2014 Intelligence Reform (All Others)

Ethics, Government, IO Impotency, IO Secrets, IO Sense-Making



Under Construction – Send Nominations to robert.david.steele.vivas@gmail.com

Updated 23 Jan 2014 14:58 E

Phi Beta Iota: The current literature on intelligence reform is underdeveloped and under-specified.  An example of this under- or mis-specification can be seen in the treatment of 9/11. The dominant position that 9/11 was an intelligence failure is correct in principle. It was, however, a failure of counterintelligence not of warning. Ample warnings had been provided, including from 9 different nations warning the White House and the CIA in advance. George Tenet had a clear role in positioning the intelligence community away from these warnings, including ABLE DANGER. Keith Alexander seems to have shared this misplaced analytical view, along with the Acting Director of the FBI who was not able to lever influence when  the actual Director resigned. 9/11 was – in effect – enabled by Dick Cheney, who ordered a national counter-terrorism exercise for “the day,” months in advance, despite the numerous and clear warnings  — not to stop 9/11, but to allow it, embrace it, enhance it, and leverage it. Today's US Intelligence Community is dedicated to moving money — nothing more — and of course this is all Congress wants, with its eye on the standard 5% kick-back to sponsoring Members.  It is not in any way, shape, or form committed to producing ethical evidence-based decision support applicable to national strategy, national policy, national acquisition, or national operations. Intelligence with integrity is not to be found in the US Government (good people, bad system — this is a meta-challenge). Most intelligence scholars are currently serving to bolster this system rather than to stand as critical friends to challenge and help in the reform of it.

Below the line is an integrated list from the past several years. This is everybody else.  For an alternative perspective on intelligence reform, see 2014 Robert Steele on Intelligence Reform.

Intelligence Reform Current Online References

NB: We are ignoring all article's on Obama or Congress achieving reform in the aftermath of the Snowden revelations. All of that is theatrics, and reprehensible in its persistent protection of of a system one author considers “Beyond Repair.”

NB: Only a handful of books focused on intelligence reform are listed below. For many other books on intelligence as reviewed by Robert Steele, see Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Intelligence (Most).


Collins, Peter. Part 1, NSA Whistleblowers Bill Binney and Tom Drake Explain Their Open Memo to President Obama (The Peter Collins Show, 14 January 2014)

Collins, Peter. Part 2: Former NSA Officials Binney and Drake Explain Their 21-Point Agenda for Real Intelligence Reform (The Peter Collins Show, 15 January 2014)

Especially interesting:

10 Outlaw use of foreign partner agencies to circumvent US laws and ban US agencies from ailding foreign partner agencies in circumventing their own laws, and apply individual penalties to such activities.

11 Zero-base the NSA, CIA and FBI [PBI adds NRO, NGA, and DIA] budgets and cut them substantially by eliminating unconstitutional or illegal programs [PBI adds incompetent and idiotic].

Dover, Rob. Rob Dover: Putting the Steele into intelligence reform (Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, 13 January 2014)

Flake, Halvar. Why Intelligence Reform is necessary (ADD / XOR / ROL, 12 January 2014)

Gage, Beverly. Band of Burglars: The infamous Media, PA, FBI break-in paved the way for the Church Committee. Can it inspire intelligence reform in our time? Slate, 9 January 2014)

Harris, Shane, “Obama is Not About to Reform the NSA, Insiders SayForeign Policy, 15 January 2014

Lerner, Ben. Center for Security Policy Issues Rebuttal of Review Group’s Ill-Advised Recommendations on Intelligence Reform (Center for Security Policy Issues, 13 January 2014)

Wittes, Benjamin. Intelligence Reform: Life Imitates Fiction (Hoover Institution, 15 January 2014)


Anderson, Christine, Make a Difference: Open Doors on Intelligence Reform (Pogo Blog, 1 October 2013)

Erwin, Marshall Curtis, Intelligence Issues for Congress (Congressional Research Service, 23 April 2013)

