necessary voice on the complete inadequacy of collection sources, the zero presence of processing and lack of desktop analytic tools, and the need for ABSOLUTE devotion to the truth, not–as is still the case, “within the reasonable bounds of dishonesty” aka “slam dunk”

4) Lack of integrity in so many ways, not least of which is the analytic abject acceptance of the false premise that the best intelligence is top secret/sensitive compartmented information–see the online CounterPunch piece on “Intelligence for the President–AND Everyone Else.”

Below are ten books I recommend as substantive complements to this book:
The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past
Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’
Fog Facts : Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin (Nation Books)
Lost Promise
The Age of Missing Information (Plume)
Informing Statecraft
Bureaucratic Politics And Foreign Policy
A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility–Report of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change
Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America

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