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Analyzing Intelligence: Origins, Obstacles, and Innovations Paperback – Feb 14 2014
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"This impressive collection, by an unusually well-qualified array of practitioners, is unrivaled. It is the most comprehensive survey and investigation of the role, challenges, and quality of intelligence analysis, and its topical organization gets far past the basics and into the subtle aspects of the business." -- Richard K. Betts "director of the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, Columbia University"
"Analyzing Intelligence offers a sophisticated overview of the history, performance, and practice of intelligence analysis. The contributors explore why good analysis is extraordinarily difficult and how changing threats, technologies, and expectations are shaping the intelligence profession." -- James J. Wirtz
"This impressive collection, by an unusually well-qualified array of practitioners, is unrivaled. It is most comprehensive survey and investigation of the role, challenges, and quality of intelligence analysis, and its topical organization gets far past the basics and into the subtle aspects of the business. I wish I'd had it when I wrote my own book." -- Richard K. Betts
"This collection of essays is the most wide-ranging introduction to the vital craft of American intelligence analysis that has ever been published for the general audience of peers, scholars, and students. As editors, George and Bruce both exemplify and advance the professional standards they preach. Readers will find plenty of healthy self-criticism and recognition of problems. Yet readers may end up questioning some preconceptions of their own as they encounter essays that knock down some caricatures and corrosive myths that too often dominate contemporary discussion of intelligence issues." -- Philip Zelikow
" "Analyzing Intelligence" is the most comprehensive book on the subject to date -- a really valuable treatment for those anticipating becoming an intelligence analyst, as well as for those who already are." -- "Studies in Intelligence"
"[A] practical and wide-ranging study of intelligence analysis. The editors have done a superb job of seamlessly editing the work of a number of the world's recognized experts of intelligence gathering and analysis. Of special interest to readers should be those chapters related to the relationship between analysts and national-level security and policymakers. This book will be an invaluable resource for future analysts and those professionals currently involved in overcoming the enduring challenges associated with the role of intelligence in a free society." -- "Parameters"
"Law and policy recognize that intelligence is the strategic pivot of the current fight [against terrorism], so readers of "Proceedings" who seek a deeper understanding of how we might wage war more effectively should put "Analyzing Intelligence" at the top of their reading list." -- "Proceedings"
"Law and policy recogni
About the Author
Roger Z. George is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and is currently a senior analyst at the CIA's Global Futures Partnership. He is a career CIA intelligence analyst who has served at the Departments of State and Defense and has been the National Intelligence Officer for Europe. He has taught at the National War College and other private universities and is coeditor of "Intelligence and the National Security Strategist: Enduring Issues and Challenges."
James B. Bruce is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. He is a retired career CIA intelligence analyst who has served with the National Intelligence Council, within the Directorates of Intelligence and Operations, and has worked extensively with other intelligence community organizations. He has taught at the National War College and has authored numerous studies on intelligence and deception.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Several chapters by themselves would be worth the price of the book: John McLaughlin's chapter on dealing with the policymaker customer; Dick Kerr's chapter on the CIA analysis history; or Jack Davis' chapter on analytic pitfalls, among others.
The book reflects the political and military analytic background of the contributors. Consequently, it gives less attention to the economic and S&T/weapons systems analysis perspective - not a serious flaw, since these are rather specialized fields of analysis having a distinct customer set. The only chapter that could be substantially improved is the one of military intelligence analysis, which spends too much space lamenting the lack of respect accorded to military intelligence analysis and insufficient space in discussing what it really is all about. Overall, this book is a major contribution to the intelligence literature and should be on every analyst's bookshelf.
Well researched, and thoroughly cited by the intelligence professionals who wrote each essay, it is a collection of essays about intelligence analysis, but more about the circumstances that surround analysts, and approaches to dealing with the challenges that arise in these circumstances. Of the eighteen articles, only three directly addressed analysis, the rest dealt with organizational challenges, the relationship between policy makers and analysts, the management of analysts, and other arcane concerns. This was one of the merits of this book; it brings some of the occult practices of the intelligence world into the light where citizens can gain some insight into processes that determine the fate of our nation. The experiences the authors share give perspectives on historical events that seldom get heard in the mainstream histories and popular accounts.
On the other hand, the authors are mostly CIA (at least 12 out of 18), and all with extensive experience inside the Beltway. Consistently, I got the impression that this work was much more about asserting the superiority of CIA analysts than about nominal subjects of the essays. Sherman Kent And The Board Of National Estimates: Collected Essays did more to impress me with the competence of the CIA than this work, and Richards Heuer's Psychology of Intelligence Analysis was much more informative about the challenges and approaches to addressing those challenges. Several times I got the impression that there was a degree of bitterness; "What I could have done if..." sort of comments. This detracted from the appearence of professionalism in the essays where it appeared.
It is a good work, relatively current (2 years old as I write), and a source of insights into recent history and the dynamics of the intelligence community. The perception of being written by a closed circle and the negative tone distracted and detracted from the tone of the collection though, and makes it difficult for me to recommend it.
E. M. Van Court
If you are an analyst or a trainer of analysts or a manager of analysts, this is assuredly essential reading, but it perpetuates my long-standing concerns about American intelligence:
1) Lack of a strategic analytic model (see Earth Intelligence Network)
2) Lack of deep historical and multi-cultural appreciation
3) Lack of a deep understanding and necessary voice on the complete inadequacy of collection sources, the zero presence of processing and lack of desktop analytic tools, and the need for ABSOLUTE devotion to the truth, not--as is still the case, "within the reasonable bounds of dishonesty" aka "slam dunk"
4) Lack of integrity in so many ways, not least of which is the analytic abject acceptance of the false premise that the best intelligence is top secret/sensitive compartmented information--see the online CounterPunch piece on "Intelligence for the President--AND Everyone Else."
Below are ten books I recommend as substantive complements to this book:
The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past
Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth'
Fog Facts : Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin (Nation Books)
The Age of Missing Information (Plume)
Bureaucratic Politics And Foreign Policy
A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility--Report of the Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change
Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America