Academic journal article Military Review

Human Intelligence, Counterterrorism, & National Leadership: A Practical Guide

Academic journal article Military Review

Human Intelligence, Counterterrorism, & National Leadership: A Practical Guide

Article excerpt

HUMAN INTELLIGENCE, COUNTERTERRORISM, & NATIONAL LEADERSHIP: A Practical Guide, Gary Berntsen, Potomac Books, Inc., Washington, DC, 144 pages, $19.95.

Gary Berntsen's stated purpose for writing Human Intelligence, Counterterrorism, & National Leadership is "to serve as a guide to assist incoming presidents and White House staffs so they may master the subject of human intelligence [HUMINT] and counterterrorism operations." While this is a lofty and admirable goal, Berntsen's work fails to achieve it. The book serves as an opinion piece more than a serious critique of the current situation. It provides the reader only a biased, cursory look at HUMINT and counterterrorism.

The opening chapter of the book provides a brief background of the CIA and its Clandestine Service, an area in which Berntsen has considerable experience, having served as a station chief on three separate occasions. However, the author asserts that 95 percent of the information needed for determining U.S. policy can be derived from open source reporting (newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, Internet, etc.) and reporting from the U.S. embassies.

The final pieces of the puzzle are then supplied by the CIA. It is here that Berntsen sets the tone for the majority of his book, which implies the CIA's Clandestine Service is the cornerstone of the Intelligence Community (IC) and omits the vital contributions of the other 15 intelligence organizations, such as the NSA, DIA, NRO, and NGA, even as they support the HUMINT mission. The book also ignores the contributions of the CIA's own Directorate of Intelligence, which painstakingly analyzes the information provided by the Clandestine Service and turns it into the intelligence products used by the president, policy makers, staffers, and agencies across the IC. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.