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Intelligence Cooperation

Timothy W. Crawford


Comment on this article   Intelligence cooperation (or liaison ) occurs when states share politically useful secret information or work together to produce or procure it. The secret information may be “finished” analyses, single-source reporting, “raw” unprocessed signals intercepts ( Sigint ), or even “crypto-diplomatic” messages. The cooperation may involve a limited quid pro quo exchange, parallel but independent work on common analytical problems, or, more rarely, elaborate joint operations and complex divisions of labor. It may occur in highly secret ad hoc meetings, involving verbal briefings or the momentary exposure of documents; in workshops run in tandem with periodic policy conferences or major diplomatic summits; or as a routine interservice function across national lines, sometimes connecting to and through international organizations. Collaboration between national intelligence services in the conduct of covert operations may also be seen as a form of intelligence cooperation. However, in intelligence affairs, a sharp distinction is typically drawn between the production, analysis, and dissemination of secret information, and secret political or military warfare. Given space constraints, the latter activities are not included in the discussion that follows. Intelligence cooperation has been seen as a neglected subject ( Westerfield 1996 :523; Lefebvre 2004 :539). ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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