The Best Defense

The tawdry tale of an Israeli turncoat

I'm always struck by the tawdriness of the real world of intelligence, so unlike the glamour of many thriller novels. It turns out that a retired Israeli intelligence operative sold out to the KGB because he needed money to bail him out of some business failures. They worked him for seven years, during which he spilled as much as he could, including information about "American intelligence officers in contact with Israeli intelligence, including names, positions and specialties"-and received a grand total of $31,000. What a shmuck!  

Flickr user: zeevveez

The Best Defense

Gentile: Take this COIN and shove it

COINhata Col. Gian Gentile, director of military history at West Point, has a provocative article in the new issue of Parameters, the journal of the Army War College. "Currently," he asserts,

U.S. military strategy is really nothing more than a bunch of COIN principles, massaged into catchy commander's talking points for the media, emphasizing winning the hearts and minds and shielding civilians.

I think he's wrong, in a lot of ways, but I also think his article is worth reading. Col. Gentile is asking the right questions. (Just fyi, I get popped in a footnote as a "hagiographer."  No worries -- that's more polite than a lot of words I get called. I have no problem with robust discourse.)