Surprise Attack : From Pearl Harbor to 9/11 to Benghazi
Overview - Surprise Attack explores sixty plus years of military and terror threats against the United States. It examines the intelligence tools and practices that provided warnings of those attacks and evaluates the United States' responses, both in preparedness - and most importantly - the effectiveness of our military and national command authority. Read more...
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More About Surprise Attack by Larry Hancock
explores sixty plus years of military and terror threats against the United States. It examines the intelligence tools and practices that provided warnings of those attacks and evaluates the United States' responses, both in preparedness - and most importantly - the effectiveness of our military and national command authority.
Contrary to common claims, the historical record now shows that warnings, often very solid warnings, have preceded almost all such attacks, both domestic and international. Intelligence practices developed early in the Cold War, along with intelligence collection techniques have consistently produced accurate warnings for our national security decision makers. Surprise Attack traces the evolution and application of those practices and explores why such warnings have often failed to either interdict or intercept actual attacks.
Going beyond warnings, Surprise Attack
explores the real world performance of the nation's military and civilian command and control history - exposing disconnects in the chain of command, failures of command and control and fundamental performance issues with national command authority.
America has faced an ongoing series of threats, from the attacks on Hawaii and the Philippines in 1941, through the crises and confrontations of the Cold War, global attacks on American personnel and facilities to the contemporary violence of jihadi terrorism. With a detailed study of those threats, the attacks related to them, and America's response, a picture of what works - and what doesn't - emerges. The attacks have been tragic and we see the defensive preparations and response often ineffective. Yet lessons can be learned from the experience; Surprise Attack represents a comprehensive effort to identify and document those lessons.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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Ample warnings preceded Pearl Harbor and every subsequent attack on U.S. soil and U.S. forces, writes Hancock (Nexus: The CIA and Political Assassination), a veteran national security journalist, in this detailed, technical, and pessimistic analysis of American defense policy. Accounts of incompetence miss the point, he adds, and generalized warnings are futile in the absence of good threat intelligence, actual alerts, and prepared defenses. American war planners after 1945 assumed that the U.S.S.R. would start the next war without warning; the result was a vast, expensive, worldwide early-warning system and a huge military equipped with nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert. This impressed Stalin—who never planned a sneak attack—but did not prevent other surprises. In Hancock’s dog-eat-dog world, rational powers (U.S., U.S.S.R., China, Putin’s Russia) obsessively mirror each other’s actions and in the process accumulate nuclear weapons, bomber fleets, or missiles far beyond any necessity. Irrational players such as al Qaeda, ISIS, and even Pakistan simply follow their bliss. Hancock stresses that even without warnings, every attack would have failed if sensible alerts and defenses had been in place. He is not shy about suggesting improvements, but admits that since American leaders may never get their act together, more surprises are likely in store. (Sept.)