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Role of Intelligence

Role of Intelligence

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Role of Intelligence and International Political Economy is the first draft submitted for an assignment paper in M.Sc Globalization at University of Dundee, Scotland.
Role of Intelligence and International Political Economy is the first draft submitted for an assignment paper in M.Sc Globalization at University of Dundee, Scotland.

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Published by: cyrillic2 on Dec 26, 2008
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02/19/2013

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The Role of Intelligence in International Political Economy
 
By Cyril Thomas
 
University of Dundee
 
First Draft (M.Sc Globalization Assignment 21 Oct. 2006)
 International Political Economy (IPE) is often defined as the interaction between the state andthe market in the global level. The 1973 oil crisis
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and the decline of the Bretton Woods Systempaved path to the new perspective of globalisation and alerted the intellectuals and academics todelve deeper into various fields of economics, diplomacy, politics and international relations.What the erudite studies ignored was the role of intelligence in the emerging globalisation, eventhe intelligence agencies itself failed to measure their importance in the age of globalisation.
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 What is defined here as intelligence? Moreover, why the intelligence is important in theinternational political economy? Intelligence in this essay is primarily used to define intelligencegathering agencies or institutions. While in the pre-globalisation era, the major function of suchagencies were matters dealing with national security especially the military issues rather thaneconomic ones.
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Until the end of cold war, even years after, that term intelligence wassynonymous with national security till the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It was only then the notion of international security in the globalized world became more resplendent.To understand the present, we have to look into the past. The post World War II era witnessedthe emergence of Cold War, a term used to denote the relations and tensions between the superpowers Soviet Russia and America. The term
Cold War 
is aptly coined because there was nodirect war between Russia and USA instead the war took the form of arms race, espionage, andembargoes. The espionage networks and the proxy wars of both countries made the whole worldpart of the cold war. During the age of cold war, globalisation was more or less a concept of being with or adhere to one of the superpower.
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 The concept of global village came into existence with the advent of globalisation and therealization that one event in any part of the world can be affected, directly or indirectly, anyother nations, anywhere in the world. In the global village or the globalized world, economicsecurity became as important as national security and the intelligence agencies new burden wasto monitor the international political economy to formulate new strategies for the nationalinterests.During the cold war, USA pioneered this intelligence strategy through the studies and researchesof the Central Intelligence Agency.
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 During the 1950s CIA was much concerned with the Soviet economy, Max Millikan
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set acourse for the CIA's economic analysis of the Soviet Union. Mililikan too, gave top priority tomilitary security, which in turn insures free markets and continued economic growth. Heconsidered the primary function of economic intelligence was "to estimate the magnitude of possible present or future military or other threats to ourselves and our allies
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..." EconomicResearch Area Group, a support division of the CIA to study the Soviet economy was one of thekey factor and influential part of the agency. “By 1953, the group was in a position to suggestthat there might be a distinction between the weaponry the Russians knew how to produce andthe weaponry they could afford to produce.”
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 The concern of the economic intelligence analysts were (a) the assessment of economic
 
