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Intelligence & Interview #11 – Candyce Kelshall on the Canadian Association for Security & Intelligence Studies

Approved by the Author

This is the eleven official interview on intelligence, technology, and philosophy, now called “Intelligence & Interview”! In this interview, we will bring you to know more about the Canadian Association for Security & Intelligence based in Vancouver. The interviewed is professor Candyce Kelshall, an expert on intelligence, military, and law enforcement. Since I discovered CASIS-Vancouver, I immediately started to closely follow its (many) activities, updates, and forthcoming events. Then, I was particularly pleased to have the opportunity to interview professor Kelhsall on CASIS so as to bring the Canadian Association and professor Kelshall’s experience to our readers. Then, it is with my distinct pleasure to publish the interview on Scuola Filosofica – for those who don’t know it yet, is one of the leading philosophical blogs in Italy. In the name of Scuola Filosofica Team, our readers, and myself, Giangiuseppe Pili, Candyce: thank you!

1. Professor Candyce Kelshall, let’s start from the basics. How would you like to present yourself to the Italian readers and Philosophical School (Scuola Filosofica)?

I am a vocational and academic instructor in the fields of policing, law enforcement, military, intelligence, and business in over 17 countries. I have been teaching and writing academic programs for the last 14 years at University of Buckingham UK, University of Sussex UK, Rabdan Academy UAE, Simon Fraser University Canada and the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

I also have 30 years’ experience in diplomacy, law enforcement and military professional training. I have been a Military and Police advisor in the UK for over ten years and am a former Diplomat and Reservist Royal Navy Officer and a UK Sea Cadet Instructional Officer.

Most recently I have designed Structured Analytical Technique intelligence training programs for over 14 different law enforcement, public safety, intelligence and private sector organizations in Canada. I also have a Structured Analytic Models, Approaches and Techniques textbook for the Buckingham University Press forthcoming.

2. You are the president of the Canadian Association for Security & Intelligence Studies – Vancouver (CASIS). What is the CASIS’ mission? 

The mandate of the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies (CASIS) is to empower and enhance research, discussion, and multidisciplinary engagement with issues of national security and intelligence. CASIS also promotes critical thinking, adaptability and resilience, to empower the future generation of Canadian intelligence and security professionals.

CASIS accomplishes its mandate through 4 pillars, discussion, dissemination, engagement and research.


Pillar 1: Discussion

CASIS provides forums to discuss emerging security concerns such as radicalization of individuals and Violent Transnational Social Movements (VTSMs). This is done via our monthly roundtable events, special, and joint events and annual conferences.

Pillar 2: Dissemination

The dissemination of original research and expert reports via the Journal of Conflict, Intelligence, and Warfare (JICW). The JICW is a peer-reviewed, bi-annual publication. The JICW functions as an outlet for original CASIS research, briefing notes, academic papers, and practitioner papers.

Pillar 3: Engagement

CASIS actively engages with agencies, academic institutions, research centres, and industry leaders in the private sector to enhance intelligence and security professional practice. By bringing together new peer reviewed research and multidisciplinary approaches to refine and enhance analyst and practitioner training.

Pillar 4: Research

CASIS and its research centre, The Canadian Centre for Identity Based Conflict are dedicated to promoting the study of Violent Transnational Social Movements and the impact they have on our social fabric. The centre is a resource providing tools to both practitioners as well as to broader social communities in order to disrupt radicalization, escalation, and the normalization of extremist identity-centric violence.

3. Knowing how an institution was established in the first place, its developments, and history gives a significant glance to the institution itself. Very briefly, what is the main CASIS history timeline?

The Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies (CASIS) is a nonpartisan, voluntary organization established in 1985. Its purpose is to provide informed debate in Canada on security and intelligence issues. A distinguished board of directors comprised of professionals of national and international reputation and status oversee the operations of the association.

The Vancouver Branch of CASIS was founded in 2018 in order to access the perspectives of West Coast based, multidisciplinary intelligence and security professionals, practitioners, academics and students. CASIS engages with universities, agencies, and organizations around the world, and hosts and monthly events and an annual security Conference every November. CASIS is also dedicated to research and the dissemination of emerging security and intelligence trends. This is accomplished through the Canadian Centre for Identity Based Conflict (CCIBC) the research arm of CASIS, and the Journal of Intelligence, Conflict, and Warfare (JICW), the CASIS peer-reviewed journal.

4. What are the main areas, topics, and themes explored by CASIS? 

National Security, Intelligence, Contemporary Conflict, Identity based conflict.

5. The process of analysis is of critical importance today, as we are often swamped by unreliable and inaccurate information. How is the standard analytic procedure through which CASIS guarantees the quality of information shared? 

All CASIS executives undergo more than 50 hours of training in critical thinking, analytical tradecraft, and structured analytical training before publishing material on behalf of CASIS. Additionally, all products are peer reviewed and the use of structured analytical models, approaches and techniques (SMATs) are strongly encouraged during the analytical process to mitigate personal biases.

6. Who are the main team members of CASIS, and what is their background?

CASIS has a distinguished advisory board, with experts from around the world. CASIS has over 20 executives and interns who come from diverse academic and professional backgrounds. Some key team members include:

Vice President Dr. Patrick Neal, with over 30 years’ experience in corrections, military, cyber warfare and intelligence.

Executive Officer Asha Khera, a BA in International Studies, co-author of 2 Structured Analytical Techniques Textbooks, commanded multiple training programs for over 14 different law enforcement, intelligence and private sector organizations.

Executive Officer Natalie Archutowski, Canadian Centre for Identity Based Conflict, a BA in Political Science, co-author of Decoded: Understanding the Post-COVID-19 Security Landscape Using Structured Models, Approaches, and Analytic Techniques, and co-author of 3 forthcoming Structured Analytic Models, Approaches and Techniques with C. Kelshall.

7. Recently, CASIS published a detailed, long analysis of COVID-19. Can you share with us its main findings?

We’re delighted to have this publication under our belt, within the report we found four key trends that emerged throughout the intelligence briefs:

  • Consistent messaging is key for weathering the pandemic and any complex or natural disaster emergency;
  • Power and influence dynamics are changing, on an international scale and within nations;
  • Resilience, creativity and collaboration are key to successfully emerging from the pandemic; and
  • Misinformation creates ungovernable civic spaces which damage social cohesion.

What these findings suggest for us is that this pandemic has highlighted cracks in our societies and has brought various structural inequalities to the forefront of our daily lives. Preparing for and adapting to possible structural and cultural shifts will be essential for successfully emerging from this pandemic stronger and more cohesive as a society.

8. What is the CASIS strategy toward our uncertain future? 

CASIS’ mandate is to promote and encourage the study and practice of intelligence and security, this includes practicing and promoting resilience, innovation and creativity. We have completely restructured our events and outputs to adapt to COVID-19. As CASIS doctrine emphasizes adaptability and resilience we are quick to engage with challenges that come our way. We are also fortunate to have a matrix structured organization which provides us with the flexibility meet any obstacles head on.

9. How can our readers follow you and CASIS?

I can be found on Twitter @CKelshall and CASIS Vancouver can be found on Twitter and Facebook @CASISVancouver and on LinkedIn at Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies – Vancouver.

The COVID-19 Report mentioned, Decoded: Understanding the Post-COVID-19 Security Landscape Using Structured Models, Approaches, and Analytic Techniques can be found here:

On our website – – we host a weekly podcast and weekly blog insights about emerging concerns in security and intelligence.

Information about our upcoming online Conference can also be found at all of these platforms.

10. Five keywords that represent you?

Critical thinking, Resilience, Adaptability, Empowering, Innovation.

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