Since I started this blog, its motto was “All we need is philosophy… which is love for knowledge”. Naturally, it was a paraphrasis of Beatle’s song “All we need is love”, an over abused mantra. The irony is that the paraphrasis is almost untouched as philosophy was classically defined by Plato as love for knowledge (or wisdom, or whatever it increases human understanding): “all we need is love for knowledge” is what I would have sung if only I was a good songwriter. “All we need is love for knowledge” seems to be a far better and more universal creed, so much so that so great music composers such as the Beatles did not miss it. As it was said in a private conversation by one of the two editors of the esteemed Intelligence and National Security, this special issue was an act of love toward philosophy. As strange it may sound, as unlikely it could be in hour days, when everything is reduced to brutish emotions and useless sarcasm and cynicism, this is the truth.
Intelligence analysis is one of the most explored topics in intelligence studies. However, decoding its nature is still challenging. A unifying question must be considered: ‘Is intelligence analysis – analysis?’ Unfolding the problem leads to an extreme conclusion: intelligence analysis is a way to structure sensory data collection and reduction. It is, namely, synthesis. A systematic scrutiny of the general nature of analysis is considered to compare it to what intelligence analysis is intended to be. As it will turn out, intelligence analysis is much more synthesis – namely, structuring sensory data collection – than analysis per se, which is the main conclusion of the argument.
Nichilismo e terrorismo nell’Europa della seconda metà dell’Ottocento
Giovedì 28 ottobre esce, per Bibliosofica Editrice, il libro postumo di Giovanni Feliciani intitolato, “L’individualismo radicale di Max Stirner”. Non vi è una vera e propria letteratura specifica e bene articolata riguardo al pensiero e all’azione radicale. Alcuni aspetti della storia, infatti, sono stati messi all’angolo, poiché ritenuti “scomodi”. Giovanni Feliciani, studioso ed editore, decide di non approfondire gli aspetti prettamente storici del pensiero anarchico, bensì gli elementi legati alla radicalità. In particolare, l’attenzione è rivolta al filosofo tedesco Max Stirner, senz’altro il più radicale tra i componenti della sinistra hegeliana e non solo. L’opera di Stirner verrà accolta e sviluppata dai nichilisti russi e dai terroristi anarchici. Feliciani è, chiaramente, influenzato nei suoi studi dal filosofo tedesco, ma anche da Nietzsche e Simmel, tuttavia al centro del suo pensiero non vi è l’assenza di regole e certi stilemi più estremi di una certa corrente anarchica, ma l’individuo con le sue esigenze e privo di condizionamenti. Tutti i libri, tutta l’attività da editore, tutta la sua vita, è stata segnata da una caparbia decisione di “andare oltre”; quindi di essere sé stessi fino in fondo.
Giovanni Feliciani (Siena, 1951 – Roma, 2017), è stato libraio, bibliotecario, ricercatore. Ha fondato e ha diretto la Casa Editrice Bibliosofica, a Roma, presso la quale ha pubblicato:Biblius. Libro dei Libri (1999); Bibliosofia. Scienza del Libro e della Lettura (2011); Vivere al ritmo della radicalità nella storia, (2015); inoltre ha curato, la raccolta di studi La Biblioteca Pubblica. Antologia degli scritti di Virginia Carini Dainotti (2014) e insieme ad altri il volume La Cultura brucia. Anna e la libreria uscita nella Roma degli anni ’70 (2010). È stato cofondatore della collana di Studi Storici, Filosofici Umanistici “Tempora”.
Roma, Bibliosofica, 2021
Formato cm 15×21, pagine 120
€ 13,00 – ISBN 978-88-87660-456
I’m honored, delighted, and humbled by all the knowledge shared in this interview. Like many of us, I first James Bruce in his writing, from RAND reports to book chapters and papers. When I contacted him, I wanted to share my gratefulness for his seminal work on the epistemology of intelligence, because of my long-lasting interest in that almost esoteric (but crucial, I believe) topic. We had a deep conversation on intelligence analysis, the intelligence profession, and the conceptual understanding of intelligence from that moment on. As in all the best and deep conversations, there is a margin for different opinions, boosting further insights and deep thoughts. There will be so much reflection to be awed for all of our readers who will read the interview. Dr. Bruce has an outstanding position for covering so many topics at such a detailed level to be difficult to be matched, impossible to surpass. Although I try to be as grateful as I can be to all who enriched my knowledge, I can only publicly reinforce my deep appreciation for James Bruce’s interview, knowledge, experience, and all the thoughts he put into his conversations. His work and thought should definitely be an example, an inspiration for younger scholars and, more broadly, all who think human knowledge is crucial for the progress of civilization and meaning. In this very respect, James Bruce is absolutely a deep thinker. These words must be understood in the best way, as all our readers will immediately discover reading this interview. We covered crucial topics from intelligence analysis, its future as well as the epistemology of intelligence. It is then with my distinct pleasure to publish the interview on Scuola Filosofica – for those who don’t know it yet; it is one of the leading cultural blogs in Italy. In the name of Scuola Filosofica Team, our readers, and myself, Giangiuseppe Pili, James: thank you!
1# Hi James Bruce, let’s start from the basics. How would you like to present yourself to our national and international readers?
Hello, Gian, and thank you for the opportunity to discuss analysis! To start with a caveat: These interview responses are my own personal views, and they do not reflect the positions of the Central Intelligence Agency, the US government, or the RAND Corporation.
I am a retired intelligence analyst with 24 years’ experience at CIA. While there, I worked on a variety of substantive issues and also some methodological ones. With Ph.D. in hand and 10 years’ teaching experience in academe when I entered the Agency, I still had much to learn on my path to becoming a professional analyst.
My early career focus was on the Soviet Union, and I published a very controversial (then classified) paper in 1983 on civil unrest in the USSR. It described and successfully forecast growing political instability in the Soviet system due to a breakdown in the social contract between the governing Communist Party (CPSU) and the population that was growing increasingly restive with the regime’s authoritarianism and unfulfilled promises. That quantitative study of demonstrations, strikes, riots, and political violence revealed a tip-of-the-iceberg change afoot in the Soviet political culture across its 11 time zones that the KGB couldn’t curtail by force alone. The collapse of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day in 1991 was seen by some as a US intelligence failure. While that fateful day wasn’t specifically predicted, a few analysts had reported the early signs of imminent system failure and, by 1990, CIA had its demise pretty well in hand. Gorbachev’s rule was becoming increasingly precarious. Today Putin may be riding a similar tiger.
What is the real ethical framework of an intelligence analyst? We addressed this question by presenting a group of civil and military intelligence analysts (N = 41), and a control group of non-professionals (N = 41), with a set of dilemmas depicting intelligence agents facing the decision whether to violate a deontological rule where that would benefit their work (ethics-of-intelligence dilemmas). Participants judged how much violating the rule was acceptable. Next, we measured participants’ individual differences in social dominance orientation (using the Social Dominance Orientation scale which measures the proclivity to endorse intergroup hierarchy and anti-egalitarianism), their deontological and utilitarian response tendencies (using classical moral dilemmas), and how much they value rule conformity, traditions, and safety and stability in the society (using the Value Survey). A multiple regression analysis revealed that, among all the factors, only social dominance significantly helped explain variability in intelligence analysts’ but not non-professionals’ resolutions of the ethics-of-intelligence dilemmas. Specifically, social dominance positively predicted the tendency to judge violating the deontological rule acceptable, possibly suggesting that analysts who show a stronger proclivity to desire their country or company to prevail over others are also more lenient toward deontological violations if these result in a greater good for the state or the company. For the first time in the open literature, we elucidated some key aspects of the real ethics of intelligence.
For the first time in the series, we present extensively the history and present of an Eastern-European country, which was part of the Warsaw pact during the Cold War. True, we already invited experts from other countries, part of the USSR (Ukraine, specifically). We covered the Russian and USSR’s intelligence extensively in another interview. But it is the first time we explore the secret services of a country that underwent crucial restructuring and reforms passing from being independent, then inside the Warsaw Pact, and then the European Union and NATO. It is then with a particular interest and pleasure to cover the Polish intelligence history, experience, and present. This is a great opportunity for discovering more about other perspectives and structures, which are now part of the European Union and NATO. Considering French intelligence services, Italian security services, Greece’s experience, Belgian or Dutch intelligence, the readers will see already how densely diversified and unique each country is when intelligence is concerned. With Poland’s intelligence and security services, we add another crucial piece into the complex puzzle, which is intelligence history and European “ways to intelligence.” Indeed, as we shall discover through this very deep and insightful interview, Poland’s history was as complex as few others in the European landscape. Starting from the beginning of the Polish state, professor Przemysław Gasztold covers all the main steps and evolution of the Polish secret services. As the readers will discover, this is a fascinating journey through the history of a crucial country whose history shows an impressive and unrivaled resilience. I can only be grateful to professor Gasztold for sharing with us his deep knowledge of Polish intelligence. It is then with my distinct pleasure to publish the interview on Scuola Filosofica – for those who don’t know it yet; it is one of the leading cultural blogs in Italy. In the name of Scuola Filosofica Team, our readers, and myself, Giangiuseppe Pili, Przemysław: thank you!
