Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Good Hunting: An American Spymaster's Story

Veteran journalist and author Joseph C. Goulden offers a good review of Jack Devine's Good Hunting: An American Spymaster's Story for the Washington Times.

When an expert such as Jack Devine, a three-decades-plus veteran of the CIA Clandestine Service, warns about myriad world troubles stretching into the foreseeable future, serious citizens should take heed — and those now running the agency, both in-house and as elected officials, should give “Good Hunting” a careful read in light of what can be done to protect the country.

In Mr. Devine’s expert opinion, the solution should be the wide — and intelligent — use of covert action. As do many CIA veterans, he decries the militarization of the agency in recent years, and its subordination to the post of Director of National Intelligence, created in the do-something fever that inflamed Congress after Sept. 11, 2001. He feels that the result has been a “muddled new intelligence bureaucracy with less coherence and more fractured leadership.” He urges that “Congress should revisit its utility and perhaps curtail its staffing and tasking.”

The capstone of Mr. Devine's career was overseeing the largest CIA covert operation ever, to run the Soviet military out of Afghanistan, a venture inaccurately termed “Charlie Wilson’s War” by the media. Although he and other agency officials praise the now-deceased Texas congressman’s tenacity in obtaining money and arms for the war, Mr. Devine’s colleague Milton Bearden is quoted as quipping, that it was “‘Charlie Wilson’s War’ only in Charlie Wilson’s mind.” In any event, the operation drove the Red Army out of Afghanistan.

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:


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