cover image Informing Statecraft (Intelligence for a New Century)

Informing Statecraft (Intelligence for a New Century)

Angelo M. Codevilla. Free Press, $27.95 (491pp) ISBN 978-0-02-911915-0

The fruit of many years' experience of intelligence service, this is a masterful exploration of the field, its critical role in statecraft and the principles underlying its use and misuse. Codevilla, senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution, argues that the American apparatus for collecting information, countering hostile intelligence, analyzing information and conducting covert operations developed in a random fashion without reference to underlying precepts. He contends that with notable exceptions U.S. intelligence has ``usually failed,'' and he expresses astonishment at how unreflective those in charge of policy have been. In this closely reasoned, authoritative study, Codevilla conveys skepticism about the usefulness of spies, the efficacy of the CIA and the value of secret operations: ``American covert action has made little difference in the world.'' (Apr.)