Intelligence in Public Literature

Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf

Compiled and reviewed by Hayden Peake

America’s Dream Palace: Middle East Expertise and the Rise of the National Security State, by Osamah F. Khalil

The Exile: The Stunning Inside Story of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Flight, by Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy

The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior, by Robert O’Neill

A Legacy of Spies, by John le Carré

American Covert Operations: A Guide to the Issues, by J. Ransom Clark

Intelligence Engineering: Operating Beyond the Conventional, by Adam D. M. Svendsen

Intelligence Success & Failure: The Human Factor, by Uri Bar-Joseph and Rose McDermott

Special Operations from a Small State Perspective: Future Security Challenges, edited by Gunilla Eriksson and Ulrica Pettersson

Working on the Dark Side of the Moon: Life Inside the National Security Agency, by Thomas Reed Willemain

The Anatomy of a Traitor: A History of Espionage and Betrayal, by Michael Smith

The Foundation of the CIA: Harry Truman, The Missouri Gang, and the Origins of the Cold War, by Richard E. Schroeder

Game of Spies: The Secret Agent, The Traitor, and The Nazi, by Paddy Ashdown in collaboration with Sylvie Young

The Secret Cold War: The Official History of ASIO, 1975–1989, Volume III,
by John Blaxland and Rhys Crawley

Spynest: British and German Espionage from Neutral Holland 1914–1918, by Edwin Ruis

America’s Dream Palace: Middle East Expertise and the Rise of the National Security State, by Osamah F. Khalil. (Harvard University Press, 2016) 426, endnotes, bibliography, index.

By 1902, Capt. Alfred Thayer Mahan, US Navy, had achieved an international reputation as a naval strategist, and he is often credited with coining the term “Middle East,” though as University of Syracuse professor Osamah Khalil notes in America’s Dream Palace, the phrase had appeared earlier. (297)[1] Khalil asserts that Mahan’s influence on the subject of the Middle East was eventually surpassed by T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), in part due to his book, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, that “became an instant classic . . . [though the fact that] it exaggerated Lawrence’s role and bordered on fiction was irrelevant.” Despite the latter gratuitous and unsupported comment, Khalil then quotes Lawrence’s reference to the Arab Revolt: “I meant to make a new nation, to restore a lost influence, to give twenty millions of Semites the foundation on which to build an inspired dream-palace of their national thoughts.” Without further explanation, Khalil borrows the rather ambiguous term “dream palace.”[2] (2) It was Lawrence, he writes, who “became a shared reference point for American scholar-spies during World War II and counterinsurgency experts in the 21st century. The dream palace that Lawrence actually inspired, Khalil then suggests, “was America’s conception and construction of the Middle East.” America’s Dream Palace examines this proposition while conveying “a story about missionaries, spies, and soldiers, and the dream palace they created” to deal with the Middle East. (3)

The principal focus of the book is how US foreign policy shaped the development of expertise in this important, turbulent, and poorly understood region of the world. Khalil argues that before World War II the United States was content to rely on Christian missionaries, Orientalist scholars, and commercial contacts to provide what it needed to know about the Middle East.

Toward that end, these groups founded the American University of Cairo and the American University of Beirut, both of which would later become rich sources of knowledge. To meet a more urgent requirement toward the end of World War I, however, an ad hoc but somewhat unsatisfactory solution was found. President Wilson’s confidant, Edward House, organized a group of experts dubbed The Inquiry to assist the president at the peace negotiations. Among its inadequate results, the Orientalists members “concluded that Muslims and Arabs were incapable of self-rule,” (10) a view that Wilson accepted, revealing inexperience all around—no one realized it.

During World War II, William Donovan tapped academic experts for service in the OSS. The arrangement worked well and established relationships that carried over to the post-war era. At the onset of the Cold War, when America’s national security requirements demanded dedicated professionals devoted to Middle East affairs, new relationships with prestigious universities like Harvard, Princeton, and MIT were formed, and with the passage of the National Defense Education Act of 1958, the universities created Middle East study programs that addressed security requirements from the State Department and the CIA.

Trouble surfaced with this arrangement in 1964 with the publication of The Invisible Government, by David Wise and Thomas Ross (Random House, 1964). (174) The book revealed “the two-way relationship between academic institutions and the CIA and the State department.” These problems were later exacerbated by revelations published in Ramparts magazine and the New York Times concerning CIA support to student groups and cultural organizations. All this was playing out in the divisive atmosphere of the Vietnam War.

These developments, writes Khalil, led to a breakdown in the relationship between the government and academics, who gradually backed away from government programs and the secrecy these programs imposed. Correspondingly, a decline in the number of area studies programs at colleges ensued, and the 1960s saw an exodus of academic expertise to think tanks, where it was possible to address topics of national security without triggering the tensions around social responsibility that often led to public protest.

America’s Dream Palace tracks the rise of policy-related think tanks in the late- and post-Cold War period at “the expense of university-based area studies centers.” Khalil argues that “think tank-based experts were often ideologically predisposed to ensure alignment with US foreign policy goals and interests.” (251) But government agencies, think tanks and Middle East scholars missed or discounted the threat of terrorism. (274) This is particularly evident after 9/11, the ensuing war on terror, and the Iraq War—topics he pursues at some length. Attempts to improve the situation have resulted in programs that once again involve both the US military and American social scientists and are aimed at “obtaining a better understanding of social and cultural issues in combat areas,” though funding and staffing problems continue to haunt some private Middle East study centers. (276–80) On the other hand, many universities are establishing campuses in the Persian Gulf region and some Persian Gulf states are funding Washington think tanks. (288)

Khalil is uncertain as to the nature and future of the government, the think tank, and academic relationship, but he appears to hope for some sort of reconciliation to the benefit of both. The likelihood of that is uncertain, he concludes, because much of the data necessary to decide has not been released: we “have taken secrecy to new levels.” (295) America’s unreal conception and construction of the Middle East will continue to dominate—or, to quote Khalil, “as American involvement in the Middle East deepens, it appears the dream palace will remain.” (295)

A different perspective on the problem.

The Exile: The Stunning Inside Story of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Flight, by Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy. (Bloomsbury, 2017) 619, endnotes, photos, index.

Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy are British investigative journalists with extensive experience in Pakistan and the Middle East. Their book, The Siege: 68 Hours Inside the Hotel Taj (Penguin, 2013), told the story of the terrorist attack on the Taj Hotel in Mumbai in 2008. The Exile probes multiple themes, starting with Osama Bin Laden’s and his cohorts’ planning and reacting to the 9/11 attack. This is followed by an account of their escape to Pakistan, the search for a safehaven, and finally Bin Laden’s demise in Abbottabad.

Woven among those events are several other story lines. One deals with the power struggles among al Qaeda’s leaders as Bin Laden battles to maintain his position from afar while promoting further acts of terrorism. Another concerns the complex relations within Bin Ladin’s large extended family, the families of his closest followers, and the often wretched conditions of their fugitive existence.

Unlike other books that address these topics, the authors do not rely mainly on Western sources. They provide a unique perspective by drawing on contacts developed during their years in the Middle East. These include members of “Osama’s family, friends, mentors, companions, factotums, security chiefs, and religious and media advisers.” (xviii) The result, as the subtitle claims, is both a stunning level of detail and a viewpoint—particularly the emphasis on family life—that is truly from the inside. Though this amounts to a “trust me” account, most sources are identified by name, and the result is persuasive.

The narrative begins with glimpses of Bin Laden in the caves of Tora Bora, sipping sweetened tea as he learns of the 9/11 attacks and then records a video heralding his achievement. At the same time in Karachi, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed—or Mokhtar as he was then known—sent out for Dunkin Donuts as he watched the attack on TV. Only when the towers collapsed “did Mokhtar momentarily look panicked,” exclaiming, “I think we bit off more than we could chew.” (14) The reaction of other Bin Laden followers was guarded admiration even from those who had opposed it, fearing the reaction it would inspire.

The authors deal with that reaction in two ways. First, they describe the effects of US attacks on fighters and their families in the Tora Bora caves that eventually forced them to flee to Pakistan. Second, they include an incident (one of many in the book) that characterizes Bin Laden’s self-serving leadership style: they tell the story of a doctor serving there who recalled that Bin Laden “insisted everyone remain” in the caves—yet when the physician went to see him, Bin Laden himself had disappeared. “Osama didn’t care about anyone but himself,” said the doctor. (94)

The Exile paints a grim picture of al Qaeda on the run and how after a lengthy journey “a disguised Osama arrived in Abbottabad at the end of August” in 2005. (240) Thanks to the Kuwaiti brothers who acquired land and built a house for him, Bin Laden remained there until his death. One of the brothers served as a Bin Laden courier between subordinates and his family members, one stressful task among others that led him to ask Bin Laden to find another home (Bin Laden agreed). But before arrangements could be implemented, one Kuwaiti brother is said to have unintentionally led the CIA to the house. It is worth noting, in the preface and elsewhere (498ff) that the authors challenge—not without an air of sanctimony—the CIA public account of how they learned of the courier.

Bin Laden’s family life in Abbottabad is dealt with in detail, and the narrative conveys something of their dreary day-to-day existence. The authors provide background on each of his wives and most of his 21 children, some of whom joined him for a while before the strain became too great, and others who stayed with him until the end. Some of his family and followers ended up in Iran, where they endured a 10-year stateless existence. A few eventually managed to escape to friendly Middle East countries. Two sons who remained managed to communicate with their father, and, when finally released, tried to join him in Abbottabad. It is this aspect of the book that provides the “inside” look. While his followers were concerned about the safety of their families, Bin Laden is portrayed by the authors as most concerned with assuring that al-Qaeda’s leadership would fall to his chosen son.

Bin Laden, the authors assert, did not remain isolated while based in Abbottabad. In addition to his courier-mediated contact with his followers, he journeyed at some risk to meet colleagues who he hoped would carry out his plans for additional attacks and deal with potential challengers, like Abu al-Zarqawi. The irony here is that, at their most effectual, al Qaeda communications had entailed the use of satellite and cell phones, video cameras, TVs and computers—all fruits of Western technology.

One of the most contentious issues surrounding Bin Laden’s time in Abbottabad is whether the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI, knew he was there and aided in his support while keeping the secret. The authors conclude that the top generals did not know. (446–48) In his review of the book, Indian author Indranil Banerjie, finds this “hard to believe.”[3]

The Exile concludes with two unsettling stories. One quotes a Guantanamo detainee who wrote in a book that “I would like to believe that the majority of Americans want to see justice done, and they are not interested in financing the detention of innocent people.” (501) The other quotes Bin Laden’s thoughts expressed on 9/11 recognizing that contemporary histories will condemn the attacks, but in the end, “the time will come… when there is time to write our own version… an unexpurgated document is what will emerge—about an epoch that begins today.” (505) The implications of those thoughts are left to the reader to infer.

The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior, by Robert O’Neill. (Scribner, 2017) 368, photos, index.

Robert O’Neill was discharged from the US Navy on 24 August 2012, after more than 400 combat missions as a SEAL (SEa, Air, Land) during which he earned two silver stars and four bronze stars (for valor), among more than 52 decorations. Born in Butte, Montana, on 10 April 1976, O’Neill left college after one year and joined the Navy in 1995 to become a SEAL. The Operator is the story of his career, from his early training to his role on the team that rescued Capt. Richard Phillips from Somali pirates, to the mission on 2 May 2011 that killed Usama Bin Laden in Abbottabad.

For reasons of tradition and security—personal and national—the Navy prohibited SEAL Team 6 members of the Abbottabad mission from commenting on it or identifying themselves publicly. But to no one’s surprise, books and movies soon appeared, rendering versions of Bin Ladin’s demise with varying degrees of detail and accuracy. Some had official cooperation—one that didn’t, No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden—The Autobiography of a Navy SEAL (Dutton, 2012), by an O’Neill teammate, resulted in a lawsuit that cost the author his royalties. For more than three years after the raid, although congressmen and journalists knew his name, O’Neill managed to keep his role out of the press. Then, according to author Joby Warrick, when O’Neill realized his role was about to be made public, he decided to write The Operator and reveal that he had shot and killed Usama Bin Laden.[4]

The Operator isn’t just about the Bin Laden raid; it is also an autobiography. O’Neill tells about his family, how he got married after becoming a SEAL, and what caused him to apply to join a numbered SEAL Team, which indicates there are tests of one’s fitness for service that are more demanding than those that “conventional SEALs have to pass. Every distance is longer, every time faster, every exercise has more reps.” (120) After skydiving; participating in close quarters battle exercises; and survival, evasion, and resistance training—all at an advanced level—he graduated in December 2004 and earned his spot on a numbered team. Overseas assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other places, followed.

