Review: Cyberwar 2.0–Myths, Mysteries & Reality

5 Star, Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Information Operations

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5.0 out of 5 stars Round Two, USG Still Doesn’t Get It,

April 7, 2000
Alan D. Campen
This sequel to the first book on cyberwar is even better (and the first one was very good) because it is much more deliberate about addressing strategy and diplomacy (part one); society, law, and commerce (part two); operations and information warfare (part three, where most military professionals get stuck); and intelligence, assessment, and modeling (part four). My chapter on “Information Peacekeeping, the Purest Form of War” appears here, but based on the lack of feedback I suspect all of the contributions in this section are a decade away from being understood with the U.S. Government.
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Review: Strategic Intelligence & Statecraft–Selected Essays (Brassey’s Intelligence and National Security Library)

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

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5.0 out of 5 stars Strategic, Cultural Intelligence, Knowledge Policy,

April 7, 2000
Adda B. Bozeman
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. And since it permeates thought and life throughout society, Western scholars must understand all aspects of a state’s culture before they can assess statecraft and intelligence.” The 25-page introduction, at least, should be read by every intelligence professional.
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Review: Without Cloak or Dagger –The truth about the new espionage

5 Star, Intelligence (Government/Secret)

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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Two Required Intelligence Books for ANYONE,

April 7, 2000
Miles Copeland
This is one of my two required readings for any aspiring intelligence officer or student of intelligence (the other one is by Allen Dulles, “The Craft of Intelligence.” An absolute gem across the board, providing insights into both capabilities and culture. This is really the only down-to-earth book that combines “a day in the life of a spy” with a serious practical discussion of just how and why spies do what they do. It is fun and easy to read, and offers some real world annecdotes that do not violate security but offer instead glimpses of the joys, the insanities, and the terror (10% of the time) or boredom (90% of the time–such as spending hours if not days waiting for a senstive asset to show up) that characterize the life of a spy.

To his credit, Copeland understood very early on that the spy world was missing out on what is known today as Open Source Intelligence (see my own book, “The New Craft of Intelligence” or view the 30,000 free pages at OSS.Net). The description on pages 41-42 (of the original hard-cover version) of how “Mother” concocted an entire network and got the head of Secret Intelligence to agree its production was worth $100,000 a year (big money in 1946), only to reveal that his source was actually five issues of The New York Times “demonstrated not only the naiveté of our nation’s only existing group of espionage specialists but the value of ordinary New York Times reporting on matters regarded as being of high-priority intelligence interest.” Nothing has changed in 50 years. We still need our spies, but they need to be a bit more serious, a bit less white, a lot older, and much more focused. We lack–we need–men of the caliber of Dulles and Copeland today.

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Review: The Craft of Intelligence

5 Star, Intelligence (Government/Secret)

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5.0 out of 5 stars One of two required readings on intelligence for anyone,

April 7, 2000
Allen Welsh Dulles
This is the other required reading. This gem sits on my desk with my dictionary of difficult words and my synonym dictionary. We still do not have an equal to this book. Since Dulles testified to Congress that 80% of the raw material for finished intelligence came from public sources including diplomatic reporting, this book provides an interesting benchmark for understanding the rather pathological impact of technical collection on the larger process of all-source collection and analysis.

Strategic intelligence for American world policy
Strategic Intelligence & Statecraft: Selected Essays (Brassey’s Intelligence and National Security Library)
The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public, & Political–Citizen’s Action Handbook for Fighting Terrorism, Genocide, Disease, Toxic Bombs, & Corruption

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Review: Secret Agencies–U.S. Intelligence in a Hostile World

5 Star, Congress (Failure, Reform), Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Intelligence (Government/Secret)

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5.0 out of 5 stars Objective discussion of successes and failures,

April 7, 2000
Professor Loch K. Johnson
Loch is the dean of the scholars competent to address intelligence matters, and his experience as a member of the professional staff of both the Church Committee in the 1970’s and the Aspin/Brown Commission in the 1990’s uniquely qualify him to discuss and evaluate U.S. intelligence. His chapters on the ethics of covert operations and on intelligence accountability set a standard for this aspect of the discussion. This is the only book I have seen that objectively and methodically discusses intelligence success and failures in relation to the Soviet Union, with a superb three-page listing decade by decade being provided on pages 180-182.
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Review: The Devil’s Garden

5 Star, Corruption, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Threats (Emerging & Perennial), War & Face of Battle

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5.0 out of 5 stars Reality Hurts–Joint Chiefs Don’t Want to Face It,

March 7, 2000
Ralph Peters
Ralph Peters, whom I know professionally, is a modern-day Lawrence of Arabia who has actually walked hundreds of miles through the worst of terrains, and deeply understands–at both a Ph.D. and gutter level, the reality of real war. The Joint Chiefs don’t want to face this reality because it bears no resemblance to their nice clean air-conditioned CNN version of war. Devil’s Garden is the real thing, and it is also a great novel.
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Review: Fighting for the Future–Will America Triumph?

5 Star, Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Force Structure (Military), Insurgency & Revolution, Military & Pentagon Power

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5.0 out of 5 stars Speaking Truth to Power,

March 7, 2000
Ralph Peters

Ralph Peters draws on over 30 years of experience and at least ten years of published thinking to bring us this capstone book. It is, with Brigadier Simmon’s book on RACE TO THE SWIFT, and one or two others (perhaps MajGen Scales book on The Limits of Firepower–can’t hit what intel can’t find, and anything by Martin Van Crevald), one of the top ten books in military thinking today, and absolutely essential for any officer or any political appointee responsive for national security, to digest and redigest. Ralph speaks truth to power, but power doesn’t want to listen. Anyone who has a son or daughter eligible for national service should be reading this book, because the reality is that we are perpetuating a military machine totally unsuited for the conflicts of today and tomorrow, and it is our children who will die because of our silence at voters today.

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