Some serious food for thought here. Not only is the power to define madness, criminality, and sexuality addressed, but also the active use of criminals, and sex, to suppress and subjugate the populace. Somewhat more difficult to wade through but similar to Norman Cousins, it helped provoke my thinking on how top-down unilateral command based on secrets is inevitably going to give way to bottom-up multicultural decision-making by the people based on open sources evenly shared across networks. This is really very heavy stuff, and it helps call into question the “rationality” of both the Washington-based national security policymaking process, and the “rationality” of spending $30 billion a year on secrets in contrast to what that $30 billion a year might buy in terms of openly-available insights and overt information peacekeeping.
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.
This is an excellent elementary text for the average college student. Over-all it is strong on issues of analysis, policy, and oversight, and weak on collection, covert action, and counterintelligence. The chapter on collection has a useful figure comparing the advantages and disadvantages of the five collection disciplines, and but does not get into the detail that this aspect of the intelligence community-80% of the annual expense-merits.
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.