Fryer-Biggs, Zachjary. Momentum Gains for US Intelligence Reforms (Defense News, 17 December 2013)

Gutjahr, Melanie and Joint Military Intelligence College (JMIC), The Intelligence Archipelago: The Community’s Struggle to Reform in the Globalized Era (CreateSpace, 2013)

Hamrah, Satgin S., The Role of Culture in Intelligence Reform (Journal of Strategic Security, 2013)

Heil, Emily. Intelligence Reform: Why it's 1945 all over again (Washington Post, 7 May 2013)

Johnson II, David. The Long and Winding Road: Post-9/11 Intelligence Reforms a Decade Later (Naval Postgraduate School, March 2013)

Mike. “Two Houses, One Roof” (Half of the Spear, 21 August 2013)

Pawlik, Chris. “Congress and the Future of Intelligence Reform” (Miami Law National Security & Armed Conflict Law Review, 25 November 2013)

Perlstein, Rick. How the Powerful Derail Accountability: The Case of Intelligence Reform (Part I) (The Nation, 1 July 2013)

Rettig, Michael. “Incomplete Intelligence Reform: Why the U.S. Intelligence Community Needs an Empowered ODNI” (Diplomatic Courier, 12 February 2013)

Richardson, Michelle. “Feinstein's NSA bill shows she doesn't have a clue about intelligence reform” (The Guardian, 8 November 2013)

Richardson, Michelle. “Setting the Bar for Intelligence Reform” (ACLU, 26 September 2013)

Stigleman, Jim. “Intelligence Reform Sought in Light of Snowden Leaks.” (End Time Ministries, 9 January 2014)

The Current State of Intelligence Reform” (Bipartisan Policy Center, 11 December 2013)


Cameron, Charles et al. “Reforming Intelligence vs. Intelligent Reforms” (zenpundit.com, 5 December 2012)

Givens, Austen. “A Systems-Based Approach to Intelligence Reform” (Journal of Strategic Security, 5/1, 2012) pp. 63-84

Lonsdale, David. “Intelligence Reform: Adapting to the Changing Security Environment” (Comparative Strategy, 31, 2012) — 430-442.

Nolte, William. “A Guide to the Reforming of American Intelligence” (The Intelligencer, Winter/Spring 2012)

Strickland, Frank. “The Next Four Years: Intelligence Community Reform – Refining not Rebooting” (IBM Center for the Business of Government, 18 October 2012)

Trombly, Daniel and Robert Caruso. “Flynn and the Prospects for Defense Intelligence Reform” (Small Wars Journal, 19 April 2012)

Valery, Chantal. “Wikileaks scandal sparks US intelligence reform” (Phys.org, 27 January 2012)

Warner, Michael and J. Kenneth McDonald, US Intelligence Reform Studies Since 1947 (CreateSpace, 2012)

Zelikow, Philip, “A Personal Perspective The Evolution of Intelligence Reform, 2002-2004” (Studies in Intelligence 56/3 2012)


Bean, Hamilton, No More Secrets: Open Source Information and the Reshaping of U.S. Intelligence (Praeger, 2011)

Best Jr., Richard.  Intelligence Information: Need-to-Know vs.Need-to-Share (Congressional Research Service, 6 June 2011)

Betts, Richard. “9/11 Lessons: Intelligence Reform” (Council on Foreign Relations, 26 August 2011)

Bruneau, Thomas and Steven Boraz (eds.) Reforming Intelligence: Obstacles to Democratic Control and Effectiveness (University of Texas Press, 2011)

Editor, Still Tinkering (New York Times, 1 January 2011)

Ford, Carl. “Wikileaks and Intelligence Reform” (CIRS, 25 January 2011)

Harknett, Richard and James Stever. “The Struggle to Reform Intelligence after 9/11” (Public Administration Review, 71/5 September/october 2011) pp 700-706

Johnson, Loch. The Threat on the Horizon: An Inside Account of America's Search for Security after the Cold War (Oxford University Press, 2011)

REVIEW: Scholarly Reference-Does Not Add Weight to Reform

To set the tone, the author begins by describing the membership of the Commission, the role played by Senator Warner as a member of the commission (see Senator Warner's short note at the end of the actual Report to understand why this Commission was dead on arrival). Interestingly to me, he defines Les Aspin's intent as chairman being to STUDY the intelligence community, while Senator Warner's intent from day one was to SELL the community and certainly not cut it.

