Review: The Future of American Intelligence

2 Star, Intelligence (Government/Secret)

Future IntelVery Poor–Old, Tired, Out of Touch,

February 18, 2007

Peter Berkowitz

Although I respect Retired Reader very much, and have found his reviews to be very accurate, I take a special interest in the intelligence discipline and the price was right for simply taking a look directly even knowing more or less what I was buying into.

This is a very sad little book. It is the last gasp of the old dogs and the new neo-con puppies trying desperately for relevance in a world that has passed them by. The only two guys in this book that actually know what they are talking about are Reuel Marc Gerecht, former case officer, whose chapter could have been done in two lines:

1) Cut intelligence budget by three quarters, “giving money to CIA is like giving crack to a cocaine addict;” and

2) End official cover and go to a very small cadre of truly extraordinary non-official cover officers.

and Kevin O’Connell, who has the most coherent topic overview.

I will take each of these five shallow and largely out of touch (which is to say, witless about the much larger literature outside the neo-con self-licking self-absorption cone).

The Era of Armed Groups by Richard Shultz. I have to say first that Shultz is a phenomenally good academic, and his edited work “Security Studies for the 21st Century” remains a standard for the field. His chapter in this volume is 20 years too late. I will mention only one seminal work: General Al Gray, then Commandant of the Marine Corps, “Global Intelligence Challenges of the 1990’s” as published in the American Intelligence Journal, Winter 1988-1989. General Gray and I (as the senior civilian founder of the Marine Corps Intelligence Command in 1988) championed this for four years inside the US Intelligence Community, from 1988-1992, and from the National and Military Intelligence Boards down, *no one wanted to hear it.*

Truth to Power? Rethinking Intelligence Analysis by Gary Schmidt. This has a core idea that is correct, that further centralizing both intelligence and homeland security is the *last* thing we should be doing, but it is completely lacking in any understanding of the 18 functionalities needed for desktop analysis such as conceptualized by Diane Webb in 1986, it does not understand the NIMA Commission Report of 1999 on the paucity of funding for integrated and distributed sense-making and broad sharing, and it completely misses the true breadth of multinational, multiagency, multidisciplinary, multidomain information sharing and shared analytic endeavors.

Restructuring the Intelligence Community by Gordon Lederman. This is an especially pathetic piece of work by the young man that was purportedly responsible for Open Source Intelligence reflections on the 9-11 Commission, where Lee Hamilton understood the issue from the Burundi Exercise when OSS.Net beat the entire US Intelligence Community overnight on the topic of Burundi, with just six phone calls. This young man is regurgitating portions of the 9-11 Commission report while neglecting the extraordinary failures of that Commission across a number of fronts. This particular chapter is the last gasp on top of the last Commission from the era of the walking dead.

A New Clandestine Service by Rauel Marc Gerecht. Gerecht could still be saved, he just needs new company. He packs the two ideas mentioned above into 35 pages. There is no mention of the five-part plan for saving the Clandestine Service by limiting new hires to one-fifth, and spreading the other four fifths to mid-career US citizen hires who have already created their cover and regional access (and are 4-level language qualified before being considered); mid-career third country principal agents; mid-career rotationals from other countries for regional Stations focused on targets of mutual concern; and straight one-time “it’s just business” approaches to businessmen for specific tactical technical or other accommodations.

The Role of Science and Technology in Transforming American Intelligence by Kevin O’Connell is not bad as a superficial overview, and with more detail, more charts, and better documentation, could actually become useful. He was the staff director for the NIMA Commission, and while he is astonishingly superficial here (“data mining” are the only two words in his chapter covering what can be better understood by looking at the charts I have posted on Amazon for the book, “Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything,”), he does address some challenges. His most important idea, which I credit to Jim Clapper and Mike Hayden, is that of Horizontal Integration–I did not see any mention of the equally important point made by Mike Hayden to the Intelink Conference in Boston a couple of years ago, which is that all dots must start connecting to one another from the moment they are ingested, not just in the finished production phrase. In general, however, he completely misses the reality that the US Intelligence Community is inside out and upside down (see the Forbes article on “Reinventing Intelligence”) and the next President will be well served by reducing secret intelligence to $15 billion a year, while re-directing the rest of the money to Digital Natives, Serious Games, and the Way of the Wiki (the title of my next book on intelligence).

Bottom line: This book is not worth buying unless you want to understand just how impoverished the extreme right and the neocons are with respect to the most important topic of our time, NATIONAL intelligence. You would be much better off using my lists at Amazon, and systematically reading my summative reviews of the thoughts of vastly more competent authors with vastly more diverse and nuanced views. This book is NOT about the future of American intelligence, which will be NOT Federal, NOT Secret, and NOT expensive. This book is the dying breath–an accurate representation–of the good-hearted but myopic bureaucrats that got us to today because they could not think for themselves, and were stuck in the military-industrial system, running on auto-pilot with no end in sight.

