Qualche anno fa, a quattro mani, scrissi un breve articolo sul ruolo delle foreste naturali in chiave geopolitica. Il titolo: “L’ultima sfida globale: le grandi foreste naturali” lasciava presagire, forse in maniera fin troppo suggestiva, quale fosse l’interpretazione che si intendeva dare della questione, altrimenti molto più legata alla fisica o alla biologia, delle foreste.
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.
The very notion of intelligence is nuanced and broad. An entire branch of intelligence studies is devolved to exploring what intelligence is. This is what Mark Phythian and Peter Gill called “definitional project” in their taxonomy. Several scholars tackled the definition of intelligence, starting with Michael Warner’s pioneering paper Wanted: A definition of intelligence published in 2002 (almost achieving the twenty years anniversary). After him, many more tackled it (be kind if I advertise that I also proposed a philosophical definition of intelligence in 2019). But another crucial topic is the exploration of intelligence analysis functions such as strategic intelligence and tactical intelligence. Interestingly, strategic intelligence is still a difficult nut to be cracked. Probably because of its dependency on theory. Basically, strategic intelligence allows the identification of the enemy’s intentions to avoid surprises at the strategic level. Easy to say, but very difficult to achieve. Indeed, at least in the public debate, there is a sense that the Cold War was a predictable confrontation from a strategic perspective. Unfortunately, strategic intelligence was pursued with risk and uncertainty as everything else in intelligence. Although it is so important, it is still an underexplored topic. When I first read Itai Shapira’s paper, published by Intelligence and National Security (2019, Strategic Intelligence as an Art and a Science), I hoped we could have covered this topic, and now I am even more persuaded of this choice. Sure, the fact that he tackles the issue from theoretical and philosophical perspectives allured me even more. But, as you will see, there is a good reason for tackling strategic intelligence from this angle. Itai helps us understand the nature of strategic intelligence and tactical intelligence with a very innovative (fresh, I would venture to say) approach. 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, Itai: thank you!
1# Itai Shapira, let’s start from the basics. How would you like to present yourself to the International readers and Philosophical School (Scuola Filosofica)?
I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester, studying Israeli national intelligence culture. I am a retired Colonel from the Israeli Defense Intelligence (IDI), where I have served for more than 25 years in various intelligence analysis and management roles – on the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. As a great believer in the dialectic of practice and theory, and after such a long period in the practice of intelligence, I am devoting the current period to a more theoretical perspective, trying to develop some theoretical concepts which in turn could influence practice.
After so many topics, it was time to face one of the structured analytic techniques, also known by the acronym “SATs” (where the “s” is the plural). Actually, when I try to explain to my mother (ah, the mothers!) what intelligence analysis is about, I use SATs. Well, not for analyzing her, but for giving her a concrete example of what intelligence analysts do. All we need is SATs, according to many. But the research in the intelligence studies shows that SATs are not so widespread, their benefits are not so measurable, and ultimately (you will discover in this interview) they are not even so widespread. All the leading intelligence scholars from different corners of the world tackled the issue and, still, there is no universal agreement. Whatever their pros and cons, whatever they are, this is a crucial topic and, I believe, we all must know what they are (if we deal with intelligence). Exactly, for this reason, I thought it appropriate to let Alexei Kuvshinnikov speak about them. Indeed, Alexei is a passionate and professional SATs user, a member of the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE), and, as you will discover, a promoter of SATs use. As a professional expert active in criminal investigation and narcotics for international institutions, and a teacher, he argues for the need for SATs for limiting biases and cognitive pitfalls. Considering his long experience in the field and his knowledge of intelligence methods, Alexei was an ideal referent for talking about this interesting topic. I don’t want to spoiler more, but if you are interested in intelligence analysis, this is something for you. 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, Alexei: thank you!
1# Professor Alexei Kuvshinnikov, let’s start with the basics. How would you like to present yourself to the national and international readers and Philosophical School (Scuola Filosofica)?
Dear Giangiuseppe, thank you very much for the compliment, but I have to decline it. Being just a titleless lecturer with no academic qualifications beyond a Master´s degree, I have no pretence of belonging to the academia. Getting a taste of reality leads to getting a taste for reality, and graduate students can only benefit from it, that´s my firm belief. Accordingly, I teach SATs not as a science but rather as a tradecraft. You see, from an academic perspective, there is no difference between the academia and the real world. From the perspective of real-world operators, there often is.
