Spying in America in the Post 9/11 World

Domestic Threat and the Need for Change

by Ronald A. Marks


There is no returning to the state of relaxed—or virtually non-existent—vigilance of the pre-9/11 period, just as it is impossible to reverse the events that led to the destruction of the Twin Towers and so many lives. The issue is not a lack of resources to monitor domestic threats—it's how to do it without destroying our nation's freedom.

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Cover image for Spying in America in the Post 9/11 World

November 2010


Pages 153
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Security Studies/U.S. Homeland Security

This book examines the realities of living in the United States after the events of September 11th, 2001, and evaluates the challenges in gathering internal intelligence without severely compromising personal liberties.

In the United States, there are a staggering number of agents of the CIA, FBI, and state, local, and tribal police, all authorized and empowered to collect intelligence. But is there a way to use these vast resources to gather intelligence in a socially tolerable fashion and still maintain our cherished civil liberties?

This book presents a thorough investigation of intelligence collection in the United States that examines the delicate balance of civil liberties with the effectiveness of intelligence collection. It contains a history of domestic intelligence in America, a description of the various threats against our nation, and a discussion of the complexities of deciding what kind of information needs to be collected— and against whom. The conclusion succinctly states the author's opinions on what needs to be done to best address the issue.


  • Maps clarify America's security threats in a global and domestic context
  • Photographs depict historic events like the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the signing of the U.S. Constitution
  • Includes a bibliography of reference sources and recommended reading as well as an index of interviewees and quotations
  • A glossary explains the most commonly used terms in intelligence and homeland security


  • Presents an insightful and honest assessment of the effectiveness of intelligence collection and analysis in America
  • Addresses the widespread concern of Americans regarding government surveillance in the modern era
  • Provides a compelling examination of how the United Kingdom attempts to deal with its substantial problems of monitoring and neutralizing internal threats
  • Portrays the complex challenges of striking a balance between protection of civil liberties and the necessity to collect information within the United States
Series Description

Praeger Security International

As the world gets "smaller" through technology and globalization, the security risks we face grow and multiply.

International security in the 21st century is not a topic that can be adequately addressed in nightly news soundbites or online articles intended to be relevant for 24 hours or less. Comprehending these complex issues requires insight from foreign policy specialists, diplomats, military officials, peace scholars, historians, and security experts—participants and observers on all sides of each conflict. This series provides the tools for understanding security issues in our uncertain, unstable world.

Written by subject experts and well-known researchers, the books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, first responders, economists, journalists, civil servants, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth reflections, thorough analysis, and international perspectives that are unavailable in mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students and researchers as well as anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.


  • Provides reliable, comprehensive information on all matters relating to security that is ideal for students, teachers, researchers, and professionals
  • Offers insightful commentaries written by a diverse group of scholars and experts who provide interdisciplinary treatments of newsworthy events and important historical occurrences
Author Info

Ronald A. Marks is senior fellow at George Washington University's Homeland Security Policy Institute, Washington, DC, and a former CIA senior official. Marks has written about intelligence and homeland security issues for the last ten years.



"This is a superb book that addresses the problem of creating a new US intelligence community that meets the exigencies of this new age of domestic terrorism. It is a very readable book that explains the sprawling, arcane intelligence apparatus to the lay reader. However, written by a former CIA official and academic, the book is filled with insights that will inform those with a technical and professional orientation."—Choice


"Mr. Marks' Spying in America in the Post 9/11 World surveys the landscape of domestic security issues in an era where threats to the homeland are increasing in number and sophistication. Mr. Marks brings a distinguished background in the intelligence community to bear in providing a clear-eyed look at the United States' conflicted history with domestic intelligence operations. He chronicles past successes and failures and their complicated relationship with American ideals of civil liberty, and compares the U.S. approach to that of other modern democracies. Most importantly, what sets this book apart from others like it is that Mr. Marks offers thoughtful, realistic solutions to the problems and threats described in the book, based on his decades spend in the intelligence community. Spying in America in the Post 9/11 World should be required reading for anyone with a personal or professional stake in our nation's safety."—Shelbt Coffey III, Trustee, Newseum Senior Fellow, Freedom Forum

"Nine years after 9/11 the United States still lacks clear policty guidance on domestic intelligence matters. Given today's national security landscape and the increasing blurring between foreign and domestic threats, we can no longer afford to simply 'punt' on the issue. In a must-read book, Ron Marks asks the tough questions and takes on some of the thorniest and complex yet most compelling issues of our times. Specialists, practitioners, and concerned citizens alike would do well to read and reflect upon this book and the important challenges it details."—Frank Cilluffo, Director, Homeland Security Policy Institute, The George Washington University

"The proper balance between security and civil liberties has been a constant theme in U.S. history -- made more pointed now by the events of 9/11 and their aftermath. The friction between these two goals is made more difficult by the fact that the United States is a federal republic with over 18,000 law enforsement entities but no 'national' domestic intelligence service. In Spying in America in the Post 9/11 World, Ronald Marks offers a timely and insightful examination of these issues. Bringing to bear his broad experience as a CIA officer, a Senate staffer and as a senior fellow at George Washington University's Homeland Security Policy Institute, Marks has written a most useful addition to the intelligence and homeland security library."—Mark M. Lowenthal, President, The Intelligence & Security Academy, and author of Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy

"Ron Marks' brilliant treatise on the Intelligence Community is a candid, informed, and timely assessment of the challenges the community faces today and is a must-read for the novice as well as the most experienced intelligence and homeland security bureaucrat."—Robert Liscouski, Former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Infrastructure Protection

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