Review: On Intelligence–Spies and Secrecy in an Open World

5 Star, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Intelligence (Public)

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5.0 out of 5 stars 9/11 is for intelligence what Sputnik was for science,

December 11, 2001
Robert David Steele
This book, the second edition, is an exact copy of the first edition with two changes: the publisher, and a new one-page Publisher's Foreword that itemizes the six intelligence and counterintelligence failures that allowed 9/11 to happen.9/11 is for intelligence what Sputnik was for science. The across-the-board failure of clandestine intelligence (overseas), counterintelligence (at home) and our generally mediocre understanding of the real world (since we lack a properly funded, language-qualified foreign or diplomatic service), all contributed equally.

Henry Kissinger is absolutely right when he laments the lack of any serious consideration of foreign policy in recent presidential and congressional elections, and that is what 9/11 must change–this book is intended to be useful to citizens as well as government and business intelligence professionals. It lays out with great precision (see the index) both $11.6 billion dollars (out of $30 billion a year) in potential savings that could be applied to the new craft of intelligence, and it recommends with great precision all that should be in a new National Security Act of 2002.

Intelligence in the 21st Century is too important to be relegated to a chaotic cluster of secret government agencies. It is time for all citizens to take an interest in intelligence, to migrate the proven process of intelligence (there is a great deal that is good about the U.S. intelligence community) into the business sector as well as over to the sovereign states and their localities, and to demand of our elected representatives a proper accounting for the failure, and measures to prevent future failures.

Less than 2% of the $30 billion a year intelligence has been spent on terrorism–the policy and intelligence leadership over several administrations have given lip-service to the war on terrorism–and there will be no improvements, no matter how much money we pour into intelligence and counterintelligence, unless we change the fundamentals–who's in charge, how we do it, who we do it with, and how seriously we take our responsibilities for protecting America.
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