In This Review

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
By Tim Weiner
Doubleday, 2007, 720 pp.
Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11
Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11
By Amy B. Zegart
Princeton University Press, 2007, 336 pp.
Enemies of Intelligence: Knowledge and Power in American National Security
Enemies of Intelligence: Knowledge and Power in American National Security
By Richard K. Betts
Columbia University Press, 2007, 264 pp.

In the 67 years since the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, countless commissions, committees, and other official inquiries have lamented the shortcomings of the U.S. intelligence agencies. Even more unofficial ink has been spilled on intelligence failures and the supposed need for reform. But then why, if there is a problem that needs fixing, has it not yet been fixed, despite the enormous amount of attention devoted to it?

Some observers argue that the U.S. government simply has not found the right formula for change. Yet the many volumes already devoted to the subject of intelligence failure and reform

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  • PAUL R. PILLAR is on the faculty of the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University. Concluding a long career in the Central Intelligence Agency, he served as National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005.
  • More By Paul R. Pillar