John Macartney


Col. John D. Macartney, USAF (Ret.), died on 24 November 2001. Roy Jonkers, AFIO WIN 46-01 (26 Nov. 2001), writes: John D. Macartney was a "respected teacher, writer, co-editor of Intelligencer, and recipient of the David Atlee Phillips Award for exceptional service to the [Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO)].... He will be sorely missed, by [AFIO], by his students, and by many across the land. He was a 1960 graduate of the Air Force Academy, flew missions in Vietnam, was allowed a couple of years to get his Ph.D. prior to a teaching assignment at the Academy and served tours as the Commandant of the DIA Defense Intelligence College and as professor at the National War College. After his military career John continued to make contributions to the study and teaching of intelligence. He helped to build a network of university professors teaching the intelligence-related courses, and greatly enhanced curriculum development and teaching materials.... [John] was bright, forthright, creative, positive, cooperative, helpful, liked and respected, and the list could go on. We will miss him."

Macartney, John. "Books for Teaching Intelligence?" Intelligencer 10, no. 1 (Feb. 1999): 19-20.

The author shares information from responses to an earlier request for input on the textbooks being used in teaching intelligence either as part of courses on national security or foreign policy or as a standalone topic. He also discusses his own course offered at American University's School of International Service, "The CIA and Foreign Policy." It is interesting and, perhaps, telling that he continues to use Shulsky's Silent Warfare, even though it is out of print and already 6 years old. Macartney also comments on Shulsky's mingling in his text of what "is" and what "ought" to be.


Macartney, John. "'B Team' Report Challenges CIA Assessment of Missile Threat." AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes 28 (27 Jul. 1998). []

"On July 15, a Congressionally mandated commission .. issued a report that said, in effect, that the ballistic missile threat to the continental US was greater [than] that contained in a controversial 1995 NIE that said the threat was still 10-20 years away as well as a March 1998 NIE update that says [there is] no threat until at least the year 2010.... The US Intelligence Community's 1995 NIE ... was used to justify the President's veto of a provision in the FY1996 Defense Authorization legislation calling for NMD [National Missile Defense] deployment -- which outraged the GOP and brought charges of 'politicization of intelligence.' Robert Gates, former DCI, was asked to investigate and he subsequently issued a report that said that while the NIE's conclusions were questionable in his view, there was no evidence of politicization. Congress also established the 'Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States' in what amounts to a B Team approach of 'competitive analysis.'"


Macartney, John. "Guatemala and CIA Thugs: Probably Less Here Than Meets the Eye." Intelligence Watch Report Quarterly 2, no. 1 (1995): 6-12.

This presentation includes a chronology of events. Macartney concludes that "it is likely the CIA will have relatively clean hands in this affair as far as what they were doing in Guatemala." Whatever the facts of the case, "the PERCEPTION is that they [the CIA] were, once again, acting like a 'rogue elephant,' and in politics, perceptions are what counts." See update by Ben Venzke, "CIA Inspector General's Findings from the Guatemalan Investigation," IWR Special Report 1, no. 5 (27 Jul. 1995): 1-2.


Macartney, John. "Guatemala Update." Intelligencer 7, no. 3 (Fall 1996): 3-5.

The "Report on the Guatemala Review," issued by the President's Intelligence Oversight Board on 28 June 1996 "pretty much exonerates the [CIA] from the wild charges that made headlines in the aftermath of Rep. Robert Torricelli's (D-NJ) sensational press conference of March 23, 1995.... The charge that NSA was destroying files on the case was found to be a complete hoax and fabrication, probably the work of a disgruntled employee." The CIA was criticized "for paying insufficient attention to collecting information on [human rights] abuses prior to 1994. CIA was also criticized for not stressing human rights abuses enough in its reports to US policymakers."


Macartney, John.

1. "Intelligence: A Consumer's Guide." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 2, no. 4 (Winter 1988): 457-486.

Macartney emphasizes military intelligence and Defense Department consumers.

2. Intelligence: What It Is and How To Use It. McLean, VA: AFIO, 1991.

Surveillant 1.5: "More has been carefully poured into these 42 pages than would seem possible."


Macartney, John.

1. "'John, How Should We Explain MASINT?'" Intelligencer 12, no. 1 (Summer 2001): 28-34.

Good question, good answer. This is longer and with considerably more detail than the earlier brief explanation below.

2. "MASINT." Intelligencer 10, no. 2, 10-11.

In a brief prepared for his students at American University, the author gives a useful explanation of MASINT.


Macartney, John. "Reform: Bonanza for Scholars." Intelligencer 7, no 2 (Summer 1996): 3-5.


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