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Informing Statecraft

Informing Statecraft

by Angelo Codevilla

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The fruit of many years' experience of intelligence service, this is a masterful exploration of the field, its critical role in statecraft and the principles underlying its use and misuse. Codevilla, senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution, argues that the American apparatus for collecting information, countering hostile intelligence, analyzing information and conducting covert operations developed in a random fashion without reference to underlying precepts. He contends that with notable exceptions U.S. intelligence has ``usually failed,'' and he expresses astonishment at how unreflective those in charge of policy have been. In this closely reasoned, authoritative study, Codevilla conveys skepticism about the usefulness of spies, the efficacy of the CIA and the value of secret operations: ``American covert action has made little difference in the world.'' (Apr.)
Library Journal
Compared to some of the recent books on U.S. intelligence and the CIA--e.g., David Wise's Molehunt ( LJ 2/15/92)--this at times dense study lacks some of the flair, drama, and cloak-and-dagger elements that we might expect. It is an exceptionally well-informed introduction to the nitty-gritty of intelligence--collection, counterintelligence, covert action, analysis--filled to the brim with examples, lessons, and instruction. Codevilla is not sparing on the mistakes and foolishness of U.S. intelligence errors, but do not look for expose ``now it can be told'' stories and gossip. He is shrewdly aware that intelligence serves statecraft (or what might pass for it), and citizens must look to the character of basic policy, not the spooks, for the basic drives--especially in the ``new world order'' that lies ahead.-- H. Steck, SUNY at Cortland

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Free Press
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6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

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