Journal: Afghanistan, Warning, Peak Oil, & Strategy

08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, Military

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Full Story Online

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. ignored warnings before deadly Afghan attack…Three intelligence reports dismissed days before eight U.S. soldiers killed

Bill Gertz, October 16, 2009

Army Maj. T.G. Taylor, a spokesman for the Army’s Task Force Mountain Warrior, told The Times that the three reports did not stand out among hundreds of others and that the intelligence was deemed to be not specific and uncorroborated.

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The Economist October 17, 2009 Cover Story

Obama’s War:  Why the Afghanistan war deserves more resources, commitment and political will

The coalition, however, lacks three essential components of a successful strategy. It needs a credible, legitimate government to work with, the resources to do the job and the belief that America’s president is behind this war.

Many Afghans find it bizarre that the West should devote so much money to Mr Karzai, yet be unable to hold him to account over something so basic as stuffing ballot boxes on an industrial scale. For most, however, the local and provincial leaders matter more than the distant central government.

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Review: Treachery–How America’s Friends and Foes Are Secretly Arming Our Enemies (Hardcover)

4 Star, Intelligence (Government/Secret)

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Amazon Page

4.0 out of 5 stars Useful but Hypocritcal,

January 11, 2006
Bill Gertz
Bill Gertz is a “thought leader” and what he has to say is always worth listening to or reading.

This book is absolutely first rate as far as it goes, in lambasting the French, the Germans, the Russians, China, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Syria, and the United Nations for their varied contributions to global instability and corruption.

However, the book is also hypocritical in ignoring the documented fact that the U.S. is by far the largest arms merchant and the biggest bully on the block. The book also ignores Israel and the 38+ dictators that the U.S. supports (there are actually 44 still left but six are included in this book).

A third of the book is an appendix of classified documents with a great deal blocked out, this is one of the author’s signature features, but the bottom line is that the book is a very large Op-Ed. Worth buying and reading, absolutely spot on, but hypocritical and incomplete.

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Review: Breakdown–How America’s Intelligence Failures Led to September 11

4 Star, 9-11 Truth Books & DVDs, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Intelligence (Government/Secret)

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Amazon Page

4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful,

August 29, 2002
Bill Gertz
The author has done a wonderful job, without reference to any of the fifteen books on intelligence reform published between 1999 and 2000, in quickly reviewing the key elements of intelligence failure and in recommending some specific reforms that thus far have been denied by successive Administrations.If this book forces policymakers to think, and makes it possible for the public to get very angry about the various failures of intelligence that contributed to 9-11, then it will be in the running for most patriotic and useful book of the year.

The author leaves one aspect of the 9-11 failure untouched–although he makes references to Democratic and to Republican policymakers, what he does not tell the American people is that intelligence failures do not occur without very substantive policy failures of two kinds: first, policy failures where the intelligence professionals are gutted, abused, intimidated, and generally prevented from being effective. The Director of Central Intelligence usually serves as the policy representative to intelligence in carrying out these abuses, rather than as the intelligence representative to policy. The second failure is one of “inconvenient warning,” where solid professional intelligence estimates are set aside and ignored because the politicians don’t want to be bothered, don’t think it will cost them with their domestic constituencies, and are not truly committed to long-term national security. This is a bi-partisan problem–until the American people appreciate the connection between voting, policymaker character, and intelligence success, we will continue to get the government–and the intelligence community–that our citizens deserve.

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