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While several fine texts on intelligence have been published over the past decade, there is no complementary set of volumes that addresses the subject in a comprehensive manner for the general reader. This major set explains how the sixteen major U.S. intelligence agencies operate, how they collect information from around the world, the problems they face in providing further insight into this raw information through the techniques of analysis, and the difficulties that accompany the dissemination of intelligence to policymakers in a timely manner. Further, in a democracy it is important to have accountability over secret agencies and to consider some ethical benchmarks in carrying out clandestine operations. In addition to intelligence collection and analysis and the subject of intelligence accountability, this set addresses the challenges of counterintelligence and counterterrorism, as well covert action. Further, it provides comparisons regarding the various approaches to intelligence adopted by other nations around the world. Its five volumes underscore the history, the politics, and the policies needed for a solid comprehension of how the U.S. intelligence community functions in the modern age of globalization, characterized by a rapid flow of information across national boundaries.
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"This collection of 49 original essays edited by Johnson (political science, Univ. of Georgia) focuses mostly on how the 16 major U.S. intelligence agencies operate in the current dangerous environment of terrorism and globalization. Five topical volumes cover such issues as hidden bureaucracy, the intelligence cycle, covert action, counterintelligence, and accountability....While most other collections of this type are miscellaneous case studies or historical essays, this sturdily bound set is mostly about the present or very recent situation and about projections for the immediate future. It clearly conveys how politics and personalities adversely affect procedures and results. Appropriate for assigned course readings, this set will be of most interest to academic libraries, where it can complement the many specialized monographs already on the shelves. [Also available as an ebook]" - Library Journal
"The books provide an excellent reference for students of the military, political affairs, foreign policy, or strategic planning. The supporting notes at the end of each chapter are especially helpful and should not be overlooked by the reader." - Parameters
"College-level specialty collections strong in military and political studies of foreign policy and strategy will find essential the in-depth, five-volume set Strategic Intelligence: Understanding the Hidden Side of Government. Here's a comprehensive survey of how the sixteen major U.S. intelligence agencies operate, how they collect information from around the world, and how they meet special challenges. Chapters analyze the intelligence community and both overt and covert actions, examining different approaches to intelligence and its management and policies and including a concurrent history of the politics and policies of the community. No serious college-level or specialty military collection should be without this in-depth reference." - Midwest Book Review - California Bookwatch
"Johnson brings together contributors from academia, intelligence agencies and other government organizations, think tanks, and the legal professions for this five-volume overview of the current status of the field of intelligence studies." - Reference & Research Book News
In a democracy it is important to have civilian accountability over secret agencies and to consider what ethical benchmarks they use in carrying out clandestine operations. While several fine texts on intelligence have been published over the past decade, there is no complementary set of volumes that addresses the subject in a comprehensive manner for the general reader. This is that set. Within these five volumes, experts explain how the 15 major U.S. intelligence agencies operate, how they collect information from around the world, the problems they face in providing insight into this "raw" information through the techniques of analysis, and the difficulties that accompany the dissemination of intelligence to policymakers in a timely manner. In addition to intelligence collection and analysis, the set addresses counterintelligence and covert action, as well as providing comparisons of U.S. intelligence to the approaches adopted by other nations around the world.It emphasizes the history, the politics, and the policies that are part and parcel of a solid understanding of how the Central Intelligence Agency and its 14 allied agencies function in the modern era - an "Information Age" characterized by the rapid flow of data around the globe. Volume 1: "Understanding the Hidden Side of Government" - As the intelligence failures related to the 9/11 attacks and the misjudgements over weapons of mass destruction in Iraq attest, good intelligence is vital to America's security. Yet it has been neglected as a discipline for scholarly analysis. Recently, however, leading researchers have turned their attention to this subject. The opening volume in this set presents an array of approaches they have used to shed light on the place of intelligence in national security studies. Volume 2: "The Intelligence Cycle: The Flow of Secret Information from Overseas to the Highest Councils of Government" - The intelligence cycle is a conceptual framework useful for tracing how intelligence moves from espionage agents and surveillance satellites to policymakers in the White House and other high councils where decisions are made.Among the dangers in this sequence: guarding against the distortion of intelligence by decision makers who seek information to support their policy aspirations - the "cooking" of intelligence. Volume 3: "Covert Action: Behind the Veils of Secret Foreign Policy" - Military action, diplomacy, and economic inducements are not the only instruments of foreign policy; a nation can call upon its intelligence agencies to manipulate events and people through clandestine propaganda, political and economic operations, and paramilitary activities - the focus of this volume. Here is the most controversial side of intelligence. Volume 4: "Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism: Defending the Nation against Hostile Forces" - Every nation tries to protect its secrets and its government against hostile intelligence services and terrorist organizations. These defenses can be as simple as barbed wire fences around intelligence agencies and as complicated as trying to penetrate the enemy camp with a "mole." It is a world of agents and double agents, a wilderness of mirrors, where deceit and disguise are the coin of the realm.Volume 5: "Intelligence and Accountability: Safeguards against the Abuse of Secret Power Intelligence and the Quest for Security" - Intelligence agencies provide a vital shield against threats from abroad and at home, indeed, "the first line of defense," according to a number of U.S. presidents. Yet, they can also pose a danger to democracy because of their secrecy and their awesome powers of surveillance. More than once, intelligence agencies even in robust democracies have been found in violation of civil liberties. To protect the people against the misuse of secret power, nations - and particularly the United States - have adopted measures to guard against illegal activities by their intelligence services.
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