New Research Division Publication -
Trust (in) NATO - The future of intelligence sharing within the Alliance

  • 12 Sep. 2017
  • |
  • Last updated: 10 Oct. 2017 13:26

Research Paper 140

Dear Reader,

Since its establishment, NATO and Intelligence have been ‘a contradiction in terms’, as a CIA researcher coined it in 1984. Different languages, cultures, capabilities and infrastructures proved to be structural constraints. To make things worse, issues like lack of a common threat perception, differing national interests, and political distrust prevented NATO’s national services from sharing with the Alliance as a whole. Recent military missions in North Africa and the Middle East have underlined NATO’s problematic intelligence-sharing apparatus and, besides calls for synchronizing the flow of strategic and operational information, the need for coordinating the many different and inefficient intelligence structures of the Alliance has become apparent.

On 21 October 2016, NATO appointed its first Assistant Secretary General for Intelligence and Security (ASG-I&S). Our latest Research Paper assesses the future of intelligence sharing within the Alliance following the ASG-I&S’ recent creation of a joint intelligence division. It identifies the more challenging aspects of multinational intelligence cooperation, and discussed the do’s and don’ts concerning structure, sharing and content. Based on theory, practice and insider knowledge, nine recommendations are made with the aim of offering a proposal to enhance intelligence as NATO’s first line of defense.

We hope you enjoy this paper that provides a glimpse into bureaucratic politics and Alliance intelligence operations.

Regards,

Jeff

Jeffrey A. Larsen, PhD, Director Research Division


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