Jack Devine


Devine, Jack. "The CIA Solution for Afghanistan." Intelligencer 18, no. 1 (Fall-Winter 2010): 7-8. [Originally published as an Op-Ed piece in Wall Street Journal, 29 Jul. 2010]

The author, who was chief of the CIA Afghan Task Force 1986-1987, argues: "There is no 'victory' to be had there. But we can prevent it from becoming a haven for al Qaeda with a covert strategy based on Predator drones and alliances with local leaders."


Devine, Jack. "An Intelligence Reform Reality Check." Washington Post, 18 Feb. 2008, A17. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The former acting DDO finds little to like in the intelligence reform of 2004. "It has been three years since the intelligence community was reorganized with passage of the [IRTPA] in December 2004, and the results are not encouraging. In fact, the leadership issue has become even more muddled.... [T]he 'reform' legislation that grew out of Sept. 11 ... needs to be fully reassessed -- and soon....

"The legislation simply didn't give the DNI the budgetary muscle needed to lead the intelligence community, and it created a troublesome confusion here and abroad regarding precisely who is in charge. Today, the DNI has become what intelligence professionals feared it would: an unnecessary bureaucratic contraption with an amazingly large staff."

[DNI/08; Reform/00s/08]

Devine, Jack. "Tomorrow's Spygames." World Policy Journal 25, no. 3 (Fall 2008): 141-151. [http://www.mitpressjournals.org] Intelligencer 17, no. 2 (Fall 2009): 17-24.

The former CIA ADDO takes a look at what he thinks the next 25 years will bring in the intelligence arena. For instance, he suggests that in response to the future's "more complex, interconnected environment, the American intelligence community will enter a period of consolidation as various agencies are further centralized under the leadership of a future secretary of intelligence." This is a good read, whether you agree or disagree with Devine's projections.

[GenPostCW/00s/Gen; Overviews/U.S./00s]

Devine, Jack. "What Really Happened in Chile: The CIA, the Coup Against Allende, and the Rise of Pinochet." Foreign Affairs 93, no. 4 (Jul.-Aug. 2014): 26-35.

The author states "with conviction that the CIA did not plot with the Chilean military to overthrow Allende in 1973." As the CIA officer handling the "media account," Devine asserts that "the agency had no role in what was printed" in El Mercurio. He also argues that the CIA did not pay the Chilean truckers' union to go on strike in October 1972. Nevertheless, "the Santiago station had helped create a climate for the coup."

In an effort to read the historical record to mean what he wants it to mean, Peter Kornbluh, "Showdown in Santiago," Foreign Affairs 93, no. 5 (Sep.-Oct. 2014): 168-172, continues to lay the blame for Allende's overthrow (and even his death) on the CIA. Yet, he clearly understands that "Washington developed a longer-term effort to destabilize the Chiean government economically, politically, and militarily" of which the CIA and its media operations were only a part. Devine replies at 172-174.

[CIA/Memoirs; LA/Chile]

Devine, Jack, with Vernon Loeb. Good Hunting: An American Spymaster's Story. New York: Sarah Crichton Books, 2014.

Mudd, Wall Street Journal, 10 Jun. 2014, says this memoir "is a refresher course on the breadth of America's covert campaigns against the spread of Soviet influence and ideology." The author's "remarkable 32-year career is a microcosm of the secret thrust and counterthrust that defined those years." He relates "a rich catalog of espionage history and tradecraft," and "offers particular insights into Aldrich Ames." The reviewer is less impressed with Devine's comments on more current national security issues. However, Goulden, Washington Times, 26 Aug. 2014, suggests Devine's warning of "myriad world troubles stretching into the foreseeable future" deserves attention.

For Kelly, Washington Post, 26 Jun. 2014, the author shows flashes of his "keen sense of humor," but the book "is a mostly serious reflection on a long career at an institution that Devine clearly still loves.... Devine doesn't deliver Earth-shattering revelations. His strength lies instead in humanizing the many larger-than-life characters he tangled with over the years.... Devine has produced an entertaining chronicle of his decades at the agency and a persuasive case for its continued relevance."

Peake, Studies 58.4 (Dec. 2014), notes that "[w]hile the format of Good Hunting is conventional -- a roughly chronological progression -- the career experiences and policy messages it conveys are not." The former A/DDO provides "incisive remarks on the management and bureaucratic issues that often complicated what should have been straightforward decisions." To Wippl, IJI&C 28.1 (Spring 2015), "the CIA needs to have given Jack Devine" a "five-to-ten year term" as DDO in order to improve the system.

Fischer, IJI&C 28.2 (Summer 2015), suggests that "[w]hile Devine's general readers will learn a lot about the DO's internal workings and operations during the last two decades of the Cold War, intelligence historians will find a plethora of new details that fill some gaps in existing lnowledge."


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