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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About 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.