Jack Caravelli

Intelligence for Democracies

Review: Michael Hayden, ‘Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror’

According to Michael Hayden, the only man ever to hold both the posts of CIA and NSA director, 9/11 was a seismic event for the U.S. intelligence community, and its effects still reverberate today. Hayden begins this excellent and very personal narrative by describing in the run-up to the attacks how the NSA, like the CIA, had suffered major budget and personnel cuts through the 1990s triggered by belief in a “peace dividend” that had accrued from the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Briefing the Leader of the Free World

Review: David Priess, 'The President’s Book of Secrets'

The emergence of the United States as a global superpower after World War II brought with it an unprecedented demand during the Cold War for accurate, well-informed and timely intelligence for the president and senior officials. That demand has only increased in an age of terrorism and renewed strategic challenges from Russia and China. Competition for the president’s attention is keen. Washington is a city of think tanks and quality universities that produce volumes of material on virtually all aspects of U.S. foreign policy.

New Russian Strategy Labels NATO and U.S. as ‘Threats’

First threat designation since fall of Soviet Union

VladimirPutinThe new national security strategy signed by President Vladimir Putin on New Year’s Eve describes NATO and the U.S. as a “threat” to Russian national security interests, the first time they have been designated as such since the fall of the Soviet Union.

What Drives Putin

Review: Steven Lee Myers, ‘The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin’

Vladimir PutinThe meteoric rise of Vladimir Putin from mid-level intelligence apparatchik to president of Russia has been chronicled by numerous biographers. Few have captured the complexities and influencing forces in Putin’s life as well as Steve Lee Myers’s meticulously researched and vividly written portrait of “the new tsar.”

FSB’s New Intimidation Tactic: Harassing Turkish Banks

Federal Security Service (FSB) in central Moscow / Wikimedia CommonsThe FSB, Russia’s internal security service, this month launched a series of raids on Turkish banks based in Moscow, according to at least one Russian media outlet citing the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News. The charges against the banks center on alleged money-laundering activities.