The Attaches

By Prinslow, Karl | Military Review, May/June 1998 | Go to article overview

The Attaches


Prinslow, Karl, Military Review


THE ATTACHES by Charles E Scanlon. 391 pages. IM Press, Inc., Fairfax Station, VA. 1997. $24.95.

The Attaches by retired Army Major General Charles Scanlon provides an autobiographical, but fictional, insight into an otherwise little-known military fraternity-military attaches. The book is replete with personal references that only Scanlon, as the director of attaches and operations at the Defense Inteligence Agency (DIA), could have gained by firsthand experience. Scanlon provides a multitude of fictitious characters based closely on real personalities who served during the 1980s.

In the story, Major General Bart Lowe, a former infantry division commander, becomes the Defense Attache Service commander. While discovering the vagaries of military service in the world's far reaches, Lowe becomes embroiled in his attempt to unravel the mystery of a possible Soviet mole inside the CIA.

The first portion of the book is a detailed and lengthy description of DIAs attache organization and missions. An example of the extensive and revealing nature of this information is Scanlon's liberties in describing elements of a fictionalized attache training course, which was labeled sensitive, if not officially classified, when I attended the real one in the 1980s.

Under the guise of a series of staff briefs and orientation tours for Lowe, the author swiftly transports the reader to many of the world's capitals and nations to impart an appreciation of the attache offices' environments, housing and vehicle maintenance standards. …

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