Review: Analyzing Intelligence: National Security Practitioners’ Perspectives Second Edition

5 Star, Intelligence (Government/Secret)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Roger George

5.0 out of 5 stars A Status Quo Book, Improved from 1st Edition, Still Pulls Punches, October 30, 2014

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 them both at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog ), but it must still be categorized as a status quo book. Despite improvements from the 1st edition the authors still pull some punches — I dare hope that by the 3rd edition — and the book is certainly worthy of going forward — they will get tougher, perhaps in a new final chapter — Where Did We Go Wrong, Who Did We Ignore, How Do We Get It Right Now?

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

1) Lack of a strategic analytic model (search for the term at Phi Beta Iota)

2) Lack of deep historical and multi-cultural appreciation including outreach to people that a) hate Americans and b) will never in a million years qualify for either citizenship or clearances

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 the holistic analytic/true cost economics sense, 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 free online articles “Intelligence for the President–AND Everyone Else” as well as “On Defense Intelligence — Seven Strikes,” both at CounterPunch.

Below are ten books I recommend (and where I have posted a summary review) as substantive complements to this book, which serves well as a core reading for both undergraduates and graduates as well as adult mid-career students:

935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
Intelligence and U.S. Foreign Policy: Iraq, 9/11, and Misguided Reform
Who the Hell Are We Fighting?: The Story of Sam Adams and the Vietnam Intelligence Wars
Analytic Professionalism and the Policymaking Process
Informing Statecraft
Lost Promise
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

Beyond the above books, see my reviews of over 300 books on intelligence, all here at Amazon, as linked within the easily found Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Government Secret Intelligence.

Robert David STEELE Vivas
INTELLIGENCE FOR EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability

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