Academic journal article Military Review

Sharing the Secrets: Open Source Intelligence and the War on Drugs

Academic journal article Military Review

Sharing the Secrets: Open Source Intelligence and the War on Drugs

Article excerpt

SHARING THE SECRETS: Open Source Intelligence and the War on Drugs by J.F. Holden-Rhodes. 272 pages. Praeger Publishers, Westport, CF. 1996. $55.00.

Sharing the Secrets, by J.E HoldenRhodes, lay dormant on my cluttered desk for five weeks. It had the look of another one of those petty, tortured selfjustifications by a former "somebodyor-other" from that tangled realm known as the "intelligence community." In 1781, Archbishop Hieronymus of Salzburg fired Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, never admitting, in this world at least, that he had foolishly sacked the musician whose music most nearly approached Heaven's. In the same manner, I confess I nearly proclaimed trivial this magnum opus concerning the 1990s' Andean Drug War.

Holden-Rhodes justifies his book in the context of understanding the Andean Drug War from the humanimpact point of view-his straw man being the apparent objectivity and scientific validity of the distilled view offered by the intelligence community. He then launches into a presentation and critical analysis of US national drug control strategy. He describes the threat, country by country, and the progressive militarization that has occurred in response to that threat. He gives the drug war's strategic dimensions on the US-Mexican border, the first truly strategic treatment of this topic. And, he presents his conclusions, showing that the drug war is not hopeless, but that it must be accurately perceived if there is to be an effective US and hemispheric drug-fighting strategy. …

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