CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

2000s

General

K - T

Kessler, Ronald. The CIA at War: Inside the Secret Campaign against Terror. New York: St. Martin's, 2003.

Seamon, Proceedings 129.12 (Dec. 2003), says that the author "has written a comprehensive history brightened by anecdotes and deftly drawn character sketches. The war ... turns out to be as much an internal squabble ... and a disappointing scrap with other government agencies as it is an after-action report on the company's often unheralded successes against terrorists of all varieties, to say nothing of its spectacular failures."

For Peake, Studies 48.3 (2004), even though this book "is not a history, those unfamiliar with the Agency will get a good overview of its pre-9/11 activity.... The treatment is balanced, though not always accurate." On the other hand, Chapman, IJI&C 17.4 (Winter 2004-2005), finds this work "unbalanced and way off the mark." While reading The CIA at War, the reviewer "slipped into thinking I was into another Tom Clancy novel."

Lucas, Scott. "Recognising Politicization: The CIA and the Path to the 2003 War in Iraq." Intelligence and National Security 26, no. 2-3 (Apr.-Jun. 2011): 203-227.

"[T]he Bush administration's politicization was so distinctive, in its manipulation of intelligence and analysisto pursue a war for regime change, that it may be regarded as exceptional."

Moran, Lindsay. Blowing My Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy. New York: Putnam, 2005.

According to Albion, Washington Post, 16 Jan. 2005, the author "lifts the lid on her cloak-and-dagger adventures from 1998 to 2003, when she underwent an education in espionage and then put her new skills to work in Macedonia.... Moran provides an unusually candid glimpse into the operational training and culture of America's clandestine services.... But this glimpse is intensely personal and takes place within the familiar story of a young woman's journey toward emotional fulfillment."

Shane, NYT, 15 Mar. 2005, finds that the author's memoir is a "breez[y] read, with lots of detail about her love life.... Martha Sutherland, who spent 18 years with the agency..., was outraged that [the] book recounts clandestine service training in detail." However, Moran "noted that everything in her book was cleared by the agency." Nolan, IJI&C 22.1 (Spring 2009), comments that the author's story "is actually a cautionary tale about following a fantasy.... Moran unintentionally reveals that she does not enjoy beiing a small part of a larger effort.... Her descriptions of the CIA's personnel border on the mean-spirited and self-aggrandizing."

For Hedley, Studies 49.3 (2005), this book "illustrates how a clever ex-employee can capitalize on the CIA’s undeniable mystique. One looks in vain for a serious message in her one-dimensional put-down of the Agency's operational training." However, "for a general readership she is a facile writer who comes across as a breezy romantic.... Moran's cheeky style and brisk prose makes for a good read."

Prillaman, William C., and Michael P. Dempsey. "Mything the Point: What's Wrong with the Conventional Wisdom about the C.I.A." Intelligence and National Security 19, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 1-28.

The author identifies, discusses, and corrects "some of the enduring myths" about the CIA "that have persisted and even flourished in recent years." Clark comment: The article is particularly worth reading and considering in the overheated atmosphere of 2004.

Russell, Richard L. "Tug of War: The CIA's Uneasy Relationship with the Military." SAIS Review 22, no. 2 (Summer-Fall 2002): 1-18.

Schroen, Gary C. First In: An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan. Novato, CA: Presidio, 2005.

Click for reviews.

Southworth, Cheryl. "NGA and CIA Build Collaborative Partnerships." Pathfinder (May-Jun. 2008). [https://www1.nga.mil/Newsroom/Pathfinder/0603/Pages/CollaborativePartnerships.aspx]

The NGA Support Team (NST) to the CIA "has been a powerful force in assimilating CIA into the National System for Geospatial Intelligence (NSG), integrating geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) into the CIA's processes, building collaborative partnerships, increasing NGA–CIA developmental opportunities and facilitating cross-training programs." Clark comment: Years after NPIC was unceremoniously ripped from the CIA and given to the military mapmakers, I expect building bridges between the DoD-controlled NGA and the CIA has taken both time and effort. No mention is made of what role GEOINT may be playing in the CIA's Predator program in Afghanistan.

Steiner, James E. "Restoring the Red Line Between Intelligence and Policy on Covert Action." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 19, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 156-165.

The author argues for recreating the CIA (renamed) as a covert action and HUMINT collection organization, while transferring its present analytic, open source, and technology development responsibilities to the DNI or other IC components. In this fashion, the policy aspects of covert action would be separated from intelligence, thereby restoring the "red line" between the two.

Stone, Kathryn [COL/USA]. "All Necessary Means" -- Employing CIA Operatives in a Warfighting Role Alongside Special Operations Forces. USAWC Strategic Research Project. Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College, 2003. [http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/stone.pdf]

From Abstract: "CIA paramilitary operatives have been performing a warfighting role alongside Special Operations Force (SOF) in the war against terrorism.... The paper concludes that integrated combat operations between the CIA and SOF are an appropriate template for warfare in certain situations, provided we develop and adhere to clear, well-stated criteria to manage this CIA-SOF warfighting relationship."

Theoharis, Athan, ed. The Central Intelligence Agency: Security under Scrutiny. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2006.

Peake, Studies 50.3 (Sep. 2006) and Intelligencer 15.2 (Fall-Winter 2006-2007), identifies this work as "a research guide to the Central Intelligence Agency from its origins in 1947 to the end of 2004." The reviewer notes that this book is "already out of date in terms of organization and key personnel assignments"; however, "it is the most current book available on the CIA.... There are no sources cited..., a peculiar omission considering it was written by scholars. Thus it must be viewed as tentative, and where a point of interest arises in its use, students should look to primary sources for validation."

Turner, Stansfield. Burn Before Reading: Presidents, CIA Directors, and Secret Intelligence. New York: Hyperion Books, 2005.

Clark comment: Beyond its ridiculous title, Admiral Turner's survey of the relationships between Presidents and their DCIs is relatively brief, reads easily, and is filled with insights from the perspective of one who has been there. It is not necessary to agree with Turner's take on the history of the DCIs and their presidents, nor with his view of what needs to be done, to acknowledge the importance of his thoughts on such matters.

DKR, AFIO WIN 34-05 (6 Sep. 2005), notes that President Carter's DCI believes that "very few presidents worked well with their DCIs. Relationships were often severely strained over matters of politics, personality and loyalty.... In Turner's view, the difficulties in relations between presidents and DCIs led directly to the agency failing to prevent 9/11 and its faulty views on Saddam Hussein’s WMD program."

For Peake, Studies 50.1 (Mar. 2006), this as "a very interesting book." The former DCI "has given us an insightful, top-down look at the relationships between all heads of American intelligence from William Donovan to George Tenet and the presidents they served." He "is unexpectedly candid in discussing" his tenure as DCI. The admiral "takes no glee in the fact that most of his recommendations" for increasing the DCI's authority to manage the Intelligence Community "were echoed in the 9/11 Commission Report.... In the end, Turner suggests that breaking up the CIA ... would be best for the nation.... There is historical food for thought and discussion here."

Hutchinson, IJI&C 19.3 (Fall 2006), finds that "[t]he two most prominent issues in Turner's book are his continuing distrust of the CIA's Directorate of Operations and his strong emphasis upon increasing the authority of the DCI, now the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), to match the responsibilities of the office." To Singley, DIJ 16.1 (2007), this work "must be given high marks overall for the information on the foundations" of the American Intelligence Community.

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