Counterintelligence. An evolutionary discipline


Essay, 2017
11 Pages, Grade: 85%

Excerpt

Abstract

The need for clarity on Counterintelligence (CI) has been widely felt by many authors in the intelligence community. Although different authors have attempted to define CI for a correct perception of the subject, a complete and agreed definition has still been a complex task to achieve. Definitions of CI have varied in terms of the CI functions, the CI targets, authors’ professional experience and CI’s legal and regulatory requirements. Analyses have also shown presence of myopic vision in these definitions, which could not anticipate contemporary threat such as cyber espionage. CI as a concept has evolved over periods of changing nature of warfare and intelligence operations. Historical instances have continually reshaped CI in its entirety. None of such changes were anticipated to be able to define CI more strategically. Organizations have relied on the evolutionary nature of CI in response to lessons learned from CI successes and failures, legal requirements, technological developments and, changing nature of threats, thus deservingly leaving the definition of CI to be varied.

About the author – Mohammad Naved Ferdaus Iqbal

The author is a postgraduate student of Intelligence and Security Studies at Brunel University London (UK). He has over 12 years of experience in the oil & gas industry, having worked extensively in the United States, China, Thailand and Bangladesh.

Counterintelligence – An Evolutionary Discipline

By

Mohammad Naved Ferdaus Iqbal

Postgraduate student of Intelligence and Security Studies

Brunel University London (UK)

December 2016

The U.S. Colonel (Retired) Mark L. Reagan[1] said, “the greatest enemy of successful counterintelligence (CI) is not a spy, but incorrect perceptions of counterintelligence.”[2] The need for clarity on CI has been widely felt by many authors in the intelligence community. Although different authors have attempted to define CI for a correct perception of the subject, a complete and agreed definition has still been a complex task to achieve. This warrants inquiry into whether or not it is imperative to have common agreement on the definition of CI in the first place. The article will, therefore, firstly illustrate the importance of a definition, framework or theory of CI; secondly analyse the various definitions of CI in relation to their efficacy and limitations and, lastly call for a continued evolution in the definition of CI for it to remain varied and thereby refute the need for an agreed definition.

CI activities can be made distinct when rested on a definition, framework or theory. The distinctiveness of CI allows its activities to be performed as what CI is, and certainly not performed as what CI is not. It is analogous to how snipers and military combatants on the ground collaborate. For e.g., while the military combatants (as analogous to intelligence) try to infiltrate a facility of interest in hostile territory, the concealed sniper (as analogous to counterintelligence) actively looks out to take down enemies who could adversely affect the mission on the ground. It is essential that the sniper knows his distinct role in the operation; it’s not his job to infiltrate the facility, instead, cover his fellow troops on the ground for them to successfully penetrate. Similarly, in an organizational setting, CI personnel need to know their activities and the scope within which they must operate and not overlap with or interrupt intelligence activities. This is possible when CI, in its entirety, is defined.

CI, when defined, offers a framework for understanding and explaining the discipline. The definition allows CI to be treated as an analytical discipline, thereby making it possible to be dissected into meaningful components[3] such as the definition itself, theory, purpose, scope, principles, activities and perhaps a complete doctrine. This can be best explained in the analysis of the definition of CI by John Ehrman, a former CI Analyst at the CIA, who said, “CI is the study of the organization and behaviour of the intelligence services of foreign states and entities and the application of the resulting knowledge”. Ehrman’s definition reflects the key items that are typical of a framework for understanding CI. Ehrman refers to CI as a “study of the organization and behaviour of intelligence services of foreign states and entities…”, which warrants studying why those organizations exist, what they do, their modus operandi, and what political and historical contexts shape their missions. A study as such resembles an analytical discipline in which only carrying out a set of CI activities is not enough, rather, multiple perspectives are pulled together to generate better outcomes.

CI, when grounded on a definition or theory provides a model by which it is possible to envisage the behaviours of the targeted organizations and personnel[4]. Leveraging CI as an analytical discipline can help research the targeted organizations and personnel including obtaining information about targets’ intent, their capabilities and their likely responses in a given situation. For instance, field security and community affairs personnel of international oil companies (IOCs) conduct stakeholder mapping[5] of the communities in which IOCs operate in an effort to discover what community issues (for e.g., ineligible local contractors trying to bully their way to win the tender for pipeline construction work) may sprout as result of oil pipeline tenders; which community leaders are more powerful than the local government, and would potentially impede IOCs’ work; what they are capable of, and who or what they fear the most etc. All of these are vital intelligence for CI to analyse and appropriately devise countermeasures in order to neutralize threats to business continuity.