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Policy Archives on Public Intelligence (1992-2006)

Policy

2006

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Policy DoD QDR Shift in Focus 18 Years After Gray and Steele Recommended Same

2006

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Policy Markowitz Defense Science Board Report on Transitions (NGO, OSINT)

2006

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Policy Peters Counterrevolution in Military Affairs

2006

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Policy Steele Terms of Reference for Intelligence Reform 1.1

2006

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Policy Steele In Search of a Leader (Four Essential Reforms)

2006

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Policy Steele Electoral Refrom as Precursor to Intelligence Reform

2006

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Policy Tsuruoka Managing for the Future: Interview with Alvin Toffler

2005

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Policy Andregg Ethics and the IC: Breaking the Laws of God and Man

2005

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Policy BASIC Think Tank Report on US Intelligence Incompetence

2005

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Policy EU European Union Proposed Multi-National Intelligence Service

2005

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Policy Godson Culture of Lawfullness

2005

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Policy Steele ON INTELLIGENCE: Overview in Aftermath of 9-11

2005

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Policy Steele Op-Ed on Condi Rice’s Active Deception

2005

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Policy Steele Cease and desist letter on Naquin

2005

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Policy Tama Princeton Review on Intelligence Reform

2004

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Policy Alexander Army G-2 Accepts OSINT as Separate Discipline

2004

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Policy Andregg Insanity of Planned Intelligence “Reforms”

2004

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Policy Anon & Steele Update on OSINT in Australia

2004

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Policy Clerc Cognitive Knowledge for Nations

2004

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Policy Cordesman Questions & Answers on Intelligence Reform

2004

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Policy Cordesman & Steele Questions & Answers on Intelligence Reform

2004

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Policy Simmons Congressman Simmons Letter to General Schoomaker on OSINT

2004

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Policy Steele DoD OSINT Program: One Man’s View of What Is Needed

2004

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Policy Steele Transcript of Steele at Secretary of State’s Open Forum 24 March 2004

2004

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Policy Tongeren (van) Need for Global Alliance for Human Security (Complete)

2004

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Policy Tongeren (van) Need for Global Alliance for Human Security (Overview)

2003

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Policy Czech Steady State Revolution and National Security

2003

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Policy Fyffe Intelligence Sharing and OSINT

2003

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Policy Fyffe Intelligence Sharing and OSINT (Summary)

2003

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Policy Lewis Creating the Global Brain

2003

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Policy Markowitz OSINT in Support of All Source

2003

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Policy Markowitz Open Source Intelligence Investment Strategy

2003

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Policy Steele Open Letter to Ambassadors Accredited to the USA

2003

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Policy Truyens Intelligent vs. Intelligence: That Is The Question

2002

Italy

Policy Politi 11th of September and the Future of European Intelligence

2001

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Policy Heibel Intelligence Training: What Is It?  Who Needs It?

2001

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Policy Heibel Value of Intelligence & Intelligence Training to Any Organization

2001

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Policy Oakley Use of Civilian & Military Power for Engagement & Intervention

2000

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Policy Berkowitz An Alternative View of the Future of Intellligence

2000

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Policy Budzko Russian View of Electronic Open Sources and How to Exploit Them

2000

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Policy Ermarth OSINT: A Fresh Look at the Past and the Future

2000

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Policy Politi The Birth of OSINT in Italy

1999

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Policy Allen (ADCI/C) OSINT as a Foundation for All-Source Collection Management

1999

UK

Policy Rolington Changing Messages in Western Knowledge Over 400 Years (Slides)

1999

UK

Policy Rolington Changing Messages in Western Knowledge Over 400 Years (Text)

1999

UK

Policy Steele Snakes in the Grass: Open Source Doctrine

1998

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Policy Donahue Balancing Spending Among Spies, Satellites, and Schoolboys

1997

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Policy Botbol The OSINT Revolution: Early Failures and Future Prospects

1997

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Policy Felsher Viability & Survivability of US Remote Sensing as Function of Policy

1997

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Policy Steele Intelligence in the Balance: Opening Remarks at OSS ‘97

1997

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Policy Sutton Global Coverage ($1.5B/Year Needed for Lower Tier OSINT)

1997

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Policy Tsuruoka Asian Perceptions of What Is and Is Not Legal in Economic Intelligence

1997

UK

Policy Tyrrell Proposals to Develop a NATO/PfP OSINT Capability

1996

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Policy Clerc Economic and Financial Intelligence: The French Model

1996

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Policy Kahin What Is Intellectual Property?

