UNITED KINGDOM

Post-Cold War

General

A - D

Aldrich, Richard J. "Whitehall and the Iraq War: The UK's Four Intelligence Enquiries." Irish Studies in International Affairs 16, no.1 (2005): 73-88.

"During a period of twelve months, between July 2003 and July 2004, Whitehall and Westminster produced no less than four different intelligence enquiries.... Although the intensity of the debate about connections between Britain's intelligence community and members of the core executive was considerable, the overall results were less than impressive.... [Nonetheless,] these enquiries generated fascinating material. Imperfect as they are, they tell us much about the current UK intelligence system."

Andrew, Christopher. "The British View of Security and Intelligence." In Security and Intelligence in a Changing World: New Perspectves for the 1990s, eds. A. Stuart Farson, David Stafford, and Wesley K. Wark. London and Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 1991.

Born, Hans, and Marina Caparini, eds. Democratic Control of Intelligence Services: Containing Rogue Elephants. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007.

According to Peake, Studies 52.1 (Mar. 2008) and Intelligencer 16.1 (Spring 2008), four Western (France, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and five former Soviet bloc (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Romania) countries are discussed; there are also articles discussing "the fundamental principles of oversight." Although this work "looks closely at what has been and what needs to be done, it does not address the practical problem of the qualifications of those doing the oversight."

Born, Hans, Loch K. Johnson, and Ian Leigh, eds. Who's Watching the Spies? Establishing Intelligence Service Accountability. Dulles, VA: Potomac, 2005.

From publisher: The authors "examine the strengths and weaknesses of the intelligence systems of Argentina, Canada, Germany, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States."

Peake, Studies 50.2 (2006), comments that "[t]he experiences of each nation provide an interesting mosaic of desired goals and problems of implementation.... It is a timely topic and worth the attention of all those who must deal with these issues everyday as well as the general public whose civil rights are affected when oversight is too robust or inadequate." To Jacoby, DIJ 16.2 (2007), this work "succeeds greatly as an informative source on the workings of current intelligence oversight systems." However, "[t]he reader is left wanting recommendations and commentary on the ethics of intelligence oversight."

For Winn, Parameters, Summer 2006, this "valuable contribution ... addresses the central criteria that should be taken into account by any nation or international organization that hopes to place intelligence agencies under democratic supervision.... [T]he objectives are to ensure that intelligence and security agencies are insulated from political abuse, but not isolated from executive governance."

Brown, I&NS 21.6 (Dec. 2006), finds this work to be "a diappointment. Most of the material is dry and sometimes soporific. It is also biased toward the advocates of intelligence accountability," in that the "essays all address the positives of such a program, but not the negatives.... A debate format would have been much more appropriate..., and could have easily been accomplished by excluding numerous irrelevant and tedious essays."

Brodeur, Jean-Paul, Peter Gill, and Dennis Töllborg, eds. Democracy, Law and Security:  Internal Security Services in Contemporary Europe.  New York:  Columbia University Press, 2003. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003.

Peake, Studies 47.3, notes that this work is "drawn from papers presented at two symposia in Gothenburg, Sweden, that compare intelligence services in 10 countries:  Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.  The various chapters look at historical, organizational, and political differences.... In most cases, very little has been published in English about the services discussed, and that enhances the book's importance.  For students of intelligence, and especially counterintelligence, this is a very worthwhile contribution."

For Henderson, IJI&C 17.3, this work "provides useful background reference material on several less well-known European domestic security systems." However, "the index and bibliography ... are generally weak"; and the "collection lacks, except for Spain, organizational charts for the various national communities and individual services."

Bruneau, Thomas C., and Steven C. Boraz, eds. Reforming Intelligence: Obstacles to Democratic Control and Effectiveness. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2007.

According to Peake, Studies 52.1 (Mar. 2008) and Intelligencer 16.1 (Spring 2008), this book's 13 chapters include "studies that discuss democratic control and effectiveness in three Western nations -- the United States, the United Kingdom, and France -- and seven new democracies -- Brazil, Taiwan, Argentina, Romania, South Africa, Russia, and the Philippines." Reforming Intelligence "is well documented, well written, and should serve as a foundation for studying this persistent problem."

Reddig, NIPQ 23.4 (Sep. 2007), calls this a "useful and thought provoking compendium of case studies," dealing with "the challenge of maintaining an intelligence establishment in a democratic framework." For Skarstedt, NIJ 1.1 (2009), "[a]ll of the authors provide outstanding analysis of their various subjects, and this book is a comprehensive study of intelligence reform and its problems. The commoin theme shared by all of the authors is that intelligence must be closely controlled."

