Category: Current Topics

Dismantling the Empire: America’s Last Best Hope


The essential theme of the book is that the U.S. must dismantle its empire or face a future of poverty and strife within a divided nation. As these essays were written over a period of five years, there is some reiteration of information – particularly on the military bases and their costs and effects on

LEGACY OF ASHES. The History of the CIA


“We went all over the world and we did what we wanted,” said Al Ulmer, the C.I.A.’s Far East division chief in the 1950s. “God, we had fun.” But even their successes turned out to be failures. In 1963, the C.I.A. backed a coup to install the Baath Party in Iraq. “We came to power

Tiger Trap: America’s Secret Spy War with China

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Chinese espionage against the U.S. since WWII has been mainly focused on two areas, which constitute the two major threads of Wise’s account: 1) stealing U.S. nuclear weapons data housed at Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, and 2) penetrating U.S. counterintelligence. According to Wise, over the past thirty years, China has acquired a

REVIEW: The Main Enemy. The Inside Story of the CIA’s Final Showdown with the KGB


By Milt Bearden and James Risen. New York: Random House, 2003. 563 pages, note on sources, index Bearden is a former 30 year senior officer of CIA’s clandestine service and Risen is a New York Times investigative reporter. This book covers CIA’s covert operations in Afghanistan to defeat the Soviets. The heart of this fascinating

REVIEW: Charlie Wilson’s War. The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History


By George Crile.  New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003. 550 pages, photos, index. FOR most of his 24-year career in the House of Representatives, Charles Wilson was known for his abiding fondness for hot tubs, women and Scotch whiskey. His friends at the Central Intelligence Agency said, only partly in jest, that the Texas Democrat's

REVIEW: The CIA At War. Inside the Secret Campaign Against Terror


By Ronald Kessler. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2003. 313 pages, endnotes, bibliography, photos, index Kessler, a New York Times journalist and best-selling author, gained impressive access to the CIA and recorded interviews with many of its highest officers, past and present. The result is the CIA at War, a tantalizing journey into the organization,

REVIEW: Intelligence in War. Knowledge of the Enemy from Napoleon to al Qaeada


Intelligence in War: Knowledge of the Enemy from Napoleon to Al-Qaeda By John Keegan.New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003. 387 pages. In his new book Intelligence in War, John Keegan asks the question of just how useful intelligence information is in wartime. His answers are at times surprising, but well supported by fact. Keegan examines

REVIEW: Fixing Intelligence. For a More Secure America


By Lt. Gen. William E. Odom, US Army, Ret. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002. 230 pages. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ There are two very important themes running through this book, and they earn the author a solid four stars and a “must read” recommendation. First, the author is correct and compellinging clear when he points out

REVIEW: Terror in the Name of God. Why Religious Militants Kill


By Jessica Stern. New York, NY: Harper Collins, 2003. 368 pages. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Those who support the current US administration's views about a global American empire; the demonization of terrorists and major efforts to hunt down and eradicate them will not suffer Jessica Stern gladly. Those who are inclined to discount all religion because of its

REVIEW: Baghdad’s Spy. A Personal Memoir of Espionage and Intrigue from Iraq to London

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By Corinne Souza. Edinburgh, Scotland: Mainstream Publishing, 2003. 238 pages, bibliography, photos, no index. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Baghdad’s Spy was first published by Mainstream Publishing Company (Edinburgh) Ltd in 2003. This article is based on the 2004 edition.   Baghdad’s Spy is a portrait of espionage as told from the perspective of the daughter of a senior

REVIEW: Intelligence and The War In Bosnia 1992-1995


By Cees Wiebes. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2003. 463 pages, index. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ In 1994, a battalion of Dutch troops arrived in eastern Bosnia on a peacekeeping mission as part of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR). The Dutch area of responsibility included the nearby town of Srebrenica that was controlled by the Bosnian Muslim

REVIEW: Democracy, Law and Security. Internal Security Services in Contemporary Europe


By Jean-Paul Brodeur, Peter Gill, and Dennis Töllborg, eds.  New York: NY:  Columbia University Press, 2003.  354 pages. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The academic attention to intelligence as a factor in international relations and domestic security has increased markedly in the last twenty years, and this book is a good example.  The editors of have drawn from papers

REVIEW: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the CIA


By Allan Swenson and Michael Benson.  Indianapolis, IN:  Alpha Books, 2003.  315 pages. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The Guide to the CIA is a lighthearted, if not flippant, treatment of a subject well known to most Studies in Intelligence readers, though it should be of value to family members, friends, students, potential employees, and interested laymen.  Although filled

REVIEW: Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror


By Rohan Gunaratna.  New York, NY:  Columbia University Press, 2002.  276 pages _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Rohan Gunaratna is a research fellow at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland and an honorary fellow at the International Policy Institute for Counter-terrorism in Israel.  He has also consulted

REVIEW: Security Intelligence Services in New Democracies. The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania


By Kieran Williams and Dennis Deletant. London: Palgrave, in association with the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, 2001. 291 pages Reviewed by John A. Wiant In the early 1990s, following the collapse of communism, US policy concentrated on promoting the democratization of the new governments that emerged. There was keen