Michael A. Turner


Turner, Michael A. "CIA-FBI Non-Cooperation: Cultural Trait or Bureaucratic Inertia?" International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 8, no. 3 (Fall 1995): 259-273.

"The CIA's culture ... alone does not account for the lack of interagency cooperation between the CIA and the FBI.... Additional causes are vested in the vagueness of the governing legislation and the bureaucratic inertia created by the historic separation of the two agencies." The bipartisan Presidential Commission "has the opportunity to affect the structural relationship between the CIA and the FBI in a positive way by addressing the legal ambiguities and promoting training in interagency cooperation." However, such changes will last "only if accompanied by steps to significantly affect the attitudes of key officials in each of the agencies."

[CIA/Components/Culture; Liaison/U.S./Domestic][c]

Turner, Michael A. "A Distinctive U.S. Intelligence Identity." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 17, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 42-61.

"[T]he U.S. intelligence identity reflects the ambiguity that Americans have about secret intelligence. United States citizens want the intelligence function to serve the national interest, but in ways that are palatable to the country's democratic sensibilities. Ultimately, this kind of identity, though providing the basis for important intelligence work, becomes also a prescription for intelligence failure."

Philip H.J. Davies, "Intelligence Culture and Intelligence Failure in Britain and the United States," Cambridge Review of International Affairs 17, no. 3 (Oct. 2004), comments that "it is very hard to tell whether Turner's US intelligence identity really is distinctive without some kind of comparative data against which to demonstrate that distinctiveness. As a result, whether Turner's characterisation is accurate or not, it contributes very little that is new to our understanding of intelligence in America."


Turner, Michael A. Historical Dictionary of United States Intelligence. Historical Dictionaries of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, No. 2. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2005. Second ed. Lanham, MD: Roman & Littlefield, 2014.

Peake, Studies 50.2 (2006) and Intelligencer 15.2 (Fall-Winter 2006-2007), finds that this work "has just too many errors.... The author and the publisher have left the fact-checking to the reader." For Hay, DIJ 15.1 (2006), the author "covers a range of topics," including "some important non-U.S. intelligence terms." Nevertheless "both a strength and a weakness of this dictionary" is that "it is centered on the CIA," and thereby "omits some significant intelligence terms unique to other agencies.... Perhaps the most impressive and useful section ... is the extensive bibliography."

Commenting on the second edition, Peake, Studies 59.2 (Jun. 2015), notes that "[t]here are more than 100 additional pages in this edition, including a detailed list of acronyms, a valuable chronology, a comprehensive bibliography, and a short summary of American intelligence history. Though more error-free than the first edition, some remain.... While the discrepancies are not earthshaking, they do suggest fact-checking would be wise when using this dictionary as a source. Overall, this edition ... is much improved."


Turner, Michael A. "Intelligence Reform and the Politics of Entrenchment." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 18, no. 3 (Fall 2005): 383-397.

"[T]he Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, passed in December 2004, does not significantly alter the U.S. Intelligence Community.... The Department of Defense, its advocates in congressional oversight committees, and the White House ... [worked] to blunt [the] effects [of the 9/11 Commission report] and produce legislation that mollified the proponents of reform but did nothing more than reshuffle America's intelligence leadership."

[Reform/00s/04/Act; Reform/00s/05/Gen

Turner, Michael A.

1. "Issues in Evaluating U.S. Intelligence." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 5, no. 3 (Fall 1991): 275-285.

2. "Understanding CIA's Role in Intelligence." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 4, no. 3 (Fall 1990): 295-305.


Turner, Michael A. "Setting Analytical Priorities in U.S. Intelligence." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 9, no. 3 (Fall 1996): 313-327.

"In reality, agenda-setting in U.S. intelligence is an interactive bargaining process among three environments: the policy, the bureaucratic process, analyst/collector environments."


Turner, Michael A. Why Secret Intelligence Fails. Dulles, VA: Potomac Books, 2005.

From publisher: The author "argues that the root causes of failures in American intelligence can be found in the way it is organized and in the intelligence process itself.... Rather than focusing on case studies, the book takes a holistic approach, beginning with structural issues and all dysfunctions that emanate from them." Peake, Studies 49.4 (2005), says that the author provides "a good summary of the elements of the intelligence profession and [raises] a number of issues that should stimulate thinking. But we never learn just why secret intelligence fails."

[GenPostCW/00s/Gen; Overviews/U.S./00s]

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