Recommend to your Librarian

Spying on the World

The Declassified Documents of the Joint Intelligence Committee, 1936-2013

Richard J. Aldrich, Rory Cormac, Michael S. Goodman

eBook (ePub) i
eBook (PDF) i

Reproduces and contextualises the intelligence documents that influenced crucial UK Government decisions

These 20 case studies reveal the declassified papers of the JIC, shining a light on the workings of Whitehall’s secret world and the vital, previously unknown, role played by intelligence in pivotal events across the 20th and 21st centuries.

Show more


1. Introduction: The Rise of the Joint Intelligence Committee
2. Origins of the Joint Intelligence Committee
3. World War II and the Role of Intelligence in Strategic Planning
4. A Post-War Intelligence Machinery
5. Origins of the Soviet Threat
6. Sigint Targetting
7. The Berlin Blockade
8. Chinese Intervention in the Korean War
9. Estimating Soviet Capabilities
10. Counterinsurgency
11. The Suez Crisis
12. The Cuban Missile Crisis
13. Vietnam
14. The Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia, 1968
15. The Rise of the PLO and terrorism in the Middle East
16. Northern Ireland – Direct Rule
17. The Falklands War
18. Changing Requirements at the end of the Cold War
19. War in Iraq – Weapons of Mass Destruction
20. War in Iraq – Aftermath
21. The Joint Intelligence Committee and the National Security Council
22. The Syrian Civil War
23. Through the Looking Glass: Illusions of Openness and the Study of British Intelligence
Appendix: Chairmen of the Joint Intelligence Committee.

About the Author

Richard J. Aldrich is Professor of International Security at the University of Warwick and Director of the Institute of the Advanced Study. His books include GCHQ: the Uncensored Story of Britain’s Most Secret Intelligence Agency (Harper Collins, 2010).

Rory Cormac is a lecturer in international relations at the University of Nottingham. He is the author of Confronting the Colonies: British Intelligence and Counterinsurgency (Hurst, 2013).

Michael S. Goodman is Professor of ‘Intelligence and International Affairs’ in the Department of War Studies, King's College London and Visiting Professor at the Norwegian Defence Intelligence School. He has published widely in the field of intelligence history, including most recently The Official History of the Joint Intelligence Committee, Volume I: From the Approach of the Second World War to the Suez Crisis (Routledge, 2015), which was chosen as one of The Spectator’s books of the year. He is series editor for ‘Intelligence and Security’ for Hurst/Columbia University Press; and for ‘Intelligence, Surveillance and Secret Warfare’ for Edinburgh University Press; and is a member of the editorial boards for five journals. He is currently on secondment to the Cabinet Office where he is the Official Historian of the Joint Intelligence Committee.


A unique and fascinating insight into the content and quality of the assessments that the JIC fed into British policy-making since the start of the Second World War to the 2013 Syrian crisis.
- Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, King's College London

You might also like ...