Intelligence and Statecraft: The Use and Limits of Intelligence in International Society

Intelligence and Statecraft: The Use and Limits of Intelligence in International Society

Intelligence and Statecraft: The Use and Limits of Intelligence in International Society

Intelligence and Statecraft: The Use and Limits of Intelligence in International Society

Synopsis

Developing new perspectives on the evolution of intelligence services over the past two centuries, this volume demonstrates that studying the historical context in which intelligence has evolved enriches our understanding of the nature of intelligence and its role in international relations today.

Excerpt

Intelligence has never played a more prominent role in international politics than it does at the opening of the twenty-first century. Virtually all important actors on the global stage have established permanent intelligence bureaucracies to serve national security policy, and most states spend a significant portion of their national budget on intelligence. Public discussion of intelligence, even the most secret intelligence, has become commonplace in political discourse on international issues. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the invasion of Iraq of 2003, combined to bring the relationship between political leaders and their intelligence advisors to the forefront of public discussion of world affairs. In the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, both American President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair were widely charged with purposefully distorting intelligence in order to justify their policies. National intelligence services are larger, better funded, and play a more prominent role than ever in international politics.

The emergence of large and well-funded intelligence bureaucracies has given rise to increased expectations. Intelligence services are expected to provide timely and reliable information on all threats to national and international security. When they do not, they are accused of failure and are then often subjected to intense public scrutiny. Understanding the nature of intelligence and the role it plays in international politics is therefore more important man ever. The aim of this volume is to contribute to this understanding through an examination of the historical context in which intelligence has become institutionalized. It will focus, in particular, on the evolution of permanent foreign intelligence services as a factor in international relations.

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