1996

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Policy Steele Creating a Smart Nation (Govt Info Q and also CYBERWAR Chapter)

1996

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Policy Steele InfoPeace: OSINT as a Policy Option & Operational Alternative

1996

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Policy Steele Open Sources and the Virtual Intelligence Community

1996

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Policy Steele Protecting the Civilian Infrastructure as an Aspect of Information Warfare

1996

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Policy Zuckerman The Central Role of Open Source Economic Intelligence

1995

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Policy Prusak Seven Myths of the Information Age

1995

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Policy Steele Conference Executive Summary C/HPSCI and former DCI Colby

1995

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Policy Steele Creating a Smart Nation: Strategy, Policy, Intelligence, & Information

1995

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Policy Steele SMART NATIONS: NI Strategies and Virtual Intelligence Communities

1994

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Policy Ogdin & Giser Cyber-Glut, and What To Do About It

1994

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Policy Schmidt Open Source Solutions 1994: The State of Intelligence

1994

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Policy Schwartau Letter on NII Security

1994

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Policy Schwartau et al Cross-Walk of 3 Experts’ Spending $1 Billion per Year for NII Security

1994

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Policy Steele Communications, Content, Coordination, and C4 Security: Talking Points

1994

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Policy Steele Correspondence to Mr. Marty Harris, NII Commission

1994

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Policy Steele DATA MINING: Don’t Buy or Build Your Shovel Until You Know What…

1994

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Policy Steele Expansion of Questions Posed by Senator John Warner to Aspin-Brown

1994

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Policy Steele Letter to the Open Source Lunch Club on PFIAB Being Useless

1994

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Policy Steele National and Corporate Security in the Age of Information

1994

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Policy Steele Private Enterprise Intelligence: Its Potential Contribution to Nat’l Sec.

1993

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Policy Beaumard France: Think-tank to Anticipate & Regulate Economic Intelligence Issues

1993

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Policy Beaumard Learned Nations: Competitive Advantages Via Knowledge Strategies

1993

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Policy Brenner Law and Policy of Telecommunications and Computer Database Networks

1993

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Policy Castagna Review of Reich, The Work of Nations

1993

AU

Policy Chantler Need for Australia to Develop a Strategic Policy on OSI

1993

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Policy Cisler Community Computer Networks

1993

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Policy Civille The Spirit of Access: Equity, NREN, and the NII

1993

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Policy Fedanzo A Genetic View of National Intelligence

1993

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Policy Haver Intelligence Aim Veers to Amassing Overt Information

1993

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Policy Kumon Japan and the United States in the Information Age

1993

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Policy Leijonhelm Economic Intelligence Cooperation Between Government Industry

1993

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Policy Love Comments on the Clinton Administration’s ‘Vision’ Statement for the NII

1993

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Policy Petersen A New Twenty-First Century Role for the Intelligence Community

1993

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Policy Schmidt History of Failure, Future of Opportunity: Reinventions and Deja Vu

1993

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Policy Steele A Critical Evaluation of U.S. National Security Capabilities

1993

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Policy Steele ACCESS: Theory and Practice of Intelligence in the Age of Information

1993

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Policy Steele Executive Order 12356, ‘National Security Information’

1993

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Policy Steele Reinventing Intelligence in the Age of Information (TP for DCI)

1993

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Policy Steele Reinventing Intelligence: The Advantages of OSINT

1993

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Policy Steele Role of Grey Lit & Non-Traditional Agencies in Informing Policy Makers

1993

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Policy Toffler (Both) Knowledge Strategies, Intellience Restructuring,  Global Competitiveness

1993

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Policy Wallner Overview of IC Open Source Requirements and Capabilities

1993

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Policy Wood The IC and the Open Source Information Challenge

1992

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Policy Barlow EFF and the National Public Network (NPN)

1992

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Policy Castagna Review of Toffler’s PowerShift

1992

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Policy Dedijer Open Source Solutions: Intelligence and Secrecy

1992

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Policy Gage Open Sources, Open Systems

1992

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Policy Greenwald Unrepresented Nations & Peoples Organization: Diplomacy’s Cutting Edge

1992

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Policy Hughes An Affordable Approach to Networking America’s Schools

1992

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Policy Kahin New Legal Paradigms for Multi-Media Information in Cyberspace

1992

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Policy Kahn Outline of a Global Knowledge Architecture, Visions and Possibilities

1992

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Policy Steele E3i: Ethics, Ecology, Evolution, and Intelligence

1992

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Policy Steele Inaugural Remarks Opening 1st International Conference

1992

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Policy Steele Information Concepts & Doctrine for the Future

1992

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Policy Steele OSINT Clarifies Global Threats: Offers Partial Remedy to Budget Cuts

1992

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Policy Steele Review Strassmann, Information PayOff

1992

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Policy Wood Remarks, Don’t Be Suspicious of Contractors

1991

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Policy JFK Working Group National Intelligence and the American Enterprise: Possibilities

1991

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Policy Karraker Highways of the Mind

1991

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Policy Steele How to Avoid Strategic Intelligence Failures in the Future

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Policy Steele Recasting National Security in a Changing World

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Policy Wright Project for a World Intelligence Center

Review: The New Face of War–How War Will Be Fought in the 21st Century

3 Star, War & Face of Battle

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

3.0 out of 5 stars Quickie Book, Misleading Title, On Balance Disappointing,

November 30, 2003
Bruce D. Berkowitz
Edit of 21 Dec 07 to add links.

