- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.
In the wake of all the loose talk about the bin Laden raid, a friend who is a veteran of U.S. intelligence work tells me of a counterintutive phenomenon in clandestine operations: The more sensitive a planned operation, the less secret it becomes. This, he explained, is because the more sensitive it is, the more senior officials have to be read in to the matter, lest someone feel left out and blindsided when the headlines burst around them. “We called it the law of inverse compartmentalization,” he said.
Those little grasshoppers wishing to know more should read Stuart Herrington’s classic treatise on counterintelligence operations , Traitors Among Us: Inside the Spy Catcher’s World.
John Reed is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy. He comes to FP after editing Military.com’s publication Defense Tech and working as the associate editor of DoDBuzz. Between 2007 and 2010, he covered major trends in military aviation and the defense industry around the world for Defense News and Inside the Air Force. Before moving to Washington in August 2007, Reed worked in corporate sales and business development for a Swedish IT firm, The Meltwater Group in Mountain View CA, and Philadelphia, PA. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter at the Tracy Press and the Scotts Valley Press-Banner newspapers in California. His first story as a professional reporter involved chasing escaped emus around California’s central valley with Mexican cowboys armed with lassos and local police armed with shotguns. Luckily for the giant birds, the cowboys caught them first and the emus were ok. A New England native, Reed graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a dual degree in international affairs and history.| The Complex |