Navy spy’s actions only a bump on the road to better intelligence-gathering
The following op-ed was writtern by James Cox [an interesting bio here], professor of Canadian foreign policy with the University of Ottawa and Carleton University:
OTTAWA – Royal Canadian Navy Sub-Lt. Jeffery Delisle supplied top secret intelligence to Russia from 2007 until his arrest in January 2012. Some say Delisle’s actions seriously damaged Canada’s participation in the “Five Eyes” intelligence community – Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States – the most exclusive intelligence-sharing club in the world.
However, as troublesome as Delisle’s actions may be, they will not permanently impair Five Eyes intelligence-sharing arrangements. The relationship is made of sterner stuff.
Besides, new strategic threats will come to augment, not replace, existing threats. The Five Eyes intelligence community will need more Canadian intelligence products, not less, and vice versa.
The Five Eyes intelligence community is not monolithic; yet it is more cohesive than generally known. With no formal over-arching international agreement governing Five Eyes intelligence relationships, the community is more of a complex, co-operative network of linked autonomous intelligence agencies. Individual organizations follow their own nationally legislated mandates, but they interact with a profound sense of confidence in each other and a degree of professional trust so strong as to be unique in the world. Take, for instance, the relationships found in three separate intelligence disciplines: signals intelligence (sigint), national assessment, and defence intelligence communities…
Within the Canadian government’s Privy Council Office, the Intelligence Assessment Secretariat (IAS) [actually now simply called the “Assessment Secretariat”, a not insubstantial group] provides all-source strategic intelligence assessments to government. Acting abroad, the IAS represents Canada in the Five Eyes national assessments partnership. Inter-agency contact is routine at working levels, where the default inclination is to consult widely before assessments are finalized and provided to government. The cross-pollination of analysis and critique serves to inform, not sway, national decision-making…
James Cox [lots more here, note Canadian Association of Security and Intelligence Studies connection] is a professor of Canadian foreign policy with the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. His paper, Canada and the Five Eyes Intelligence Community, was recently published by the Canadian International Council and Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute
Meanwhile in the most important of the “eyes”, and further to this post,
the Congress is pushing back:
House-Senate Panel Worries About ‘Slippery Slope’ of Over-Militarization of U.S. Espionage
A special congressional panel, worried about the disappearing lines between military and intelligence work, is endorsing Senate-approved language restricting plans to insert the U.S. military into the global espionage business.
At issue is a Pentagon plan to expand the size and scope its top intelligence arm, the Defense Intelligence Agency, by adding 1,600 covert operatives — also known as spies. For decades, America’s global espionage efforts have been carried out by the CIA. The current size of the DIA’s covert corps appears to be classified…
Mark Collins is a prolific Ottawa blogger
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