One of the special assignments O’Neill includes—the story of the planning and execution of the rescue of Capt. Phillips—is fascinating reading and conveys the team spirit on which they relied. The other special assignment, of course, is the Bin Laden raid, and O’Neill follows that from how they first learned of the raid to their return from Pakistan. This high-risk mission led the SEALs to half-jokingly dub themselves “the Martyrs Brigade.” (289)

The aftermath of the Bin Laden raid had some unexpected consequences for O’Neill. After meeting the president and receiving another silver star, the team was cautioned about speaking to the press, but leaks soon came to light. O’Neill was called in by superiors several times and asked whom he had spoken to—and when repeated denials didn’t quell their curiosity, he began to think it was time to retire. After one more mission, he did. O’Neill reveals his thinking at the time and how he found his civilian calling by cofounding a veterans assistance organization, “Your Grateful Nation.”

The Operator conveys—in very salty language—the importance of team spirit in Special Operations teams, all of which are now comprised of men—but O’Neill hopes women are soon among these skilled operators. It is an impressive account.

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A Legacy of Spies, by John le Carré. (Viking, 2017) 264.

Although he appeared in Call for the Dead (1961), John le Carré’s first book, and again in The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, many will best remember George Smiley from the book Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974) that became a 1979 TV series, starring Alec Guinness as Smiley. Le Carré wrote to Guinness after the final episode of Tinker, Tailor noting “that the lights seemed to have gone out on your wonderful, wonderful Smiley, but of course they never will.”[5] And, of course, they did not: he surfaced again in Smiley’s People (1980), which was followed by a TV version (1982) with Guinness reprising his Smiley role. Then in 1991, Smiley appeared in the TV adaptation of le Carré’s 1962 book, A Murder of Quality, though this time Guinness declined the role, as did Anthony Hopkins. Le Carré himself was briefly considered for the part but thought better of the idea, and the role went to Denholm Elliott. The same year, Smiley was featured in le Carré’s The Secret Pilgrim and then disappeared from le Carré’s literary sight.

For more than two decades le Carré continued writing books, several with espionage themes, and—though absent the intriguing Smiley, who had presumably retired—his most famous character was not forgotten. In 2011, Smiley was introduced to a new generation of viewers with a two hour adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, starring Gary Oldman, whose characterization of Smiley earned him an Academy Award nomination. But this was not to be Smiley’s final bow. At age 85, John le Carré has given voice to Smiley once again, in A Legacy of Spies.

Legacy is, in part, a sequel to The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, a story of counterintelligence deception that ended with MI6 officer Alec Leamas (performed in the movie by Richard Burton) and his naive, communist girlfriend both shot dead at the base of the Berlin Wall on the East German side, while Smiley waits helplessly a few feet away in the West. Some 50 years later, it emerges in Legacy that the children of two victims of operation WINDFALL—an operation Leamas was running as head of station in Berlin—were now threatening to sue MI6 for his wrongful death: one was his son, and the other, the son of an agent.

The issue of responsibility is not foremost in the Service’s mind; the possibility of public exposure is. Enter Peter Guillam, a Smiley protégé, now retired in France. The only surviving officer with firsthand knowledge of the case besides Smiley—who can’t be found—Guillam is abruptly summoned to “the Services’ shockingly ostentatious new Circus headquarters” (13) in London. His task is to explain the absence of the usual WINDFALL case files and enlighten the MI6 lawyers on what the files contained, so a defense to the lawsuit can be prepared.

Vintage le Carré is the narrative of Guillam’s lengthy interrogations, which are conducted by a young Service lawyer whose lack of field experience—coupled with a phony obsequiousness and truly arrogant manner—is subtly manipulated by Guillam to his own advantage. His vivid abhorrence of bureaucrats is a part of his legacy.

As the story unfolds, hidden records surface in a still-functioning safe house—now unofficial archive—used to support Smiley’s long dormant operation. As Guillam dutifully draws together the details, he reveals operational and organizational conflicts within the Circus that contributed to the deaths at the Wall. Here we learn how MI6 officer and KGB mole Bill Haydon, the protagonist in Tinker, Tailor, worked to compromise Leamas’s principal agent in Berlin and what Control (head of the Circus) did to protect the source.

Guillam does not reveal all that he learns to the lawyers and, escaping their constant monitoring of his activities, he sets out to contact surviving sources and somehow make amends, especially to the children. He is successful, only to learn his own life is in danger—as are the lives of others involved.

In the end, it becomes clear that only Smiley can provide a comprehensive picture of the operation that the MI6 mandarins will accept. Guillam sets out to find him by contacting Jim Prideaux, another retired officer who served Smiley loyally and is best remembered for his role in Tinker, Tailor.

A Legacy of Spies is a clever mix of le Carré’s now-classic espionage works featuring George Smiley and their impact on the present. Readers will not be disappointed with the typically complex story, though it may be a bit difficult to follow unless the reader pays close attention to the timeline. In the final chapter, le Carré places an immense burden on the reader, who must decide just how Smiley resolved things—if he did.

A Legacy of Spies is wonderfully written, rich is character detail, with a complex but not contrived plot. A pleasure to read.

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American Covert Operations: A Guide to the Issues, by J. Ransom Clark. (Praeger, 2015) 234, end of chapter notes, bibliography, index.

After a 25-year career with the CIA, Ransom Clark turned to teaching at Muskingum University in Ohio. He also wrote his first book, Intelligence and National Security (Praeger, 2007), and created an electronic annotated bibliography of intelligence books and articles ( American Covert Operations is his second book.

Despite the title, the book also covers special operations and covert action; each addresses conditions and objectives where size, mobility, special training, and secrecy are major factors. Clark acknowledges that “‘covert operations’ were generally viewed as a ‘civilian’ activity and ‘special operations’ as a ‘uniformed’ activity.” (2) But a glance at history—from Jefferson’s response to the Barbary pirates, to the OSS in WWII, and the SEAL Team 6 operation that killed Bin Laden—reveals that these operations often involve both. “Covert action” alone remains a civilian function. Clark’s opening chapter presents updated definitions for each term.

Subsequent chapters provide examples from the Revolutionary War to the present. The early operations were ad hoc, in response to political or military challenges. Even in World War II, Special Operations units were formed or modified as the situation demanded. Clark shows how the Cold War institutionalized Special Operations units. At the same time, covert action became a controversial policy option. He gives many examples of how each was used. It was then, too, that Congress began to play an ever increasing role, especially in covert action, and Clark reviews the executive-legislative relationship that evolved. 

