Monthly Archives: April 2004

Espionage

The art of espionage is an ancient one and its importance in military can neevr be over emphasised. Throughout history, countries have spied on one another. The ancient Egyptians had an excellent spy network, which are even mentioned in the Illiad.

Modern political espionage techniques were developed by Joseph Fouche while the father of modern military espionage is widely believe to be Frederick II of Prussia.

However what exactly is espionage? Espionage or Spying is the act of collecting information clandestinely. The term applies particularly to the act of collecting military, industrial, and political data about one nation for the benefit of another.

One of the important and highly effective secet services of the world presently are the British Secret Service, Moddad, GRU (KGB), CIA.

British Secret Service

Britain has one of the most powerful and influential secret service of the modern world. This is how it works.

The secret service in Britain is very firmly based on a consensus model. M15, M15, Government Communications Headquarters and the military intelligence all run their own agents and collect their own information and produce their own analysis.

However, any disputes that arise are controlled by civil servants who have the been in the field for decades. There is also a high level of familiarity between all the civil servants.

All the analysed information is finalled passed to the Joint Intelligence Committee, a small group of top civil servants in the Cabinet Office in London. This committee irons out disputes bwteen the various agencies and presents the information collected in an accurate and digestable way.

Thus by the time the Prime Minister is given the information, that particular material has already passed many experienced hands and in some cases, action in the form of preventive arrests or deployment of new agents, has already taken place.

American Intelligence Service

The american intelligence service, oh the other hand is deliberately designed to create a permenant tussle between the various agencies.

Each agency (FBI, CIA) is independent, huge and influential and it led by a political appointee who changes with each government or president.

As such, each agency tries to obtain as much power a spossible and usually succeeds. For example, the FBI has both intelligence and law enforcement powers while the M15 has only intelligence powers. All agencies also report directly to the president.

A system of reconciling differences is in place but the idea behind the American secret service is to encourage tension in order to allow the president and his advisors to schuffle betwen the available information and reach the best decision.

Mossad

Ha-Mossad le-Modiin ule-Tafkidim Meyuhadim (Hebrew: Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks , המוסד למודיעין ולתפקידים מיוחדים) is an Israeli intelligence agency, commonly referred to as Mossad. It is responsible for intelligence collection, covert action, and counter-terrorism. Its focus is on Arab nations and organizations throughout the world.

Mossad was formed in April 1951 from the Central Institute for Coordination and the Central Institute for Intelligence and Security. Mossad is a civilian service, and does not use military ranks, although all of the Mossad’s staff have served in the Israeli Defence Force (as a part of Israel’s compulsory draft system), and many of them are officers.

Mossad has long had a reputation for being an extremely effective agency. It is headquartered in Tel Aviv and has eight departments:

* Collections Department is the largest, with responsibility for espionage operations.
* Political Action and Liaison Department conducts political activities and liaison with friendly foreign intelligence services and with nations with which Israel does not have normal diplomatic relations.
* Special Operations Division (Metsada) conducts assassination, sabotage, and paramilitary projects.
* LAP (Lohamah Psichlogit) Department is responsible for psychological warfare, propaganda and deception operations.
* Research Department is responsible for intelligence synthesis.
* Technology Department is responsible for development of technologies to support of Mossad operations.

I could not find out more about the agency except that it created Hamas and its debacles but if I do find out about its organisation structure, i’ll spost it here

KGB

The first secret service of Russia was called the Cheka led by Feliks Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, a pole. Known as the “Knight of the Revolution,” Dzerzhinsky was the perfect man for the job because of his ruthlessness and ability to get matters taken care of, without any remorse for his actions.

The Cheka went through several name and organizational changes in Russia. Depending on the situation in Soviet Russia, the Soviet Secret Police created different departments within the Cheka to ensure that Communism retained its power. The INO, the foreign intelligence department of the Cheka, recruited agents to gather intelligence outside of Russia and report back to their superiors the plans of Western Nations believed to be plotting against the Soviets. Soviet intelligence operated in several countries during the 1920’s including: Poland, Turkey, Switzerland, France, and Japan. In order to obtain information from Japan the INO recruited the mail couriers that delivered the official Japanese correspondence allowing Russian agents to secretly read and intercept the mail. The Japanese correspondence revealed that there was intent on Japan’s part to conquer China militarily.

Soviet Intelligence was not confined solely as a state operation and was thriving within the Russian military. The Glavnoe Razvedyvatelnoe Upravlenie (GRU), was the Russian military’s parallel version of the CHEKA/KGB. The GRU was the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the military. The GRU conducted covert operations and ran several spy rings in different countries such as the “Tokyo Spy Ring,” and the “Dora Ring.” The GRU’s conducted its operations to further the interests of the Soviet military in order to gain the upper hand against their enemies.

Why the interest in espionage?

Why the suddent interest is espionage? I read a Straits times atricle recently about how the British secret service system was more effective and should be adopted by the Americans. This made me wonder how the other secret services work and thus led me to thse series.

I have not been able to find the organisation methods of mossad and the KGB and have not finished my compilation of the Indian Secret Service (JIC/RAW/IB). However, among the given organisations, which is the most effective?

CIA is the most popular. It is well known even among laymen. The existence of M15/M16 was only acknowledged in the 1990s and thus all the knowledge I know of it is through books and more recently, the net.

How about mossad? KGB? Am not sure, but one of the most informative sites on the secret services is The Federation of American Scientists

Layout Change

As you might have noticed, I have recently changed the layout of this page. Main reason is because I got bored of the old layout and decided that some change is due. However, my siblings seem to prefer the old layout complaining that the new one is too plain. So for any of you who want the old layout, click here. Some changes are necessary there too but it will be synchronised with the new features soon I hope 🙂