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The Image of the EnemyThe Image of the Enemy

Intelligence Analysis of Adversaries since 1945

Paul Maddrell

Narrated by Douglas R. Pratt

Available from Audible

Book published by Georgetown University Press

Intelligence agencies spend huge sums of money to collect and analyze vast quantities of national security data for their political leaders. How well is this intelligence analyzed, how often is it acted on by policymakers, and does it have a positive or negative effect on decision making?

Drawing on declassified documents, interviews with intelligence veterans and policymakers, and other sources, The Image of the Enemy breaks new ground as it examines how seven countries analyzed and used intelligence to shape their understanding of their main adversary. The cases in the book include the Soviet Union's analysis of the United States (and vice versa), East Germany's analysis of West Germany (and vice versa), British intelligence in the early years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, Israeli intelligence about the Palestinians, Pakistani intelligence on India, and US intelligence about Islamist terrorists.

These rivalries provide rich case studies for scholars and offer today's analysts and policymakers the opportunity to closely evaluate past successes and failures in intelligence analysis and the best ways to give information support to policymakers. Using these lessons from the past, they can move forward to improve analysis of current adversaries and future threats.

Paul Maddrell is a lecturer in modern history in the Department of Politics, History, and International Relations at Loughborough University (UK). He is the author of Spying on Science: Western Intelligence in Divided Germany, 1945-1961.


“How should we know about our enemy? How do we know we are right in our estimations? These are two of the most persistent questions confronting intelligence agencies. The Image of the Enemy is a remarkable book that addresses these issues directly and thoughtfully. It is full of revelations and remarkable observations that will surprise even those who thought they knew about intelligence analysis.”

—Richard Aldrich, Professor, Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick

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University Press Audiobooks