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Thread: Intelligence Oversight and more

  1. #1
    Council Member
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    Oct 2005

    Default Transparency, Accountability, and Effectiveness in Intelligence

    Feature articles from the May 07 issue of Strategic Insights:

    Introduction: Challenges to Effectiveness in Intelligence Due to the Need for Transparency and Accountability in Democracy
    All democracies, both new and long established, confront a fundamental and inescapable dilemma in combining intelligence agencies that are effective and under democratic civilian control. This is due to the tension between the requirement of intelligence agencies to work to some extent in secret and the requirement of democratic government for accountability, necessitating transparency. The fundamental challenge for policymakers and scholars is to understand the dilemma and to manage it in a consistent and productive manner. In the articles that follow, the authors look to how four very different countries deal with this dilemma through reform of their intelligence systems....
    Intelligence Secrecy and Transparency: Finding the Proper Balance from the War of Independence to the War on Terror

    Reconciling Intelligence Effectiveness and Transparency: The Case of Romania

    Intelligence Reforms in Brazil: Contemporary Challenges and the Legacy of the Past

    Intelligence Reform in Colombia: Transparency and Effectiveness against Internal Threats

    NPS Student Thesis: The Intelligence Phenomenon in a New Democratic Milieu: Romania—a Case Study

  2. #2
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Intelligence Oversight and more

    I've skimmed through this thread and cannot easily identify if discussed before, although it may appear in other threads.

    The recent furore in the UK after the Binyam Mohammed court case is well covered on the Crime, Terror and Law thread:

    At the conclusion the UK-USA 'Special Relationship' in intelligence sharing, the role of the UK domestic intelligence agency, the Security Service (MI5) took an unusually public turn and the oversight of all UK intelligence agencies has re-appeared for discussion.

    The public turn described as:
    In an unprecedented intervention on 11 February, the Director of the Security Service, Jonathan Evans, made a spirited and public defence of the service, urging commentators to resist 'conspiracy and caricature' when writing about the Service, especially in the case of MI5's alleged role in the incarceration of Binyam Mohamed.
    Intelligence oversight is a particular issue for academics and I know a few in the UK who have written extensively on the subject.

    Into the fray has come RUSI, a Whitehall "think tank", long known for it's close links to officialdom and now seeking an independent role - with this commentary:

    A taster
    The post-'War on Terror' world has revealed aspects of this activity that is far beyond distasteful. What has become increasingly clear is that, now, nine years in the wake of 9/11, there were plenty of otherwise decent right-minded people who temporarily lost sight of what most fundamentally needs protecting in Western society: its values and democratic principles.

    This myopia was most acute in the Bush Administration, but it afflicted many in the UK too.
    Combined with the Detroit mishap IMHO a broad-ranging review is due, including intelligence oversight. Maybe this should go in the Politics thread? No, left here for the moment.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-16-2010 at 01:08 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    This is a 'liberal' academic reading of a similar situation in Australia, for those interested in further reading on the subject matter:
    Last edited by Taiko; 11-12-2010 at 10:14 AM.

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