Global Intelligence: The World's Secret Services Today Reviews

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The CIA: The Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf

Intelligence in Recent Public Literature

Compiled and Reviewed by Hayden B. Peake

Paul Todd and Jonathan Bloch. Global Intelligence: The World's Secret Services Today. New York: Zed Books Ltd., 2003. 240 pages, end-of-chapter notes, appendix, index.

Paul Todd is a British Cold War historian specializing in the Middle East. Jonathan Bloch is a London businessman and one-time contributor to Dirty Work 2: The CIA in Africa, edited by Philip Agee. Their current book looks at the world of intelligence after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They assume that the end of the Cold War left intelligence agencies scrambling for work, never realizing that the mission finds the agency, not the other way around. Their book covers a wide range of intelligence and terrorism issues and countries. One chapter considers, among other topics, whether terrorism and intelligence are Siamese twins. There is also a chapter on surveillance technology stressing the privacy and civil rights aspects. Several chapters comment, in order, on US intelligence, the European Union, Russian intelligence, Israeli security issues, and what the authors call “intelligence in the South,” meaning the Middle East and South Asia. Among other conclusions for life in the era of globalization, Todd and Bloch suggest “self-tasking” agencies of the United States and Britain would do better emulating Canada and Australia, where oversight is given a much higher priority. Global Intelligence presents ideas and alternative views worth consideration.
Original Review on CIA Website

Independent Catholic News

Book review: Global Intelligence: The World's Secret Services Today

Review By Paul Sloman

Authors Paul Todd and Jonathan Bloch embark in this book on an analysis of the intelligence programmes of opposing regimes, and draw parallels between the spying and the spied.

'Global Intelligence' follows the transition from Cold War intelligence practices to modern day surveillance, focusing on the post-September 11 shift towards terrorism. Describing changes in US intelligence spending, it questions the relation between budget management and intelligence programmes before and after September 2001.

It explores the links between big business and Western intelligence services. It discusses the sale of computer surveillance software and draws attention to former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger's resignation as chairman of the US 9/11 commission as a result of his relationship with foreign business.

Taking its critique further, 'Global Intelligence' looks at the way intelligence services assume a role outside morality while acting in the interests of defence. The book describes the active search by the US for links between Iraq and Al-Qaeda in order to suit the government's political interests.

Todd and Bloch fear a moral vacuum in intelligence that could lead to a self-generating blacklist of detained innocents under the excessive reaches of 'counter-terrorism'. It is a fear that is being realised as Western powers pass reforms allowing arrest without charge or trial.

Looking to the future, the authors argue that democratic accountability can be achieved only with the introduction of a more honest, open approach to intelligence. The successful systems of Canada and Australia prove that the muddy world of much of Western intelligence can be transformed.

Original Review on the Independent Catholic News Site


The Difference Between Operations of the Special Services and Actions of the Terrorists Exist Only at First Sight

By Surikov Anton

In the known Ekaterinburg publishing house "Ultra-culture" preparations to the issue of the book “World-wide Investigation. Special Services in the Epoch of Globalisation” in Russian come to the end. The book is written by two foreign scientists-humanitarians - an Englishman Paul Todd and living in London Jonathan Bloch from South Africa. The English version of the book appeared on the shelves of the shops almost three years ago - in 2003.

The Russian translation of the research of scientists in spite of the fact that they are not and never have been professional intelligence officers promises to become a significant event for domestic experts and analysts engaged in studying of a role and a place of special services in lives of the leading countries of the modern world, first of all of the USA and other countries of the West.

The book contains rich factual material on the basis of which analysis the authors come to their main conclusion which they formulate so:

After the end of "cold war" the western special services announced "struggle against terrorism and the organized criminality" as the main task of their activity. Thus "the difference between the operations of the state services agencies and actions of terrorists, carried out without any sanction” only at first sight. This difference is just about to disappear in practice.

According to the authors, taking into consideration low level of the accountability of special services as well as methods used by them, most often it’s possible to neglect the difference between special services and terrorist groups and in many cases these groups are simply identical.

Examples of activity of Foreign Intelligence of Saudi Arabia and interdepartmental investigation of Pakistan are given in the book to evolve thesis. In particular, authors emphasize that so-called states-derelicts (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Syria) in much more smaller degree promote radicalization of Islam rather than Saudi Arabia which is the main "sponsor" of radicalization and ideologization of Islam. The conclusion is that "if the USA really wishes to struggle with Islamic radicalism, then it has to engage itself with Saudi Arabia.

Read the full review here

Lobster Review

"Global Intelligence: the world's secret service today"

By Mike Small

After the spectacular failure of the "Allied" intelligence services before, during and after the second Gulf war, the time was right for some real political insight into what happened. This isn't it, instead it's a wide ranging reappraisal of the intelligence communities in the post-9/11 world.

The book wrestles with these key questions: how is it that the super-rationalist West, with all of the massive resources of the CIA, TIARA (Tactical Intelligence and Related Activity) and SIS, were completely unable to stop a few guys with Stanley knifes flying jet planes into the World Trade Center? How have the security and intelligence forces managed to repackage themselves in the 'new world' of post-Cold War era of globalisation and cultural-religious conflict? And who is benefiting from this hyper-technological world, those struggling to overturn or to impose a world government of the powerful? ...

Read the full Lobster review here

N8 Magazine

Global Intelligence: the world's secret service today

By Phillipa Morrel

Just when we thought the Cold War was over, along comes another! Phillipa Morrel has been looking at a new book that looks at the workings of the "defence community".

In an effort to provide a comprehensive, easy-to-understand guide to the world's intelligence services, local author Jonathan Bloch ((Muswell Hill resident and Haringey Councilor) with co-writer Paul Todd have produced Global Intelligence.

The book is timely: all news reports seem dominated by the workings of the UK Intelligence and Security Committee and all manners of intelligence gathering networks.

Read the full N8 review here


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