The history of intelligence is a mother lode of insight for those grappling with contemporary issues and problems. The following books highlight intelligence successes that one can be proud of but there are more within this list dealing with true intelligence failures that - while known - are not fully understood even within the profession.
Hitz, Frederick P., Knopt, Alfred A. (2004). The Great Game: The Myth and Reality of Espionage. New York, NY.
Written by the first Inspector General for the CIA, this volume explores the influences that intelligence reality has had on intelligence fiction --and vice versa--throughout history. Since the reality of spy craft is often occluded by the lure of intelligence storytelling. The Great Game is logical place to begin one's philosophical and professional inquire. (Pvt/PFC, 2ndLt, WO, IA1)
Handel, Michael, Editor (1990). Intelligence and Military Operations. London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd,
This is a collection of outstanding studies of how intelligence can/should/did/did not support military operations. It begins with a treatise called "Intelligence and Military Operations" written by Michael Handel in which he provides a great summation of what intel can and can't do for commanders, the utility of intel at various levels (tactical, operations, and strategic), and the immortal quote, "Amateurs study tactics. Processionals study logistics, and those really in the know study intelligence." Handel's work is followed by other pieces that illustrate his major points using historical examples to include cases from the Civil War. (GySgt, 1stLt, CWO2, IA2)
Mahnken, Thomas G. (2002). Uncovering Ways of War: U.S. Intelligence and Foreign Military Innovation, 1918 - 1941. University Press.
This is a significant book on the record of U.S. intelligence in uncovering -- and missing -- important innovations of foreign militaries between the World Wars. Most startling is how often U.S. intelligence "got it right" and why it was wrong when it failed. Offers an intriguing historical perspective with practical implications that can be applied today.
(Maj, CWO4, IA3)
Keegan, John. (2004). Intelligence In War: The Value -- and Limitations -- of What the Military Can Learn About the Enemy. Vintage Press, Aimed primarily at those who seek information dominance/dominant battle space awareness coupled at precision strike, Keegan's work makes the cast that intelligence can never be so good as to rule out the need for overwhelming force. Provided historical case studies well illustrate the limits and luck that attend to intelligence operations.
(Sgt, 1stLt, CWO2, IA2)
Fishel, Edwin C. (1996). The Secret War for the Union. The Untold Story of Military Intelligence in the Civil War. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
While there is some discussion of strategic intelligence issues, this work focuses on the impact of intelligence on campaigning. Very insightful, it does much to provide the reader an understanding of what information was available to commanders and explains --to some degree--why certain decisions were made. There are not many works that deal with the contributions of military intelligence to operational art--this is one of them.
(MGySgt/MgtMaj, Capt, CWO3, IA3).