Michael Herman

"Intelligence"-Titled Items


Herman, Michael. "Intelligence and the Assessment of Military Capabilities: Reasonable Sufficiency or the Worst Case?" Intelligence and National Security 4, no. 4 (Oct. 1989): 765-799.

The author argues that military intelligence, the greatest importance of which is in the area of net assessments, is undervalued in the Western intelligence community. He suggests that both the stature and professionalism of military intelligence needs to be raised.


Herman, Michael. "Intelligence and the Iraq Threat: British Joint Intelligence After Butler." RUSI Journal 149, no. 4 (Aug. 2004):18–24.


Herman, Michael. "Intelligence and Policy: A Comment." Intelligence and National Security 6, no. 1 (Jan. 1991): 229-239.

Herman, Michael. Intelligence Power in Peace and War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Freeman, I&NS 12.2, proclaims that this book "has an elegance and perspective that raises the study of intelligence to new levels.... The organization is methodical, the analysis meticulous, the range of sources extraordinary and the writing crisp and lucid.... It is one of the few weaknesses of the book that [Herman] has decided not to explore the relevance of his analysis for questions of democratic accountability."

In a highly laudatory review, Westerfield, IJI&C 10.3, states that "[n]o one who is serious about intelligence studies should fail to become familiar with this book." The emphasis of Herman's work is inclined "toward the analysis function and toward interface with policymakers." Additionally, his chapter on liaison is "excellent, extraordinarily frank."

Hoffman, History 26.1, says that the author "captures the essence of the intelligence mandate and argues for its enduring place" among the needs of governments. In the process, Herman makes the case against "market-driven collection," a faddish concept that "does not hold to the more tangential world of intelligence." This is "a learned text" that is "thoughful and well-conceived."

For Latawski, Rusi Journal, Apr. 1998, this is "a very thought-provoking and important work for understanding how an intelligence community works, when it fails and how it might work better.... Herman offers frank views on problems encountered in various components of the intelligence community." However, the "book is not an easy read."

According to Hess, IIHSG [International Intelligence History Association] Newsletter 7.1 (Summer 1999) and JIH 1.1, this "is a scholarly study and for those readers who want to know about the internal workings of intelligence it provides more fascination than many of the 'cloak and dagger' spy stories.... [This] thoroughly researched, well-structured, and very readable book is highly recommendable."

[Overviews/Gen/90s; UK/Overviews; WhatIsIntel?]

Herman, Michael. "Intelligence's Future: Learning From the Past." Journal of Intelligence History 3, no. 2 (Winter 2003). [http://www.intelligence-history.org/jih/previous.html]

From abstract: "The British political crisis in 2004 over the government's 'dossier' on Iraqi WMD ... illustrates the problems of intelligence's new public profile. It also points to the lessons to be learned from its assessment failures on this subject. These point towards establishing a European assessment machinery, a kind of Brussels Joint Intelligence Committee; and also towards encouraging intelligence professionalism everywhere."

[GenPostCW/00s/04; OtherCountries/EU; UK/PostCW/04]

Herman, Michael. "Intelligence Services and Ethics in the New Millenium." Irish Studies in International Affairs 10 (1999): 260-261.


Herman, Michael. Intelligence Services in the Information Age. London and Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 2001.

Van Nederveen, Air & Space Power Journal, Winter 2002, notes that this is a "collection of essays with a very British flavor.... The book examines intelligence as an input to national-security policy making, data gathered by diplomatic means, and the growth of battlefield intelligence that accompanies the emergence of a revolution in military affairs.... Herman has produced some new research here that readers should study closely, especially in the climate following the terrorist attacks of 11 September -- specifically, who produces what, and what influence or relevance does it have as national policy is formulated or implemented?... [This] is a valuable book and a must read for people who study intelligence policy and problems."

For Richelson, IJI&C 15.3, some of the luster is missing from this book since only two of the chapters are really new and one of those is only four pages long. Additionally, most of the articles "have little or nothing to do with intelligence in the information age." That said, however, "many of [the book's] chapters are well worth reading." Parkinson, I&NS 18.1, finds that "Herman's analysis highlights the reality that intelligence services will remain an element of national power" in the 21st century. This work "should be required reading for amateurs and intelligence professionals alike."


Herman, Michael. "Intelligence as Threats and Reassurance." Intelligence and National Security 26, no. 6 (Dec. 2011): 791-817.

"[F]or each side the intrusive intelligence activities of the other were an important and continuing element.... The knowledge they produced may eventually have given Western governments -- and possibly the Soviet regime -- the confidence that the Cold War could be managed without disaster, yet for both sides the adversary's intrusive collection demonstrated the hostility that made the conflict continue."



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