Peter Schweizer


Schweizer, Peter. Friendly Spies: How America's Allies Are Using Economic Espionage to Steal Our Secrets. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1993.

According to Surveillant 3.2/3, this book has been the "subject of some fairly serious allegations concerning untruthful research and reporting." The criticism began with an article by David Leppard and Nick Rufford in the 11 April Washington Post. Schweizer's response in the 15 May Washington Post was an "unfocused rebuttal" that "fail[ed] to refute or clarify any of the questions raised."

Steele, AIJ 14.2/3, finds that the book "suffers from inaccuracies and occasional naiveté," while Cohen, FA 73.5 (Sep.-Oct. 1994), comments that "one wonders how many of the details mustered by the author would hold up to scholarly inquiry. Furthermore, many of the stories here are old hat." Even so, this is "an engrossing, sobering, and generally plausible book."

Lowenthal also notes that the work is largely a compendium of known cases drawn from press accounts. Interviews in the book have been questioned as to their "accuracy and reliability." On the other hand, NameBase says that the book "turns out to be surprisingly informative and worthwhile. No one even tries to deny that Japan, Germany, France, South Korea, and Israel use their intelligence services to steal secrets from U.S. business, and Schweizer provides numerous examples.... The question is whether U.S. intelligence should be unleashed against the threat."


Schweizer, Peter. "The Growth of Economic Espionage: America Is Target Number One." Foreign Affairs 75, no. 1 (Jan./Feb. 1996): 9-14.

"As economic competition supplants military confrontation in global affairs, spying for high-tech secrets will continue to grow, and military spying will recede into the background....[T]he United States is far less involved in economic espionage than most of its major allies and trading partners." France is "one of the most aggressive collectors of economic intelligence in the world.... Japan lacks a large formal intelligence service ... but remains an active acquirer of business information.... The transition from communism to capitalism means only that Russian intelligence will have a greater business orientation.... The United States needs to treat economic espionage not only as an intelligence issue, but as the competitiveness and economic issue it has become."


Schweizer, Peter. Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union. New York: Atlantic Monthly, 1994.

According to Surveillant 3.6, this is a "fascinating look at the final days of some of the operations targeting the Soviet menace to help in its destruction." For Elliott, WPNWE, 22-28 Aug. 1994, Schweizer's "is a decent point pressed much too far.... [A]bove all, a book that relies almost solely on interviews with a few key protagonists, that does not delve into pre-Reagan times..., and that shows no familiarity with the academic literature ... just can't be trusted to give a nuanced view of history."

Palmer, Proceedings 121.1 (Jan. 1995), notes that Schweizer portrays Casey as masterminding "new policies ... aimed at placing Moscow on the defensive and halting ... the erosion of the U.S. strategic position that had begun in the 1970s.... [The author] argues that the ... Soviet system ... could have continued to amble along -- had the pace of the Cold War remained sluggish. Thus, the Reagan administration's acceleration of the tempo exacerbated the internal contradictions of the Soviet economic system and eventually forced Mikhail Gorbachev into the attempt at internal restructuring that ultimately led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union."

Richard Pipes, FA 74.1 (Jan.-Feb. 1995), 154-160, notes that this work is a "fraction of the length of Mr. Garthoff's opus and lacks scholarly rigor"; nevertheless, it "comes closer to explaining the end of the Cold War." Choice, Jan. 1995, sees Schweizer arguing "cogently and confidently that the anti-Soviet Reagan team engineered a high stakes, proactive containment and rollback campaign to undermine Soviet Communism through an economic, technological, and military squeeze and destroy mission.... This is an insightful, purposeful, and highly readable exposé, which relies perhaps too much on anecdotes and interview data with partisan players."


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