To Catch a Spy: The Art of Counterintelligence

Georgetown Univ. May 2019. 248p. notes. index. ISBN 9781626166806. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781626166813. POL SCI
OrangeReviewStarWhile the United States is under constant and powerful assault by foreign powers, particularly Russia, China, and Cuba, another very real threat is Americans betraying their own country. According to former CIA intelligence chief Olson (Texas A&M Univ.), this type of criminal activity is usually motivated by monetary reasons rather than ideological ones. Here, the author delves into the history of counterintelligence and offers advice on how governments, organizations, and businesses can better protect themselves and their information. Olson has experienced firsthand the trials and tribulations of investigating the ways foreign entities recruit U.S. citizens as spies. His informed analysis is clear and succinct and emphasizes that prevention and detection efforts need to be resolutely practiced in the workplace, where lax procedures allow these agents to prosper. Analysis of 12 case studies illustrates how failures to select and supervise employees, along with a lack of individual responsibility, has led to disastrous leaks of information to foreign rivals. The American professionals in this field are doing a solid job, but the open and forgiving nature of American society and workplace cultures is a constant hurdle.
VERDICT This is a must-read for professionals in security and/or governmental affairs; it may also appeal to readers interested in foreign counterintelligence efforts and U.S. tactics.
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