5.0 out of 5 stars One of four essential books on the future of intelligence, February 2, 2013
I have been holding a gift copy of this book for over a month, waiting for it to be available on Amazon so I could post my review, and as a result have also read — and also recommend as an essential book — Sir David Omand's book Securing the State. I am rating both books at 5, both books are as erudite and perceptive as it gets.
Alfred Rolington can reasonably be considered “P” or the Public counterpart to “M” in the UK, as I have been to the secret world in the US. He is the master of BOTH the secret process of intelligence and its purposes, AND the very broad multi-lingual multi-cultural world of open sources in unpublished, analog, and digital form that the secret world is — to be blunt — arrogantly ignorant of. This book is one of a handful truly relevant to the future of intelligence (decision-support) done properly — which is to say, as decision-support for ALL threats and challenges, not as surveillance secrets protecting the few.
This book by Alfred Rolington, former CEO of Janes and someone I have known for over fifteen years — and whom I will testify has been the single most accomplished and imaginative speaker in my conference on international intelligence from 1992-2006, among over 750 speakers — is the better book for students and I strongly recommend it as required reading at the university level.
As I am one of the arch-critics of expensive secret “intelligence” that is done badly, and do not mince my own words, it is with some awe that I read strong critical views articulated in such a graceful manner that I can just see the US Director of National Intelligence with his pants down saying “Thank you, Sir, may I please have three more?” Naturally nothing in this book should be taken to be critical of the British intelligence community that is without peer.