Intelligence – The Secret World of Spies

Title:                  Intelligence – The Secret World of Spies

Author:                 Loch K. Johnson

Johnson, Loch K. (2011) and James J. Wirtz, eds. Intelligence: The Secret World of Spies, an Anthology (4thrd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press

LCCN:    2014018920

JK468.I6 I467 2015

Summary

  • “Intelligence: The Secret World of Spies, An Anthology, Fourth Edition, is the most up-to-date reader in intelligence studies. Editors Loch K. Johnson and James J. Wirtz present a diverse, comprehensive, and yet highly accessible set of readings from leading experts in the field. The anthology includes: * Articles examining a wide variety of important issues (satellite surveillance, 9/11, the search for WMDs in Iraq, homeland security, and counterterrorism) * An epilogue analyzing the current state of intelligence * Introductions at the beginning of each piece that help to contextualize chapter content * Discussion questions at the end of each chapter that reinforce key concepts and encourage class participation * Comprehensive coverage of many hot topics including the history of intelligence, how the United States gathers and interprets global information, the meaning of security intelligence, methods of intelligence collection, intelligence analysis, the danger of intelligence politicization, relationships between intelligence officers and the policymakers they serve, covert action, counterintelligence, accountability and civil liberties, the implications of major intelligence failures in 2001 and 2003, and intelligence as practiced in other nations The most engaging, current, and expertly edited anthology available, Intelligence: The Secret World of Spies, An Anthology, Fourth Edition, is ideal for courses in intelligence and homeland security”– Provided by publisher.

Subjects

Date Updated:  September 3, 2015

Compiled and Reviewed by Hayden B. Peake.[1]

This latest edition[2] of the Johnson and Wirtz anthology has 40 articles, six of which are new. The volume is intended for reading in courses on US intelligence and as an introduction for the general public. The contributors are a mix of academics and serving and former intelligence officers, mostly American. There are also selections from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concerning the Aldrich Ames espionage case.

The anthology is organized into 10 parts. The first is an introduction to the subject of intelligence, followed by sections on collection, analysis, intelligence and the policymaker, the dangers of politicization, covert action, counterintelligence, the dangers of politicization, and accountability and civil liberties. The ninth part, which is on intelligence in the aftermath of 9/11, presents some thought-provoking analysis on failures said to be associated with that event.

The final part looks at intelligence systems in the Soviet Union, Britain, Egypt, and France and how they compare with the United States. The authors are natives of the countries being compared, with the exception of the American specialist analyzing Egyptian intelligence.

The anthology has two disappointing shortcomings worth noting. The first is that only three foreign services are compared to their US counterparts; more would be helpful. The second is the absence of any indication in the bibliography of which intelligence texts best served the authors.

The epilogue is a useful look at the future of intelligence and the challenges of the information revolution. Intelligence: The Secret World of Spies is a good introduction to the topic and a valuable contribution.[3]

Review of the Third Edition

This book, in its 3rd edition, is the most up-to-date reader in intelligence studies. Editors Loch K. Johnson and James J. Wirtz present a diverse, comprehensive, and yet highly accessible set of readings from leading experts in the field.

Thoroughly revised and updated, the third edition includes:

  • Twenty-four new articles examining a wide variety of important issues (satellite surveillance, 9/11, the search for WMDs in Iraq, homeland security, and counterterrorism)
  • A new epilogue analyzing the current state of intelligence
  • Updated introductions at the beginning of each piece that help to contextualize chapter content
  • Discussion questions at the end of each chapter that reinforce key concepts and encourage class participation
  • Comprehensive coverage of many hot topics including the history of intelligence, how the United States gathers and interprets global information, the meaning of security intelligence, methods of intelligence collection, intelligence analysis, the danger of intelligence politicization, relationships between intelligence officers and the policymakers they serve, covert action, counterintelligence, accountability and civil liberties, the implications of major intelligence failures in 2001 and 2003, and intelligence as practiced in other nations

The 3rd ed. [LCCN: 2010021364] was viewed as ideal for courses in intelligence and homeland security.

