Intelligence veteran Mark M. Lowenthal details how the intelligence community's history, structure, procedures, and functions affect policy decisions. With his friendly prose, he demystifies a complicated and complex process. Rich with examples and anecdotes, Intelligence also includes bolded key terms, an acronym list, suggested readings and websites, and a list of major intelligence reviews or proposals.
The Aspin-Brown Commission of 1995-1996, led by former U.S. Defense Secretaries Les Aspin and Harold Brown, was a landmark inquiry into the activities of America's secret agencies. The purpose of the commission was to help the Central Intelligence Agency and other organizations in the U.S. intelligence community adapt to the quite different world that had emerged after the end of the Cold War in 1991.
Blending academic objectivity with a clear agenda of devising a new strategic U.S. approach to Al Qaeda, McGrath proposes policy options for confronting terrorism. He asserts that Al Qaeda is primarily a political threat, rather than a military one that challenges the very nature of the U.S. political system and therefore requires a political response. He argues that while coercive means are necessary to reduce Al Qaeda s capacity for violence, a coercive approach alone is insufficient.
Addressing the convergence of organized crime, drug trafficking, and terrorism requires the new paradigm of strategic thinking ushered in by the war on terrorism. Such an effort cannot be seen through a diplomatic, military, law enforcement, financial, or intelligence lens alone. Rather, it demands a prism of all of these to offer a comprehensive and coordinated approach. Colonel Hesterman's analysis of this subject is accurate and timely.