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Intel Wars: The Secret History of the Fight Against Terror Hardcover – January 3, 2012
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In reaction to the attacks of 9/11, the U.S. engaged in a massive expansion of intelligence-gathering organs. Supposedly, we also increased the sharing of information between the various agencies to avoid the failing to connect the dots. But has this huge increase in manpower and money resulted in any improvement in the collection and use of raw intelligence information? Not significantly, according to Aid, a regular commentator on intelligence for various newspapers, radio, and television. He begins with a brief but riveting account of the operation to take out Osama Bin Laden, in which he reveals the vital role played by Pakistani operatives working for the CIA. But from this apparent triumph, he moves to a dreary and familiar picture of bureaucratic rivalry and bungling. He places particular blame on the Bush administration and its inability to sift through the deluge of data provided to develop a coherent policy to fight jihadist terrorists on various fronts but especially in Afghanistan. This work may be unduly negative, but it certainly merits serious consideration by those concerned with our security at home and abroad. --Jay Freeman
“Every chapter in the book is braided with intelligence nuggets. Aid weaves together original reporting, volumes of unclassified documents and his expertise. The book's chapters on Afghanistan and Pakistan are particularly engrossing…. Aid has written a highly entertaining and interesting book that provides a full-color, detailed snapshot of how the Obama administration is using intelligence to battle terrorism and that hints about how that battle is likely to be waged in the future.” ―Dina Temple-Raston, The Washington Post
“Aid's book is full of … revelatory anecdotes. It's one thing to say that the ISI has helped America's enemies; it's another thing to show precisely how.” ―Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times
“If the devil is in the details, then Matthew M. Aid, author of Intel Wars: The Secret History of the Fight Against Terrorism, has written a devilish book indeed … a highly researched look inside the decade's most important intelligence efforts, and while sobering at best, it's not always bad news. You just have to look harder for the good news.” ―Suzanne Kelly, CNN.com
“Intel Wars teems with useful statistics and interesting anecdotes.” ―Harry Levins, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Aid's wide-ranging and timely assessment of the current state of U.S. intelligence should appeal to anyone interested in U.S. defense policy.” ―Publishers Weekly
“An expert update on American security that turns up more problems than solutions.” ―Kirkus
“Merits serious consideration by those concerned with our security at home and abroad.” ―Booklist
Top Customer Reviews
A few things should be pointed out though. The books copyright is in 2012 but it went to press mid-late 2011 so recent very important events, especially in North Korea and Syria are notably absent. Additionally in July 2012 the Taliban publicly admits ""At least 70% of the Taliban are angry at al Qaeda. Our people consider al Qaeda to be a plague that was sent down to us by the heavens.......To tell the truth, I was relieved at the death of Osama bin Laden. Through his policies, he destroyed Afghanistan. If he really believed in jihad, he should have gone to Saudi Arabia and done jihad there, rather than wrecking our country."" and they also state that they can't win the war in Afghanistan.
Secondly, despite much criticism in the book being directed toward the Bush administration and Rumsfeld, Aid takes a last second jab at Obama on page 225 in the acknowledgements section, "....the Obama administration, despite promising the American public a new era of transparency in government, has authorized the Justice Department to file criminal indictments against a number of current or former government officials alleged to have leaked classified information to the press.......Read more ›
Analogous to the corporate world, the tendency in intelligence is to collect reams of data that will never be properly processed for actionable intelligence. Also large organizations tend to reward the unimaginative when mavericks and eccentrics are needed to see what is different and what can be or is (think O.S.S.). It is about creating a culture where people can be both creative and pragmatic. The U.S. intelligence community communicates at the same time an overwhelming capability and a hapless bureaucracy. Sadly, the intelligence "grunts" will never get the respect and recognition for the pressures and strains of their jobs as they toil in organizations that frustrate them for their lack of decisiveness and action.
It is in this chapter that Mr. Aid commits the cardinal sin of the Intelligence professional, cooking the "...facts..." to meet his personal agenda. In this chapter he tells the reader that the US Govt is justified in killing US citizens without trial or due process, he try's to convince the reader that this is OK...at this point, the book went on the goodwill pile.
There are always three sides to every story: (1.) yours; (2.) mine; (3.) and the cold hard truth. It is the responsibility of the professional Intelligence community to deal ONLY in "...the cold hard truth...".
When you have to look at yourself in the mirror after your Intelligence product has been used for purposes you do not agree with, you need to have your honor left that you did your best.
Chapter #6 of this book, wipes it's posterior with honor.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
jaw dropping i recommend this book to any one that is interested into this stuff i mean wow its a must if your into stuff like intel and spiesPublished on February 21, 2014 by eddo
I am not a member of the intelligence community so I cannot verify 97% of what is written here, but I was quite knowledgable about 3% and in my opinion, it was very accurate. Read morePublished on January 9, 2014 by Maggot
no new information. all old stuff. no new information. all old stuff. no new information. all old stuff. no new information. all old stuff. no new information. all old stuff. Read morePublished on October 5, 2013 by Bill Rundans
"Intel Wars" is one of the most important works on the subject of US intelligence in the post 9/11 security agenda. Read morePublished on September 30, 2013 by Tan Teck Boon
It's hard for me to review this book because I have read so many on the "war on terror". If this is your first or second book it's probably worthwhile because it is more... Read morePublished on September 29, 2013 by Rod
To be honest, I have not read this book and have no intention of ever doing so. I'd rather stick needles in my eyes - as would the CIA. Read morePublished on July 17, 2013 by Hugh O'Neill
Very interesting read of current events as told through the intelligence perspective. Even today we are dealing with the same issuesPublished on June 28, 2013 by David