Coole, Diana. "Agency, Truth and Meaning: Judging the Hutton Report." British Journal of Political Science 35, no. 3 (Jul. 2005): 465-485. [Marlatt]

Corera, Gordon. The Art of Betrayal: Life and Death in the British Secret Service. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2011.

Coughlin, Telegraph (London), 5 Sep. 2011, calls this a "highly readable and well-researched account" of MI6. The author believes that "a desire to justify its existence" after the end of the Cold War "led MI6 to form its disastrous alliance with Tony Blair in the build-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.... [T]he entire justification made by the Blair government for removing Saddam [Hussein] was a sham and MI6 deserves most of the blame for this, for allowing raw intelligence to be politicised." For Peake, Studies 56.1 (Mar. 2012) and Intelligencer 19.2 (Summer-Fall 2012), this is "[a] fine overview, well told and well documented."

To West, IJI&C 25.2 (Summer 2012), this book "manifests some attributes that set it apart from its competition. First, a couple of cases ... have not been documented elsewhere. Then come the detailed, directly quoted recollections of a small group of SIS retirees." Nevertheless, "sufficient slips suggest that some of Corera's knowledge is a little shallow." While this work "emphatically is not a comprehensive history of the postwar era," it is "a very readable account," and "is generally accurate."

Cowell, Alan S. The Terminal Spy: A True Story of Espionage, Betrayal, and Murder. New York: Broadway, 2008.

de Waal, Washington Post Book World, 27 Jul. 2008, finds that the author "has done an excellent job of reconstructing [Alexander] Litvinenko's last days, the police investigation and the background to the case.... The trouble is that Cowell's dogged reporting ... gets him only so far before the trail disappears in a blizzard of evasions and denials in Moscow.... Deprived of a satisfying end to his quest, Cowell infuses his story with a thriller atmosphere that sometimes seems forced.... We are also led down many detours of dubious relevance." For Peake, Studies 54.2 (Jun. 2010) and Intelligencer 18.1 (Fall-Winter 2010), the author's "independent account brings objectivity to the saga" that other writers have not.

Danchev, Alex. "The Reckoning: Official Inquiries and the Iraq War." Intelligence and National Security 19, no. 3 (Autumn 2004): 436-466.

This relatively detailed article "[f]ocus[es] on Britain, and especially on the inquiries led by Lord Hutton and Lord Butler."

Davies, Philip H.J.

1. "A Critical Look at Britain's Spy Machinery." Studies in Intelligence 49, no. 4 (2005): 41-54.

"[T]he malaise in Requirements [tasking, validation, and dissemination] that led to the intelligence failure on Iraqi WMD represents an even deeper, longer-term trend in the management of SIS than the Butler review identified."

2. "Discredited or Betrayed? British Intelligence, Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destuction." In The Search for WMD: Non-Proliferation, Intelligence and Pre-emption in the New Security Environment, ed. Graham F. Walker, 151-172. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Dalhousie University Centre for Foreign Policy Studies, 2006.

3. "Intelligence Culture and Intelligence Failure in Britain and the United States." Cambridge Review of International Affairs 17, no. 3 (Oct. 2004): 495-520.

From abstract: The intelligence systems of the United States and the United Kingdom "share very common methods, technologies and resources and have closely aligned political cultures and histories, and yet one can still find between them profound and consistent differences." The author uses for his discussion "selected examples of intelligence failure in the two systems, in the US case looking at the September 11 terrorist attacks and for Britain at the Falkland Islands invasion, followed by the common failure to generate accurate assessments of Iraq's capability in non-conventional weapons prior to March 2003."

4. "Twilight of Britain's Joint Intelligence Committee?" International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 24, no. 3 (Fall 2011): 427-446.

"Since the summer of 2009, in particular, the JIO's functions have been steadily divided and redistributed within the Cabinet Office, and the JIC has itself been increasingly marginalized and ineffectual."

Dover, Robert M. "A Silent Debate: The Role of Intelligence in the UK Arms Trade." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 19, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 110-119.

"Strong circumstantial evidence suggests that intelligence officers and the various intelligence services do play a large role in securing, supporting, and facilitating exports" of arms. The author believes that there is good justiification for such an involvement, and argues that it should be more open.

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