Silent Warfare: Understanding the World of Intelligence, 3d Edition / Edition 3

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A thoroughly updated revision of the first comprehensive overview of intelligence designed for both the student and the general reader, Silent Warfare is an insider’s guide to a shadowy, often misunderstood world. Leading intelligence scholars Abram N. Shulsky and Gary J. Schmitt clearly explain such topics as the principles of collection, analysis, counterintelligence, and covert action, and their interrelationship with policymakers and democratic values. This new edition takes account of the expanding literature in the field of intelligence and deals with the consequences for intelligence of vast recent changes in telecommunication and computer technology the new “information age.” It also reflects the world’s strategic changes since the end of the Cold War. This landmark book provides a valuable framework for understanding today’s headlines, as well as the many developments likely to come in the real world of the spy.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Easy to read and understand."

“The best place for the general reader to start learning about the real world of intelligence work."

“A thoughtful, authoritative study of intelligence written clearly and insightfully.”

"Silent Warfare is the ideal primer on intelligence. It offers not only a comprehensive introduction to the subject, but an analysis of intelligence that exposes the flaws in the conventional wisdom of the intelligence community. A superbly balanced work."

"Contains many insights. . . . Well worth reading."

Two Washington consultants with backgrounds in the shadier halls of the US government examine the basic concepts and issues involved in the practice of intelligence. Though they draw most of their examples from US and British experiences, they intend their account to be broadly applicable. The 1991 original has been revised in 1993 and again here to incorporate new laws, conditions, and practices. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574883459
  • Publisher: Potomac Books
  • Publication date: 5/30/2002
  • Edition description: 3RD
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 262
  • Sales rank: 579,202
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Abram N. Shulsky is a former minority staff director of the Senate Committee on Intelligence and a former consultant to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. He is a consultant to the Rand Corporation.

Gary Schmitt is the executive director of the Project for the New American Century. Both authors live in the Washington, D.C., area.

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Table of Contents

Notice to the Reader
Introduction: Writing about Secrets
1 What is Intelligence? 1
The Scope of Intelligence 3
Intelligence and the Information Age 7
The Elements of Intelligence 8
2 Spies. Machines. and Libraries: Collecting the Data 11
Human Intelligence Collection 11
Technical Intelligence Collection 22
Comparison of Humint and Techint 33
Open-Source Collection 37
3 What Does it All Mean? Intelligence Analysis and Production 41
What Is Analysis? 41
The Intelligence Product 57
Intelligence Failure and Surprise 62
4 Working Behind the Scenes: Covert Action 75
What Is Covert Action? 75
Types and Examples of Covert Action 77
Covert Action and Secrecy 91
Covert Action and Intelligence 95
5 Spy Versus Spy: Counterintelligence 99
The Classification of Information 99
Security 105
Counterespionage 108
Multidisciplinary Counterintelligence (MDCI) 114
Deception and Counterdeception 116
Counterintelligence Analysis 126
6 Guarding the Guardians: The Management of Intelligence 129
Secrecy and Control 129
Expertise and Policy 133
Intelligence and the "Information Age" 141
Intelligence and Democracy 144
7 Two Views of Intelligence 159
Historical Development of the American View 160
Intelligence and Moral Issues 167
8 Toward a Theory of Intelligence 169
Notes 177
Index 237
About the Authors 247
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2005

    Solid Introduction to Intelligence Activity

    Both the authors, Abram Shulsky and Gary Schmitt, are respected intelligence organization professionals who have taken up university-level teaching and writing. The book is focused on intelligence theory and organization - not on tradecraft. As such, the principal audience of this book would likely be future intelligence policymakers or foreign intelligence organizations trying to gain an insight into US intelligence systems. The book does a solid job of identifying what intelligence is, how it is collected (humint vs. techint), how it is processed, how it is systematically protected, and what counter-intelligence includes. In addition, it addresses the gray areas of covert action (Is it intelligence or military activity?) and plausible denial. Although much of this discussion could apply to most nations' intelligence bureaus, the authors only explicity describe the American intelligence system. Perhaps the most outstanding feature of the book is the wealth of sources it contains. Many of these are freely and immediately available on the web for all to read. All the footnotes are very thoroughly explained and usually refer to a specific source. The source list itself adds tremendous value to the book by guiding the reader to so many numerous definitive works on intelligence operations. All in all, this is a solid introduction to intelligence and a great book for pursuing its addition sources.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2009

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