Securing the State Hardcover – 9 Jul 2010
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'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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Top Customer Reviews
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).Read more ›
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.