POST-COLD WAR

2000s

General

Pf - R

 

Pfiffner, James P., and Mark Phythian, eds. Intelligence and National Security Policymaking on Iraq: British and American Perspectives. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2008.

Peake, Studies 54.1 (Mar. 2010), finds that this is an "uncommonly fine selection of 13 articles and supporting documents dealing with the key issues and personalities involved.... The tone of the book is positive, which is not to say that one will agree with every assertion." The book's subtitle is misleading, since it does not mention "the Australian experience that is nicely formulated in a chapter by Professor Rodney Tiffen of the University of Sydney. But overall, this is an excellent book that analyzes, objectively and dispassionately, some of the worst experiences of intelligence professionals and decision makers."

Phythian, Mark. "The Perfect Intelligence Failure? U.S. Pre-War Intelligence on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction." Politics & Policy 34, no. 2 (Jun. 2006): 400–424.

"Through analyses of the findings of the reports of the 2004 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and President Bush's Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, this article finds failures occurring at numerous points across the intelligence cycle including, despite the conclusions of these two inquiries, the policy-maker level."

Posner, Richard A. Uncertain Shield: The U.S. Intelligence System in the Throes of Reform. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006.

Clark comment: It is not necessary to agree with every conclusion that Judge Posner reaches in Uncertain Shield to appreciate and respect the intellectual vigor behind his analysis. He sweeps widely across multiple disciplines -- from organizational theory, to economics, to mathematics, to constitutional analysis -- to show how wrong the 9/11 and WMD commissions were in their analyses and conclusions and how wrongheaded the rush to pass the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 really was.

Moskowitz, Studies 50.3 (Sep. 2006), says that the author "brings a fresh and welcome perspective to hoary intelligence issues,... but it is [his] intelligence and common sense that keeps you reading." Posner's "book is full of telling judgments about the process, the people, and the sheer ignorance that brought us the reorganization of the Intelligence Community in 2005."

For Reveron, DIJ 15.1 (2006), much of Posner's criticism of the FBI is flawed and/or out of date. The reviewer argues that Posner's research "better reflects the pre-9/11 or Louis Freeh FBI than today's FBI.... Things have been changing at the FBI, and Posner does not capture these changes in his critique."

Richelson, IJI&C 20.2 (Summer 2007), seems to feel that the author has failed to develop fully too many of the cases he presents to buttress his arguments. However, Posner presents "a challenging look at the problems facing U.S. intelligence ... without a simple reliance on conventional wisdom and preconceived notions about how to deal with those problems."

Another IJI&C reviewer, Chapman, IJI&C 20.2 (Summer 2007), sees Uncertain Shield as "a wild ride." The reviewer sides with Posner in his defense of the CIA on the 9/11 issue, but believes "Posner's defense of the pre-Iraq war intelligence ... flies against the wind." Chapman finds the idea of a possible domestic intelligence agency "a slippery road to travel." And putting such an agency under the Department of Homeland Security, as Posner suggests, would be "one more agency under" a DHS "that's [already] so obese it can't move."

Lowenthal, IAFIE News 1, no. 2 (Winter 2008), calls this "a guide on 'how to' appraise what is happening, make a prognosis on where the process is going, consider various aspects that might be encountered along the way, and offer constructive well poised input." At times, however, the work "suffers from bouts of convolutions -- undoubtedly reflective of the difficulties in analyzing 'how to' do something."

Poteat, S. Eugene. "The Use and Abuse of Intelligence: An Intelligence Provider's Perspective." Diplomacy and Statecraft 11 (2000): 1-16.

Pritchard, Matthew C., and Michael S. Goodman. "Intelligence: The Loss of Innocence." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 22, no. 1 (Spring 2009): 147-164.

"Knowledge and imagination normally nourish each other, but the intelligence discipline has yet to capture this critical interplay. The profession thereby fails to harness a symbiotic tension habitually exploited by great thinkers in all fields."

Quinn, James L., Jr. "Staffing the Intelligence Community: The Pros and Cons of an Intelligence Reserve." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 13, no. 2 (Summer 2000): 160-170.

"Before an effective [civilian] IC reserve can be created, numerous issues must be resolved, including centralization, scope, training, and counterintelligence. Most importantly, costs must be resolved before final decisions can be made."

Rathmell, Andrew. "Towards Postmodern Intelligence." Intelligence and National Security 17, no. 3 (Autumn 2002): 87-104.

"While the concept of postmodern Intelligence may not, by itself, adequately characterise all facets of the contemporary Intelligence environment, the term does provide a valuable conceptual framework within which change can be managed and Intelligence sources and methods can be adapted to a new era."

Richelson, Jeffrey T. "The Office That Never Was: The Failed Creation of the National Applications Office." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 24, no. 1 (Spring 2011): 65-118.

"Numerous potential explanations for the failure to establish the National Applications Office are possible. Certainly, the attempt to make requests from law enforcement for data from classified satellites routine ... was a key factor.... [T]he comments from some of the witnesses at the September 2007 hearings, remarks made by members of Congress, and the concerns raised by representatives of privacy and civil liberties groups indicated that fears of current or future satellite capabilities and their ability to invade private areas ... extended beyond individuals who obsess about black helicopters."

Ritter, Scott. Iraq Confidential: The Untold Story of the Intelligence Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam Hussein. New York: Nation Books, 2005.

Peake, Studies 50.2 (2006), comments that "Ritter’s story of the problems experienced by the inspection team is interesting but not new. His depiction of the primacy of his role in the events is surprising and unlikely to be accepted by others familiar with the situation.... Iraq Confidential should be read with caution."

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