Intelligence is an odd area of study. While it has always been fascinating to the general public, until recently it was the “missing dimension” of foreign policy, ignored by serious scholars because information was lacking and it had the stigma of being the playground for cranks if not frauds. The increasing availability of documents, a changed political atmosphere, and a flood of books and journals have created a very different situation. A second unusual characteristic is that while some of the recent studies have been written by people who have worked in the academy, more are produced by scholars who have spent time in the intelligence community (IC) and by former members of the IC.
The special issue of Intelligence and National Security, Volume 26, April-June 2011 continues the process of bringing intelligence in from the cold. It is to be hoped that the reviews here contribute to the parallel process of familiarizing diplomatic historians with what is known about intelligence and bringing in two fields closer together. We are still a long way from understanding the degree to which intelligence influenced or reflected international politics during the Cold War, but the reviewers agree that this special issue on “The CIA and U.S. Foreign Policy Since 1947” is a significant contribution.
Several years before the 1979 publication of his Harvard doctoral thesis, Empire and Aftermath: Yoshida Shigeru and the Japanese Experience, 1878-1954, John Dower had already earned a reputation within the fields of Asian and international studies as a pioneer radical historian and keen critic of U.S. cold war policies and the fraught relationship between the U.S. and Japan.