The frequency with which covert action is used, coupled with new sophisticated weapons systems, increased in the post-9/11 era. Clark discusses these factors (though cyber concerns are omitted) and the ever-increasing congressional involvement—from recommending organizational change, to the use of drones and conventional oversight. He concedes that “covert operations in general have been and will undoubtedly remain a contentious issue—morally and legally—for the American political system and public.” (199) But on these points Clark offers no solutions.

American Covert Operations concludes with an often overlooked point: special operations are not an alternative to conventional military missions, “although they have been used as a substitute when well-articulated and political policies are lacking.” (201) Recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan make his point. Professor Clark has provided a fine, up-to-date summary of the evolution of covert operations. A most worthwhile contribution.

Intelligence Engineering: Operating Beyond the Conventional, by Adam D. M. Svendsen. (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017) 148, end of chapter notes, bibliography, appendix, index.

Adam Svendsen earned his doctorate in politics and international studies at the University of Warwick and is currently an associate consultant at the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies, Denmark. Intelligence Engineering is his fourth book dealing with intelligence studies, in this case the complexities of analysis.[6] It is, in many ways, the most challenging, thought provoking, and confusing of the four.

The challenges discussed result not so much from the originality of his ideas as from their semantic formulation. For example, he states that, since the time of his earlier research, much has “been accomplished clarifying the complex links and nexuses to currently developing ‘system of systems’ or ‘federation of systems’ concepts. Overall, these constructs are collectively encapsulated and rationalized as System of Systems Dynamics (SoSD). These multifaceted SoSD approaches, at their broadest System of Systems Analysis (SoSA) and System of Systems Engineering (SoSE) constructs are currently emerging in their application to intelligence, security . . . ” and related disciplines. (5) This is so because “intelligence continues to move beyond being merely a combination of arts and sciences and it continues to extend into engineering realms.” (6)

Before presenting a series of charts illustrating the concept of intelligence engineering, Svendsen defines intelligence and then intelligence engineering (IE). The former, though semantically complex, offers nothing new. (18) But when fused with the dictionary definition of engineering, IE he defines as follows:

. . . the use of scientific and technical knowledge to artfully bring about (deliver or implement) the design building or use of engines, machines and structures, and equally the study and activity related to the modification or development of those entities, in order to imagine, design, create, make, operate, maintain, and dismantle complex devices, machines, structures, systems and processes that support and/or disrupt human endeavor occurring both in and/or overlapping with more specific intelligence context—spanning both human intelligence (HUMINT) and technical intelligence (TECHINT) realms—and which in turn significantly involves the collection and processing (analysis) of information that is particularly of military and/or political value, and which especially (and purposefully) relates to international relations, defence, and national (extending to global, via regional) security (threats, encompassing at their most broad, the full spectrum of issues-problems-hazards-up-to-risks confronted). The last of these efforts frequently also involves secret (covert and/or clandestine), and often (although not exclusively—as private and sub-/non-state actor contributions are also included) state activity conducted by specialized ‘intelligence’ institutions (or organizations) to understand or influence entities. (20)

The balance of the book reflects this same level of clarity—which is to say, the discussion remains obtuse. But there are other problems, as well: the extensive chapter endnotes contain so many references that it is impossible to tell which one or ones support or complement the topics referenced. Second, the IE examples provided are strictly theoretical, and claims for their usefulness are not supported by any real world problems. Finally, the book is so badly edited that it is often difficult to comprehend the precise meaning of the ideas it tries to put forth.

In short, although the author claims “IE stands out positively as a progressive approach to adopt,” (105) readers may in the end be left more perplexed than enlightened.

Intelligence Success & Failure: The Human Factor, by Uri Bar-Joseph and Rose McDermott. (Oxford University Press, 2017) 262, footnotes, maps, index.

Rose McDermott is a professor of international relations at Brown University. She earned her Ph.D. in political science and her MA in experimental social psychology from Stanford. Her “interest in all things military in general and the critical importance of proper intelligence in particular” (xiv) followed upon experiences related by her father, who was serving at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. She did not, however, accept his explanation for the surprise attack—“Roosevelt let it happen”—and her anecdote attesting to the intensity of his conviction is matchless. Coauthor Uri Bar-Joseph also earned his PhD from Stanford and is now a professor at Haifa University, Israel, where he teaches and writes on intelligence and national security. In Intelligence Success & Failure, they deal with the familiar question, “Why do states so often fail to predict surprise attacks?” by analyzing three gaps or “lacunas” as they term them, not considered in previous works.

The first gap was created by an over-concentration of studies of failures to predict surprise and too little on cases of success. This is important because the authors “assert that . . . successes are born of failures.” (2) The second gap involves the contributions of specific individuals and how they dealt with the intelligence available. The third gap exists because the most frequent approaches to the study of surprise “focus on the American experience in the field.” (3)

For this book, the authors selected three pairs of case studies for their analysis “in which intelligence played a critical role.” (26) The first pair, or “dyad” as they call it, considers Operation Barbarossa—Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union—and the subsequent Battle for Moscow, which was linked to “a correct estimate of Japan’s intentions” concerning whether to invade the Soviet Union. The second case concerns the North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950 and the Chinese intervention five months later. The third pair deals with the Arab attack on Israel on Yom Kippur 1973 and the second Egyptian offensive six days later. (26) 

Intelligence Success & Failure contains two parts. The first establishes a theoretical framework that attempts to answer the question, “In theory, what should analysts do to predict surprise and prevent failure?” Their answers provide criteria for analyzing the case studies. As background, the authors examine a number of cases discussed in the literature, including studies involving Pearl Harbor, where they suggest that the conclusions of Roberta Wohlstetter’s famous study “were not entirely accurate” (19)—and they explain why. This part also considers the human factor, the role of individual behavior, and a review of the “critical psychological topics most relevant to the study.” (26)

Part II deals with empirical evidence related to the three dyads mentioned above. Each is subjected to a lengthy analysis of the multiple factors that led to failure or success. For example, they suggest that the Red Army’s lack of preparedness was not due to poor intelligence, but rather to Stalin’s psychological inadequacies that resulted in a degree of closed-mindedness that led to a refusal to accept even the possibility of Hitler’s treachery. Not a startling conclusion, but one extensively documented.

