May 15, 2012
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Book Review: The Art of Intelligence by Hank Crumpton

*I updated the Recommended Reading list section with a few new titles. *

The Art of Intelligence by Hank Crumpton

The Art of Intelligence Review

The Art of Intelligence by Hank Crumpton is the remarkable memoir of the authors former life as a convert CIA operative. The book details Crumpton’s life as he travels the world as a world class spy as well as the hardships and frustrations he felt with his career.

Crumpton, a world renowned spy and counter terrorism expert tells the amazing tale of his life in the action packed and high risked world of the Central Intelligence Agency while carefully illustrating the importance of human intelligence and its effect on actual secret missions.

Crumpton lead the CIA’s global operations effort against our terrorist enemies including Al Queda and Osama Bin Laden. Some of the most interesting parts of his story take place just days after September 11th with then CIA tasked Crumpton to lead the American covert operations inside Afghanistan. Crumptons leadership, intelligence, and strategic intuition lead to the Taliban being overthrown in just 90 days after the fall of the World Trade Center. The early American forces in Afghanistan were a mix of CIA Special Activities Division paramilitary, CIA case officers, and highly train American Special Forces soldiers and at the command of all of them was Hank Crumpton. This book will change the way you view the Afghanistan war, the United States military, and the CIA. This book is an insight into the new war, the new techniques, and the new way the United States views its enemies

The Art of Intelligence draws from Crumpton’s full career in the CIA and explains with great depth what American spies do and what makes them more valuable that ever. Crumpton’s career started in Africa where he recruited and trained turncoats, to the CIA’s CTC (Counterterrorism Center), his role in the Afghan war, and finally his work operating all CIA operations inside the USA. Crumpton’s story telling is unique, vivid, and dynamic and above all else informative. His lessons about the spy trade, the United States war effort, and counter terrorism are told with expert insight and thoughtful commentary. You’ll appreciate the unsung heroes of your country and the work they do to keep you safe.An excerpt about the first American killed in the Afghanistan War from Hank Crumptons new book The Art of Intelligence can be found HERE

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The Art of Intelligence by Hank Crumpton is currently on-sale at Amazon.com

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Bonus: An excerpt about the first American killed in the Afghanistan War from Hank Crumptons new book The Art of Intelligence can be found HERE

The Author

Henry “Hank” Crumpton is a former CIA case agent and the current president of the Group, LLC, a strategic international advisory and business development firm. After a 25 year career with the CIA, Crumpton served as the coordinator for counterterrorism at the U.S. Department of State from August 2005 until February 2007. After joining the Central Intelligence Agency in 1981 Crumpton spent most of his 25 year career working undercover in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. During his time with the CIA, Crumpton received the Distinguished Intelligence Medal which is the CIA’s highest award for achievement. Crumpton started his studies with a B.A. from the University of New Mexico and finished with a master’s, with honors, from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He currently resides in Virginia.

Product Details
Title: The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA’s Clandestine Service
Author: Henry “Hank” Crumpton
Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Penguin Press
Language: English

Find out more about the Central Intelligence Agency at www.cia.gov

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8 Comments

  • Mr. Crumpton’s book belongs among the top five books about intelligence on anyone’s bookshelf. It is possibly the best depiction I have read of the motivations and thought processes of the men and women of the CIA’s Clandestine Services. It should be an eye-opener for those who depreciate the CIA, and it should be required reading for policy makers who would use hard-won intelligence for their own narrow political purposes.

  • Crumpton, a world renowned spy and counter terrorism expert tells the amazing tale of his life in the action packed and high risked world of the Central Intelligence Agency while carefully illustrating the importance of human intelligence and its effect on actual secret missions.

  • Two chapters by retired CIA operations officer Henry Crumpton deserve close attention. [1] The first discusses the early CIA role in Afghanistan, an all-source, joint-element intelligence operation that worked. He explains why. His second article is on intelligence and homeland security and the many obstacles to success in that domain. He stresses the differences associated with using a law enforcement agency for domestic intelligence work, the consequences of doing this, and ways to deal with the disconnects.

  • I had worked in counterterrorism across many different agencies and departments, and I understood the interagency process, so the transition from operations to policy was not difficult. My many years steeped in global counterterrorist operations and my cooperative relationships in many countries also helped. During the eighteen months working for Secretary Rice, I spent most of my time traveling abroad, working with our ambassadors, military commanders, and foreign partners. In this transition, there may have been some missteps, but I endeavored to learn and improve. There was one major gap in my experience and understanding, however. I vastly underestimated the extent and the importance of the public part of this mission. I conducted more than a hundred interviews and other press events worldwide. Audiences, foreign and domestic, seemed eager for somebody to engage, to discuss counterterrorism policy and the supporting role of intelligence. If nothing else, they wanted a senior U.S. official to listen.

  • Once Cofer Black had finalized his operational plan, Charles Allen , associate deputy director of Central Intelligence for Collection, created a dedicated al-Qaeda cell with officers from across the intelligence community. This cell met daily, focusing on penetrating the Afghan sanctuary, and ensuring that collection initiatives were synchronized with operational plans. Allen met with Tenet on a weekly basis to review initiatives.

  • Once Cofer Black had finalized his operational plan, Charles Allen , associate deputy director of Central Intelligence for Collection, created a dedicated al-Qaeda cell with officers from across the intelligence community. This cell met daily, focusing on penetrating the Afghan sanctuary, and ensuring that collection initiatives were synchronized with operational plans. Allen met with Tenet on a weekly basis to review initiatives.

  • But Crumpton’s passion is intelligence gathering, particularly the old-fashioned kind, through espionage, by CIA case officers recruiting spies in the world’s back alleys.

  • À la suite des attentats du 11 septembre 2001 , la CIA envoya des équipes pour établir le contact avec les chefs de guerre afghans opposés aux Talibans. Ces équipes étaient généralement dirigées par un officier traitant expérimenté, secondé par un officier paramilitaire , le reste de l’équipe étant formé d’un mélange de spécialistes du renseignement, des opérations, des communications, et de traducteurs. La première équipe, nom de code Jawbreaker, dirigée par Gary Schroen , arrivée dans la vallée du Pandjchir le 26 septembre, fut la première force américaine déployée en Afghanistan. Elle arriva avec plusieurs millions de dollars en liquide pour « acheter » la loyauté des chefs de guerre et leur permettre de s’équiper. Les équipes assurèrent la liaison entre forces afghanes et américaines, évaluèrent les zones de combat et les forces en présence, et les repérèrent à l’aide de GPS . Ils lancèrent des opérations de collecte de renseignement humain, unilatérales ou en coopération avec le service de renseignement de l’Alliance du Nord, certaines permettant de désigner des objectifs à des frappes aériennes. Jawbreaker contacta certains chefs Talibans pour tenter d’obtenir des ralliements et la libération de huit humanitaires de Shelter Now International prisonniers des Talibans. Les équipes de la CIA n’étaient pas équipées de radios permettant de communiquer avec l’aviation ni de désignateurs lasers, en conséquence le guidage de l’ appui aérien rapproché échut aux forces spéciales.

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