Informing Statecraft: Intelligence for a New Century

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9780029119150: Informing Statecraft: Intelligence for a New Century
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Provides some suggestions for revamping the American intelligence network, which has evolved erratically since the Vietnam War and is now desperately outdated in its methods

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Intelligence gathering explained and critiqued by Codevilla (Senior Research Fellow/Hoover Institution). Statecraft works with information, and our intelligence community is not providing the relevant information: This is Codevilla's thesis, and in developing it he offers a balanced history of intelligence, as well as some criticisms of the US intelligence community. For those who wonder how the U-2 happened to be over Russia as Eisenhower was traveling to meet Khrushchev, why Cuba was considered ripe for the picking, who was minding the store when we entered Vietnam, or how a Soviet spy might re-defect while he's with his keepers, this is a satisfying study. As a senior staff member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 1977-85, Codevilla knows where some bodies are buried--but along with nifty bits (how Lenin was spirited into Russia as an antidote to the Mensheviks; how JFK's five-day hesitation after learning of the Cuban missile sites could have proved disastrous if missile installation had been prompt), the author provides important historical context, defines the vocabulary of information and clarifies its types, and breaks down intelligence in a way that enables a reader to grasp what lies behind the squirmings of CIA men as they face Congress from time to time. Informative, and lightened by brisk, even breezy writing (``If the facts are irrelevant they are a total drag''; ``There is a difference between intelligence and voyeurism'')--but the tone of tolerant amusement removes any sense of urgency; in fact, one might see this study as a subtle apologia for agencies that sometimes defy Congress and act with little control. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

The fruit of many years' experience of intelligence service, this is a masterful exploration of the field, its critical role in statecraft and the principles underlying its use and misuse. Codevilla, senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution, argues that the American apparatus for collecting information, countering hostile intelligence, analyzing information and conducting covert operations developed in a random fashion without reference to underlying precepts. He contends that with notable exceptions U.S. intelligence has "usually failed," and he expresses astonishment at how unreflective those in charge of policy have been. In this closely reasoned, authoritative study, Codevilla conveys skepticism about the usefulness of spies, the efficacy of the CIA and the value of secret operations: "American covert action has made little difference in the world."
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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