In further elaboration of the IOC example, CI collections on community matters also open up avenues of important community questions that are unanswered and issues that are unresolved. Such CI collections are, therefore, also used by the community affairs personnel of IOCs to feed their plans for community development initiatives as part of Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR). Ehrman has provided a similar argument to defend the need for CI theory. He said that a theory is a way to identify gaps in knowledge; attempting to theorize tells us about what we know and what we don’t, thus resulting in efforts to advance new areas of study.[6]

Now that the need for a definition or theory is justified, it is important to scrutinize some definitions of CI in relation to their efficacy as a theory as well as their limitations in CI performance. To begin with Ehrman’s definition, stated earlier in the article, the values that surface are the identification of CI as an analytical discipline, which opens up the need for cross-sectional studies, and the definition being broad enough to include any national level intelligence services including foreign, domestic, technical, military and also the police and non-government organizations (NGOs).[7] Ehrman’s definition, however, fails to mention the study of non-state actors or transnational criminal organizations that can impact CI responses.[8] Also, the phrase “….application of the resulting knowledge” in his definition leaves it without boundaries on the intended outcome of CI performance. Without a well-articulated outcome of a discipline, activities within that area of study may tend to lose its focus. For example, the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), a paramilitary outfit of Bangladesh is meant to secure the country’s territorial integrity. But they have often been deployed to handle domestic disturbances[9] including security of polling booths during election[10]. BGB’s failure to signal that a mutiny was brewing inside the paramilitary force that resulted in 57 BGB officers killed by mutineers[11] indicates a lack of coherence in their purported mission. The force that must thwart foreign threats has failed to recognize its fragility within[12], which is a manifestation of its lost focus. BGB’s CI failure also resonates with what Mark Lowenthal, former CIA officer, said about CI vulnerabilities in the United States (U.S.). According to Lowenthal, espionage problems in the American intelligence agencies arise from familiarity with co-workers. This false sense of security allows for employees to refuse to accept that notion that one of their co-workers is really working against them.[13]

[...]


[1] Mark L. Reagan, Col USA (Ret), “Introduction to U.S. Counterintelligence”, Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL), 1 July 2005, accessed 7 December 2016, https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=460369;

[2] Paraphrased from Kenneth A. Krantz, “Counterintelligence Support to Joint Operations”, Defense Intelligence Journal, Vol.4, No.1, Spring 1995, pg.22;

[3] John Ehrman, “Towards a theory of CI – What are we talking about when we talk about Counterintelligence”, Center for the Study of Intelligence, CIA, 24 August 2009, accessed 9 December 2016, https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol53no2/toward-a-theory-of-ci.html

[4] John Ehrman, “Towards a theory of CI – What are we talking about when we talk about Counterintelligence”, Center for the Study of Intelligence, CIA, 24 August 2009, accessed 9 December 2016, https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol53no2/toward-a-theory-of-ci.html

[5] “Stakeholder mapping and management is key to successful project management”, Continuing Professional Development (CDP), accessed 9 December 2016, http://continuingprofessionaldevelopment.org/stakeholder-mapping-key-to-successful-project-management/

[6] John Ehrman, “Towards a theory of CI – What are we talking about when we talk about Counterintelligence”, Center for the Study of Intelligence, CIA, 24 August 2009, accessed 9 December 2016, https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol53no2/toward-a-theory-of-ci.html

[7] John Ehrman, “Towards a theory of CI – What are we talking about when we talk about Counterintelligence”, Center for the Study of Intelligence, CIA, 24 August 2009, accessed 9 December 2016, https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol53no2/toward-a-theory-of-ci.html

[8] Henry Prunckan, “Extending the theoretical structure of intelligence to counterintelligence”, Salus Journal, 2014, accessed 9 December 2016, http://scci.csu.edu.au/salusjournal/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2013/03/Prunckun_Salus_Journal_Issue_2_Number_2_2014_pp_31-49.pdf

[9] Subir Bhaumik, “Bangladesh’s first line of defense”, BBC, 25 February 2009, accessed 9 December 2016, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7909596.stm

[10] “Bangladesh deploys additional forces as polls violence continues”, Asian News Network (ANN), 28 December 2015, accessed 9 December 2016, http://www.asianews.network/content/bangladesh-deploys-additional-forces-polls-violence-continues-6321

[11] Julfikar Ali Manik, “Real cause of BDR mutiny still a mystery”, Dhaka Tribune, 25 February 2014, accessed 9 December 2016, http://archive.dhakatribune.com/law-amp-rights/2014/feb/25/real-cause-bdr-mutiny-still-mystery

[12] M Abul Kalam Azad, “Work on counterintelligence unit underway”, The Daily Star, 23 January 2010, accessed 9 December 2016, http://www.thedailystar.net/news-detail-123069

[13] Benjamin York, “United States Counterintelligence”, Global Security Studies, Fall 2014, accessed 9 December 2016, http://globalsecuritystudies.com/York%20US%20CI-%20AG.pdf

Excerpt out of 11 pages

Details

Title
Counterintelligence. An evolutionary discipline
College
Brunel University
Course
Intelligence and Security Studies
Grade
85%
Author
Year
2017
Pages
11
Catalog Number
V355916
ISBN (eBook)
9783668424197
ISBN (Book)
9783668424203
File size
959 KB
Language
English
Tags
counterintelligence
Quote paper
Mohammad Naved Ferdaus Iqbal (Author), 2017, Counterintelligence. An evolutionary discipline, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/355916

Comments

  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Counterintelligence. An evolutionary discipline


Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free