Academic journal article Naval War College Review

Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA

Academic journal article Naval War College Review

Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA

Article excerpt

Prados, John. Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2006. 696pp. $35

In an era where overhead imagery is available to anyone with a computer and a credit card, where the twenty-four-hour cable news cycle drives government decisions and the Internet provides global connectivity, are secret wars still possible? Not according to the author of Safe for Democracy: The secret Wars of the CIA.

Veteran intelligence and policy writer John Prados provides a detailed, if somewhat disjointed, chronology of CIA covert actions since the inception of the agency. Prados describes the most recent chapters in the long history of U.S. covert actions, dividing covert actions into two types: political actions (including propaganda and psychological operations) and paramilitary operations. Covert and clandestine intelligence collections are addressed only peripherally, often when covert action and collection must be weighed against one another.

Prados focuses on several common threads. He describes the rivalries within the CIA between the proponents of political and paramilitary operations, and between covert operations and clandestine intelligence collections. He also discusses the competition between the rival "baronies" of the regional divisions within the agency's Directorate of Operations. The author generally takes a negative view of covert actions, maintaining (for the most part) that they are antithetical to American ideals. …

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.