Douglas Waller


Waller, Douglas. "At the Crossroads of Terror." Time, 8 Jul. 2002, 28-29.

The Counterterrorism Center (CTC) "has become the CIA's busiest outfit."


Waller, Douglas.

1. "The CIA's New Spies: Remaking Cloak-and-Dagger Missions in the Post-Cold-War Era." (Side-bar story: "High-Tech Spies in the Sky.") Newsweek, 12 Apr. 1993, 30-32.

2. "A Tour Through 'Hell Week': A Newsweek Correspondent Takes the CIA Spy Tests." Newsweek,12 Apr. 1993, 33.


Waller, Douglas. "The CIA's Secret Army." Time, 3 Feb. 2003, 22.

The war on terrorism has put the CIA back into the business of paramilitary operations. Among other activities, members of the CIA's Special Operations Group (SOG) "have been secretly prowling the Kurdish-controlled enclave in northern Iraq, trying to organize a guerrilla force that could guide American soldiers invading from the north, hunting for targets that U.S. warplanes might bomb, setting up networks to hide U.S. pilots who might be shot down and mapping out escape routes to get them out. And they are doing the same in southern Iraq with dissident Shi'ites."

[CIA/00s/03/Gen; CA/00s; MI/Iraq]

Waller, Douglas. "Coming in from the Cold: Under the Wye Agreement, the CIA Embarks on a New -- and Highly Visible -- Mission in the Middle East." Time, 2 Nov. 1998. [http://www.time. com]


Waller, Douglas C. The Commandos: The Inside Story of America's Secret Soldiers. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

For Surveillant 3.6, this is an "excellent review of the role of Special Forces." The author "insists that the Special Forces are too politically sensitive to be left in the military's hands.... Highly recommended." McCombie, Parameters, Autumn 1995, says that Waller's is "a creditable and timely account of the training and employment" of special operations forces. The author provides chapters on "Army Special Forces, Navy SEALs, 20th Special Operations Squadron, and the Delta Force."


Waller, Douglas. "Exclusive -- Behind Enemy Lines: The First Combat Photos of Green Beret Commandos on a Secret Mission Deep Inside Iraq." Newsweek, 28 Oct. 1991, 34.


Waller, Douglas. "Inside the CIA's Covert Forces." Time Atlantic, 10 Dec. 2001, 33.

Johnny Micheal Spann "was part of a secretive paramilitary unit of the CIA, a special-operations group of several hundred covert commandos skilled in sabotage, collecting intelligence in war zones and training foreign guerrillas…. The SOG is divided into ground, maritime and air branches that have light arms, surveillance gear, riverboats and small planes." 

[CIA/C&C/DO; Terrorism/01/CIA]

Waller, Douglas. "The NSA Draws Fire." Time, 29 Jul. 2002, 14.

NSA "is already taking heat for being slow to analyze two cryptic messages it intercepted last Sept. 10, warning that something big was going to happen the next day." Now, "a scathing classified report" issued by the House Intelligence Committee's Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security, an unclassified summary of which has been released, "has concluded that the agency is badly mismanaged,... and that resulted in its failing 'to provide tactical and strategic warning' of Sept. 11."

[NSA/02; Terrorism/02]

Waller, Douglas. "Outing Secret Jails." Time, 14 Nov. 2005, 21-22.

"At a secret briefing for U.S. Senators on Oct. 26, a senior U.S. intelligence official tells Time, Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte was pointedly neutral on Vice President Dick Cheney's Capitol Hill lobbying to have the CIA exempted from legislation banning mistreatment of detainees."

[CIA/00s/05/Gen; Reform/00s/05/DNI]

Waller, Douglas. "The Soldier Spies." Time, 29 May 1995, 31.


Waller, Douglas. "The Strange Case of the Spy in the Winnebago." Time, 13 Apr. 1998. []

"The CIA does not yet know how much damage it has suffered from [Douglas] Groat's alleged spying. Investigators do not think it is as extensive as the havoc caused by CIA mole Aldrich Ames.... But the agency's code-breaking capabilities are among its most guarded secrets.... A nation hostile to the U.S. that learned of the penetration would quickly change its codes."

Waller, Douglas. "Why the Sky Spies Missed the Desert Blasts." Time, 25 May 1998, 40.

"With the Administration convinced that India had no plans to explode a nuclear device, the satellites were snapping photos of Pokhran only one every six to 24 hours," rather than the potential 24-hour coverage.


Waller, Douglas. Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage. New York: Free Press, 2011.

Harkavy, Associated Press (7 Feb. 2011), calls this a "fast-paced, entertaining and engrossing biography." The author "comes through with a well-calibrated assessment of Donovan and the impact of the OSS on the war." Roberts, WSJ (12 Feb. 2011), sees Wild Bill Donovan as a "fast-moving and well-written biography." Waller "makes a powerful case that Donovan was a great American." Donovan's "contribution to the winning of the war is necessarily hard to quantify"; but by the end of this book, "a fair-minded reader will judge it to have been considerable."

For Goulden, Washington Times (11 Feb. 2011) and Intelligencer 18.2 (Winter-Spring 2011), this work "must be recognized as the defining work on Donovan." Despite admiring Waller's book, "especially his enormous archival work," the reviewer also finds it "disorganized, wandering from subject to subject in the same chapter, with no coherent narrative." Waller also "has a liking for 'you are there' anecdotes of the sort I doubt that he could document.... But these annoyances do not detract from the force of his narrative. At hand is a valuable, and objective, tribute to the man who created modern American intelligence."

Conant, New York Times (11 Feb. 2011), notes that "[t]his book is not the place to seek a comprehensive appraisal of the O.S.S.'s far-flung intelligence operations. Its many successes and debacles are only hastily sketched here." The author "is more concerned with the politics of personality, and the legacy of Donovan's complex, larger-than-life character." Waller demonstrates that "Donovan was a combination of bold innovator and imprudent rule bender, which made him not only a remarkable wartime leader but also an extraordinary figure in American history."

To Wise, Washington Post (25 Feb. 2011), this is a "superb, dramatic yet scholarly biography." It "is the first carefully researched, in-depth biography of the legendary World War II spymaster. For anyone interested in the history of American intelligence, it is required reading." Peake, Studies 55.2 (Jun. 2011), finds this to be "absorbing reading. It is documented with primary sources, though the format used makes it impossible to tell what fact a particular document supports. In all other respects, it is a major contribution to intelligence literature."

Swenson, AIJ 29.2 (2011), says that Waller "meticulously documents the swashbuckling intelligence leader's defining traits, drawing on an impressive range of personal interviews, oral history reminiscences, personal and professional correspondence, Presidential papers, U.S., UK and German government office records, and declassified documents. The author ... admirably reconstructs how Donovan built the sprawling OSS enterprise." The reviewer is bothered, however, by Waller's "failure to explain why" with regard to too many things.

Schwab, IJI&C 25.3 (Fall 2012), finds that the author "has skillfully interwoven three themes": "a compelling biography of Donovan"; "a spy story detailing the multiple espionage operations that Donovan devised and participated in during World War II"; and "a tale of nasty bureaucratic infighting, both foreign and domestic."


Waller, Douglas, and Sally B. Donnelly. "Still Short in Iraq." Time, 14 Mar. 2005, 13.

This article explores the shortcomings of the U.S. Army's civil-affairs and psychological-operations units, including a shortfall of qualified reservists.


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