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Uncertain Shield
     

Uncertain Shield

by Richard A. Posner
 

Ever since the publication in 2004 of the 9/11 Commission Report, the U.S. intelligence community has been in the throes of a convulsive movement for reform. In Preventing Surprise Attacks (2005), Richard A. Posner carried the story of the reform movement up to the enactment of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which produced a defective

Overview

Ever since the publication in 2004 of the 9/11 Commission Report, the U.S. intelligence community has been in the throes of a convulsive movement for reform. In Preventing Surprise Attacks (2005), Richard A. Posner carried the story of the reform movement up to the enactment of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which produced a defective plan for reorganizing the intelligence system, partly as result of the failure of the 9/11 Commission and Congress to bring historical, comparative, and scholarly perspectives to bear issues. At that time, however, the new structure had not yet been built. Posner's new book brings the story up to date. He argues that the decisions about structure that the Administration has made in implementation of the Act are creating too top-heavy, too centralized, an intelligence system. The book
• exposes fallacies in criticisms of the performance of the U.S. intelligence services;
• analyzes structures and priorities for directing and coordinating U.S. intelligence in the era of global terrorism;
• presents new evidence for the need to create a domestic intelligence agency separate from the FBI, and a detailed blueprint for such an agency;
• incorporates a wealth of material based on developments since the first book, including the report of the presidential commission on weapons of mass destruction and the botched response to Hurricane Katrina;
• exposes the inadequacy of the national security computer networks;
• critically examines Congress's performance in the intelligence field, and raises constitutional issues concerning the respective powers of Congress and the President;
• emphasizes the importance of reforms that do not require questionable organizational changes. The book is published in cooperation with the Hoover Institution

Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement - James Murphy
Crisply written, knowledgeable, and cant-free, [Posner's] Uncertain Shield: The U.S. Intelligence System in the Throes of Reform combines common sense and the more uncommon insights of 'organizational theory' to describe the way intelligence works—and sometimes doesn't.
Henry A. Kissinger
Posner's continued study of reforms in our Intelligence structure since 9/11 is illuminating and constructive. Uncertain Shield makes a major contribution to the debate over how best to insure America's security.
William E. Odom
If anyone wants to understand why the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 is largely misguided and what steps might actually improve the Intelligence Community’s performance, Judge Posner’s Uncertain Shield is required reading. A first-rate analysis of an arcane and difficult subject.
Richard A. Falkenrath
Relentlessly lucid and insightful, Uncertain Shield is easily the best contemporary analysis of the U.S. Intelligence community available. Judge Posner's book should be read by all who are concerned with state of America's intelligence community, and his advice should be heeded by all who are responsible for it.
Jeff Stein
There he goes again: Irrepressible Judge Richard Posner’s lambasting of the Bush administration’s intelligence reorganization is getting a lot of attention, including at the CIA, which invited the chief of the 7th Circuit to lead a seminar on his latest book, Uncertain Shield: The U.S. Intelligence System in the Throes of Reform.
The New York Sun - Andrew C. McCarthy
As Judge Posner demonstrates - in an arresting book that is effective because the analyst is an authoritative but agenda-free outsider whose writing style is crystal-clear and whose principal tool is sober analysis - this caution-to-the-wind approach to something as imperative to our security as competent intelligence has potentially left us even more vulnerable to attack than we were before September 11.
Henry Kissinger
Posner's continued study of reforms in our Intelligence structure since 9/11 is illuminating and constructive. Uncertain Shield makes a major contribution to the debate over how best to insure America's security.
Times Literary Supplement
Crisply written, knowledgeable, and cant-free, [Posner's] Uncertain Shield: The U.S. Intelligence System in the Throes of Reform combines common sense and the more uncommon insights of 'organizational theory' to describe the way intelligence works—and sometimes doesn't.
— James Murphy
The New York Sun
As Judge Posner demonstrates - in an arresting book that is effective because the analyst is an authoritative but agenda-free outsider whose writing style is crystal-clear and whose principal tool is sober analysis - this caution-to-the-wind approach to something as imperative to our security as competent intelligence has potentially left us even more vulnerable to attack than we were before September 11.
— Andrew C. McCarthy

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780742551275
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
04/01/2006
Series:
Hoover Studies in Politics, Economics, and Society Series
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,277,201
Product dimensions:
6.24(w) x 9.36(h) x 0.80(d)

What People are Saying About This

Henry Kissinger
Posner's continued study of reforms in our Intelligence structure since 9/11 is illuminating and constructive. Uncertain Shield makes a major contribution to the debate over how best to insure America's security.

Meet the Author

Richard A. Posner is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. He is the author of hundreds of articles and nearly four dozen books, including Preventing Surprise Attacks (2005), Public Intellectuals (2002), Breaking the Deadlock (2001), and An Affair of State (1999). He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

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