Mark M. Lowenthal

A - I


Lowenthal, Mark M. "The Burdensome Concept of Failure." In Intelligence: Policy and Process, eds. Alfred C. Maurer, Marion D. Turnstall, and James M. Keagle, 43-56. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1985.


Lowenthal, Mark M. "Intelligence as a Profession: IAFIE Sets Its Sights." American Intelligence Journal (Summer 2006): 41-42.

The International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE) was organized in 2004. "IAFIE believes intelligence -- broadly defined to include national, domestic, homeland security and law enforcement -- is a profession and that this is the time for the same professional base [as the American Medical Association or the American Bar Association] to be created.... [I]t is devoted to creating standards for the future of the Intelligence Community's personnal." The IAFIE Website is at:


Lowenthal, Mark M. "Intelligence Epistemology: Dealing with the Unbelievable." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 6, no. 3 (Fall 1993): 319-325.

What happens when intelligence analysts have accurate information but the magnitude and/or implications of that information exceed both their and the policy makers' ability to believe it? One of the examples presented is analysis of the Soviet economy and the question of the amount of Soviet GNP devoted to defense.


Lowenthal, Mark M. Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy. Washington, DC: CQ, 2000. 2d ed., 2003. 3d ed., 2006. 4th ed., 2008. 5th ed., 2011.

Clark comment (on 1st ed.): The author's latest textbook on intelligence is excellent. His earlier text -- U.S. Intelligence: Evolution and Anatomy, 2d ed. (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1992) -- was an extremely useful (though increasingly dated) overview of the U.S. intelligence community. I have used the latter as a supplementary text in a broad national security course for undergraduates. Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy goes much further than a mere updating; it is a fuller, more comprehensive presentation, and is more directed toward supporting a full-blown course on intelligence.

Macartney, AFIO WIN 46-99 (18 Nov. 1999), believes this book "will undoubtedly be the textbook of choice in many college classes.... It is a primer on intelligence, especially strong in its discussions of analysis, the role of the policy consumer, oversight and the post-Cold War intelligence agenda." To Loeb, Washington Post Online, 3 Apr. 2000, the author "wastes no space in the book preaching about either the ills or the virtues of U.S. intelligence. He frames the right issues, and he asks the right questions. And he is able to bring both an insider's insight and an anecdotal flair to bear throughout the text."

McIntosh, Choice, Sep. 2000, notes that the work "summarizes the problems of collection, analysis, counterintelligence, and action from the point of view of a self-aware insider." This "excellent brief introduction to the role of secrecy and national intelligence in the American foreign policy process ... [provides] a solid, informative, and useful text for undergraduates and beginning graduate students."

For Hulnick, IJI&C 14.1, Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy "is nicely geared for teaching," but "is not the kind of stand-alone text that could be used in the classroom by itself." While "no other work on intelligence is so authoritative" in the areas of "the role of policymakers in intelligence and on the role of oversight," Lowenthal's chapters on collection and counterintelligence fall short of being sufficient by themselves for most academics. Nevertheless, the work "goes a long way toward achieving" the goal of "educat[ing] the public about how secrets become part of the United States foreign policy process."

Dalton, NWCR, Autumn 2002, says that this work "is much more than an introductory textbook; it is a trove of valuable information and insights ranging from the basic concepts and definitions of intelligence to a thorough examination of the intelligence process. Thus not only is this an excellent textbook on the basics of intelligence and ideal for a course in Intelligence 101, but it is also an interesting and informative examination of intelligence and national security disciplines.... In sum, Lowenthal has written an outstanding primer on intelligence, the intelligence process, and the intelligence community."

Peake, Studies 50.4 (2006) and Intelligencer 15.2 (Fall-Winter 2006-2007), comments that the 3d edition of this work constitutes a "major revision," with more material and two new chapters.... As an introductory text, this book gives the reader an understandable functional view of the national Intelligence Community." Commenting on the 4th edition, Peake, Studies 54.1 (Mar. 2010) and Intelligencer 17.2 (Winter-Spring 2010), notes the inclusion of 30 pages to cover such topics as reform, ethics, and transnational issues. This work "is now firmly established as the basic introductory text on the intelligence profession." It is "[w]ell written and well documented." Peake, Studies 56.2 (Jun. 2012) and Intelligencer 19.2 (Summer-Fall 2012), says that, with 51 new pages, the 5th edition remains "both a valuable introductory text and a source of information on contemporary issues facing the IC. Only source notes could improve its quality."


Lowenthal, Mark M. "The Intelligence Library: Quantity vs Quality." Intelligence and National Security 2, no. 2 (Apr. 1987): 368-373.


Lowenthal, Mark M. "The Intelligence Time Event Horizon." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 22, no. 3 (Fall 2009): 369-381.

Keying off the NIC's Global Trends 2025 (2008), the author posits that "the longer the time event horizon, the greater likelihood that estimative fidelity begins to drop off.... [V]ery long-term estimates ... tend to be so far out that proving them right or wrong becomes difficult, and thus they are of little inherent use to policymakers.... [T]hree years is probably the limit for any hope for analytical fidelity."


Lowenthal, Mark M. "Intrepid and the History of World War II." Military Affairs 41, no. 2 (Apr. 1977): 88-90.


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