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Senseless Secrets: The Failures of U. S. Military Intelligence from George Washington to the Present

Senseless Secrets: The Failures of U. S. Military Intelligence from George Washington to the Present

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by Michael Lee Lanning

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Inspired by intelligence failures he observed as an infantry officer in Vietnam (where he ``did not receive a single bit of accurate, useful intelligence''), Lanning, a retired army colonel, has put together an informative and charged review of the shortfall in U.S. military intelligence from the Revolutionary War to the ill-fated 1993 attempt to capture Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid. Much of his emphasis is on the frequency with which U.S. armed forces have been taken by surprise: in this century, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the German counterstroke in the Ardennes, the North Korean invasion of South Korea, the Communist Tet Offensive in Vietnam. In the section on Operation Desert Storm, Lanning argues that intelligence about the battle zone was sparse and mostly inaccurate. Calling for reevaluation, reorganization and revitalization of the military intelligence community, he advocates a drastic realignment of U.S. armed forces: reuniting the Air Force with the Army, abolishing the Marine Corps and taking specific steps to reduce the gap between the intelligence corps and the troops in the field. Photos. (Dec.)
A historical review of military intelligence failures from the American revolution to Desert Storm written by a US veteran who served in Vietnam. Lanning argues that military intelligence needs to be restructured in order to eliminate the rivalry between the various divisions, and that attention to this continuing problem would save both money and lives. One of the more spectacular bloopers documented occurred in Grenada when forces landed with useless tourist maps and incorrect information about the location of the students and officials they were sent to rescue. No bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Carol Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.27(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.17(d)

Meet the Author

Michael Lee Lanning retired from the army as a lieutenant colonel after more than twenty years' service. During his assignment to Vietnam, he served as both an infantry platoon leader and a company commander in the 199th Infantry Brigade (Light). He lives in Phoenix, Arizona.  

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