The Threat on the Horizon: An Inside Account of America's Search for Security after the Cold War

The Threat on the Horizon: An Inside Account of America's Search for Security after the Cold War

by Loch K. Johnson
     
 

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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…  See more details below

Overview

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. In The Threat on the Horizon, eminent national security scholar Loch K. Johnson, who served as Aspin's assistant, offers a comprehensive insider's account of this inquiry. Based on a close sifting of government documents and media reports, interviews with participants, and, above all, his own eyewitness impressions, Johnson's thorough history offers a unique window onto why the terrorist attacks of 2001 caught the United States by surprise and why the intelligence community failed again in 2002 when it predicted that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. It will be the first published account by an insider of a presidential commission on intelligence--a companion volume to Johnson's acclaimed study of the Church Committee investigation into intelligence in 1975 (A Season of Inquiry). This examination of the Aspin-Brown Commission is an invaluable source for anyone interested in the how the intelligence agencies of the world's most powerful nation struggled to confront new global threats that followed the collapse of the Soviet empire, and why Washington, D.C. was unprepared for the calamities that would soon arise.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Loch Johnson's account of the Aspin-Brown commission will be viewed as a classic in the literature on American government and intelligence studies. His insider story reveals how official Washington thought about intelligence in the years before the 9/11 tragedy and how the commission's work fits into the ongoing effort at intelligence reform. The Threat on the Horizon tells a fascinating tale about a part of government that is generally inaccessible to citizens and scholars alike."—James J. Wirtz, Dean of the School of International Graduate Studies, Naval Postgraduate School

"Loch Johnson's lively first-hand account is a rare behind-the-scenes look at an inquiry into U.S. intelligence. He shows that the answers, and even the questions, are more complicated than most think."—Paul R. Pillar, Professor of Security Studies, Georgetown University

"Making the American intelligence process work has vexed and perplexed policymakers and analysts for decades. Nobody understands the dynamics of intelligence gathering and analysis, and the politics and process of reform, better than Loch Johnson. In The Threat on the Horizon, Johnson provides a compelling inside view of a key reform effort in the 1990s. Johnson is a rare combination of a top-flight scholar and a political and policy insider. This book is an even rarer combination—scholarly depth, insider insight, and readability—that make it a must-read for anyone interested in American security and American politics."—Norm Ornstein, Resident Scholar, The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

"The chapters examine Latin America's gap using different disciplinary viewpoints, historical frames of reference, and methodologies, employing clear prose and non-technical language. The essays are accessible to non-specialists in the region and ideal for classroom use, especially given the bibliographic references in the end-notes." — Political Science Quarterly

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199792979
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
02/09/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Loch K. Johnson is the Regents Professor of International Affairs in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia. His many books include A Season of Inquiry: The Senate Intelligence Investigation; America's Secret Power: The CIA in a Democratic Society; Seven Sins of American Foreign Policy; and Bombs, Bugs, Drugs, and Thugs: Intelligence and America's Quest for Security.

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