The second dyad, surprise and the Korean War, introduces the problem of sycophantic staff bias. In particular, MacArthur’s G-2, Maj. Gen. Charles Willoughby, takes a terrific beating. Augmented by MacArthur’s narcissism and excessive self-confidence in estimating the situation, the failure to foresee the Chinese intervention is better understood.

The third dyad, “intelligence failure and success in the War of Yom Kippur” begins with the prediction of the Israeli chief of staff to Prime Minister Golda Meir: “The possibility of an Egyptian-Syrian attack is entirely improbable.” (184) Nevertheless, despite excellent intelligence services and experienced government officers, Israel was surprised. The authors review the many contributing circumstances, including the government’s decisionmaking apparatus. Among the causative factors, the authors observe that Israel’s military intelligence officers were inflexible in their beliefs as to the conditions that Egypt needed to fulfill before declaring war.

The principal conclusion of Intelligence Success & Failure is that “the primary explanation for failure to accurately estimate a strategic threat resides mostly at the individual level.” (235) The authors provide extensive documentation to support this view, but warn that it is not a general solution since it is based on a small sample.

Finally, the authors offer two policy-oriented conclusions worth remembering. First, the American tendency following intelligence failures is “to react with perceived need for large-scale reorganizations of the intelligence community . . . [which, as] the experience of more than seventy-five years shows . . . proves counterproductive.” Second, “the most critical information about an incoming attack did not come from technical means but from highly placed human sources.” Whether this remains true today is not debated. (240–42)

Intelligence Success & Failure offers new thinking on the subject of strategic surprise. It is a most valuable contribution to the literature.

Special Operations from a Small State Perspective: Future Security Challenges, edited by Gunilla Eriksson and Ulrica Pettersson. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) 198, end of chapter notes, bibliography, index.

After six years as an intelligence analyst with the Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service, Gunilla Eriksson now holds a post-doctorate position at the Swedish National Defense University (SNDU), Department of War Studies. Ulrica Pettersson has a PhD in risk management and is employed by the Swedish Armed Forces assigned to the SNDU to perform research on Special Operations Forces (SOF), Lessons Learned. Maj. Gen. Urban Molin, Chief Special Forces Command, Swedish Armed Forces, is coauthor with the editors of the introduction and conclusions chapters of this volume.

The thesis of Special Operations from a Small State Perspective is that the use of SOFs in the Western world is increasing not only for states with large military forces, but “also for small states with limited and/or developing military institutions.” (1) That the latter is true may not be immediately obvious, however, since the scholarly literature concerning SOF and the special operations they conduct—a necessary component for public understanding of the issues—deals mostly with the former. The present work, therefore, is intended to help correct this situation by presenting a collection of articles by academics and professional military authors that discuss the use of SOF—both nationally and internationally—from a small state perspective.

The contributors to this volume—most identified only by initials—explain the “small state perspective” using the Swedish case as an exemplar in its deployment of SOF units in the Balkans, the Congo, Chad, and as part of NATO operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan. Theories of application, strategic value, small state security benefits in international relationships are also examined in relation to the Global SOF Network (GSN). The relationship between the GSN the United States Special Operations Command is dealt with in a separate chapter. (65)

The chapter on leadership in SOF operations is particularly important in light of what one author terms the “special operations paradox,” the situation in which offensive forces are numerically inferior to the defending units. (119)

The basic SOF functions—direct action (DA), military assistance (MA), special reconnaissance and surveillance (SR)—are analyzed by experienced officers. They also include cyber operations, a new factor in SOF operations that may become a force multiplier for small states with a magnitude disproportionate to their size. The role of small state strategies in applying these functions receives detailed attention, especially with regard to asymmetric conflict in which “opposing strategic approaches favor the weaker.” (144)

The use of SOF units to support conventional forces and to conduct missions on their own is becoming a dominant aspect of modern warfare. Special Operations from a Small State Perspective clarifies their potential and explains why they are important to national and international security. A very broadening and valuable contribution.

Working on the Dark Side of the Moon: Life Inside the National Security Agency, by Thomas Reed Willemain. (Mill City Press, 2017) 119, no index.

An electrical engineer with a BSE from Princeton, and a PhD from MIT who taught at Harvard, MIT, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (where he is now professor emeritus), Thomas Willemain was a natural choice for NSA’s scholar-in-residence program during 2007–2008. In fact, his contributions earned extensions over several summers, and he became a contractor for several more.

In Working on the Dark Side of the Moon, Willemain explains the title as an allusion to what he—and the general public—knew about NSA before applying, and then what it was like working there. He acknowledges he hesitated on moral grounds before applying, because he “had a bad feeling that the Agency had been used improperly,” (3) but he decided to go forward when the head of the program for which he was applying at NSA assured him that his doubts were neither exceptional nor disqualifying. The only way to find out for sure was to join.

Willemain’s decision to write a memoir of his NSA experience came when his contract was not renewed, after prolonged and often hostile exchanges with the publications review apparatus of the NSA subordinate element with which he interacted. (4)[7] NSA itself, he writes, was generally reasonable in this regard and the redactions—15% blacked out in the text—were “well founded.” Still, he was dismayed by the process because the book is not a tell-all tale about NSA operations; instead, he presents a view “from down in the craters . . . what it felt like to me as a person.” Also, he wants to give other academics a glimpse of what they can expect if they apply and go to work at NSA. (viii) With a few exceptions, the names he mentions are pseudonyms.

The topics Willemain covers include the selection process, especially the polygraph experience; learning the security rules; his austere workspace, shared with interesting colleagues and interns; the parking arrangements and gift shop; and the final step, a PowerPoint presentation required to convince NSA management that he was suitable.

Assigned to the Mathematics Research Group, Willemain’s tasking involved statistics, mathematics, and programming on projects that had no visible connection to what he describes as “the bloody end of the Kill Chain,” (38) or events that clearly contribute to a death. In one instance, he notes, it was possible that he had so contributed, but he was given no further details and he never knew the outcome of how his work was used. That is as close as he gets to mentioning anything operational.

There is a chapter devoted to the kinds of people he worked with, their educational backgrounds, and the general nature of their work at NSA. He mentions enjoyable collaboration with “Five-Eyes countries” (58) and the sometimes-eccentric behavior of the extraordinarily bright staff, for example, the “Ph.D. mathematician wandering around in circles wearing pajamas and a bathrobe, and talking to himself.” (59)

The administrative duties associated with daily work sometimes confounded Willemain. These duties included classifying his reports, participating in the annual personnel evaluation program, and learning the meaning of the color distinctions of the badges everyone wore—green, blue, and white.

