In the age of the war on terror, high-quality, reliable intelligence is more crucial to our national security than ever. Effective intelligence saves lives. Yet from September 11, 2001 in New York to Bali, Madrid, London and the unfolding situation in Iraq, we hear endless claims and counter-claims about what went wrong and why. As former intelligence officers with the military and ASIS, Lance Collins and Warren Reed are ideally placed to assess these claims. From the policy-makers to the agents on the ground, the authors examine the chain of command and the role of vested interests. They provide an overview for the general reader of how intelligence services work in the post-September 11 world. Non-partisan and clearly written, Plunging Point outlines the historical context, the present problems and future solutions for intelligence services and their societies.