Olson, Eric T. [ADM/USN] "U.S. Special Operations: Context and Capabilities in Irregular Warfare." Joint Forces Quarterly 56 (1st Quarter 2010): 64-70.

The author is Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). "[T]his article outlines what makes SOF 'special' in the operational environment, and explains how USSOCOM and SOF fit into the integrated whole of military forces tasked to defend U.S. and partner interests." See also, David H. Gurney [COL/USMC (Ret.)] and Jeffrey D. Smotherman, "An Interview with Eric T. Olson," Joint Forces Quarterly 56 (1st Quarter 2010): 60-63.


Olson, James M. Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying. Washington, DC: Potomac, 2006.

Robarge, Studies 51.1 (Mar. 2007), notes that the author investigates the issue of ethics in intelligence "in a novel and thought-provoking way. He has created 50 fictional scenarios" and asked a 66-person "focus group" (whether some or all for any one scenario is not clear) whether "they consider the specified course of action morally acceptable or morally unacceptable." Many of the pro and con arguments are "insightful and at times provocative." Olson argues that intelligence "needs clear rules of engagement that emerge from open and informed discussion of what constitutes tolerable behavior."

For Peake, Intelligencer 15.2 (Fall-Winter 2006-2007), the author "has given the literature of intelligence one of its most interesting, unusual and forthright books.... It should be mandatory reading for all." Nolte, AIJ 25.1 (Summer2007), finds that the heart of the book, "both from its academic value and its place as provocative and entertaining reading," is the 50 scenarios. They are "well chosen, realistic, and difficult."

Prout, DIJ 16.1 (2007), comments that while the author once headed CIA counterintelligence, "his expertise extends to other aspects of intelligence as well. Here he examines virtually all aspects of human intelligence (HUMINT) operations." The reviewer is bothered that Olson dismisses U.S. intelligence collection prior to the formation of OSS. Nevertheless, Fair Play "is a must have for anyone who seeks to understand the world of espionage." To Salvetti, CIRA Newsletter 32.2 (Summer 2007), "[r]eaders of this book will better understand what it means to be a CIA intelligence officer in the 21st century."


Olson, James M. "The Ten Commandments of Counterintelligence." Studies in Intelligence 11 (Fall-Winter 2001): 81-87. Intelligencer 13, no. 1 (Spring-Summer 2002): 44-49. American Intelligence Journal 21, nos. 1 & 2 (Spring 2002): 21-26.

(1) Be offensive; (2) honor your professionals; (3) own the street; (4) know your history; (5) do not ignore analysis; (6) do not be parochial; (7) train your people; (8) do not be shoved aside; (9) do not stay too long; (10) never give up.


Olson, James S., ed.

1. Dictionary of the Vietnam War.Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1988.

Grefrath, Library Journal (1988) (via Amazon.com), says "[t]his one-volume encyclopedia provides very thorough coverage of key concepts, people, and locations of the Vietnam War.... [I]ncluded here are specific books and films about Vietnam.... Editor Olson wrote most of the articles; the text is well balanced; and published sources are cited after each entry."

2. The Vietnam War: Handbook of the Literature and Research. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993.

Robert L Beisner, ed., American Foreign Relations Since 1600: A Guide to the Literature ([Columbus, OH]: Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 2003), p. 1417/entry 23:60: "This volume consists of historiographic essays on various aspects of the war, each with a bibliography. Many of these are by Olson."


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