Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
On Intelligence: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World Hardcover – November 22, 2001
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Robert Steele storms into the core of intelligence issues without fear. The scope of his work is impressive and whether you agree with him or not, you cannot ignore what he says. The book is an important addition to the literature on intelligence. --The Honorable Richard Kerr
Former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence
From the Back Cover
The Honorable John A. Bohn
Former CEO, Moody's Investors Service, Former President, Export-Import Bank
Peter Drucker told us in 1998 that the next information revolution for business will be in the exploitation of external information. This book is an essential reference because it defines how government, business, and the academy can finally share intelligence without being tainted by espionage or handicapped by secrecy.
Rear Admiral Dr. Sigurd Hess, German Navy (Retired)
Former Chief of Staff, Allied Command Baltic Approaches
As NATO, its Partnership for Peace and the European Defense and Security Initiative devise new models for meeting their future intelligence needs, this book ought to be considered and discussed. Robert Steele's vision for the future of intelligence is clearly "internationalist" in nature. It focuses on regional partnerships between governmental and non-governmental organizations and on the value of open source intelligence collection. European Institutions should seize the opportunity to be the first to succeed in implementing this new model.
Ralph Peters, author of
Fighting for the Future: Will America Triumph?
Robert Steele is as consistently fascinating as he is consistently right; his insights on intelligence have always been at least a decade ahead of the establishment.
Commodore Patrick Tyrrell, OBE, Royal Navy
Over a broad canvas reflecting the changing nature of information and information technologies, Robert Steele lays the foundation for the future of e-intelligence.
John G. Heidenrich, author on genocide prevention
Bosnia, Rwanda, Kosovo, East Timor--genocide has become a feature of the post-Cold War world. Robert Steele's book shows how genocide and other global problems can be effectively monitored without shortchanging traditional national security. This book is invaluable to both humanitarians and national security experts.
Major General Oleg Kalugin, KGB (Retired)
Former Elected Deputy to the Russian Parliament
All intelligence services--as well as non-governmental organizations and non-state actors--will benefit from a study of this book. Robert Steele goes well beyond the original visions of the best of the former Directors of Central Intelligence, and has crafted a brilliant, sensible, and honorable future for the intelligence profession.
Bruce Sterling, Author of Hacker Crackdown : Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier
Robert Steele is about 100 times as smart and 10,000 times as dangerous as the best of the hackers, for he is successfully hacking the most challenging of bureaucracies, the U.S. intelligence community, and doing it for the right reasons. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The book (the Oct 2001 edition) looks to be the author's collection of lecture notes or lecture passouts organized in one or two hour presentations. They are full of one-liners and short paragraphs making sweeping statements, and I wanted space below them to write my comments and questions. Perhaps they are indeed lecture passouts that formerly contained those spaces in which listeners could jot notes on the author's detail comments and examples supporting those statements. Without such support, there is simply far too much to be taken on faith for the author's ideas to be accepted or implemented.
A simple example should suffice to make this point: Steele says on page 6: "Today there is insufficient emphasis on defining and meeting the intelligence needs of overt civilian agencies, law enforcement activities, and contingency military forces." OK, what would be sufficient? What are we doing wrong today (examples would be nice), and what agencies are doing such? What emphasis do we currently have, and how can that be morphed into something meeting the author's definition (unstated) of necessary and sufficient emphasis? What are we spending today on activities that must be de-emphasized or eliminated, and how much will it cost to achieve the proper necessary and sufficient emphasis? Without this level of detail, the author's statement is simply a platitude that will be roundly ignored by those agencies and personnel who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
This defect remains throughout the book. Although the author's statements have much merit and his recommendations for organizational structures and missions to achieve necessary and sufficient intelligence for US policy makers and general security are generally well considered and excellent starting points for implementating the necessary changes, the missing detail allows opponents to dismiss his points out of hand as being simplistic, unsupported by evidence, and dangerous.
Nor is the public ready for this book, even after 9-11 and seven years having passed since publication. There has been no political movement towards addressing any of Steele's charges or implementating any of his ideas discernible by the general public or myself -- quite the contrary, the intelligence agencies have become increasingly ossified, bureaucratic and bureaupathic. CIA employees now arrange their work schedules around their children's activities, and providing day care to the CIA's time-serving employees is more important than providing intelligence to the President of the United States. Steele cannot be an effective change agent until he gets his message (this book) out to the public, but it must be in a form that the public can comprehend -- which is not this book.
I agree with the author that turf wars are the primary activity of all intelligence agencies in the US (my words, he just inferred this), and they must be limited as much as possible. It seems impossible that the US possessed better intelligence on enemy and potential enemy activity before the computerization of information data bases than at present, but that is my conclusion. An example of how turf wars destroy is that the world's best data base management system, the multivalued system created by Dick Pick in the US in 1968, is not being used in US federal agencies but has experiences acceptance in Russia. Meanwhile we are saddled with cumbersome systems like Microsoft's SQL Server, IBM's DB2, Oracle and others. The "free" marketplace doesn't always allow the best product to filter through the weeds -- powerful organizations protect their turf at the expense of the general welfare. Other examples would include the Christie suspension system for Soviet tanks and Deming's ideas seized by Japanese industry.
In short, the book's content is excellent but so many things must be taken on faith due to its organization and presentation that it almost neutralizes itself. It ends up being a handbook of ideas for the intelligence professional -- precisely the individual who will not implement any (or very few) or the ideas in the book. Steele would have done better to take his own advice and provide intelligence to the general population that "remain(s) desperately ignorant of history and culture (and what is happening in the intelligence community" (page 273).)
Nevertheless, BUY, READ & STUDY THIS BOOK.
By the way, the bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.
And lastly, it will take a powerful US President to force through any of this book's recommendations on the American intelligence community. His support will have to come from an informed populace to overcome the opposition certain to come from current organizations. It may be possible, or it may be too late. If this book does as well in the next four years as it has in the last eight, then it was too late.
Which brings us to this altogether remarkable book by Robert David Steele. In spite of, or perhaps because of, the many recent efforts at reform the U.S. Intelligence System remains culturally moribund. Steele offers a rather detailed plan to rebuild this system into an open, flexible, and relevant source of knowledge about the threats and risks faced by the U.S. in the 21st Century. It is necessary not just to read this book, but to think carefully about what Steele is proposing. For example, this reviewer had to really contemplate such strange concepts as a "Global Knowledge Foundation" and "University of the Republic", before fully understanding how such institutions are vitally important to the sort of Intelligence System that Steele is advocating.
Now Steele has written a number of books that offer innovative, if radical, ideas about reforming intelligence, but this is the only one of his books that provides sufficient details to understand how he really would like to transform the U.S. Intelligence System into a system capable of dealing with both military and non-military threats and risks to U.S. security. The opportunities and risks of the phenomenon called "Globalization" are fluid and often elusive. It will take an intelligence system such as the one Steele is advocating to provide the knowledge needed to formulate an effective National security Strategy to deal with both the opportunities and risks.
This book is not an easy read. Readers need to be pro-active in critically thinking about what Steele presents. This effort will be rewarded with new and original insights on the state of U.S. security. More to the point Steele will provide the reader with a clear and unique understanding of the often arcane world of intelligence.