REVIEW: Paradoxes of Strategic Intelligence. Essays in Honor of Michael I. Handel.


By Richard K. Betts and Thomas G. Mahnken, eds.  London, UK: Frank Cass, 2003. 210 pages, end-of-chapter notes, index.


This volume will come as no surprise to those who knew the late Michael Handel, technically a political scientist but more a historian, who was an expert on military intelligence and an authority on the theory of strategic surprise. While teaching at the Naval War College, Handel was caught by tactical surprise in his own life when he was given only a few months to live. But, with characteristic zest, he worked to shape the conference at which the papers in this volume were presented after his death.

Michael Handel received his Ph.D. from Harvard, and then achieved tenure at Hebrew University in Israel. Subsequently, he took US citizenship, returned to the United States, and taught at the Army War College until 1990, when he joined the faculty at the Naval War College. Among his many books and accomplishments was the founding, with Cambridge professor Christopher Andrew, of the journal Intelligence and National Security, which has provided a scholarly forum for the publication of serious research on intelligence since 1986.

Of the seven original articles in Betts and Mahnken's collection, the first is by Handel himself on "Intelligence and the Problem of Strategic Surprise." The other six are in honor of this original thinker, writer, and teacher, and draw on his work. Two are by CIA officers–Woodrow J. Kuhns, the Deputy Director of the Center for the Study of Intelligence, and Mark M. Lowenthal, Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production. Kuhns writes on "Intelligence Failures: Forecasting and the..

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