From Publishers Weekly
"The weakness of U.S. counterintelligence is difficult to exaggerate," says Odom, former director of the National Security Agency, and "patching and repairing here and there" won't solve the problem. Here he presents a far-reaching proposal for revamping the intelligence community, but it's no page-turner. Based on a report originally published in 1997 by a think tank, this book argues that intelligence gathering must be streamlined and cooperation increased among the many existing intelligence agencies. Perhaps Odom's most broad-ranging reform would be to create a national counterintelligence service, which he says would eliminate both competition among the various agencies and the gaps in knowledge that result from such competition. Elsewhere, he proposes broad changes in the makeup of both the FBI and the CIA. These ideas, while presented six years ago by the author, were rarely seriously discussed before September 11, and the author himself admits they are likely to meet resistance from the turf-protecting intelligence community. Odom makes a strong case that they are necessary to fight the changing threats to U.S. security. All too often, though, his language makes his points difficult to follow ("until greater resource management rationality is achieved, progress in integrating the tactical intelligence capabilities will be erratic and more by chance than design"). The book still reads too much like a report to command the wide readership its arguments warrant. It probably will, however, feed media discussions about intelligence reform and the new Homeland Security Department.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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"By publishing the Odom study, Yale University Press establishes a benchmark, a guide for public debate on this vital Issue."