You are here

Online ordering services and account tools may be unavailable due to system maintenance. Thank you for your patience and we apologise for the inconvenience.

From Secrets to Policy

Seventh Edition

Other Titles in:

624 pages | CQ Press
Mark M. Lowenthal’s trusted guide is the go-to resource for understanding how the intelligence community’s history, structure, procedures, and functions affect policy decisions. In this Seventh Edition, the author addresses cyber security and cyber intelligence throughout, expands on previous coverage of collection, comprehensively updates the chapters on nation states and transnational issues, and takes a look at various foreign intelligence services, both large and small.

Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy remains the standard by which all other intelligence studies textbooks should be evaluated.”  
–Greg Moore, Notre Dame College
Tables, Figures, and Boxes
Chapter 1. What Is “Intelligence”?
Why Have Intelligence Agencies?

What Is Intelligence About?

Key Terms

Further Readings

Chapter 2. The Development of U.S. Intelligence
Major Themes

Major Historical Developments

Key Terms

Further Readings

Chapter 3. The U.S. Intelligence Community
Alternative Ways of Looking at the Intelligence Community

The Many Different Intelligence Communities

Intelligence Community Relationships That Matter

The Intelligence Budget Process

Key Terms

Further Readings

Chapter 4. The Intelligence Process—A Macro Look: Who Does What for Whom?


Processing and Exploitation

Analysis and Production

Dissemination and Consumption


Thinking About the Intelligence Process

Key Terms

Further Readings

Chapter 5. Collection and the Collection Disciplines
Overarching Themes

Strengths and Weaknesses


Key Terms

Further Readings

Chapter 6. Analysis
Major Themes

Analytical Issues

Intelligence Analysis: An Assessment

Key Terms

Further Readings

Chapter 7. Counterintelligence
Internal Safeguards

External Indicators and Counterespionage

Problems in Counterintelligence


Economic Espionage

National Security Letters


Key Terms

Further Readings

Chapter 8. Covert Action
The Decision-Making Process

The Range of Covert Actions

Issues in Covert Action

Assessing Covert Action

Key Terms

Further Readings

Chapter 9. The Role of the Policy Maker
The U.S. National Security Policy Process

Who Wants What?

The Intelligence Process: Policy and Intelligence

Key Term

Further Readings

Chapter 10. Oversight and Accountability
Executive Oversight Issues

Congressional Oversight

Issues in Congressional Oversight

Internal Dynamics of Congressional Oversight

The Courts


Key Terms

Further Readings

Chapter 11. The Intelligence Agenda: Nation-States
The Primacy of the Soviet Issue

The Emphasis on Soviet Military Capabilities

The Emphasis on Statistical Intelligence

The “Comfort” of a Bilateral Relationship

Collapse of the Soviet Union

Intelligence and the Soviet Problem

The Current Nation-State Issue

Key Terms

Further Readings

Chapter 12. The Intelligence Agenda: Transnational Issues
U.S. National Security Policy and Intelligence After the Cold War

Intelligence and the New Priorities







Health and the Environment

Peacekeeping Operations

Support to the Military


Key Terms

Further Readings

Chapter 13. Ethical and Moral Issues in Intelligence
General Moral Questions

Issues Related to Collection and Covert Action

Analysis-Related Issues

Oversight-Related Issues


The Media


Further Readings

Chapter 14. Intelligence Reform
The Purpose of Reform

Issues in Intelligence Reform


Key Terms

Further Readings

Chapter 15. Foreign Intelligence Services





Other Services

Other Services in Brief


Further Readings

Appendix 1. Additional Bibliographic Citations and Websites
Appendix 2. Major Intelligence Reviews or Proposals
Author Index
Subject Index

“Mark Lowenthal’s Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy is a marvelous guide to the discipline’s concepts and theories, and it keeps getting better with each edition. It is nuanced and comprehensive without losing sight of the big picture–that is, the key points that every scholar and practitioner must understand when it comes to the real world of strategic intelligence. Whether as an intelligence analyst, a manager, an overseer on Capitol Hill, or an outside scholar, Lowenthal has been there, done that.  He brings a superb sense of realism and practicality into his book, while at the same time tapping into the most important scholarly research on the topic. Bravo!”

Dr. Loch K. Johnson
University of Georgia

Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy remains the standard by which all other intelligence studies textbooks should be evaluated. Each chapter covers its topic clearly and concisely, conveying the information within with just the right amount of detail; the sidebar boxes offer excellent topics for classroom discussion. The book is comprehensive and covers topics that are themselves each book worthy.”

Greg Moore
Notre Dame College

“Lowenthal’s Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy is a comprehensive text which reflects current events and new developments in the field. It is able to introduce difficult to understand concepts in ways that students are readily able to comprehend.”

John Comiskey
Monmouth University

Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy is incredibly informative, timely, well-written, and easily accessible by students and professionals alike. Mark Lowenthal starts by providing a baseline for understanding the role that "intelligence" plays in the operation of a government and its interactions with other countries. He then provides historical context for the development of the U.S. intelligence community. From there, we get a deep look into the practice of intelligence and the broad spectrum of roles with the intelligence community, from protecting our secrets and obtaining the secrets of others. The use of intelligence in formulating policy is also an essential element discussed here and, in a "post-Snowden" era, Lowenthal's discussions of accountability, ethics, and reform are very timely and insightful.”

Gary C. Kessler, Ph.D.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida

A comprehensive text about everything intelligence

Mr Christopher Martinez
History/Phil/Pol Science Dept, Kingsborough Community College
June 17, 2019

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 5

Chapter 12

Mark M. Lowenthal

Mark M. Lowenthal has over forty-four years of experience in U.S. intelligence. He has served as the Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production, Vice Chairman for Evaluation on the National Intelligence Council, staff director of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, office director and as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), and Senior Specialist in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. He is now the President and CEO of the Intelligence &... More About Author