BOOK REVIEW: A STUDY OF MILITARY INTELLIGENCE

Created: 6/1/1959

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE IN FULL

TITLE: Booktudy of Military Intelligence

REVIEWER: John E. Coon

VOLUME: 3 ISSUE: Summer

STUDIES IN

INTELLIGENCE

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

All statements of faci. opinion or analysis expressed in Studies in Intelligence arc those of

the authors. They do not necessarily reflect official positions or views of ihe Central Intelligence Agency or any oihcr US Government entity, past or present. Nothing in the contents should be consirucd as asserting or implying US Government endorsement of an article's factual statements and interpretations.

CRITIQUES OF SOME RECENT BOOKS ON INTELLIGENCE

A STUDY OF MILITARY INTELLIGENCE. By Oeneral Cheng Chieh-min. (Taipei: Kuo-chla

This work, whether or notas so intended,ummation of the experience and studies which have made Oeneral Cheng an authority in his field. While In substance It contains little that has not been presented elsewhere, its Chinese point of viewresh perspective to familiar subjects. Thebackground includes extensive research into Western thought, philosophic and military, from the writings of the ancient Greeks to training publications of the United States Army; but It alsoolid grounding in Chinese thought and strategy from Lao-tse and Confucius to Mao Tse-tung and Chiang Kai-shek. Clauscwltz and Jomini, Lenin and Llddell Hart. Toynbee and Sherman Kent are seenew light when interpreted through the thinking of Hsun-tsu and Menclus, Sun-txu and Ssu-ma Kuang, Sun Yat-sen and Chiang.

The author, at the agen poor health and in semi-retirement. Is still Director of the National Security Bureau, the highest intelligence agency In the Nationalistraduate of the second class of the Whampoae studied in Moscow and Western Europe, served as combat commander and general staff officer in China, and had liaison duties with various Allied commands during World War H. He has been consistently close to theember of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomin-tang. Vice and Deputy Minister of National Defense, Director of Military intelligence. Director of the Office ofember of the President's Advisory Committee on Strategy. He7 Inear of convalescence,"and expanding his two previous works on intelligence into the present study.

General Cheng states that the purpose of bis book, designed for the Chinese military community. Is to correctmisapprehensions about the nature of tatelllgence work, and to arouse Interest or furnish guidanceadly neglected field. He proposes to take up In order "all questions connected with military Intelligence"iew toom-

RecenJ BooIei

plcte and sound foundation for those who may be called upon to work as intelligence officers. Considerations of security and limitations of space, however, force him to gloss over details of intelligence organisation and specific techniques of

He has neverthelessomprehensive study of the huge field marked out for treatment, embracing nationalthe nature of intelligence, national strategic mtelligence, military strategic mtelligence, combat mteUigence.and psychological warfare, and including specifics on strategems, signal mtelligence. the intelligence process, and mtelligence training. Hehousand examples from as manycampaigns, the Napoleonic era, the two world wars, and every stage of Chinese history. Heyieldsassion for categorizing and occasionally belabors seemingly obvious points; but such shortcomings seem inevitable in the light of his announced purpose tooid in the Chinese literature on intelligence. They are more than offset by the Insights he gives into Nationalist Chinese ideas of national policy and strategy and the role of mtelligence in their formulation and execution.

The author's discussion of such matters as the function of intelligence. Its several types, the stages of the Intelligence process and their Interrelations, or intelligence training and Its supervision follows generally the lines of standard Western works on the subject. More stimulating,esterner at any rate, is his development of the concept of mtelligence as the basis for effective strategems and for economical victory, the foundation of every type of activity in cold or hot war. and so the tool without which no adequate decision can be made, no determined policy executed. Here the argument is peculiarly Chinese.

General Cheng himself feels that he israditionally Chinese view; as opposed to Western glorification of power and naked force, when he says, quoting President Chiang, "War is based essentially on benevolence, though its methods arewar has peace for Its end, though its means areevene thus considers war the last-ditch defense of the people's welfare, to be waged only when there Is no other means of safeguarding the welfare of the peoplepeace which Is the external manffestaUon ofut even

ffecen' Bookt

victory In war, he emphasizes, does not necessarily mean profit lor theilitary triumph can leave the people and the government far worse off than If there had been no war. Therefore any victory, as Sun-Uu Insisted, must be economical. The sage military leader Is the one who "fights withoutho "creates victory out of opportunities oSered by the enemy."

It is precisely here that Intelligence is given Its mostrole and that the value ofepeatedlythroughout the book, is most clearly illustrated. Strategems "are the struggle of wits in which mtelligence copes with mtelligence; they are unconventionalethod of war in which deception of the enemy is used as the only means toredetermined objective Under all conditions, favorable or unfavorable, they are the most valuable, most economical, and most effectiveofhe author's pronouncement thatare to be used against enemy, neutral, and ally alike, together with his statement that there are inevitablyof goals and policies between allies and "today's allies are tomorrow'shows the vigorous nationalism of his thinking. He believes that strategems are an aspect of strategy gravely neglected In Western studies.

It is unfortunate, with respect to these revelations of Chinese thought, that this authoritative book is not available inSince, however, the Chinese concepts of peculiar interest are scattered widely through tbe massive work, translation ra fofo or in significant part would hardly be worth while. For the Western student of mteUigence It will probably remain little moreeference, difficult ol access.

Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA