Statecraft: Intelligence



Table of Contents

1. Overview

The objective is to understand everything, and ensure your opponent understands nothing.

You must establish systematic means to gather information, and to understand its implications. It is easy to get off track here. E.g., the US National Security Agency (NSA) has prodigious capacity to capture and store teletype, phone, and internet traffic. But is short on translators who understand local cultures. The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has operations worldwide, but is short on human spies inside tightly held groups. The US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) has satellites watching everything, in every part of the spectrum, but cannot see deep into bunkers or inside buildings.

You must deny this understanding to your opponents. Codes and cyphers are essential. You can flood the channels with fake messages and entire fake operations.

2. Mission

"Intelligence" is at the crossroads of military technique and social policy. It thus has enormous capacity for misuse.

2.1. US Mission

It is easy to slide over to using national assets on internal opponents. The FBI regularly does this, and apparently the CIA is now authorized to do so. The Secret Service has demonstrated it is more a tool of the ruling-elite than a protector of the POTUS. Given a combined Homeland Security effort, with a secret database run by Iran-Contra figures, the probability is that any US citizen actively working to throw out the current ruling-elites is being watched closely.

This is utterly and completely at odds with the US Constitutiton. It is not required for response to actual terrorists (see Patriot_Act).

2.2. Multinational Mission

If massive domestic spying isn't in the US's interests, who then benefits? From news accounts of how these powers are actually being used, they are looking for non-ruling-elite power-blocks such as a) drug dealers, and b) political activists. They are not looking for billionaire-level white collar crime, or corporate malfeasance. By induction, I conclude the holders of the keys-to-the-intel-castle are those multinationals who benefit most and are harmed least.

3. Mechanics

3.1. Seek

I've read maybe 3 linear feet of books on this so far. The technology is impressive. The problem is interpreting the data stream.

3.2. Evade and deceive

Knowing how the intelligence services operate, you can arrange to keep them off-balance. (Osama bin Laden is either an operative for the Bush family with a free pass, or an incredibly brilliant engineer with a profound grasp of the US intelligence processes.)

2k encryption keys, personal webs-of-trust, and random interstate travel among activists' homes are a good start at befuddling the apparatus.

Creator: Harry George
Updated/Created: 2008-03-06