Goldman Sachs was represented by Stephen Friedman, the neo-conservatives by Paul Wolfowitz, and the military-industrial complex by Bob Hermann of United Technologies. Leaping forward to the end of the book, I bring forward a marvelous quote of David Wise by the author of this book:

QUOTE (355, David Wise): “a Commission make up of members of the establishment is not likely to clobber the establishment, or step on many toes-and it didn't.

Lahneman, William. Keeping U.S. Intelligence Effective: The Need for a Revolution in Intelligence Affairs (Scarecrow Press, 2011)

Mueller, Robert III. October 06 Testimony: The State of Intelligence Reform 10 Years After 9/11 (House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, 6 October 2011)

Shedd, David. “Intelligence Reform and Integration since 9/11” (VIDEO, The Washington Institute, 7 November 2011)

Zegart, Amy, Congress: A Pre-9/11 State of Mind (Hoover Defining Ideas, 28 July 2011)


Alotaibi, Yasmine. “Revitalizing the CIA: Intelligence Reform in the Post-Cold War World” (University of Tennessee Honors Thesis Program, Spring 2010)

Best, Richard Jr., Intelligence Reform After Five Years: The Role of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) (Congressional Research Service, 22 June 2010)

Clapper, James. “The Role of Defense in Shaping U.S. Intelligence Reform” in Loch Johnson (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence (Oxford, 2010)

Devine, Jack. The Art of Spying – Intelligence in the 21st Century (Atlantic Cape Community College, 18 April 2010)

Eland, Ivan. “Intelligence Reform is a Failure” (The Independent Institute, 26 May 2010)

Harwood, Matthew. Why Intelligence Reform Has Failed (Security Management, 6 April 2010)

Hayden, Michael. “Is Intelligence Reform Working?” (Real Clear World, 14 October 2010)

Hayden, Michael. The State of the Craft: Is Intelligence Reform Working? (World Affairs, September/October)

Intelligence Reform Documents, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (BiblioGov, 31 December 2010)

Neary, Patrick. The Post 9/11 Intelligence Community -Intelligence Reform, 2001–2009: Requiescat in Pace? (Studies in Intelligence, 29 May 2010)

Pincus, Walter. Neary on where the Office of the Director of National Intelligence went wrong (Washington Post, 6 April 2010)


Bruno, Greg. “Getting Smart on Intelligence Reform” (Council on Foreign Relations, 14 January 2009)

Cumming, Alfred. Intelligence Reform at the Department of Energy: Policy Issues and Organizational Alternatives (Congressional Research Service, September 25, 2009)

“Intelligence Reform (Harvard Belfer Center, July 2009)

Gorman, Siobhan. “Group Finds Intelligence Gap Persists” (Wall Street Journal, 10 March 2009)

Lederman, Gordon. Making Intelligence Reform Work (The American Interest, 1 March 2009)

Peritz, Aki and Eric Rosenbach, “Intelligence Reform” in Confrontation or Collaboration: Congress and the Intelligence Community” (Harvard Belfer Center, July 2009)

Procida, Frank. “A Smarter Intelligence Policy” (Council on Foreign Relations, 5 January 2009)

Shorrock, Tim. Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing (Simon & Schuste, 2009)

REVIEW: Useful Contribution, Neglects Outputs & Constituencies

I sat down with this book today and found it absorbing. It is perhaps the best overview for anyone of names and numbers associated with the $60 billion (or more, perhaps as much as $75 billion) a year we waste on the 4% we can steal, and next to nothing on Open Source Intelligence (OSINT).

