Charles Cogan


Cogan, Charles. "American-French Intelligence Relations and the French Nuclear Deterrent." Journal of Intelligence History 3, no. 1 (Summer 2003). [ jih/previous.html]

From abstract: "The difficulty in U.S.-French relations stems from the period of World War II.... [B]oth out of power considerations and security concerns, the U.S. in the postwar did not treat France as an equal, and particularly not on a par with Great Britain.... With de Gaulle's departure from NATO's integrated command (1966) and with the emergence of France's nuclear force de frappe, American-French tensions over nuclear issues diminished."

[France/Overviews; Liaison]

Cogan, Charles G. "Covert Action and Congressional Oversight: A Deontology." Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 16, no. 2 (Apr. 1993): 87- 97.

[CA/Gen; Oversight/90s]

Cogan, Charles G. "Desert One and Its Disorders." Journal of Military History 67, no. 1 (Jan. 2003): 201-216.

From abstract: Desert One "was not only an organizational failure, due to a splintering of the U.S. armed forces, but a failure of political will and political appreciation. The U.S. ... reacted tentatively [to the hostage situation] and with a certain propitiation. When ... a hostage rescue operation was finally mounted, it was so conceived that the U.S. could call it off at any step along the way. Desert One turned out to be the defining moment that led to a sea-change in American military policy in the 1980s: the spread of the principle of joint operations for the U.S. armed forces (Goldwater-Nichols Act), and the companion Cohen-Nunn Act consolidating Special Forces under a U.S. Special Operations Command."

[GenPostwar/80s/Iran; MI/SpecOps/00s]

Cogan, Charles G. "From the Politics of Lying to the Farce at Suez: What the US Knew." Intelligence and National Security 13, no. 2 (Summer 1998): 100-122.

"[T]hough there was suspicion on the part of the US that an Israeli-French operation might be in the offing, Washington never seriously focused on the possibility of a tripartite operation involving the British, the French, and the Israelis.... Thus the American leaders were caught totally unawares by the Anglo-French ultimatum of 30 October [1956]."


Cogan, Charles. "Hunters not Gatherers: Intelligence in the Twenty-First Century." Intelligence and National Security 19, no. 2 (Summer 2004): 304-321.

The author "highlights three aspects of the US security problem." First, "the United States is not ... properly centralised[] to conduct the intelligence operations that are required to meet the security threats" of the 21st century. "Second, because of the built-in distrust of government that is central to US political culture and tradition, we are relatively weak in the domain of internal security. Third, intelligence is not a perfect world, indeed it is more imperfect than most other activities."


Cogan, Charles G. "The In-Culture of the DO." Intelligence and National Security 8, no. 1 (Jan. 1993): 78-86.


Cogan, Charles G. "Intelligence and Crisis Management: The Importance of the Pre-Crisis." Intelligence and National Security 9, no. 4 (Oct. 1994): 633-650.

"It is noteworthy that the intelligence mechanism generally functions better after a crisis erupts. It is in the area of anticipating crises that the intelligence community is often found wanting." (Italics in original) The author illustrates his point with the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), the Yom Kippur War (1973), and the Gulf War (1990-1991). Cogan points to the institution of the Deputies Committee in the Bush administration as an approach to solving the policy approach to crises, but notes that there is no "institution for anticipating crises over the long term at the political level in Washington." (Emphasis added)

[Analysis/Surprise; GenPostwar/60s/Cuba; Israel/Surprise/YomKippur][c]

Cogan, Charles G. "Partners in Time: The CIA and Afghanistan." World Policy Journal 10, no. 2 (Summer 1993).


Cogan, Charles G. "The Response of the Strong to the Weak: The American Raid on Libya, 1986." Intelligence and National Security 6, no. 3 (Jul. 1991): 608-620.

This article is primarily a review of the background to the U.S. air raid on Libya in April 1986. However, the author's "Implications for the Future" deserve some consideration. He suggests that "the raid on Libya represents another link in the chain of events whereby direct military action has become a substitute for covert action by the CIA.... In the raid on Libya in 1986 and the invasion of Panama in 1990 [1989], covert action was shunned as an operational tool in favor of direct military action."

This shift away from covert action is associated in part with "the fact that straight military action can be carried out in greater secrecy, because of Congressional oversight strictures on CIA covert action." The wording ("element of the United States Government") of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 1991 may open the door to the development by Congress of military "special operations."


Cogan, Charles G. "Review Article: In the Shadow of Venona." Intelligence and National Security 12, no. 3 (Jul. 1997): 190-195.

In a review of Neville, The Press, the Rosenbergs, and the Cold War (1995), and Haynes, Red Scare or Red Menace (1996), Cogan draws the following conclusion about the impact of the release of the Venona materials on the Rosenberg debate: "it is a useless and sterile exercise, post Venona, to keep insisting that the accusations against the Rosenbergs were 'political'.... Julius Rosenberg was a spy and a principal agent of the Soviets, targeted on the United States' atomic secrets."


Cogan, Charles G. "Une vision américaine du renseignement française." In Le renseignement à la française, ed. Pierre Lacoste, 579-594. Paris: Economica, 1998.



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