Fixing the Spy Machine: Preparing American Intelligence for the Twenty-First Century

By Richard R. Valcourt; Arthur S. Hulnick | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1

Is the Spy Machine Broken?

America’s intelligence system is at a crossroads. As we approach the twenty-first century, many questions are being raised about a system that is now more than fifty years old. The roots of this system lie in the conflagrations of World War II. The system’s founding fathers included such luminaries as “Wild Bill” Donovan, the commander of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), and J. Edgar Hoover, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). American intelligence rang up many victories in World War II. It captured German and Japanese spies, ran agents into occupied Europe and Asia, broke enemy codes, and carried out spectacular feats of aerial reconnaissance. During the Cold War American intelligence repeatedly forecast, with considerable accuracy, the plans and intentions of the Soviet Union and its associated states while repeatedly thwarting the operations of its “main enemy,” the Soviet KGB intelligence apparatus.

Today America’s intelligence system is, by any measure, the largest and most expensive intelligence bureaucracy in the Western world—perhaps the largest anywhere on the planet. But it’s in serious trouble. Despite myriad successes over the past half century as America’s first line of defense in shooting wars and Cold War confrontations, many observers of American intelligence believe the system is seriously flawed and that America’s “Spy Machine” needs a major overhaul.

These days people who think at all about American intelligence remember its failures rather than its victories. Starting with Pearl Harbor and the invasion of South Korea by the North, up to modern times and Saddam Hussein’s attack on Kuwait, American intelligence does not seem to do what it was designed for: preventing surprise. Covert action failures also remain in memory, from the failed Bay of Pigs invasion to

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Fixing the Spy Machine: Preparing American Intelligence for the Twenty-First Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Acronyms xix
  • Chapter 1 - Is the Spy Machine Broken? 1
  • Chapter 2 - Stealing the Secrets 23
  • Chapter 3 - Puzzles and Mysteries 43
  • Chapter 4 - Secret Operations 63
  • Chapter 5 - Catching the Enemy’s Spies 87
  • Chapter 6 - Stopping the Bad Guys 105
  • Chapter 7 - Managing and Controlling Secret Intelligence 129
  • Chapter 8 - Spying for Profit 151
  • Chapter 9 - Secret Intelligence and the Public 173
  • Chapter 10 - Fixing the Spy Machine 191
  • Bibliography 209
  • Index 217
  • About the Author 223
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