Essentials of Strategic Intelligence investigates a subject unknown to or misunderstood by most American citizens: how U.S. foreign and security policy is derived from the information collection operations and data analysis by the sixteen major U.S. intelligence agencies. The essays in this work draw back the curtain on the hidden side of America’s government, explaining the roles of various intelligence missions, justifying the existence of U.S. intelligence agencies, and addressing the complex moral questions that arise in the conduct of secret operations.
After an introductory overview, the book presents accessibly written essays on the key topics: intelligence collection-and-analysis, counterintelligence, covert action, and intelligence accountability. Readers will understand how intelligence directly informs policymakers and why democracies need secret agencies; learn how the CIA has become deeply involved in the war-like assassination operations that target suspected foreign terrorists, even some individuals who are American citizens; and appreciate how the existence of—and our reliance on—these intelligence agencies poses challenges for democratic governance.
- Provides a comprehensive, up-to-date examination of all aspects of intelligence by experts in the field, from collection-and-analysis and counterintelligence to covert action and accountability
- Probes into how the United States' intelligence agencies attempt to protect the nation from cyberattacks by foreign nations and terrorist groups—and documents the successes and failures
- Documents the involvement of the National Security Agency (NSA) in bulk "metadata" collection of information on the telephone records and social media communications of American citizens
- Examines the effects that have resulted from major leaks in the U.S. government, from Wikileaks to the NSA Snowden leaks