Review: Oil, Gas and other Energies

Publication Date01 June 2008
Date01 June 2008
AuthorDavid G. Haglund
IJ Print | Reviews |
again, very good. There are excellent accounts of some rather obscure
episodes in the CIA’s history. But this is not a definitive history of the CIA.
A polemic against the modern failings of US intelligence, it adds nothing to
our understanding of the CIA’s actions in the past. Ultimately, Weiner does
not explain what a “first rate” intelligence agency should look like, and it is
clear that his expectations of the CIA are unrealistic. He offers nothing in the
way of curatives for or alternatives to the agency, and it is unclear if he could.
This book is not about fixing the CIA but rather showing how it is very, very
Kristian Gustafson/Brunel University
A Primer
Albert Legault
Translated by Barbara Chunn and Betsy McFarlane
Paris: Editions TECHNIP, 2008. xix, 286pp, US$30.00 paper (ISBN 978-2-
Usually, when political scientists and other scholars who specialize in inter-
national relations think about going “back to the basics,” they have in mind
revisiting certain of the conceptual and theoretical buttresses of the discipline
as they understand them. Thus, a “realist” might envision directing the in-
quiry to the roots of “power,” or a “liberal-institutionalist” to the organiza-
tional and rational-choice underpinnings of international cooperation. And
should the scholar in question also happen to be one of this country’s most
eminent practitioners of “strategic studies” (indeed, its doyen), one might
imagine the return to fundamentals involving an embrace of the eternal ver-
ities associated with, say, Clausewitz, Mackinder, and other departed masters
of grand strategy. For sure, there is a bit of geopolitical genuflection in this
impressive “primer” on the world’s energy endowment, but for author Albert
Legault, getting back to basics really means focusing much more upon geo-
logical than geopolitical topics.
Thus while it has become commonplace lately for security specialists to
moot, figuratively at least, the existence of a “widening...

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