R - Z

Adams, Robyn. "A Spy on the Payroll? William Herle and the Mid Elizabethan Polity." Historical Research 83, no. 220 (May 2010): 266–280.

From Abstract: A number of men, "largely marginal to the historiography of the period for so long, have now been identified and credited with a role which was fundamental to the smooth operation of the Tudor political system. In this group of men ... is found William Herle, an agent, diplomatic envoy and intelligencer for Elizabeth I's ministers.... Herle's epistolary contribution to the administrative and intelligence bureaux of William Cecil,... Robert Dudley,... and Sir Francis Walsingham reveals the information channels and structures behind the decision-making process of this triumvirate of political heavyweights and their conciliar fraternity."


Adams, Samuel A.

1. "Vietnam Cover-up: Playing with the Numbers -- Statistics on Viet Cong Strength Ignored by the CIA." Harper's 250 and 251 (May and Jul. 1975): 41-45, 62-73; and 14-16.

Clark comment: This article launched the public side of Sam Adams' crusade after he left the CIA in 1973; he would cover much of the same ground in his posthumously published War of Numbers. Petersen calls Adams a "mid-level CIA analyst [who] was a vocal critic of alleged misuse of intelligence information. The July segment includes letters by VADM Rufus L. Taylor, DDCI, 1966-1969, & analyst James C. Graham, disputing Adams' claims & Adams' reply."

See James J. Wirtz, "Intelligence to Please? The Order of Battle Controversy during the Vietnam War," Political Science Quarterly 106, no. 2 (Summer 1991): 239-263. Wirtz concludes that not only were Sam Adams' accusations of conspiracy unfounded but that Adams' estimates were themselves wrong.

2. War of Numbers: An Intelligence Memoir. Hanover, NH: Steerforth, 1994.

Valcourt, IJI&C 7.2, notes that Adams died in 1988, and this is "his incomplete manuscript [put] into publishable form without significant alteration.... [This is] not an anti-establishment protest. Instead, Adams appears to have been searching for objective information to support the American war effort.... [H]is contentions about what he called a 'curious story of numbers' must be seriously considered when making any assessment of policymaking during a most controversial and destabilizing period of American history."

According to Ford, I&NS 10.1, this book provides "a unique and interesting insight into the inner workings of the US intelligence community during the Vietnam War. Unfortunately,... it provides no new information [beyond that in his 1975 article in Harper's].... A man of honesty, integrity, and loyalty to his country,... [Adams'] story represents in candid detail what can happen to intelligence and those who produce it when the relationship between policy and intelligence breaks down."

Allen, Intelligencer 6.2, argues that "Sam Adams paints a dreary, but not unwarranted picture of the sort of multifarious bureaucratic infighting ... that can result when intelligence is 'politicized'.... Adams' rather narrow perspective was that of one who slogged in the analytical trenches and of a crusader searching for 'villains' for what he viewed as treasonable falsification of intelligence." Whether Adams made his case for revising upward the strength of enemy forces in Vietnam remains in dispute. Nevertheless, it is "doubtful that, on the eve of the 1968 elections, any amount of evidence could have persuaded the Johnson Administration to approve publication of a national estimate that reflected how dim was the much touted 'light at the end of the tunnel.'"

Halpern, Surveillant 4.1, believes that the "lack of an agreed methodology" does "not support charges of deliberate conspiracy or deception." Neither Col. David Hackworth's introduction nor Adams' text provides any evidence of deliberate deception or conspiracy. This "was a case of differing approaches and different views of a situation.... Charging those who cannot be convinced with being devious does not advance one's cause." Nevertheless, War of Numbers "is a valuable addition to the literature of intelligence."

Chambers calls War of Numbers a "passionate retelling of Adams' side of the VC strength story. Insights into the work of the intelligence analyst should be interesting to the general reader." See also, Hiam, Who the Hell Are We Fighting? (2006).

[CIA/Memoirs; Vietnam/Analysis]

Adams, Thomas K. "The New Mercenaries and the Privatization of Conflict." Parameters 29, no. 2 (Summer 1999): 103-116. []

"[W]hen various entities ... find themselves in need of military or large-scale security services, hiring mercenaries is an obvious recourse.... During the 1990s a number of corporations termed 'international security firms' or 'private military companies' have sprung up to service this demand.... [T]here has been little success in creating international legislation that will prevent the existence of mercenaries, and it may be impossible to do so."


Adams, Thomas K. U.S. Special Operations Forces in Action: The Challenge of Unconventional Warfare. London and Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 1998.

Hightower, Parameters 28 (Winter 1998-1999), calls this "an excellent historical treatment of the organizational and doctrinal development of Army Special Operations Forces (SOF), illustrated with operational vignettes of those forces in action.... Adams pulls no punches in pointing out the facts: the Army, when given the opportunity, has consistently attempted to do away with the Special Forces, civil affairs, and psychological operations units."

For Prados, I&NS 15.4, the author "supplies the best account to date of the nadir of Special Forces after the Vietnam war and its regeneration during the 1980s and into the 1990s." The reviewer concludes that "this is a fine study that offers something for observers of intelligence, modern history, and military affairs more generally."


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