BOOK REVIEW: CONFLICT IN THE SHADOWS

Created: 9/1/1963

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAMIN FUU. ,

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STUDIES IN

INTELLIGENCE

A collection ol articles on the historical, operational, doctrinal, and theoretical aspects ol Intelligence.

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All statements of fact, opinion or analysis expressed in Studies in Intelligence are those of

the authors They Oo not necessarily reflect official positions or views of the Central intelligence Agency or any other US Government entity, past or present. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying US Government endorsement of an article's factual stalcments and interpretations

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CONFIDENTIAL

INTELLIGENCE IN RECENT PUBLIC LITERATURE

CONFLICT IN THE SHADOWS. By James Eliot Cross. With foreword by Stewart Alsop. (Garden City, New York: Doubleday. .

Subtitled "The Nature

ex-colleague's bookemarkably fine, panoramic

tion of Insurgency and counterinsurgency. It belongs in

first rank of general works on that Intensely topical theme, alongside Paret and Shy. Guerrillas in the mps (secondand Heiibrunn, Partisan Warfare, both published last year. Moreover, Cross writes well: reading him is no chore-Making liberal use of historical and current illustrations, the book describes the kinds of environments and the synoptic conditions in which insurrection may take root and flourish, the character of the military conflict between guerrilla and government forces, the critical struggle between the two for popular support, and the roles, problems, and ramifying burdens of foreign powers involved on either side.

The "guerrilla epidemic" of the current nuclear epoch is diagnosed as deriving largely from the Communistneedeasible mode of expansion. After early postwar hopes placed on political action and national elections had proved illusory and conventional warotential prelude to holocaust, subversive insurgency or war-by-proxy remainedeasonably safe means for extending thedomain.econd from Alsop, the author takes Khrushchev's1 declaration of support for "wars of national liberation"isclosure of the policyhad foUowed and would continue to follow, and he shows how the Immature or backward states are particularlytargets for this policy. He concludes, however, that, given American understanding of the nature ofwarfare and effective use. assets, there is good reason to believe that over the next decade the Communist strategy can be defeated. We will be able, he argues, to work in harmony with the governments of states under attack and to bring more Western nations "into what must finallyide cooperative effort."

Recenf Book

The author's passages on the Intelligence function Inwarfare are rather disappointing. One had hoped,account of his OSS-CIA experience as well as hisresearch, for more than he gives in that area. He writes expertly and at some length on tactics, targets, weaponry, logistics, and communications. His evaluation of the non-combatant and of the. Irifluences^whlch mqy^jhim onejgBvferthe other isut on mtelllgcnce he ls'dlstressingty content with the axiomatic or the superficial.

To be sure, he emphasizes the importance of Intelligence for both guerrilla and counterguerriUa operations and adds that "first-rate counterespionage or counterintelligence is critical" for both sides. He goes on:

In guerrilla war the military aspects of Intelligence boll downew crucial questions for each aide. The guerrillas, who can not Qgbt except on their own terms, must know enough of thelr enemy's plans and movements to avoid being trapped Into battles which they can not win, and enough of the enemy's weak spots to make their own strikes as safe and eOecUve as possible.the military authorities must gain enough information to find their toe and either to destroy him directly or to cut htm oft from the supplies and Information which enable him to tight andhe authorities must have accurate and prompt in. formation of any significant concentrations and must be able to avoid them or to concentrate their own forces In turn and seize the rare opportunity ofarge group of rebels at once. Failure to obtain or act on aucb Intelligence can be

The quality and quanUty of Intelligence available to eitherrebels or to the government depend directly on the relaUon-shlp which the two sides enjoy with the population.

Cross quotes Magsaysay in testimony to the value of bribery for obtaining intelligence and cites the "great success" of the authorities in the Philippines and Malaya when they offered generous rehabilitation programs and rewards to guerrillas for deserting and providing useful information. The factwas, however, that these devices were notably effective only after the tide had turned in favor of government forces, when counterguerriUa operations had begun to raise theon the rebels. Inflict casualties, work physical hardship, erode morale, and shake the conviction of ultimate victory

92

Recent Book

More generally, he argues that to the problem of finding the guerrilla In difficult, poorly known terrain the

hat still seems mod effective Is to employthe retrton woo an willing to work with the governmentuse them as scouts and guides, or to organise them Intoare better able to preserve the peace than even the .

e&Meei outsiders,Oi?nn5orturuitely, Is nTPaiinirersalsoluUon. The British In Kenya had success with counter-gangs against the Mau Mau. and the Philippine security forces from time to time made effective use of antl-Huk indigenes. The French,tried this procedure with little or no success inand the British in Cyprus and Palestine found "willing natives" simply unavailable as scouts, guides, or counlerter-rorist forces.

On urban Insurrection. Cross aptly writes:

probably the most effective tnstrumantovernment can bring tos an efficient police Intelligence

Then he adds the truism:

If the leaders, the plana, and the methods of the rebelliousare known to the authorities, the likelihood of Its being able to mount major demonstrations or to strike serious blows Is sharply

Turning to espionage, he makes the negative point that while all insurrectionists of course set up the most efficient Intelligence nets they can, they usually make relatively little use of secret agents at the higher levels of government. This Is because guerrilla leaders concentrate on collectinglon for use in their own operations, rather than for the useoreign power.

It Is taeUcal rather than strategic stuff they are after, and

curcment of "naUonal secrets" of the sort tradlUonaUy associated with major espionage is only incidental to the direct advancement of Use rebellion,

The reader looks vainlyew lines on the counterguerrdla forces' use of agents anda treatment ofespionage. Yet clandestine operations, run by professional

case officers, scored impressively in many counterinsurgency

campaigns. +

CONRStNTlAl

AW

On the uses ot an air arrn for Intelligence, it is not enough merely to say:

Aerialan help an army faced with (the difficulty of locaUnt and pinning down elusive guerrilla forcet) (p. IS)

Onerief discussion of the uses and limitations of. types of aircraft ln^talnlrig'* essential ln?brrna5on; there'ls documentary material on this.

Indeed, exposing himself to the charge of grosswith his own dodge, this Intelligence officer regrets that such an otherwise good book does not clarify in more depth and detail the character and the special difficulties ofoperations in guerrilla warfare. It would of course be flagrantly parochial toork likehe Shadows to take usrand detour through the bumpy field of intelligence. One may still yearn, however, for an expert study of the counterinsurgency intelligence function as revealed in the guerrilla wars of recent years

An enormous American effort has gone into the creation and teaching of techniques and procedures for civic action and military operations. Oreat sums have been spent on the design, testing, and production of specialized combat andgear. In contrast, little persistent attention has been given the development of sound doctrine and procedures for acquiring intelligence, the vital need for which has been stressed time and again by counterguerrilla forceEven the research which would sum up the American intelligence experiences In Laos and South Vietnam remains to be done.

iscteriaes

DN^ipetfj^T

One wants lo see sound conclusions, distilled from studies of success and of failure, on how the intelligence process in counterinsurgency can best be organized, directed, andon how responsibility for the various collection and analytical functions should be allocated among multipleforce elements, on ruses and deceptions; on working with the intelligence component! of friendly foreign security forces; and on special training for intelligence personnel. Such an exercise might help to shorten the next counter-guerrilla action we get Involved in.

B. T.

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