If you only buy one foreign policy book this year, it should obviously be Heads in the Sand by a talented young writer with whom I’m acquainted. But if you buy a second, you could do a lot worse than A.J. Rosmiller’s Still Broken: A Recruit’s Inside Account of Intelligence Failure From Baghdad to the Pentagon. You’ve got some memoir, some policy analysis, and even a touch of action-adventure thrills.
It shows on both a micro and a macro level in what bad shape we are, intelligence-wise. The system doesn’t work, and good intelligence product isn’t getting into the right hands and being acted on in the right way. But what’s more, the system’s driving smart, talented, patriotic, and knowledgeable people right out of the system. AJ’s writing books and blog posts (and going to law school) instead of still working in the IC in part because it’s the kind of screwed-up place that’s driving the best people away rather than pulling them in. So to repeat, pre-order Heads in the Sand but it won’t come for a while, so while you wait pick up a copy of Still Broken (available Tuesday!) and read that.