Zegart, Amy. Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11 (Princeton University Press, 2009)

REVIEW: Useful, Could Have Been *Much* Better 

The useful part is the academic model, the timelines of CIA and FBI missed opportunities, and in general, taking the kinds of recommendations that I and others have made, and putting them into polite terms that the la-di-dah crowd and the pontificators can accept. Adapt or die is a homage to Bob Gates, who excells at adapting politically, not professionally.


Arkedis, Jim. “Getting Intelligence Reform Right” (Progressive Policy Institute, September 2008)

Devine, Jack. “An Intelligence Reform Reality Check” (Washington Post, 18 February 2008)

Dubose, Lou. Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency (Random House, 2006)

REVIEW: 23 Documented High Crimes That Should Put Cheney in Irons Immediately

This book is vastly more detailed, and covers more high crimes and misdemeanors, than either State of Denial, which misunderstands Bush as being in charge, or Crossing the Rubicon, which focuses primarily on Cheney's role in first permitting 9-11, and then working assiduously to cover up his malicious malfeasance. See also Ron Susskind's book, “One Percent Doctrine,” which crucifies Cheney, Rumseld, and Rice.

I take this book so seriously that I urge everyone to get the “Do It Yourself Impeachment” kit. He should be required to immediately resign or be impeached. He should not be allowed to serve another month in office.

For the sake of brevity, here is a list of impeachable offenses documented by this book:

Fingar, Tom. Intelligence Reform (Council on Foreign Relations, 18 March 2008)

Hulnick, Art. “Intelligence Reform 2008: Where to from Here?” (International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 21, 2008) pp. 621-634

MacNulty, Christine. Transformation From the Outside In or the Inside Out? (Proteus, September 2008)

Tovey, Mark (ed.) (2008).  COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace.  Oakton, VA: Earth Intelligence Network.

Treverton, Greg. Reorganizing U.S. Domestic Intelligence: Assessing the Options (RAND, October 2008)

Walker, David, GAO Can Assist the Congress and the Intelligence Community on Management Reform Initiatives (Government Accountability Office, 2008)


An Assessment of America's War on Terror – Intelligence

Also: CSIS Page for Intelligence Reform (other articles)

Bruneau, Thomas and Steven Boraz. Reforming Intelligence: Obtacles to Democratic Control and Effectiveness (

Colby, Elbridge A. Making Intelligence Smart: Some Necessary Reforms (Hoover Institution Policy Review, 1 August 2007)

George, Roger Z. Meeting 21st Century Transnational Challenges: Building a Global Intelligence Paradigm (Studies in Intelligence, Fall 2007)

Jones, Calvert. “Intelligence Reform: The Logic of Information Sharing” (Intelligence and National Security, June 2007) pp. 384-401.


Bazan, Elizabeth and Brian Yeh, Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004: “Lone Wolf” Amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Congressional Research Service, December 19, 2006)

Harrison, Donnelly. “Intelligence Integrator: Improving Analysis of Threat Information” (Military Geospatial Technology, 20 May 2006)

Hastedt, Glenn. 9/11 Intelligence Reform: An Opportunity Lost (American Diplomacy, October 2006)

Jervis, Robert. “The Politics and Psychology of Intelligence and Intelligence Reform” (The Forum, 4/1, May 2006)

Jones, Calvert. “Intelligence Reform: The Logic of Information Sharing” (UC Berkeley School of Information, Spring 2006)

Jones, Garrett. “It's a Cultural Thing: Thoughts on a Troubled CIA” (Orbis, Winter 2006), pp. 23-40.

