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From Secrets to Policy

Eighth Edition

September 2019 | 616 pages | CQ Press
Winner of the 2020 McGuffey Longevity Award from the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA)

“[The text is] one of the most useful, one-volume, introductory works on intelligence today. [Intelligence] does an excellent job of working through the intricacies of U.S. intelligence.” 
—Richard J. Norton, United States Naval War College

Mark M. Lowenthal’s trusted guide is the go-to resource for understanding how the intelligence community’s history, structure, procedures, and functions affect policy decisions. In the fully updated Eighth Edition of Intelligence, the author addresses cyber security and cyber intelligence throughout, expands the coverage of collection, comprehensively updates the chapters on nation-state issues and transnational issues, and looks at foreign intelligence services, both large and small.

Tables, Figures, and Boxes
CHAPTER 1 • What Is “Intelligence”?
Why Have Intelligence Agencies?

What Is Intelligence About?

Key Terms

Further Readings

CHAPTER 2 • The Development of U.S. Intelligence
Major Themes

Major Historical Developments

Key Terms

Further Readings

CHAPTER 3 • The U.S. Intelligence Community
Alternative Ways of Looking at the Intelligence Community

The Many Different Intelligence Communities

Intelligence Community Relationships That Matter

The Intelligence Budget Process

Key Terms

Further Readings

CHAPTER 4 • The Intelligence Process—A Macro Look: Who Does What for Whom?


Processing and Exploitation

Analysis and Production

Dissemination and Consumption


Thinking About the Intelligence Process

Key Terms

Further Readings

CHAPTER 5 • Collection and the Collection Disciplines
Overarching Themes

Strengths and Weaknesses


Key Terms

Further Readings

CHAPTER 6 • Analysis
Major Themes

Analytical Issues

Intelligence Analysis: An Assessment

Key Terms

Further Readings

CHAPTER 7 • Counterintelligence
Internal Safeguards

External Indicators and Counterespionage

Problems in Counterintelligence


Economic Espionage

National Security Letters


Key Terms

Further Readings

CHAPTER 8 • Covert Action
The Decision-Making Process

The Range of Covert Actions

Issues in Covert Action

Assessing Covert Action

Key Terms

Further Readings

CHAPTER 9 • The Role of the Policy Maker
The U.S. National Security Policy Process

Who Wants What?

The Intelligence Process: Policy and Intelligence

Key Term

Further Readings

CHAPTER 10 • Oversight and Accountability
Executive Oversight Issues

Congressional Oversight

Issues in Congressional Oversight

Internal Dynamics of Congressional Oversight

The Courts


Key Terms

Further Readings

CHAPTER 11 • The Intelligence Agenda: Nation-States
The Primacy of the Soviet Issue

The Emphasis on Soviet Military Capabilities

The Emphasis on Statistical Intelligence

The “Comfort” of a Bilateral Relationship

Collapse of the Soviet Union

Intelligence and the Soviet Problem

The Current Nation-State Issue

Key Terms

Further Readings

CHAPTER 12 • The Intelligence Agenda: Transnational Issues
U.S. National Security Policy and Intelligence After the Cold War

Intelligence and the New Priorities







Health and the Environment

Peacekeeping Operations

Support to the Military


Key Terms

Further Readings

CHAPTER 13 • Ethical and Moral Issues in Intelligence
General Moral Questions

Issues Related to Collection and Covert Action

Analysis-Related Issues

Oversight-Related Issues


The Media


Further Readings

CHAPTER 14 • Intelligence Reform
The Purpose of Reform

Issues in Intelligence Reform


Key Terms

Further Readings

CHAPTER 15 • Foreign Intelligence Services





Other Services

Other Services in Brief


Further Readings

Appendix 1. Additional Bibliographic Citations and Websites
Appendix 2. Major Intelligence Reviews or Proposals
Author Index
Subject Index

“Lowenthal provides a well-written, comprehensive overview of the intelligence community and the unique business of intelligence work.”

Kimberly A. Urban
Virginia Commonwealth University

“[Intelligence] is an excellent introduction to the U.S. intelligence community that offers compelling insights from a seasoned insider.” 

Antony Field
California State University, San Bernardino

“Lowenthal’s Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy is a comprehensive, authoritative, and well-written text suitable for both undergraduate and graduate courses as well as a useful guide for practitioners.”

John W. King
Notre Dame College

“[The text is] one of the most useful, one-volume, introductory works on intelligence today. [Intelligence] does an excellent job of working through the intricacies of U.S. intelligence.”

Richard J. Norton
United States Naval War College

One of the best and most comprehensive takes on intelligence analysis and associated national security issues.

Miss Ewa Zielinska
Criminal Justice Dept, University Of New Haven
December 5, 2019
Key features

The Eighth Edition is the most accessible and comprehensive version to date, featuring the most current topics in this constantly moving and evolving field. New topics include:
  • A shift in the emphasis of U.S. intelligence away from transnational issues and back to nation states, particularly China and Russia
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning as collection issues and transnational intelligence issues
  • How intelligence is faring under the Trump administration
  • Social media and big data as collection issues
  • Threats to intelligence collection systems
  • Security clearances and intelligence leaks
  • Foreign intelligence services: Britain, China, Russia, Israel, Australia, Germany


  • A comprehensive, unbiased treatment of US Intelligence in the market gives readers a firm understanding of the role that intelligence plays in making national security policy and insight into its strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Up-to-date coverage of recent events and trends keeps the topics current and relevant.
  • A clear and concise writing style makes this book suitable for students at every level of experience.
  • Each chapter concludes with a list of readings recommended for a deeper examination of relevant issues. 
  • Additional bibliographic citations and websites are provided in Appendix 1 for further learning. 
  • Appendix 2 lists some of the most important reviews and proposals for change in the U.S. intelligence community since 1945— ensuring students are up-to-date on issues inherent in intelligence

For instructors

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