1# Professor Przemysław Gasztold, let’s start from the basics. How would you like to present yourself to the International readers and Philosophical School (Scuola Filosofica)?
Since the beginning of my university studies I was fascinated by the Polish history during the Cold War, with a particular emphasis on the communist movement and its security apparatus. I have written my MA thesis on the “Grunwald” Patriotic Union – a political association active in the 80s, which mixed communism with nationalism and anti-Semitism. My PhD thesis addressed the hardline communists within the Polish United Workers’ Party in the 80s and their struggle for power within the high echelons of the ruling regime. My next project embraces the Polish sympathizers of Maoism who in 1965 established an illegal party and were supported by Albanian and Chinese diplomats. Simultaneously, I’m working on a project about the Polish ties to the Global South (1955-1989), which would identify the role Warsaw in the developing world in a broader framework of the Soviet Bloc ideological agenda. I’m also conducting research on various aspects of Polish intelligence and counter-intelligence services, for example their secret ties with international terrorism during the Cold War. The new findings about the Soviet bloc clandestine relationships with terrorist organizations have recently been published in two volumes: Terrorism in the Cold War. State Support in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Sphere of Influence and Terrorism in the Cold War. State Support in the West, Middle East and Latin America (edited by A. Hanni, T. Riegler, P. Gasztold, I.B. Tauris/Bloomsbury Publishing, London-New York 2020). Currently, I’m working as an Assistant Professor at the War Studies University in Warsaw, the Department of Security Threats, and as a senior research fellow at the Institute of National Remembrance – an institution responsible for research and archival maintenance of the communist intelligence records. Additionally, I’m an editor at “Security & Defence Quarterly” and a member of the editorial board at the “National Security and the Future”.
It is with special pleasure to host Dr. Alexander Moseley in Intelligence & Interview to cover a topic which interested me for a long time now: Philosophy of war. Yes, exactly. Many of you are familiar with Just War Theory and the moral and political philosophy discussed by JWT philosophers. JWT is so influential that actually is probably the only philosophical area to be spilled over even beyond its first intentional research, as now there is also what is called “Just Intelligence Theory”. However, many arguments can be made for a philosophy of war that is not related to morals or even political philosophy. This is what I’ve called “pure philosophy of war.” Since I started exploring the topic almost ten years ago, I come up with Alexander Moseley’s book A Philosophy of War (2001), which I immediately found inspiring for the different angle he tackled the problem. After having read his book, I wrote an article freely available in this blog for the Italian readership (Alexander Moseley – A philosophy of war (una filosofia della guerra) Then, I got in touch with Alexander, and I invited him to write a piece for a collective book I was editing on the philosophy of war and piece (Socrate va in guerra: Socrate goes to war), where Dr Moseley covered the crucial topic of the causes of war. It is then with my distinct pleasure to publish the interview on Scuola Filosofica – for those who don’t know it yet; it is one of the leading cultural blogs in Italy. In the name of Scuola Filosofica Team, our readers, and myself, Giangiuseppe Pili, Alex: thank you!
1# Dr. Alexander Moseley, let’s start from the basics. How would you like to present yourself to the International readers and Philosophical School (Scuola Filosofica)?
A good question! Although I have worked in the university sector, most of my research and writings after my doctorate were done while running a private educational company as ‘an independent academic.’ I have been commissioned to write several articles on the ethics of war and the nature of ‘the warrior’ after publishing my first book, A Philosophy of War in 2001. I continue to research broadly and in turn my thinking has evolved to some extent from those early researches (see notes below on consciousness).
