A. Introduction: Human Intelligence, Capability and Intention
B. Counter Measures: Influence, Deception and Disruption Operations
C. James Bond
D. Why the Brits Spy
E. British Secret Intelligence Today
Espionage, like religion and prostitution, is one of the world’s oldest pastimes. To know your enemy is to have advanced warning of potential threats and to have the facility to counter them. Any nation with global pretensions requires an intelligence service and Britain, as a former imperial power and colonial policeman, is among those few countries that has international reach and capabilities in this regard. James Bond might be fiction, but from Moscow to Marrakesh, there are agents and handlers at work. Some dismiss the importance of the spying game. Yet during World War 2 and the subsequent cold war, espionage was vital and could change the course of international events. Victor Sorge in Japan or agent Sonya handling western nuclear secrets, many have played their part in the murky and sometimes dangerous world of the spy. There are always casualties. But even with the world moving towards cyberspace, there is still a need for human intelligence (Humint) and the capacity to read the intent of hostile and sometimes friendly forces.
We need to know, and the spy is often the best means of acquiring that information. In a fragmented world order in which allegiances can change and threats develop overnight, those who wish to be power players in the 21st century still need their spies.
So It Goes
Tom Assheton & James Jackson
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