Working on the Dark Side of the Moon concludes with a discussion of life as a contractor working for an NSA-linked organization. He gives a separate chapter on the women working there, who “added a new level of sociability to a group that tends toward classical geeky introversion.” (102) Overall, his career at NSA is told with a sense of humor and the hope that his experience “will stir interest among other professors to add their brains to the fight.” Professor Willemain has given us a view of NSA like no other: it is an unusual and valuable contribution.

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The Anatomy of a Traitor: A History of Espionage and Betrayal, by Michael Smith. (Aurum Press, 2017) 320, endnotes, photos, glossary, index.

Michael “Mick” Smith, currently a visiting fellow at Kellogg College, Oxford, served in the British Army Intelligence Corps before becoming a national security journalist with, respectively, the BBC, The Daily Telegraph, and the Sunday Times. He has written several books on intelligence, including MI6: The Real James Bonds (Dialogue, 2011), Station X: Decoding Nazi Secrets (TV Books, 2001), and Foley: The Spy Who Saved 10,000 Jews (Hodder Stoughton, Ltd., 1999). Yet despite his varied experience, until now, one question remained unanswered: Why do agents spy? Put another way, what is their motivation? The Anatomy of a Traitor is his answer. The book offers no surprises, but it does offer some seldom discussed cases.

Smith identifies six motivations he claims explain most agents’ behavior: “sex, money, patriotism, revenge, ego, and ideology.” (259) He acknowledges that, in most instances, no single motivation accounts for an agent’s betrayal—and there two further qualifications: first, it may never be known with certainty which motivations apply. Second, even when the six factors above are involved, under some circumstances spying is simply deemed “the right thing to do.” (221) The case summaries presented includes examples from Delilah to the ideologically motivated ISIS executioner, Jihadi John, (255) all of which are offered to support these conclusions.[8]

Operation Junk, run by MI6 in post-war Germany, involving the smuggling of Swiss watches and other items into the Soviet Union as a source of rubles, is discussed as an example of motivation for financial gain. Controlled initially by a Polish citizen who used the curiously familiar pseudonym Mandel Goldfinger, the CIA also played a role, and the operation ran for nearly 10 years before being blown by KGB agent, George Blake. (73–75)

In the late 1940s, MI6 made plans to recruit patriotic “businessmen, musicians, ballet dancers, actors, and sportsmen” (120–121) for service behind the Iron Curtain since they could be expected to have fewer cover problems. Unfortunately, all efforts came to naught after Kim Philby informed his Moscow masters. Ryszard Kuklinski, the Polish army colonel who spied for CIA, is a recent example of successful patriotic motivation, although other factors were also involved, and Smith discusses many of them. (133)

Cases that clearly involved multiple motivations include Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanssen, and Edward Lee Howard. Smith covers each one, although little new is added to their stories. Likewise with the DIA analyst, Ana Montes—although Smith classifies her as being in the “right thing to do category.” (244ff)

The Anatomy of a Traitor is not well documented, though recommended reading is given for each chapter. And while the components of an anatomy are evident, there is no analysis of their relative importance. Nonetheless, the book presents a wide range of cases that demonstrates the difficulties and importance of determining agent motivation, both for the case officer and the agent.

The Foundation of the CIA: Harry Truman, The Missouri Gang, and the Origins of the Cold War, by Richard E. Schroeder. (University of Missouri Press, 2017) 175, endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

Three directors of Central Intelligence were from Missouri. Rear Adm. Sidney Souers, a St. Louis businessman in civilian life, had served in naval intelligence before and during the war. The second future DCI, Rear Adm. Roscoe Hillenkoetter, was a Naval Academy graduate. He was the US naval attaché in Paris when WWII erupted in 1939 and stayed into mid-1941, when he was assigned to the USS West Virginia. He was the battleship’s second in command when, moored in Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, the ship sank after Japanese torpedo attacks struck her. He would later become an adviser to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman. The third Missourian DCI, Judge William Webster, wrote the foreword to this book. Another Missourian, Clark Clifford, who served as Truman’s naval aide and during the early Cold War as his White House counsel, made important contributions to the National Security Act of 1947. After a distinguished career in the CIA, Schroeder—a fifth Missourian—has written The Foundation of the CIA.

The author, now an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, assesses the contribution of Truman’s White House “Missouri Gang,” as they came to be called, not only to the foundation of the CIA, but also to the concept of a national intelligence service and the functions it should perform.

To set the stage for the events that led to the creation of the CIA, Schroeder provides a summary of how intelligence was used by American governments from Revolutionary War times to World War II. Not surprisingly, the military played a dominant role in peace and war until the turn of the century, when ad hoc contributions from the State and Justice Departments increased to satisfy foreign relations demand and threats to domestic security. While the names of many of the key players in the book will be familiar to readers, Schroeder also includes less well known participants like John Gade, the naval intelligence officer who wrote All My Born Days in 1942 (Charles Scribner’s Sons). The son of an American mother and Norwegian father, Gade grew up in Norway and spoke French and German. When World War I started, Gade was commissioned as a naval attaché and began putting his languages to good use; he also became involved in various espionage activities.

Schroeder reviews the ups-and-downs of intelligence in the inter-war years that set the scene for World War II, and treats the rapid institutionalization of intelligence beginning with the formation of the OSS—despite opposition from the military and the FBI.

The book focuses on the principal Missouri advisors to President Truman and his efforts to meet the demand for intelligence in what quickly became the Cold War. Schroeder reviews their careers (especially their extensive intelligence experience), the reasons Truman selected them, and their contributions. Hillenkoetter, not surprisingly, receives primary attention; his role as the first DCI of the newly formed CIA was sometimes controversial—particularly regarding congressional relations—and though he felt pride in the CIA, he was not unhappy to return to the US Navy in 1950. By then, however, the CIA was firmly established, and Schroeder notes that Hillenkoetter’s successor, Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, went on to build on a firm foundation.

The Foundation of the CIA concludes with some complimentary quotes from CIA successors to the Missouri Gang, who remembered with admiration the contributions they made. This is a timely book that adds perspective to CIA’s origins, while clarifying the obstacles that were overcome by dedicated officers who should not be forgotten.