Lewis, James Andrew. Communications Surveillance, Foreign and Domestic: Right Decision, Wrong Rules (Center for Strategic & International Studies, 25 January 2006)

Lewis, James Andrew. Why Can't the U.S. Have Its Own MI5? (Center for Strategic & International Studies, 16 August 2006)

Posner, Richard. Uncertain Shield: The U.S. Intelligence System in the Throes of Reform (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006)

REVIEW: Insider at Heart, Useful Critiques, Not the Whole Picture

My reaction as I went through the foot-notes was that this was a bunch of old guys, many associated with the Hoover Institute or themselves failed insiders, talking to one another. There are however, sufficient side notes in the book to have been worthwhile, even though much of what the author discusses is “old hat” for those of us that have spent the last eighteen years being critical of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

The following points made it to my fly-leaf review:

Reams, Bernard and Michael Forrest. INTELLIGENCE REFORM: A Legislative History of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Public Law No. 108-458 (2004) (Hein, 2006)

Rovner, Joshua and Amy B. Zegart, How Intelligent Is Intelligence Reform? (International Security, 2006)


Best, Richard Jr., Alfred Cumming, and Todd Masse, Director of National Intelligence: Statutory Authorities (Congressional Research Service, 11 April 2005)

“Better Spies, Better Intelligence: A Progressive Strategy for Creating a Professional Intelligence Corps” (Center for American Progress, April 2005)

Chambliss, Saxby. “We Have Not Correctly Framed the Debate on Intelligence Reform” (Parameters, Spring 2005)

Clarke, Richard. “Building a Better Spy” (New York Times, 22 May 2005)

Cumming, Alfred and Todd Masse, Intelligence Reform Implementation at the Federal Bureau of Investigation: Issues and Options for Congress, Congressional Research Service, 16 August 2005

Devine, Jack. “America Badly Needs More and Better Spies” (Foreign Policy, March/April 2005)

Fessenden, Helen. The Limits of Intelligence Reform (Foreign Affairs, November/December 2005)

Gannon, John et al. CIA and FBI Reform (VIDEO, C-SPAN 2 hours, 9 minutes, 6 June 2005)

Moran, Lindsay. “More Spies, Worse Intelligence?” (New York Times, 12 April 2005)

Posner, Richard. Preventing Surprise Attacks: Intelligence Reform in the Wake of 9/11 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005)

REVIEW: Thoughtful Outside View with Academic Bent

Judge Posner is not intelligence professional but he is certainly one of the most thoughtful of outside critics, with a legal, academic, and organizational-economic point of view that is helpful.  This, his first of two books disagreeing with the 9-11 Commission focus on centralization, has a number of nuggets worthy of study, but this book is largely oblivious to the many recommendations of both insiders and outsiders who can be considered “iconoclastic.” Judge Posner is an insider, and he draws primarily from “establishment” sources.

Ragavan, Chitra. “Fixing the FBI” (US News & World Report, 28 March 2005)

Sapp, Angela (ed) The Faces of Intelligence Reform: Perspectives on Direction and Form (CENSA, 2005)

Tama, Jordan. Intelligence Reform: Progress, Remaining Deficiencies, and Next Steps (Princeton Project on National Security, October 2005)

PDF 39 Pages. This is a valuable summative, integrative, and prescriptive offering. It covers the Joint Inquiry Report, the 9/11 Commission Report, the Senate Intelligence Committee Report, the Butler Committee Report, the WMD Commission Report, the Intelligence Reform Act. It offers one of the least partisan most sensible overviews of the various findings and recommendations and their implications, that we have seen. The work is supported with 246 notes.

Tatelman, Todd. Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004: National Standards for Drivers' Licenses, Social Security Cards, and Birth Certificates (Congressional Research Service, January 6, 2005)

Treverton, Greg and Peter Wilson. “True intelligence reform is cultural, no just organizational chart shift” (Christian Science Monitor, 13 January 2005)

Turner, Michael. Why Secret Intelligence Fails (Potomac Books, 2005)

REVIEW: Superb for the general audience, not for professionals

I strongly recommend this book for purchase by those with a limited knowledge of the world of intelligence, and for use as an undergraduate text.

