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Securing the State Hardcover – 9 Jul 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd (9 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849040788
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849040785
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 3.4 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 569,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'David Omand's superb book is a reminder of why state security is important. . . Every security practitioner should read this book, which distils so much experience gathered at the sharp end of security. Sir David Omand is undoubtedly one of the most able people to have served in British government since the Second World War.' --Times Literary Supplement

'An invaluable handbook for politicians, intelligence professionals, journalists and anyone else who wants to know what should and should not be done in the name of securing the state in an age of surprise, turbulence and implacably hostile terrorist networks that are more than capable of using the latest technology.' --The Economist

'Few books on national security become instant classics in their field. Sir David Omand's brilliantly insightful and authoritative Securing the State likely will be one of those. It is one of the most important studies on the role intelligence services play in crafting successful counterterrorism measures by governments, the book's primary, although not sole, focus.' --The Washington Times

About the Author

Sir David Omand, GCB, was Intelligence and Security Coordinator in the Cabinet Office from 2002-5, responsible for the counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. He was for seven years a member of the Joint Intelligence Committee and has served as Permanent Secretary of the Home Office and the Cabinet Office, and has been Director of GCHQ (the UK signals intelligence agency) and Deputy Under Secretary of State for Defence Policy in the Ministry of Defence. He is now a visiting Professor in the War Studies Department of King's College London and an honorary Fellow of Corpus Christi College, University Cambridge.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Søilen Klaus on 22 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover
What makes this book so good is that it covers such a vast area of intelligence work and that it is so well written. The author also brings to it his unique experience, as director of the GCHQ etc. Many similar books fall in the trap of saying too little, thus they become dull.

Except for some unnecessary repetitions, a few words missing in sentences and an occasional error this book is exiting to read from the beginning to its end. Some chapters are a bit too short, but then the book itself is long enough.

The book simply explains why we need secret intelligence services. As its starting point it takes the famous Frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in Palazzo Pubblico in Siena known as "Allegory and Effects of Good and Bad Government". The return to the notion of bad and good government throughout the book is a pedagogical masterwork. Omand shows what needs to be kept hidden and what should be kept open, placing equal responsibility on the shoulders of both intelligence organization and the public. The author does a good job at setting the rules for intelligence work, all well explained with examples. Omand explains what has become different in the world of intelligence since 9/11, how intelligence organizations from around the world have been forced to cooperate, and what can be outsourced and what must be done in-house. The only surprise here is that Omand argues so strongly for private contractors in combat situations. He also suggests that Open Source Search is better left to private actors (P. 311).

The strongest part of the book is in my opinion how Omand professionalizes the profession. This view is best summoned up in the sentence "The Intelligence Community is a Knowledge Industry" (P. 294).
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert Bartlett on 5 Aug. 2010
Format: Hardcover
A book aimed at the specialist and those who work in government but is extremely interesting and valuable for someone interested in the secret world, managing crises along with the process of government and regulation in this difficult area. Explanations are given about the collection of secret information, its analyses and circulation to the end user. Given the role of the author in government and the security agencies much of what he writes is reassuring.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Should be read by everyone that deals with intelligence, national security, defence, homeland security, etc.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DONZO Road Runner on 20 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brilliant in analysis. Thorough in coverage. This man knows his subject well. A must for all University deoartments in International Relations.
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1 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Raman Prakash on 24 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback
The book Securing the State by Sir David Omand is rubbish. Sir David Bruce Omand GCB talks about how Governments recognise that national security in the turbulent conditions of the early twenty-first century must centre on the creation of public confidence that normal life can continue even in the face of threats such as terrorism and proliferation, and of natural hazards such as pandemics and climate change.

David Omand's book does not clearly demonstrates a highly sophisticated, critical and thorough understanding of the
topic. Provides clear evidence of originality and independence of thought and clearly
demonstrates exceptional ability to develop a highly systematic and logical or insightful
argument, solution or evaluation.

Securing the state by David Omand does not show an exceptionally high level of
clarity, focus and cogency in communication.
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