Human Intelligence, Counterterrorism, and National Leadership: A Practical Guide

Overview


The next president of the United States faces innumerable complex problems, from a possible prolonged recession to climate change. An immediate difficulty for the president will be the global conflict between the West and Islamic jihadists and state sponsors of terrorism. The creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission notwithstanding, the administration needs to be armed and ready to tackle much more in the areas of intelligence and counterterrorism. The ...
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Human Intelligence, Counterterrorism, and National Leadership: A Practical Guide

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Overview


The next president of the United States faces innumerable complex problems, from a possible prolonged recession to climate change. An immediate difficulty for the president will be the global conflict between the West and Islamic jihadists and state sponsors of terrorism. The creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission notwithstanding, the administration needs to be armed and ready to tackle much more in the areas of intelligence and counterterrorism. The president can and must assume a hands-on, informed leadership role if the United States wants to make progress in the war on terror. Gary Berntsen has written this book as a guide for an incoming president and White House staff so that they may master current human intelligence and counterterrorism operations. After reading its highly specific recommendations and policy prescriptions, the president and his or her staff will be able to draft a First Directive for the leadership of the intelligence and national security communities outlining how the administration wants those communities to proceed and to defend the nation’s interests. Human Intelligence, Counterterrorism, and National Leadership will be of interest to legislators, policymakers, and anyone concerned about intelligence and terrorism policy. With a foreword by Seth G. Jones, a political scientist at the RAND Corporation and Adjunct Professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University. He is the author of In the Graveyard of Empires: America’s War in Afghanistan and The Rise of European Security Cooperation.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“For both readers familiar with intelligence work and to those to whom it is an intriguing mystery, Gary Berntsen’s latest work has much to offer. The brief book is a good introduction to a wide range of problems likely to remain critical for years to come. Even when one disagrees with the author’s arguments, their clarity and balance deserve careful consideration.”

"Educated and scholarly reading on America’s problems when it comes to dealing with terror, [this book] is very much recommended reading"

"A wise tutorial for anyone seriously interested in how [human intelligence] actually works — or doesn’t. . . . Far from a rehash of the woes that are continuing to chase experienced and talented CIA counterterrorism officers out of the building as soon as they’re eligible for retirement, Berntsen offers a wide array of thoughtful Rx’s for sharpening the point of the spear."

“This thought-provoking book not only highlights the problems in the counterterrorism world but also offers workable solutions. Berntsen distills his experience into a systematic, well-written blueprint for the next administration. This book should be read by anyoneworking in this field, political scientists, and citizens wanting to understand what changes need to take place to empower America to defeat terrorists.”

"Gary is in many ways a modern day Paul Revere, whose warnings shine a light on a new and determined enemy. This book is a call to action for decision makers and members of the intelligence community who have grown frustrated with business as usual."

“Gary Berntsen knows firsthand the evil threat of Islamic terrorism. In this highly informative but immensely readable book, he is not afraid to speak unpleasant truths. Even more important, Berntsen provides a roadmap that could lead us to victory, if we have the will.”

Congressman Peter T. King

“Gary Berntsen knows firsthand the evil threat of Islamic terrorism. In this highly informative but immensely readable book, he is not afraid to speak unpleasant truths. Even more important, Berntsen provides a roadmap that could lead us to victory, if we have the will.”—Congressman Peter T. King (R-NY), ranking member and former chairman of House Homeland Security Committee
John Kasich

"Gary is in many ways a modern day Paul Revere, whose warnings shine a light on a new and determined enemy. This book is a call to action for decision makers and members of the intelligence community who have grown frustrated with business as usual."—John Kasich, Fox News Channel commentator, frequent guest-host for the O'Reilly Factor, and author, Stand for Something: The Battle for America's Soul
Walter Purdy

“This thought-provoking book not only highlights the problems in the counterterrorism world but also offers workable solutions. Berntsen distills his experience into a systematic, well-written blueprint for the next administration. This book should be read by anyoneworking in this field, political scientists, and citizens wanting to understand what changes need to take place to empower America to defeat terrorists.”—Walter Purdy, Vice President, Terrorism Research Center
CQ Homeland Security - Jeff Stein

"A wise tutorial for anyone seriously interested in how [human intelligence] actually works — or doesn’t. . . . Far from a rehash of the woes that are continuing to chase experienced and talented CIA counterterrorism officers out of the building as soon as they’re eligible for retirement, Berntsen offers a wide array of thoughtful Rx’s for sharpening the point of the spear."—Jeff Stein, CQ Homeland Security
Midwest Book Review

"Educated and scholarly reading on America’s problems when it comes to dealing with terror, [this book] is very much recommended reading"—Midwest Book Review
American Intelligence Journal

“For both readers familiar with intelligence work and to those to whom it is an intriguing mystery, Gary Berntsen’s latest work has much to offer. The brief book is a good introduction to a wide range of problems likely to remain critical for years to come. Even when one disagrees with the author’s arguments, their clarity and balance deserve careful consideration.”—American Intelligence Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597972543
  • Publisher: Potomac Books
  • Publication date: 10/31/2008
  • Pages: 154
  • Sales rank: 392,889
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Berntsen is a retired senior CIA operations officer who has served as a chief of station on three separate occasions. He led the CIA’s most important counterterrorist deployments from 1995 through 2005. Since May 2007 he has been serving as an intelligence and counterinsurgency adviser in eastern Afghanistan. Berntsen is the author of the bestseller Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda (Crown, 2005). He has done more than seventy-five television appearances as well as numerous appearances on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and NBC. He lives in Forest Hills, New York.
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Table of Contents

1 A Little Background 1

2 Covert Action 11

3 Personnel: Lifeblood of the Clandestine Service 18

4 The Polygraph: Eating Our Young 24

5 Counterterrorism: Intelligence, Law Enforcement, and Military Power 59

6 Language Skills: Preparing for Tomorrow Today 46

7 Terrorist Finances and the Internet 51

8 The Freedom Corps 55

9 Intelligence and Force Levels in Counterinsurgency Operations 60

10 Enemy Combatants and Interrogation 67

11 Counterterrorism: Policy 76

12 Weapons of Mass Destruction 79

13 Catastrophic Event Response 85

14 Iran, the Key State Sponsor of Terrorism 90

15 The New War 97

16 Paramilitary and Special Operations Capability 99

17 The President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board 101

18 Narco-terrorism 104

19 Conclusions 108

Glossary 111

Chronology of CIA Directors 120

Recommended Reading 121

Index 124

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 14, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Outstanding book!

    Gary Berntsen, who was one of the CIA's most decorated officers, has written an outstanding policy book about human intelligence (humint)<BR/>and what our counterterrorism policy should be in the Middle East.<BR/>Humint is often shrouded in mystery, but Gary makes complicated policies<BR/>easily explanable in his book. He also recommends better ways to fight<BR/>the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and explains how better intelligence<BR/>on the battelfield can save lives.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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