Badly marketed on Amazon by a publisher that evidently does not really care for the future of the book, we do what we can to highlight the availability of this new book by Christopher Andrew, In Defence of the Realm, an authorized but not controlled examination of the history of MI-5 (internal security) in the United Kingdom. A short article on the book:
Within the USA there has never been a proper review that we know of with respect to internal security, although there have been a number of books on the failures of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a few of which we list below. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been an abysmal expensive failure in all respects, substituting money, technology, and butts in seats for thinking, education, and common sense.
Extraordinary largely for showing contractors as the weak link ,
September 28, 2005
This is, like the first book, an extraordinary piece of scholarship. While it can be tedious in both its detail and in the drollness of the “accomplishments” that enjoyed so much Politburo attention and funding, it joins books such as Derek Leebaert’s The Fifty-Year Wound: How America’s Cold War Victory Has Shaped Our World in documenting the insanity and waste that characterized much of the so-called “secret wars” between the US Intelligence Community (within which the CIA is a $3 billion a year runt against the larger defense budget approaching $50 billion a year) and the KGB and GRU.
For those who have the patience or speed to get through this entire book, the single most important revelation and documentation concerns the ease with which the Russians were able to recruit traitors within the US defense community contractors. Ralph Peters has written about this in New Glory : Expanding America’s Global Supremacy but speaks mostly of legal treason–corruption and waste. This book carefully addresses the sad reality that DoD is totally penetrated by foreign spies (one would add, Third World and allied spies including France, Germany, and Israel, never mind China and Iran) via the contracting community.
One day someone will do a careful calibration of both the good and the bad of secret intelligence. When that day comes, this book will be as good a place as any with which to start.
For Presidents, Cabinet Members, Commanders, & Senior Staff,
January 10, 2001
“Over the past two centuries only four American presidents-Washington, Eisenhower, Kennedy (briefly), and Bush-have shown a real flair for intelligence.” This 660-page book documents this assessment, and ends with the conclusion “The presidents in the twenty-first century, like their Cold War predecessors, will continue to find an enormously expensive global intelligence system both fallible and indispensable.” His general findings in the conclusion are instructive: presidents have tended to have exaggerated expectations of intelligence, and have frequently overestimated the secret power that covert action might put at their command. For all that failed, both in intelligence not getting it right and presidents not listening when it did, intelligence undeniably helped stabilize the Cold War and avoid many confrontations. This book is extremely relevant to the emerging discussion, in 2001, about the need to depoliticize the position of the Director of Central Intelligence, and perhaps to consider a new National Security Act of 2001.
Imagine the CIA clandestine mentality and U.S. bureaucracy, as operated by a Soviet-style controlled regime. This is an eye-glazing but very professionally put together testimonial to the fact that much of what the KGB did was pedestrian, pointless, very expensive, and as weak on understanding foreign countries as the US.