The Intelligence Revolution

The Intelligence Revolution : A Historical Perspective

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It is commonplace within and outside the intelligence community to acknowledge the predominant role of technology in the collection, dissemination, and even analysis of information. With roots traceable to events in the late 1800s, this technological phenomenon loomed ever larger in the twentieth century. The increasing reliance on photographic, signals, and electronic intelligence has been viewed with varying degrees of celebration and concern by scholars and intelligence professionals. This volume contains the essays and commentaries originally presented at the Thirteenth Military Symposium held to address this topic at the United States Air Force Academy from October 12 to 14, 1988. The participants in the conference attempted to provide a preliminary evaluation of the transformations that have occurred within the military intelligence community as a consequence of the Second World War. Not only did that conflict accelerate advances in technical means of collection, it also led to an international willingness to share intelligence on an unprecedented scale. The years 1939-1945 therefore witnessed a true "revolution" in intelligence collection and cooperation. That war also caused an interrelated growth in organizational size, efficiency, and sophistication that helped gain the craft of intelligence an acceptance in operational circles that it had not previously enjoyed. While this intelligence story is one of significant individual and corporate achievement, nearly all the participants in this conference reminded listeners of the inherent limitations of research into aspects of the subject that remain sensitive for today's national security. That is the salient lesson of these essays. Access to intelligence source material is limited and historians are often frustrated with conditions that necessitate less than full disclosure on many subjects. Nevertheless, with the growing awareness by the public of both the high cost of technology and the central role of intelligence in the national decision-making process, the citizenry can legitimately argue its own "need-to-know." An assessment of the role and importance of intelligence-and the effectiveness of the attendant technologies--can clearly benefit from the objective perspective of the historian. The Symposium in Military History is a biennial event jointly sponsored by the Air Force Academy's Department of History and its Association of Graduates. It provides a public forum for academic scholars, military professionals, Academy cadets, and concerned citizens to exchange ideas on military affairs and military history.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 378 pages
  • 177.8 x 254 x 21.59mm | 811.93g
  • Createspace
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1508601100
  • 9781508601104