It fails to satisfy at the professional level for two reasons: a lack of adequate attention to professional-level publications, and a lack of discussion of nuances vital to future success.

Warner, Michal and J. Kenneth McDonald. “US Intelligence Community Reform Studies Since 1947” (Studies in Intelligence, April 2005)

Zegart, Amy. “September 11 and the Adaptation Failure of U.S. Intelligence Agencies,” International Security, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Spring 2005), pp. 78-111.

According to Tama (2005), Zegart calculated that only 35 of the 340 recommendations made by the 12 reports were implemented by the US Government.


9/11 Legislation Launches Misguided Data-Mining and Domestic Surveillance Schemes (Electronic Frontier Foundation, 20 December 2004)

Bamford, James. A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies (Doubleday, 2004)

Berkowitz, Bruce. “Intelligence Reform: Less is More” (Hoover Digest, No. 2, 2004)

This is the single most intelligent summary of practical reforms that are all within the power of the executive. The obstacle to these ideas is the same as the obstacle to an Open Source Agency: Congressional corruption (love that 5% kick-back), corporate and bureaucratic moral and intellectual shallowness (why stop the gravy train, never mind the lack of results), executive complacency (intelligence? we don't need no stinkin' intelligence), and public ignorance — the crimes committed in our name occur precisely because there is a lack of intelligence with integrity in Washington, intelligence (decision support) that can be shared with — and that will withstand scrutiny from — the press and the public.

Best, Richard Jr. The National Intelligence Director and Intelligence Analysis (Congressional Research Service, 3 December 2004)

Bossie, David. Intelligence Failure: How Clinton's National Security Policy Set the Stage for 9/11 (Thomas Nelson, 2004)

Carafano, James. “An Agenda for Responsible Intelligence Reform” (The Heritage Foundation, 13 May 2004)

Cumming, Alfred. Side-by-Side Comparison of Intelligence Community Reforms Proposed by 9/11 Commission, the Bush Administration, Senators Feinstein, Graham and Daschle, and Representatives Harman and Goss; and Current Statute (Congressional Research Service, August 11, 2004) (@ State Departemtn FPC site)

Donnelly, Thomas. “Intelligent Intelligence Reform” (Weekly Standard, 23 November 2004)

Fuhr, Jordan. “In Search of a GIO” (Military Geospatial Technology Online Archives, 23 April 2004)

Hutchins, Robert. “Looking Over the Horizon: Strategic Choices, Intelligence Challenges,” in Carol Dumanine and Sergio Germani (eds.), New Frontiers in Intelligence Analysis (Germani, 2004), pp. 23-28.

Intelligence Reform Act 2004 Overview (Center for Strategic & International Studies, 20 December 2004)

Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-458, 17 December 2004)

Keefe, Mike, “Intelligence Reform Cartoons” (The Cagle Post, 2004)

Key provisions: U.S. intelligence reform bill” (CNN, 9 December 2004)


Baer, Robert. Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude (Crown, 2003)

REVIEW: Compelling Condemnation of Crude Corruption

This is an extraordinary compelling work, not least because it provides detailed and documented discovery not previously available, of how the U.S. government has over the course of several administrations made a deliberate decision to a) not spy on the Arab countries, b) not collect and read open sources in Arabic, c) not attempt to understand the sub-state actors such as the Muslim brotherhood, despite a long history in which these groups commit suicide to achieve their objectives, including the murder of several heads of state.

