ICYMI   Buck Sextons book list: 3 must read books on intelligence from the former CIA agent

Real News Co-Host on TheBlaze TV, Host of the Buck Sexton Show on TheBlaze RadioTheBlaze National Security Editor, ex-CIA Agent, NYPD Intelligence Division Specialist, fiery libertarian, scholar, and gentlemen, Buck Sexton was kind enough to sit down with Blaze Books to give us his book recommendations on a variety of subjects near and dear to readers’ hearts.

Below is the first set in a multi-part series, in which Buck gives us the three books he would recommend to every Blaze reader on intelligence, followed by some pithy commentary on each of his selections. For his second set of book recommendations, be sure to check out Buck’s favorite biographies.

1. The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright

ICYMI   Buck Sextons book list: 3 must read books on intelligence from the former CIA agent

If you are looking for a primer on the history and ideology of Al Qaeda, The Looming Tower is among the best options out there. Taking you from the origins of Al Qaeda up to the 9/11 attack, this reads as though it is part history book, part thriller novel.

2. Ghost Wars by Steve Coll

ICYMI   Buck Sextons book list: 3 must read books on intelligence from the former CIA agent

Remember how in ‘Charlie Wilson’s War,’ we helped the Afghans kick out the Soviets and everyone was cheering and happy? Didn’t last long. This exhaustively researched yet fast-paced work picks up right around when the Soviets bounced. Years of civil war and terrorist activity led in a straight line to the 9/11 attack. If you want to understand Afghanistan today- and why it’s not going to get better anytime soon, read this book. Many of the players after the Soviet withdrawal- including some of the most vicious warlords- are still a big deal in the ‘Stan now. It’s not going to end well when the US leaves, and this book tells you why.

3. Inside the CIA: Revealing the Secrets of the World’s Most Powerful Spy Agency by Ronald Kessler

ICYMI   Buck Sextons book list: 3 must read books on intelligence from the former CIA agent

Everyone seems to have a great uncle or third cousin who worked for the CIA, and yet the public is woefully ill-informed about just what the Central Intelligence Agency is all about. Kessler’s breakdown of the nation’s premiere intelligence agency in this book gives an excellent soup-to-nuts overview of how the CIA is structured and what it actually does. Indeed, throwing ninja stars and firing laser beams are not skills in high demand for the Agency, but foreign language fluency is definitely a plus.