Informing Statecraft: Intelligence for a New Century

ISBN 10: 0029119154 / ISBN 13: 9780029119150
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Synopsis: Codevilla argues that US intelligence, comprising the remnants of World War II and the Vietnam War, is out of touch with political conditions in the 1990s. He warns that intelligence failures in the past pale in comparison with the deep malaise affecting the entire service today.

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.

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