I wanted to include a chapter to cover the International Association for Intelligence Education from the start of this series. I started being part of IAFIE in 2019, when I participated in the last pre-pandemic conference in New York (as I have already stated, one of the most interesting conferences in which I took part insofar). IAFIE always offered interesting updates, insights on the intelligence profession, and the opportunity to discover more about intelligence education. As one of the series’ missions is to bring as much as different experiences and visions as possible, IAFIE was always in my mind. As now the series has to end soon and the processes of translation and editing for the next two collective books for the Italian Society of Intelligence (SOCINT), it was the right time to invite Professor Barry Zulauf to join the conversation for covering IAFIE, which will hopefully have a news conference in Italy in 2022 (in Pordenone). There is a specific IAFIE chapter (for more on IAFIE’s chapters, see #6), IAFIE Europe. We already invited and interview other IAFIE members during the course of the series, but this time the interview is dedicated to IAFIE itself. Professor Zulauf doesn’t need any introduction for all intelligence educators and intelligence scholars. With more than 40 years as an educator and extensive direct experience in the intelligence profession, Professor Zulauf is the president of IAFIE and is an inspiration for all intelligence educators. This interview covers IAFIE’s mission, practices, and vision, and much more. Its history and evolution give a glimpse into the world of intelligence education. As a part of other interviews dedicated to substantially national societies and associations relevant for intelligence and security, this interview is instead devoted to bringing the eminently international case. I take the chance to all our readers to follow IAFIE, join it, and have a look at its website (recently renewed): https://www.iafie.org/. It is then with my distinct pleasure to publish the interview on Scuola Filosofica – for those who don’t know it yet; it is one of the leading cultural blogs in Italy. In the name of Scuola Filosofica Team, our readers, and myself, Giangiuseppe Pili, Barry: thank you!
1# Professor Barry Zulauf, let’s start from the basics. How would you like to present yourself to the national and international readers?
I have been an educator at the undergraduate and graduate level for 40 years, and a professional all-source intelligence analyst for nearly 35 of those years. I have also been a Naval Officer, with a combat tour in Afghanistan, retiring after 22 years. There is no more satisfying job than teaching. I have been able to touch thousands of young lives over the years, I have been a part of hundreds of them choosing careers in public service, national security, and intelligence. I continue to be a friend and mentor to dozens of them – some who have risen to high positions in the Intelligence Community – Generals, Admirals, agency leaders. There is no more important function for intelligence professionals than to prepare the next generation of intelligence leaders, and to make sure all intelligence professionals are aware of the requirements and have the intellectual tools needed to carry out objective analysis and perform ethical intelligence activities.
I know few people who are better suited to cover the recent (tragic) events in Afghanistan than Fabrizio Minniti. Fabrizio is an expert in the region, and he stationed there for some time. I had the pleasure to listen to him talking about it, and I realized that he was the perfect person to address the new Afghan context, and helping us in understanding the unfolding events. All the people selected and interviewed for Intelligence and Interview are outstanding experts and researchers, and some of them I know personally. However, Fabrizio is uniquely positioned as he is my first co-author’s paper in an international journal: What Happened? After-Effects of the 2007 Reform Legislation of the Italian Intelligence Community! Thank to his deep knowledge of the intelligence realm, especially at the national level, we issued a paper on the history of Italian intelligence for the International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, which is still substantially a unique piece of research considering the Italian case. It was a great honor and experience working with him on this project and, please, don’t ask: We will work on follow-ups very soon! Then, I invite you to follow Fabrizio and his work, starting from this interview. It is then with my distinct pleasure to publish the interview on Scuola Filosofica – for those who don’t know it yet; it is one of the leading cultural blogs in Italy. In the name of Scuola Filosofica Team, our readers, and myself, Giangiuseppe Pili, Fabrizio: thank you!
1# Fabrizio, let’s start from the basics. How would you like to present yourself to the international readers, and Philosophical School (Scuola Filosofica)?
I am Fabrizio Minniti, a former researcher at the Military Centre for Strategic Studies (Italian MoD), international security expert, analyst, consultant, and political advisor to international organizations. I am the author of numerous publications on terrorism, intelligence, and nuclear non-proliferation.
Pili, G., (2021), “Be coherent with yourself! A pluralistic approach to objectivity for intelligence analysis”, American Intelligence Journal, 38:1, 96-103.
Is objectivity possible in intelligence analysis? This long-lasting question can be answered by a new and pluralistic approach to objectivity within the s objectivity possible in intelligence analysis? This intelligence studies literature. If objectivity is possible, first, it must be defined. Second, it must be understood in terms of its attainability—in what way, how, and to what extent. A systematic analysis is offered to tackle the issue through the different angle offered by the philosophy of science, which already engaged in close issues such as politicization in science. Ultimately, the challenge is to fix the analyst’s duty in the face of his/her goal, which requires unfolding the implicit intelligence analyst’s worldview. Finally, balancing reality and ideals, the slogan of intelligence should be: “Be coherent with yourself; be coherent with what you know,” instead of “Speak truth to power.” A conceptual defense of this very idea will be explored systematically. Interested? Write me at scuolafilosofica_AT_gmail.com!