Bryant, Robert et al. “America needs more spies” (The Economist, 10 July 2003)

Gladwell, Malcolm. “Connecting the Dots: The paradoxes of intelligence reform” (The New Yorker, 10 March 2003)

Odom, William. Fixing Intelligence: For a More Secure America (Yale University Press, 2003)

Summary of the 9-11 Memorial Intelligence Reform Act (19 Recommendations), provenance unknown (Federation of American Scientists, July 2003)


Berkowitz, Bruce and Allan Goodman. Best Truth: Intelligence in the Information Age (Yale University Press, 2002)

Gertz, Bill. Breakdown: How America's Intelligence Failures Led to September 11 (Regnery Publishing, 2002)


Berkowitz, Bruce. “Intelligence reform, the third act” (Orbis, Winter 2001), pp. 152-161

Treverton, Greg. Reshaping National Intelligence for an Age of Information (Cambridge University Press, 2001)


Johnson, Loch. Bombs, Bugs, Drugs, and Thugs: Intelligence and America's Quest for Security (NYU Books, 2000)


Eisendrath, Craig. National Insecurity: U.S. Intelligence After the Cold War (Temple University Press, 1999)

REVIEW: Useful Annecdotal Opinions, Should be Bought and Read

A project by the Center for International Policy, founded by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), this book brings together a series of chapters that are largely anecdotal (but reasoned) pieces from former foreign service officers recalling all the terrible things CIA did or did not do while they were in service.

Zegart, Amy. Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC (Stanford University Press, 1999)


Bozeman, Adda. Strategic Intelligence and Statecraft: Selected Essays (Brassey's Inc., 1998)

REVIEW: Strategic, Cultural Intelligence, Knowledge Policy

While reading this book, every intelligence professional should feel like a bashful second-grader shuffling their feet while being kindly reprimanded by their teacher. This book, a collection of essays from the 1980's, is the only one I have ever found that truly grasps the strategic long-term importance of intelligence in the context of culture and general knowledge. The heart of the book is on page 177: “(There is a need) to recognize that just as the essence of knowledge is not as split up into academic disciplines as it is in our academic universe, so can intelligence not be set apart from statecraft and society, or subdivided into elements…such as analysis and estimates, counterintelligence, clandestine collection, covert action, and so forth. Rather, and as suggested earlier in this essay, intelligence is a scheme of things entire.


Berkowitz, Bruce. “Information Technology and Intelligence Reform” (Orbis, Winter 1997), pp. 107-118.


Berkowitz, Bruce. “Reform of the Intelligence Community” (Orbis, Fall 1996), pp. 654-63.

Making Intelligence Smarter: The Future of US Intelligence (Council on Foreign Relations @ Federation of American Scientists)


Gentry, John. A Framework for Reform of the US Intelligence Community (Federation of American Scientists, 1995)

Godson, Roy et al (eds.) US Intelligence at the Crossroads (Brassey's UK, 1995)

REVIEW: Original Contributions to Intelligence Reform Dialog

Bottom line: Roy Godson and these people have been troubled by intelligence ineffectiveness, and have done more than most to publish in this arena, than anyone else I know. This book is not the end all, but it is a vital historical reference point for any serious professional. I would not reprint it, but I would certainly recommend it as a used book acquisition, and I hope that a new set of authors comes together to provide a 21st Century “second look” in the aftermath of 9-11.


Codevilla, Anthony. Informing Statecraft: Intelligence for a New Century (Free Press, 1992)


Gray, Al. Global Intelligence Challenges in the 1990's  (American Intelligence Journal, Winter 1989-1990), pp. 37-41.


Turner, Stansfield. Secrecy and Democracy: The CIA in Transition (Harpercollins, 1986)

REVIEW: Strategic and Sensible Reference for Intelligence Reform

…his book in my mind was the first serious contribution-perhaps even a catalyst-to the growing debate over whether and how much reform is required if the U.S. Intelligence Community is to be effective in the 21st Century. His eleven-point agenda for reform is of lasting value, as are his ideas for intelligence support to those responsible for natural disaster relief and other non-military challenges.

See Also:

2014 Robert Steele on Intelligence Reform

Intelligence Reform @ Phi Beta Iota

Intelligence Reform @ DuckDuckGo

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