I know and admire the author of this book very much, and consider his and Allan Goodman’s book on “Best Truth” to be among the top ten books on the topic of intelligence.

This book, unfortunately–and I am dismayed because I was really hoping for some new thoughts and stimulation that the author is certainly capable of–is what I would call a “quickie” book. It is also very misleadingly titled. In brief, this is the book Tom Clancy would write if a) he worked for RAND and b) did not care about making money.

It is not completely superficial–what is there is valid, documented, and for someone that does not read in this field, satisfactory. But to take just one example where my own work is dominant, that of open source intelligence: the author, who knows better, covers the topic with a trashy vignette of his visit to Margot Williams at the Washington Post and the result is, to me at least, quite annoying in its glibness and ignorance of all else that is going on in the open source world.

This book is also not about the future of war, unless one is a prisoner of (or funded sycophant to) the morons in the Pentagon that think that “information superiority” is still about expensive secret intelligence satellites, expensive unilateral secret communications links, and using very very expensive B-2 bombers to go after guys in caves. There are four future wars that will be fought over 100 years on six fronts: big wars with conventional armies (e.g. between India and Pakistan), small wars and criminal man-hunts around the world; nature wars including the wars against disease, water scarcity, mass migration, and trade in women and children as well as piracy and ethnic crime; and electronic wars, where states, corporations, and individuals will all vie for some form of advantage in the electronic environment that we have created and that is, because of Microsoft, a national catastrophe waiting to happen.

On the latter, the author gets 4 stars. On the former, zero. I hold the author blameless for the lousy title. This is about not how war is going to be fought in the 21st Century–it is about what the beltway bureaucracy is trying to sell to the Pentagon, at taxpayer expense, and it covers just 10% of the future needs and capabilities.

Recommended, with reviews:
The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People
The Fifty-Year Wound: How America’s Cold War Victory Has Shaped Our World
War Is a Racket: The Anti-War Classic by America’s Most Decorated General, Two Other Anti=Interventionist Tracts, and Photographs from the Horror of It
The Paradox of American Power: Why the World’s Only Superpower Can’t Go It Alone
Race to the Swift: Thoughts on Twenty-First Century Warfare (International Series on Materials Science and Technology)
Wilson’s Ghost: Reducing the Risk of Conflict, Killing, and Catastrophe in the 21st Century
Why We Fight
The Fog of War – Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara

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Review: Best Truth–Intelligence in the Information Age

5 Star, Intelligence (Government/Secret)

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars The Next President, and Next DCI, Need to Read This Book,

April 8, 2000
Mr. Bruce D. Berkowitz
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars The Next President, and Next DCI, Need to Read This Book, April 8, 2000
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This book dedicates itself entirely to fixing the underlying process of intelligence. The authors place intelligence in the larger context of information, and draw a plethora of useful comparisons with emerging private sector capabilities and standards. They place strong emphasis on the emerging issues (not necessarily threats) related to ethnic, religious, and geopolitical confrontation, and are acutely sensitive to the new power of non-governmental organizations and non-state actors. The heart of their book is captured in three guidelines for the new process: focus on understanding the consumer’s priorities; minimize the investment in fixed hardware and personnel; and create a system that can draw freely on commercial capabilities where applicable (as they often will be). Their chapter on the failure of the bureaucratic model for intelligence, and the need to adopt the virtual model-one that permits analysts to draw at will on diverse open sources-is well presented and compelling. Their concluding three chapters on analysis, covert action, and secrecy are solid professional-level discussions of where we must go in the future.
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Review: Strategic Intelligence for American National Security: (Paperback with new afterword)

4 Star, Intelligence (Government/Secret)

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

4.0 out of 5 stars Still Valuable, Really Solid Basic Stuff,

April 7, 2000
Bruce D. Berkowitz
This is an even-tempered book, combining a good primer of the nature of the intelligence process with some analytically-oriented thoughts on needed improvements. Their appendix listing things that can go wrong at each step of the intelligence cycle is of lasting value, as is their glossary. Their forthcoming book, Best Truth: Intelligence in the Information Age (Yale, April 2000) will assuredly be a major contribution.
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