Game of Spies: The Secret Agent, The Traitor, and The Nazi, by Paddy Ashdown in collaboration with Sylvie Young. (William Collins, 2016) 376, endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

Lord Paddy Ashdown served in the Royal Marine Commando, the Special Boat Service, and the Foreign Service before entering Parliament and then the House of Lords. Sylvie Young was a London stockbroker before becoming his collaborator in a series of histories on British Special Operations during World War II. When Lord Ashdown learned some papers about a Special Operations Executive (SOE) officer known as ARISTIDE had surfaced in a private collection, he asked Ms. Young to investigate. She determined that the trove was the personal archive of Roger Landes. They were aware that Landes had been an SOE radio operator and had mentioned him in a previous book, A Brilliant Little Operation. [9] Now they discovered Landes had also been head of the scientist resistance circuit in the Bordeaux region, codenamed ARISTIDE. The papers also mentioned André Grandclément, a resistance leader who had betrayed the Landes network to Friedrich Dohse, a Gestapo officer in Bordeaux. In his memoir, Dohse wrote that “his overriding priority was to catch Roger Landes.” (xiii) Game of Spies tells the story of these three men who operated in southwest France from 1942 to the liberation of Bordeaux in 1944.

Five-foot, four-inch Roger Landes was born and raised in Paris until 1934, when his parents emigrated to London, his father’s birthplace. He joined the army when war was declared and eventually became a radio operator. In 1942, he was summoned to London where SOE asked him to volunteer—and he did.

The six-foot, three-inch Friedrich Dohse “joined the Hamburg police and the local Nazi party because it was the only way to get a job.” (28) Fluent in French, he was sent to Bordeaux where he was co-opted by the Gestapo and became an effective counterespionage officer. His job was to neutralize the resistance.

André Grandclément, the tall son of an admiral, was described variously as “intelligent, amiable, pompous, an ‘ideological gigolo’”, a “dangerously militant communist,” and an unfaithful husband. (36) Medically retired from the French army, he managed to be called up when the war started, and he served until the French defeat in 1940, when he returned to life as an insurance agent in Bordeaux. Through connections, he soon joined the resistance. By early 1942, he was the head of the Organisation Civile et Militaire (OCM), the “largest and most powerful Resistance organization in southwest France” (38) that worked in partnership with the scientist circuit.

Game of Spies tracks the three protagonists as they endured the growing pains associated with learning on the job. For SOE agents, communications with headquarters and between circuits were a constant problem. Supply drops often missed their targets and, when successful, competing resistance elements fought over them. False documents were not always correct, and in one case the Gestapo arrested an agent because they had noticed that SOE agents all carried the same brand and style of suitcase. (49) Adding to these difficulties, De Gaulle’s resistance units operated independently in France, often complicating SOE operations.

Grandclément was never trained in security or clandestine operations; his appointment was mainly political. He met with Landes and they agreed to cooperate, but the relationship soon deteriorated.

The Bordeaux Gestapo had many advantages. They controlled communications, though the resistance constantly disrupted them. But they were very successful in convincing suspected resistance members to provide details about their colleagues. Their standard methods included threatening harm to family that was regularly carried out when cooperation proved inadequate. When assassinations and sabotage occurred, they took reprisals by arbitrarily executing civilians. In some cases prisoners were transferred to Paris, where waterboarding and more harsh techniques were routinely employed. Lord Ashdown goes to some length in showing that Dohse resisted the latter, preferring subtle persuasion to thumbscrews and beatings. He was very successful.

By August 1943, the frequency of Gestapo arrests required the extraction of the scientist circuit leader and Landes was ordered to assume command. The next month, Dohse arrested Grandclément and persuaded him to cooperate, and he attempted to recruit former colleagues. This placed Landes’s operations in jeopardy, and he was recalled to London. After his return, he activated the networks that had been deactivated in his absence, and initiated operations in support of the upcoming D-Day landings. Meanwhile, local network leaders had learned of Grandclément’s treachery and demanded his execution. London approved, and the authors give a vivid description.

For context, Lord Ashdown weaves into the narrative the ongoing military situation that the SOE operations supported and the amorphous nature of the French Resistance with its many competing factions. To complete the story, he discusses the post-war careers of Landes and Dohse.

Game of Spies is an interesting and valuable assessment of WWII European SOE operations in Southern France and of the challenging contribution of volunteer agents.

The Secret Cold War: The Official History of ASIO, 1975–1989, Volume III, by John Blaxland and Rhys Crawley. (Crows Nest NSW 2065, Australia: Allen & Unwin, 2017) 522, endnotes, photos, glossary, index.

The third volume of the official history of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIO) completes this trilogy, begun in 2014. In his preface to this volume, David Horner, now emeritus professor and historian at the Australian National University and author of the first book in the trilogy, points out that “the series is a history of the Organisation. It is not a history of espionage in Australia, of the Cold War, of the Communist Party of Australia, of the organisations or people targeted by ASIO, of Australian politics, or of the terrorist threat, although these matters figure prominently in the series.” He stresses that, while the authors were given access to “the Organisation’s closed records,” the material contained in the histories has been reviewed by ASIO officials for security and thus does not contain many details—such as names, cases, and sources—that would no doubt be of interest to readers. (xvi) The volumes do “contribute to an understanding of the history of ASIO within the Australian community. (xvii)

In volume three, authors John Blaxland (also a historian at the Australian National University, and author of volume two) and Rhys Crawley (a historian at the Australian National War Memorial) cover events that took place in the governments of Prime Ministers Malcolm Fraser and Robert Hawke, and the ASIO Directors-General who served them. Throughout their tenures, the topic of reform was a foremost concern and two royal commissions—both headed by Justice Robert Hope—investigated ASIO’s handling of counterterrorism, counterespionage, and organizational issues. Their conduct and their impact on ASIO are dealt with at length.

The first Hope Royal Commission was formed in 1974 by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam to consider necessary reforms. Then the Whitlam government unexpectedly fell in 1975, due in part to “accusations it [ASIO] was involved in the Government’s downfall” (14) and in part to “rumours of CIA interference” (4) that were propagated by David Combe, a former secretary of the Australian Labor Party (ALP). Combe was a suspected Soviet agent run by KGB officer Valeriy Ivanov and the KGB Resident, Lev Koshlyakov. To help deal with the resulting controversy, the infamous former CIA officer Victor Marchetti “was brought to Australia by Combe’s lawyers.” No indication is provided as to why that choice was made. (249) At this point, Malcolm Fraser (Liberal Party) became prime minister, and he continued the Hope Commission investigation. The authors devote a chapter to the case.