As stated, more than half of the 39 articles in the 3rd edition are new. The 2nd edition had 38 articles. These anthologies contain articles by intelligence specialists and scholars that cover topics from how the U.S. gathers and interprets information collected from around the world to comparisons of the American intelligence system with the secret agencies of other nations. Articles also address: “Covert Action;” “Counterintelligence;” “Intelligence Collection and Analysis;” “Intelligence Failure;” “Satellite Surveillance;” “Warrantless Wiretaps” (this article is more about electronic intercepts); “Ethics and Intelligence;” “Intelligence Oversight;” “Analysis, War and Decision: Why Intelligence Failures are inevitable;” and “CIA’s Strategic Intelligence in Iraq.” The anthology is a current and very useful broad overview of the profession of intelligence, the issues and the problems. This is one of several “intelligence textbooks” recommended by Dan Mulvenna, in his “The Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf: An annotated bibliography,” compiled by Dan Mulvenna (updated December, 2011)

The following is a review Reviewed by Hayden B. Peake.[4]

Any collection of articles on intelligence written by experts can be a real help to teachers and those seeking to expand their knowledge of the profession. The third edition of lntelligence: The Secret World of Spies (the first two editions had slightly different titles) is a positive contribution to this genre. Its 10 parts cover the basic intelligence topics—collection, analysis, dissemination, covert action, and counterintelligence—and add several more that have an important bearing on modern intelligence agencies. These include: the role of the policymaker, accountability, politicization, post-9/11 intelligence, and select views on intelligence in other nations.

Twenty-four of this edition’s 39 articles are new. The collection includes material written by people with direct experience in the profession. Among them are serving and former intelligence officers, congressmen, and academics; some qualify in more than one category. The work also includes several extracts from the reports of government commissions and professional journals. These may not be origina!, but they are not readily available elsewhere. There are two contributions from the UK, as well as one by KGB defector Alexander Orlov.

All in this collection are worth reading, but since viewpoints on some issues conflict, readers must decide which are most valid. Each article is deserving of a brief comment here, but space precludes that option. Worth noting here, however, are a few that address topics not often included in such compendiums, or which offer especially telling observations. In the first category, Paul Redmond offers some important insights on counterintelligence. Stan Taylor and Daniel Snow consider what motivates spies and how they get caught, and former DCI Stansfield Turner looks at intelligence in the George W. Bush administration. CIA lawyer Fred Manget scrutinizes judicial accountability, and coeditor Wirtz addresses deception in the information age.

In the latter category, Arthur Hulnick presents interesting views on the traditional intelligence cycle, and Paul Pillar contributes firsthand comments on intelligence and policy before the Iraq War 2003. Senior analyst Jack Davis has two contributions which convey his years of experience.

Intelligence: The Secret World of Spies is a very worth-while contribution, well documented and well written.

[1] Hayden Peake, “Intelligence Officer Bookshelf,” The Intelligencer: Journal of U. S. Intelligence Stuidies (21, 2, Spring/Summer 2015, p. 119 )Hayden Peake is the Curator of the CIA’s Historical Intelligence Collection. He has served in the Directorate of Science and Technology and the Directorate of Operations. Most of his reviews cited have appeared in recent unclassified editions of ClA’s Studies in Intelligence. These and many other reviews and articles may be found online at http://www.cia.gov

[2] A review by Hayden Peake of the 3rd edition follows the review of the 4th ed.

[3] Readers interested in reading about non-Western intelligence may wish to read Charles Heard’s review of Intelligence Elsewhere: Spies and Espionage Outside the Anglosphere at https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol-59-no-1/Spies-and-Espionage-Outside-Anglosphere.html (URL verified September 3, 2015)

[4] Hayden B. Peake. The Intelligencer: Journal of U. S. Intelligence Studies, 19, 2 (Summer/Fall 2012, pp. 113-4)

 

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One Response to Intelligence – The Secret World of Spies

  1. Pingback: Intelligence from Secrets to Policy | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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