resources available to a targeted country, (b) how targeted countries or how potential enemystates have invested their resources, (c) understanding the intentions of targeted countries andevaluate how they act in the economic sphere is likely to reveal intention, (d) understanding themeans to reduce the military threats by
impairing a potential enemy state's capabilities.
In 2004
The Washington Post 
reported a story that “in January 1982, President Ronald Reaganapproved a CIA plan to sabotage the economy of the Soviet Union through covert transfers of technology which are programmed for malfunctions, including software that later triggered ahuge explosion in a Siberian natural gas pipeline...”
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The authenticity of the story may be notproven, yet, there are debates on the role Reagan played in the collapse of the Soviet Union,which could be interpreted as CIA was partially responsible for the collapse of the Soviet block through its economic intelligence. Thomas C. Reed, who was part of the National SecurityCouncil at the time, describes the covert intelligence operation as an example of "cold-eyedeconomic warfare".
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Still economic intelligence more or less classified as the field of academicsand the priority was given to military operations and warfare.The end of cold war abruptly ended the myth of military warfare as the major weapon toincapacitate a country. It has been said that intelligence agencies all around the world werefacing the new uncertainty, which is, in fact, in the new globalised world, it is difficult todistinguish who your enemy is or will be! Instead there was a new truth revealed, that every waris disastrous to everyone. The U.S. also recognized that their economy and the “Americaneconomic decision-making must be...adapted to an emerging global economy that no longerrevolves around the United States.”
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No matter how small the threat is, its ripples will sooner orlater reach every corner of the world. The Yom Kippur war is a classic example that theintelligence agencies have never learned lessons from the history.The U.S. intelligence agencies failed to perceive the brewing war, which not only forcedEuropean nations, under the threat of an Arab oil embargo and trade boycott, to stop supportingIsrael arms and munitions
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but eventually led to the 1973 oil crisis. According to Ray Cline,Assistant Secretary of State Intelligence and Research, said "Our difficulty was partly that wewere brainwashed by the Israelis, who brainwashed themselves."
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 The international global economy is often proved volatile and fragile despite all its strength andvigor, the role of intelligence is to protect it from the imminent threats of wars and economicdepressions. Unfortunately, the world is not always a global family or village, and the need fornational security and national interests may demand more than noble causes. There are timeswhen intelligence flaws which could lead to war and or fail to prevent major conflicts. Forexample, the central focus of national intelligence reporting and analysis prior to the Iraqi warwas concern of developing or developed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). However theanalysis relied heavily on old information acquired largely before late 1998 and was stronglyinfluenced by untested, long-held assumptions.
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Moreover, the analytic judgments rested almostsolely on technical analysis, which ignored the updated and total understanding of the Iraqi warmachine and capabilities. As a result the analysis, although understandable and explainable,arrived at conclusions that were seriously flawed, misleading, and even wrong.Intelligence agencies should be thoroughly analytical and careful when evaluating sanctions,policies, and military threats as these factors are volatile which could lead a major economiccrisis. Policymakers often totally rely on intelligence and make decisions solely on the reportsthey were provided with.United Nations' sanctions on Iraq cripple the economy and the economic breakdown was evidentin the 1990s (which) was also the legacy of the 1991 Gulf War.
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Yet, the economic collapse was
 
not the only result, sanctions faced sever criticism on humanitarian grounds. The the U.N. Foodand Agricultural Organization (FAO) published a study in the British medical journal Lancetestimating that as many as 576,000 children had died as a result of the sanctions.
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The moralimplications of sanctions and economic warfare cannot be ignored in a globalized world, callousor Machiavellian as it may sound, it is the responsibility of the intelligence agencies to neutralizethis threat.
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 The ultimate purpose of the intelligence services lie in the total understanding of targeted states.In another words “...economic warfare in time of war and cold economic warfare in time of peace aim to weaken or bring about the collapse or defeat of the target state, with the ultimateaim of changing its political regime. The difference lies in the intensity with which these goalscan be pursued and...the range of instruments available with which to pursue them.”
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 Today the Central Intelligence Agency, with the help of other agencies, provides economicintelligence for U.S. policy, monitor international transactions, international economic andenvironmental problems, including trade and finance; defense markets and logistics; geographicresources, including demographics and commodities; civil technology, including aerospace,advanced manufacturing, and emerging technologies; and energy resources.
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The intelligencegathering agencies are awakening to the face of the dynamic and volatile international politicaleconomy. They have to thread carefully as it is the responsibility of the agencies to prevent thepotential war or economic anarchy by understanding the international political economy. In sucha dimension, the intelligence agents and analysts have a crucial role as important as the policymakers.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
 Millikan, Max F., "The Nature and Methods of Economic Intelligence," Studies in Intelligence,Spring 1956Noren, James., 'CIA's Analysis of the Soviet Economy,' in
Watching the Bear: Essays on CIA's Analysis of the Soviet Union
, (eds.) Gerald K. Haines and Robert E. Leggett. Washington, DC:Center for the Study of Intelligence, 2003.Jeffrey-Jones, Rohdri., 'The CIA and the American Democaracy'. Yale University press, 1989Simpson, Christopher., 'Science of Coercion: Communication, Research and PsychologicalWarfare, 1945-1960. Oxford University Press. 1994O' Sullivan, Meghan L., 'Shrewd Sanctions: Statecraft and State Sponsors of Terrorism.'Brookings Instituition Press, Washington D.CDobson, Alan P., 'United States Economic Statecraft for Survival, 1933-1991: Of Sanctions andStrategic Embargoes' Routledge Advances in International Relations and Politics.Robarge, David S., Getting It Right: CIA Analysis of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Center for theStudy in Intelligence, Vol. 49, No.1, 2005
Periodicals, Journals, Online Archives and News Media
 National Security ArchivesEconomic Intelligence Forum

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