Lawrence Freedman


Freedman, Lawrence. "The CIA and the Soviet Threat: The Politicization of Estimates, 1966-1977." Intelligence and National Security 12, no. 1 (Jan. 1997): 122-142.

Freedman surveys the background of NIEs on the Soviet strategic threat up to the Team A/Team B exercise. He believes that the importance of the latter "was mainly to confirm the loss of authority of the national estimates on the most crucial question they were asked to address.... The problem was that a fragmented intelligence community was struggling to produce an estimate that was subject to inherent uncertainties at a time when great political issues appeared to turn on its content."


Freedman, Lawrence. "Intelligence Operations in the Falklands." Intelligence and National Security 1, no. 3 (Sep. 1986): 309-335.

The focus here is on British intelligence in the Falklands war of March-June 1982. The author notes that it is "often assumed that Britain was extraordinarily well informed concerning every move ... made by the Argentine.... By contrast, the essential theme of this article is that the task force commanders and the British government were hampered by a chronic shortage of high-quality strategic intelligence.... [This] shortage ... made it difficult to assess accurately the risks when planning specific operations and to manage the crisis at critical moments."


Freedman, Lawrence. Kennedy's Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Roberge, I&NS 17.4, calls this "the most insightful work yet produced on US national security policy during the early 1960s." However, the author's "detached style takes some of the drama out of the story."

[CIA/Laos; GenPostwar/60s/Gen; LA/Cuba/Gen; Vietnam/Gen]

Freedman, Lawrence. The Official History of the Falklands Campaign.

Vol. I: The Origins of the Falklands War. London: Routledge, 2005.

Vol. II: War and Diplomacy. London: Routledge, 2005.


Freedman, Lawrence. "The Politics of Warning: Terrorism and Risk Communication." Intelligence and National Security 20, no. 3 (Sep. 2005): 379-418.

The author identifies substantial difficulties in trying to use a system of alert levels to warn the public about the risk of terrorist attacks.


Freedman, Lawrence. U.S. Intelligence and the Soviet Strategic Threat. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1977. 2d ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986. London: Macmillan. 1986.

Pforzheimer notes with regard to the first edition of this work that the author discusses "the 'Soviet threat' from the early 'missile gap' through the Ford administration. Freedman ... relied almost completely on open sources.... Some of his ... sources are ... rather weak reeds on which to lean. Nevertheless, this book is ... worth a look." According to Constantinides, the author "is weakest when he strays into areas of human collection and of personalities." Chapter 4 "discusses instances of Soviet strategic deception designed to affect U.S. perceptions and estimates of Soviet strength." Petersen calls the second edition a "well-documented overview."


Freedman, Lawrence. "War in Iraq: Selling the Threat." Survival 46, no. 2 (Summer 2004): 7-50.


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