The Admirals' Advantage: U.S. Navy Operational Intelligence in World War II and the Cold War

The Admirals' Advantage: U.S. Navy Operational Intelligence in World War II and the Cold War

by Christopher Ford, David Rosenberg
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The Admirals' Advantage: U.S. Navy Operational Intelligence in World War II and the Cold War by Christopher Ford, David Rosenberg


Operational intelligence, knowledge of the enemy’s location and actions, is crucial to effective military operations. Now in paperback, The Admirals’ Advantage offers a revealing look at naval operational intelligence based on the findings of a classified Operational Intelligence (OPINTEL) Lessons-Learned Project and a 1998 Symposium at the Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center. Participants included senior intelligence and operational leaders who explored the evolution and significance of OPINTEL since World War II. Past and current practices were examined with inputs from fleet and shore commands and insights from interviews and correspondence with senior flag officers and intelligence professionals.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591142515
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Publication date: 04/15/2014
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 870,491
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author


Lieutenant Commander Christopher Ford and Captain David Rosenberg are part of a team of U.S. Naval Reserve intelligence officers that has compiled OPINTEL lessons-learned since 1994. In their civilian careers, Ford is Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance, and Rosenberg is a Senior Professor at the Naval War College who led Task Force History for the Vice CNO in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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The Admirals' Advantage: U.S. Navy Operational Intelligence in World War II and the Cold War 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
silencedogoodreturns More than 1 year ago
This is an ambitious book, and it does a nice job of detailing the history of the Navy's innovative pursuit of operational intelligence to track, monitor and analyze Soviet air and naval military operations during the Cold War. The Navy sees "operational intelligence" as near-real time, all source intelligence fusion, analysis and dissemination, which is somewhat different from the "joint" definition, which itself is copied from the Army's doctrine. The Navy was virtually alone among the services in developing and then integrating multiple sources of intelligence to provide a near-real time operational picture. The book does a good job of laying this journey out, and does an especially good job in recounting how the tracking of Soviet submarines and the discernment of Soviet naval strategy was done. My quibble with the book is that it does a poor job of describing what actually happened at the 1998 OPINTEL Lessons Learned symposium, from which the book sprung. While it does a nice job in covering OPINTEL's success against the Soviets in the Cold War, it completely misses the boat on how the Navy evolved in the early 1980s from focusing almost solely on Soviet naval movements to an increasing emphasis on using OPINTEL to analyze and report on military developments in the Third World - eg, in areas such as Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, North Korea - the areas where real world combat and contingency operations were happening, vice the theoretical world of the Cold War. The book kind of glosses over that, and kind of implies none of that happened until long after 1989, which does not do justice to the ground breaking and far sighted work done at places like FOSIF Rota and FOSIF Westpac. The book also glosses over the controversies over the direction naval intelligence took once the Soviet Union disintegrated, with many of the flag officer pioneers in OPINTEL dismayed at what appeared to be the dismantling of the OPINTEL infrastructure and mission by new flag officers that really had no background in real world OPINTEL other than reading about it in other commands' products. This dissent was very real at the 1998 Symposium, but does not appear in the book. You can read who commissioned this study and sponsored this book, so draw your own conclusions.