ASIO’s counterterrorism operations also receive considerable attention. For example, a major case was created in February 1978, when a truck bomb exploded outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney. The investigation lasted until 1982 when ASIO determined from agent reports and telephone intercepts that the Indian “spiritual organization, Ananda Marga (“path to bliss”) had carried out the attack.” (88)

The Secret Cold War records the numerous changes in organization throughout the period of the Fraser government that ended in 1983, when Bob Hawke became prime minister. “The Hawke government’s introduction to ASIO and its counterespionage work was a very public one. Spy fever was rife and the Combe-Ivanov affair was . . . a regular feature on then nightly news.” (382) This and other revelations led Hawke to establish the second Hope Royal Commission to investigate Australia’s security and intelligence agencies, whose main threat was thought to be from the Soviet and Asian intelligence services. The Mitrokhin archives supported this assumption, and the details he supplied led to a mole hunt. Though his information on Australian espionage was not included in the books that were based on his revelations, the authors supply some of the details and discuss the changes in ASIO operations that resulted from these and related events.

The concluding chapter of The Secret Cold War provides a good summary of how ASIO changed from its formative days to the end of the Cold War, when some argued ASIO’s intelligence services were no longer as important as its budget and staff was cut significantly. September 11th changed all that, and today the service is a vibrant modern and effective organization once again.

Spynest: British and German Espionage from Neutral Holland 1914–1918, by Edwin Ruis. (The History Press, 2016) 255, endnotes, bibliography, photos, index.

All belligerents respected the neutrality of the Netherlands during World War I. Britain and Germany took advantage of the neutrality by establishing intelligence stations there to report on each other’s naval movements, and to conduct espionage operations in the combat zones. Both nations also conducted counterintelligence operations aimed at identifying agents dispatched from the Netherlands to spy in their respective countries. British and German historians have written about these events from their individual points of view. For example, in his authorized history of MI5, Christopher Andrew discusses how MI5 dealt with German spies in Britain.[10] Likewise, Keith Jeffery in his history of the Secret Intelligence Service, assesses MI6 operations in the Netherlands.[11] And Colonel Walter Nicolai described German intelligence operations in Holland as “a secret service centre.”[12] But until now, little has been written in English that considers the Dutch role in these events. Dutch historian Edwin Ruis has filled this gap with Spynest.

At the start of World War I, the “Netherlands had nothing worthy of the name of secret service,” writes Ruis. (31) There was a military intelligence element—designated GSIII—that collected open source information about foreign armies but consisted of only a single officer. Eventually a cryptographic section was added. Funds to support agent operations were not available.

To complicate matters, “secret services of all the warring parties were active in the Netherlands . . . though the first generation excelled in clumsiness.” (139) As Ruis explains, this forced the Dutch, who were learning on the job, to acquire a counterintelligence capability. They were soon monitoring each warring party’s activities to assure they were not endangering domestic security. In the telling, Ruis provides new data on familiar figures. The case of Richard Tinsley (T-network) is a good example: accounts by British historians note he was one of its most valuable agents in the Netherlands, and they describe the material his agents provided. Ruis goes into much greater detail about the difficulties he encountered and how he operated under the cover of his Uranium Steamship Company. He is a major figure in the book because he cooperated with the Dutch authorities fully.

In a brief aside, Ruis notes that post-war stories about the mysterious spy chief, “Fräulein Doktor and her Antwerp spy school that trained spies for operations in France and Britain were fantasy” as shown by reports of Dutch spies. (107)

The “mail watch” was one of the most effective methods the Dutch employed, a task made easier by the inexperienced foreign agents they encountered. When they discovered agents on their way to Britain, they informed the Brits. Most often naval intelligence was involved—the Germans’ naval intelligence service (designated “N”) recruited Dutch agents—and the British were alerted. Sometimes Americans—or those posing as neutral Americans—were involved, and the Dutch merely monitored them unless they violated Dutch law.

Spynest adds many new agent names to the history of WWI espionage while describing their often complex relationships. But its main contribution is the surprising story of Dutch intelligence getting up to speed and how the Dutch managed to deal with both sides while avoiding invasion considered by both. A well-documented and interesting contribution to the literature.

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[1] Numbers in parentheses refer to the page numbers on which authors’ assertions appear.

[2] Khalil omits the part of Lawrence’s quote that reads, “Those who dream by night . . . wake in the day to find that all was vanity, but dreamers of the day are the dangerous men for they act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible. This I did.” T. E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph (Wordsworth Editions, Ltd., 1999).

[3] Indranil Banerjie, “Book Review ‘The Exile: The Stunning Inside Story of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda,’” Deccan Chronicle, 16 July 2017; available online at

[4] Joby Warrick, “Ex-SEAL’s defenders see double-standard in criticism of bin Laden shooter O’Neill,” Washington Post, November 18, 2014.

[5] Adam Sisman, John le Carré: A Biography (Bloomsbury, 2015), 25.

[6] Adam Svendsen, Understanding the Globalization of Intelligence (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012); The Professionalization of Intelligence Cooperation: Fashioning Method out of Mayhem (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012); Intelligence Cooperation and the War on Terror (Routledge, 2010).

[7] Thomas Reed Willemain, “A Personal Tale of Prepublication Review,” Lawfare (blog), 10 January 2017; available online at

[8] The perspective of a CIA psychologist, Dr. Ursula Wilder, can be found in “Why Spy? The Psychology of Espionage” and “Why Spy Now? The Psychology of Espionage in the Digital Age,” both in the June 2017 issue of Studies at

[9] A Brilliant Little Operation was reviewed in Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf in 2013 (Studies in Intelligence 57(2):82).

[10] Christopher Andrew, Defend the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 (Knopf, 2009).

[11] Keith Jeffery, The Secret History of MI6 (Penguin, 2010).

[12] Colonel W. Nicolai, The German Secret Service (Stanley Paul & Co. LTD., 1924), pp. 85ff.

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All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed in this journal are those of the authors. Nothing in any of the articles should be construed as asserting or implying US government endorsement of their factual statements and interpretations. Articles by non-US government employees are copyrighted.

Posted: Dec 22, 2017 12:17 PM
Last Updated: Dec 22, 2017 12:17 PM