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

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

CHAPTER 10

Fixing the Spy Machine

America’s intelligence system is, by any measure, the largest in the free world and certainly the most complicated, bureaucratic, convoluted, and expensive system anywhere. Its failures, as President Eisenhower noted, are often heralded and its successes hidden. With the end of the Cold War, some critics have argued that the system is too big for what it does, and others have suggested that we don’t need it at all. Wiser heads, however, generally agree that intelligence is our first line of defense and that it should be strengthened, not made weaker. Is there a way to improve what we have?

Despite the relatively enormous cost of American intelligence and its bureaucratic complexity, it does work surprisingly well. Nonetheless, there are several ways in which the system could be made to work better if there was sufficient will among intelligence managers and political leaders. So far efforts at reform have been either too difficult to manage or too politically charged to be acceptable. Further, efforts at reform have almost always been triggered by perceptions of failure or hints of scandal. Typically the response to either scandal or failure has been to look for ways to reorganize the system rather than seek to change the way it works. There are other ways to approach the problem, but first we have to understand the present structure and its operating philosophy.


Intelligence Structure

In most developed countries and even in some less-developed nations, the intelligence structure is made up of a foreign intelligence service, whose role is to ferret out threats to the country from abroad; an internal

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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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