Len V. Scott


Scott, Len. "Espionage and the Cold War: Oleg Penkovsky and the Cuban Missile Crisis." Intelligence and National Security 14, no. 3 (Autumn 1999): 23-47.

"The significance of Penkovsky's intelligence in the Cuban missile crisis ... has been sensationalised and distorted.... This conclusion is not to 'debunk' Penkovsky or to denigrate his espionage. It is to emphasise that the Cuban missile crisis is not a useful way of adjudicating on the importance of Penkovsky's espionage and that Penkovsky's espionage is not a fruitful way of examining the Cuban missile crisis."

[CIA/60s/Penkovsky; GenPostwar/60s/MissileCrisis][c]

Scott, Len. "Intelligence and the Risk of Nuclear War: Able Archer-83 Revisited." Intelligence and National Security 26, no. 6 (Dec. 2011): 759-777.

The article explores "what we know (or believe we know) about the events of 1983, and where our understanding is most in need of further illumination.... Whether we came close to nuclear war will remain an increasingly fascinating question for those who try to understand the Cold War."


Scott, L.V. Macmillan, Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis: Political, Military and Intelligence Aspects. London: Macmillan, 1999. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999.

Robarge, I&NS 15.4, believes that the author "provides balance to overstated judgments of the contribution of Oleg Penkovsky.... Scott also shows the immense impact that photographic intelligence had on policymakers when overhead reconnaisance was in its infancy."


Scott, Len. "Secret Intelligence, Covert Action and Clandestine Diplomacy." Intelligence and National Security 19, no. 2 (Summer 2004): 322-341.

"The United States' current mood shows little aversion to using force, and overt action is less constrained by domestic opposition or international restraint. US political and bureaucratic debates about covert action will for some time occur within a different context to much of the Cold War."


Scott, Len. "Sources and Methods in the Study of Intelligence: A British View." Intelligence and National Security 22, no. 2 (Apr. 2007): 185-205.

The author assesses some of the "challenges and opportunities for the study of intelligence in the United Kingdom and places them in historical context. It focuses on various aspects of intelligence organization and practice, specifically covert acion and central intelligence machinery. And finally it reflects on the extent to which recent events pose new challenges to the study and practice of British intelligence."

[UK/Postcw/Gen & RefMats]

Scott, Len, and R. Gerald Hughes. "Intelligence, Crises and Security: Lessons from History?" Intelligence and National Security 21, no. 5 (Oct. 2006): 653-674.

This article is primarily stagesetting for the other articles included in this edited volume. Nonetheless, the authors make a number of salient points, including the observation that for critics in the United States, "intelligence is an ingredient in, as well as cover for, more fundamental failings of political leadership and policy-making."


Scott, Len, and Peter Jackson. "The Study of Intelligence in Theory and Practice." Intelligence and National Security 19, no. 2 (Summer 2004): 139-169.

The authors survey "the various approaches scholars have employed to study the role of intelligence in national and international politics." They argue "that from its inception intelligence studies has been characterized by its inter-disciplinary character and openness to different conceptual approaches.... [They] conclude that this is one of the great strengths of this sub-field and argue for a further broadening and deepening of the intelligence studies agenda."


Scott, Len, and Steve Smith. "Lessons of October: Historians, Political Scientists, Policy-makers and the Cuban Missile Crisis." International Affairs 70 (Oct. 1994): 659-684.


Scott, Len V., and R. Gerald Hughes. "Intelligence in the Twenty-First Century: Change and Continuity or Crisis and Transformation?" Intelligence and National Security 24, no. 1 (Feb. 2009): 6-25.

"The need to understand the nature and limitations of intelligence formed a cornerstone of the Butler Report, in contrast to some of the American enquiries and debates.... The view that intelligence is in crisis is surely overstated, although, in the United States, the CIA has been severely buffeted and its role diminished." (Footnote omitted)


Scott, Len V., and R. Gerald Hughes, eds.

1. "Special Issue on 'Intelligence, Crises and Security: Prospects and Retrospects.'" Intelligence and National Security 21, no. 5 (Oct. 2006): entire issue.

Click for Table of Contents.

2. Intelligence, Crises and Security: Prospects and Retrospects. New York: Routledge, 2008.

Clark comment: This book consists of articles originally published in Intelligence and National Security 21, no. 5 (Oct. 2006). Peake, Studies 52.2 (Jun. 2008) and Intelligencer 16.1 (Spring 2008), comments that "[w]hat is missing from this collection is a summary chapter that relates the articles to the overall aim or theme." For Goodman, I&NS 27.4 (Aug. 2012), the chapters in this work "are good, and they all attempt (sometimes obliquely) to refer" to the role that the intelligence community can play in crises.


Scott, Len, R. Gerald Hughes, and Martin S. Alexander, eds.

1. "Special Issue on 'Change, Crisis and Transformation: Challenges for Western Intelligence in the Twenty-First Century.'" Intelligence and National Security 24, no. 1 (Feb. 2009): entire issue.

"This collection is based on the 'Choices for Western Intelligence: The Security Challenges of the Twenty-First Century' Conference, at University of Wales Conference Centre, Gregynog, 28-30 April 2007."

Click for Table of Contents.

2. Intelligence and International Security: New Perspectives and Agendas. London: Routledge, 2011.

This is an updated version of 1 above. The first chapter after the introduction is now R. Gerald Hughes and Len Scott, "The Future of Intelligence: Seeking Perfection in an Imperfect World?", pp. 6-24.

Peake, Studies55.3 (Sep. 2011), finds this volume to be "a practical, thought-provoking, and weighty contribution to the literature." The exception to that praise is the article by Jeffreys-Jones, which includes inaccurate historical background and "undocumented opinions."

To Lefebvre, IJI&C 25.1 (Spring 2012), this volume lacks "a coherent and well-articulated theme," but it "does reflect the quality and effort put into each chapter by its contributing scholars." Goodman, I&NS 27.4 (Aug. 2012), expresses a similar view, noting that while this work "contains interestying contributions, it suffers structurally and does not hang together as well as it might."

[GenPostCW/00s/Gen & 10s/Gen]

Scott, Len V., and Peter D. Jackson, eds.

1. "Special Issue on 'Understanding Intelligence in the Twenty-First Century: Journeys in Shadows.'" Intelligence and National Security 19, no. 2 (Summer 2004): entire issue.

2. Understanding Intelligence in the Twenty-First Century: Journeys in Shadows. Studies in Intelligence Series. London: Routledge, 2004.

Peake, Studies 49.3 (2005), comments that while the topics covered in this anthology of academic articles "are not new,... each one of the thoughtful papers conveys a need for wider understanding and study within academia and the public in the post-9/11 world." This is "a thought-provoking, valuable collection of ideas. There is much here for doctoral dissertations and today’s intelligence practitioners."

For Gustafson, I&NS 22.4 (Aug. 2007), this "is an excellent, and still current, state-of-the-art report penned at a critical point in time.... [I]n terms of a timely reflection on the field of intelligence studies, it covers all the major bases."


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