Review of Break in the Chain
Bob Baker has written a powerful, fact-based and highly readable account of US Army intelligence operations during the latter years of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. The book describes in great detail the organization and methods used by US military intelligence to predict an enemy’s capabilities and plans. He brings a firsthand account of his experiences as an intelligence analyst in northern I Corps, clearly explaining how he and other intelligence operatives determined the origins and intentions of the North Vietnamese for their Easter Offensive in 1972. He addresses in detail the key indicators that led him to understand the communist plan for the offensive and his frustration with American and South Vietnamese military and civilian leaders who failed to heed his warnings. It is a cautionary tale of how preconceived notions about an enemy’s intentions and not their capabilities can lead higher echelons to ignore or dismiss clear warning signs from ground level analysts. I highly recommend his book to all military historians and history buffs since he covers an aspect of the Vietnam War’s Easter Offensive that is poorly, or only partially, understood. I also think this book belongs on the shelf of any serious student of intelligence analysis.
––Colonel, USMC (Ret.) Andrew R. Finlayson, author of several books about the Vietnam War, including Killer Kane and Rice Paddy Recon