Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Intelligence Sources and Stories

World War II: OSS Tragedy in Slovakia by Jim Downs (2002): This description of the contents of this book is from Amazon.com. Our copy is as unread, and is $40.
This is a dramatic account of the DAWES mission which the Office of Strategic Services ran in Slovakia in the fall of 1944. As the Slovak National Uprising raged, the Americans were caught in the middle. Forced to flee the rebel capital, the Americans evaded German patrols in the Prasiva Range in severe winter conditions. The day after Christmas, a German patrol surprised the main American Party and captured most of the personnel. Heinrich Himmler in Berlin ordered the prisoners sent to Mauthausen concentration camp where they were brutalized and then shot. Maria Gulovich, a Slovak school teacher who had joined the mission, luckily survived. General Bill Donovan brought her to the U.S. after the war and she became the first woman ever decorated at West Point. 

Intelligence and the Cuban Missile Crisis by David A. Welch (1998)
This description of the contents of this book is from Amazon.com. Our copy is as unread, and is $42.
Intelligence and the Cuban Missile Crisis examines for the first time the role and performance of all three intelligence communities centrally involved in this seminal event: American, Soviet and Cuban. The ways in which organizational and personality variables affect the political exploitation of intelligence is assessed followed by an analysis of the psychology of intelligence assessment, showing how common cognitive and motivational pathologies can explain crucial errors of inference and attribution made by all three intelligence communities. In closing, the lessons of the volume as a whole are reflected upon for the theory and practice of intelligence assessment, and for our understanding of the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

Sharing the Secrets: Open Source Intelligence and the War on Drugs by J.F. Holden-Rhodes. This description of the contents of this book is from Amazon.com. Our copy is as unread, and is $78.
Against the backdrop of U.S. drug policy and strategy, this important work, written by an experienced Intelligence and Special Operations Officer and Scholar, peels away the rhetoric to present an insider's view of cocaine trafficking in the Western Hemisphere. From the Huallaga and Chapare Valleys, through the cocaine transit countries to the U.S. border, this book compares and contrasts the enormous success of the traffickers to the monolithic U.S. drug policy that produces no "end-game" and conceals its failures behind a "classified" stamp. Drawing on his experience as the Counter Drug Intelligence Team Leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory and as a "Black Hat" Team member with the U.S. Southern Command, the author approaches drug trafficking from the narcotraficantes point of view to paint a picture that portrays the cocaine industry as it really is. Arguing that it is impossible to stop drugs at their source, the author builds a compelling case for shifting U.S. assets to the southern borders of the United States, through a strategy that causes the traffickers to pass through a series of obstacles designed to slow and impede their operations.
Identifying drug trafficking as an examplar of the Gray Area Phenomena--the impact of non-state players and organizations on a post-colonial, multi-tribal world--the author brings a currency to his work using Open Source Intelligence as the vehicle by which the drug trafficking world may be assessed and analyzed. Sharing the Secrets offers an "Intelligence" for the new world disorder that enables decision-makers to recognize and define the new threats and suggests how realistic policy and strategy might be evaluated and re-cast. This work will be of particular interest to policy-makers, law enforcement and Intelligence professionals, and scholars as it "opens the book to the right page" and provides for the first time the stubborn facts that they may have been neglecting in the war on drugs. Sharing the Secrets is a body of descriptive, proscriptive, and prescriptive material that will enable serious public discusion to begin on national drug policy and strategy. 

If you are interested in any of these books, and are a current local Friend of Reston Regional Library, you may purchase them sans postage. Just contact us! 


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