Posts Categorised: Intelligence Service

Remaining Objective Is Hard, But the Best Leaders Figure Out How to Do It

“There is no single leadership trait that guarantees success in any profession, but there is, based on my experience, one that many of the best leaders share: a fierce commitment to objectivity. And yet I realize it’s often not easy for leaders to remain objective.

In my nearly three-decade career in the intelligence community, I have worked for and with 11 Directors of CIA and all five Directors of National Intelligence. Each has brought their own personality and skill set to the job, and each in their time has faced their own set of challenges, from deeply contentious relationships with the White House and Congress to unforeseen terrorist attacks on the homeland and U.S. diplomatic facilities overseas. I think each would agree that leading in the intelligence community is a daily exercise in crisis management, whether at the helm of CIA with its global analytic and operational responsibilities, or at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence with its oversight responsibilities for the entire intelligence community.”

Source: Michael P. Dempsey (2018). Harvard Business Review, available here (open access).

ASIO’s questioning and detention powers


“Review of the operation, effectiveness and implications of Division 3 of Part III of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979….The first chapter describes the current questioning and detention powers, the legislative history and use of the powers, and previous independent reviews. It also considers the extraordinary nature of the questioning and detention powers, and provides an overview of the current security environment. Chapter 2 considers the need for an ASIO questioning power and need for an ASIO detention power in the current context; and; Chapter 3 considers the possible form of a future questioning model and presents the Committee’s findings.”

Source: Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security and available from this link [Open access]

Oversight of intelligence agencies: a comparison of the Five Eyes nations

Manly dawn/Griffin

“This Research Paper first provides information by country on the intelligence communities, key mechanisms for oversight of the intelligence community and any recent changes to, or reviews of, the oversight frameworks in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. This is followed by comparative analysis that highlights some of the similarities and differences between those countries (and the US) in the arrangements that exist for intelligence oversight.”

Source: Barker, C. & Petrie, C. (2017). Australian Parliamentary Library Research Paper and available from this link (open access). 

The police intelligence division-of-labour

Collins Beach, Manly

“The article describes the police intelligence division-of-labour paying specific attention to four different aspects of intelligence activity: the acquisition of intelligence or information; the analysis of information in the production of intelligence; tasking and co-ordination on the basis of intelligence ‘product’; or being tasked on that same basis.”

Source: Sheptycki, J. (2017). Policing and Society, and available from this link (open access).

Report of the 2017 Independent Intelligence Review

Manly Sunset/Flickr

“The 2017 Independent Intelligence Review found that Australia’s intelligence agencies are highly capable and held in high regard by their international partner agencies. The Review also found that as a result of transforming geopolitical, economic, societal and technological changes, the intelligence community will be faced with challenges that will intensify over the coming decade.”

Source: L’Estrange, M. & Merchant, S. (2017). Dept of Prime Minister and Cabinet and available from this link (open access).

Opportunities abound abroad: optimising our criminal intelligence system overseas

Manly Beach seagulls/Flickr

“This special report argues that Australia’s current arrangements for gathering and disseminating CrimInt overseas are suboptimal. While additional resources are needed to address this condition, there’s also a need to streamline priority setting and associated collection requirements, provide ways to evaluate and better coordinate the collection of information and intelligence product, and expand opportunities to improve training in CrimInt.”

Source: Kowalick, P. & Connery, D. (2016). ASPI Special Report and available from this link.

The Changing Landscape of Competitive Intelligence: Two Critical Issues Investigated

Tree tails/M. Hardy

Two changes in competitive intelligence are investigated in this paper: 1) the failure of the competitive intelligence system because of reliance on an outdated understanding of the intelligence cycle and the associated concepts of key intelligence topics (KITs) and key intelligence questions (KIQs); and 2) the growth in the production of competitive intelligence by those who actually use it—the do-it-yourselfers, or DIYers.

McGonagle, J., and Misner-Elias, M. (2016).  Salus Journal. 4(1), and available from this link.