After, well, thirty-four publications (plus the others already scheduled), it was time to cover one of the most fascinating topics in intelligence history. Yes, we are talking about the Russian intelligence and the KGB from the Czarist foundation to our days. The KGB was considered by many as the most powerful intelligence service globally, which should probably raise immediately the question of where and under what conditions such a powerful state institution is indeed legitimate in the first place. This is already enough for presenting this interview but let me add a couple of observations. We should not consider the KGB as a rule in the intelligence realm or as an example to be followed. We must consider it as what to avoid at any cost. Intelligence history is never “just” history (assuming that there is history that is “just” history). For this reason, I approached Professor Kevin Riehle (National Intelligence University, USA). This interview will accompany the reader from the inception of the Russian intelligence to the current institutional frame and organization. It is a deep dive into the Russian intelligence world. The first time I met Kevin, we were in Aberystwyth (back then… in person). We briefly discussed the relationship between intelligence and democracy and the importance of grounding the intelligence activity to the values inscribed into the constitution. More recently, during research on intelligence teaching, I had the pleasure to read one of his papers, this one on intelligence education (highly recommended), and to hear his presentation at the last International Studies Association Convention. 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, Kevin: thank you!
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or any U.S. government agency.
When I was working on my recent three-fold research papers on intelligence analysis, I came across a journal article that fascinated me quite a lot since I’ve read the title. It was the case in which the content I read was exactly as good as my expectations (which are usually extremely high when they come to peer-review scientific papers). Indeed, since I started studying war theory and the philosophy of war, Clausewitz’s On War was mandatory reading. Interestingly, Clausewitz is inversely proportionally considered in intelligence and war studies. If he is one of the founding fathers of the modern understanding of war (and rightly so, notwithstanding many critics), he is almost entirely dismissed in the intelligence domain. Yes, true, he stated that intelligence is unreliable by nature, that the commander should avoid to trust intelligence (too much), and that uncertainty is inherently part of war and warfare… and so he couldn’t be said a big supporter of intelligence in general. Is this sufficient to discharge his work? So, when I read An Outline of a Clausewitzian Theory of IntelligenceI finally found a partial vindication of my long-lasting necessity to see Clausewitz better considered within the intelligence studies and, more broadly, intelligence. But even more importantly, in an age that prizes all that comes from the last technological invention but the human brain, it is always healthy to remember how our world is ultimately unpredictable and dominated by an intrinsic uncertainty. The efforts of the last seventy years were to prove that everything has its own place as if nature and human beings are only tiny cogged wheels, in spite of all suggested by history and by ordinary life (actually). Then, after such a reading, I almost felt obliged to contact Dr Lillbacka to have a deeper conversation about these topics. This interview is part of this discussion which, I hope, you will find as fascinating as insightful. In addition, I invite the readers to discover Lillbacka’s publications, which are as rich as rigorous. There is no question that not everything can be covered in a single interview but I hope you will find so much to think about prediction, friction, and uncertainty that, at least, you will be enriched as much as I did. 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, Ralf: thank you!
Since the beginning of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in 2014, international security research has been extensively shaped by increased focus on information operations and hybrid warfare. The Kremlin’s use of multiple instruments of power, including cyberattacks, conventional troops, economic pressure and massive disinformation campaigns, has threatened security of not only Ukraine, but many Western democracies as well. Although foreign experts’ analysis of the Russian hybrid warfare often takes into account vulnerabilities and mistakes made by Ukraine, it seems to accord less attention to the multiple ways in which the country succeeds in handling Russian aggression. While Ukraine has been a testing ground of new-generation warfare techniques, it has also conducted testing of many diverse countermeasures to mitigate them. To enrich international discussion on the Russian hybrid warfare with the knowledge of Ukrainian strategies and solutions towards it, we have invited to our series Alina Frolova, an experienced professional in the field of strategic, government and crisis communications based in Ukraine. Before assuming her current position as Deputy Chairman of the Centre for Defence Strategies in Kyiv, Alina has served as a public official in the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine and Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine, where she facilitated implementation of strategic and government communications amid the ongoing conflict. In our interview with Alina, we discuss the importance of strategic communications and key factors behind their success, the most effective mechanisms against foreign influences, recent escalation along the Ukrainian border, as well as Ukraine’s image abroad and the country’s progress in the pursuit of NATO membership thus far. On behalf of the Scuola Filosofica Team, our readers, and myself, Roman Kolodii, Alina: thank you!
1# Alina, how would you like to present yourself to the international readers of Scuola Filosofica?
Alina Frolova, Deputy Chairman, Centre for Defence Strategies, Founder of StratcomUA (Center for Strategic Communications), Deputy Minister of Defence of Ukraine 2019-2020.