National Security Intelligence

Title:                      National Security Intelligence

Author:                 Loch Johnson

Johnson, Loch K. (20017). National Security Intelligence (2nd ed.) Cambridge, UK; Malden, MA: Polity

LCCN:    2016039810

JK486.I6 J64 2017

Summary

  • “National security intelligence is a vast, complex, and important topic, made doubly hard for citizens to understand because of the thick veils of secrecy that surround it. In the second edition of his definitive introduction to the field, leading intelligence expert Loch K. Johnson guides readers skilfully through this shadowy side of government. Drawing on over forty years of experience studying intelligence agencies and their activities, he explains the three primary missions of intelligence: information collection and analysis, counterintelligence, and covert action, before moving on to explore the wider dilemmas posed by the existence of secret government organizations in open, democratic societies. Recent developments including the controversial leaks by the American intelligence official Edward J. Snowden, the U.S. Senate’s Torture Report, and the ongoing debate over the use of drones are explored alongside difficult questions such as why intelligence agencies inevitably make mistakes in assessing world events; why some intelligence officers choose to engage in treason against their own country on behalf of foreign regimes; and how spy agencies can succumb to scandals -including highly intrusive surveillance against the very citizens they are meant to protect. Comprehensively revised and updated throughout, National Security Intelligence is tailor-made to meet the interests of students and general readers who care about how nations shield themselves against threats through the establishment of intelligence organizations, and how they strive for safeguards to prevent the misuse of this secret power”– Provided by publisher.

Contents

  • Machine generated contents note: Contents About the Author List of Figures and Tables List of Abbreviations Preface: The Study of National Security Intelligence Acknowledgments 1 National Security Intelligence: The First Line of Defense 2 Intelligence Collection and Analysis: Knowing about the World 3 Covert Action: Secret Attempts to Shape History 4 Counterintelligence: The Hunt for Moles 5 Safeguards against the Abuse of Secret Power 6 National Security Intelligence: Shield and Hidden Sword of the Democracies Notes Suggested Readings Index.

Subjects

Date Posted:      May 15, 2017

Reviewed in The Intelligencer[1]

“The world of intelligence is myth-ridden in the popular imagination. Loch Johnson, one of most eminent and experienced of scholars on the subject, here supplies an excellent, compact, and readable introduction that makes the principal aspects of intelligence refreshingly intelligible to all.” —Richard K. Betts, Columbia University

“… a wonderful asset for those professors aiming to introduce students to the complexities, the dangers, and the importance of the U.S. intelligence establishment. The painful truth is that most Americans know very little about our government’s intelligence agencies beyond what they have learned from movies, television shows, and lurid headlines. This book can work wonders in educating students (and indeed, ordinary citizens) seeking to understand intelligence. It is well-written, and manages to combine brevity with depth and nuance.” — David Barrett, Villanova University

In the second edition of his definitive introduction to the field, leading intelligence expert Loch K. Johnson explains the three primary missions of intelligence: information collection and analysis, counterintelligence, and covert action, before moving on to explore the wider dilemmas posed by the existence of secret government organizations in open, democratic societies. Recent developments including the controversial leaks by the contractor Edward J. Snowden, the US Senate’s Torture Report, and the ongoing debate over the use of drones are explored alongside difficult questions such as why intelligence agencies inevitably make mistakes in assessing world events; why some intelligence officers choose to engage in treason against their own country on behalf of foreign regimes; and how spy agencies can succumb to scandals—including highly intrusive surveillance against the very citizens they are meant to protect.

 

 

[1] Reviewed in The Intelligencer: Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies (22, 3, Winter 2016-17, p. 139).

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