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Summer reading suggestions from IWP professors

Looking for some reading for your vacation (or staycation) this summer? Our professors share their recommendations below.

From Professor Alan Messer, Former Central Intelligence Agency Analyst and Operations Officer

War of Numbers: An Intelligence Memoir of the Vietnam War’s Uncounted Enemy, Sam Adams. My own favorite. If you want to read the finest book that illuminates the nature, character, and persistence of a good analyst, the challenges facing analysis in a bureaucratic world, and the importance of analysis as part of the intelligence business, read this one.

From Professor John Sano, Former Deputy Director, National Clandestine Service, CIA

Secret World: A History of Intelligence, Christopher Andrew. This is a massive piece of work, over 900 pages – but it covers literally the entire history of the intelligence genre, from biblical times to post 9/11. An excellent reference tool for any student of intelligence history.

Spy Watching: Intelligence Accountability in the United States, Loch K. Johnson. This book goes into significant depth in exploring the dichotomy between liberty and security and, most importantly, the associated problems of governance over the proper role of intelligence agencies within an open and democratic society.

From Professor Al Santoli, Founder and President, Asia America Initiative

Unrestricted Warfare: China’s Master Plan to Destroy America, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui. The first published account in 1998-99 by the Chinese military that described their strategy/doctrine for Unrestricted or No Limits warfare to defeat the United States in the 21st Century. It was originally published from Chinese to the English language by the U.S. government at my request when I worked in Congress before 9/11 and the start of the “war on terror.” In this book, the Chinese military planners call for the weaponizing of all civilian technologies, media, and economic institutions against the West. Among their models include George Soros and Osama bin Laden, with Economic Warfare a central component of total war and a reference to biological weapons to weaken their enemies. An emphasis on deception and intrigue. Very poignant and proves background depth for national security planning in the globalized world today.

From Professor Paul Schilling, who has served with the Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of General Counsel

Honorable Men: My Life in the CIA, William Colby. In the early 1970s during the “Watergate” investigations, the CIA was under fierce attack by politicians, Congress, and the media using themes that continue to circulate to this day. The author, Director of Central Intelligence during the time and a World War II Office of Strategic Services (OSS) veteran, wrote this work – part biography and part history – to explain and defend the Agency. The book brings balance to the historical record of the Vietnam and Cold Wars, and the example of leadership under stress which it depicts sets a high bar for today’s Intelligence Community leaders.

Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Book II, “Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans”, U.S. Senate. The Church Committee of Watergate fame produced a seven-book report of its investigation. Book II addresses U.S. government intelligence activities directed at Americans from the 1930s to the 1970s and makes various recommendations to address issues the Committee identified. Many of the standards under which the Intelligence Community operates today find their genesis in the problems and proposed solutions set out in Book II. As such, it remains a very useful tool for understanding those standards and measuring today’s Intelligence Community against them.

Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation,” Office of the Inspector General, US Department of Justice. This report by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General examines the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation of alleged Russian intelligence involvement in the Trump 2016 Presidential campaign and the early Trump administration. While focused on the FBI and its use of electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the report touches other aspects of the Crossfire investigation as well. Although Crossfire is only part of a larger picture of events during the period in question – events that are now coming to light and are under investigation by various governmental entities – this report is part of the foundation needed to understand that larger picture as it develops.

From Dr. Wayne Schroeder, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Initiative, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council

Presidential Command: Power, Leadership, and the Making of Foreign Policy from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush, Peter Rodman. What has become a classic book on Presidential decision making in defense and foreign affairs by the late Peter Rodman (a former Pentagon colleague of mine in the Bush 43 Pentagon, and a former colleague of many IWP faculty members when they were at State or the NSC). His principal points are the need for Presidents to be fully engaged in defense and foreign policy and maintain direction and control of policy development. A fine introduction by Henry Kissinger (his eulogy of Rodman at his memorial service).

Conservative Internationalism: Armed Diplomacy under Jefferson, Polk, Truman, and Reagan, Henry R. Nau. Dr. Nau develops more thoroughly a foreign policy tradition of conservative internationalism, explaining how America can retain its post-World War II leadership role internationally, while also promoting freedom, justice, and human dignity.

From Dr. David Thomas, Former Analyst, Foreign Intelligence Directorate, DIA

Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare, Thomas Rid. This book will be assigned in the Counterintelligence course in the fall.

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