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Categoria: Intelligence

Alexander Moseley | Philosophy of War and Peace | Intelligence & Interview N.40 | Giangiuseppe Pili

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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).

Barry Zulauf | International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE) | Intelligence & Interview N.39 | Giangiuseppe Pili

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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.

Fabrizio Minniti | Tragedy in Afghanistan: Recent History and Developments | Intelligence & Interview N.38 | Giangiuseppe Pili


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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.

Itai Shapira | Strategic and Tactical Intelligence & Philosophical Approaches to Intelligence Theory | Intelligence & Interview N.37 | Giangiuseppe Pili

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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.

Alexei Kuvshinnikov | Structured Analytic Techniques – Applications and Cases Studies (Mafia included) | Intelligence & Interview N.36 | Giangiuseppe Pili

Alexei Kuvshinnikov
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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.

Kevin Riehle | KGB, GRU, FSB – Russian Intelligence History and Present | Intelligence & Interview N.35 | Giangiuseppe Pili

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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.

Ralf Lillbacka | Clausewitz, Uncertainty and Intelligence | Intelligence & Interview N.34 | Giangiuseppe Pili

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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 Intelligence I 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!

Alina Frolova | Ukraine and Russian Hybrid Warfare | Intelligence & Interview N.33 | Roman Kolodii

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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.


Lennart Maschmeyer | Cybersecurity, Cyber Power and Threat Intelligence | Intelligence & Interview N.32 | Roman Kolodii

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With current expansion of digital practices to mitigate the effects of Covid-19, well-calibrated cybersecurity strategies have become even more relevant than ever. Such instances as recent attempts to steal data on Covid vaccines through cyber-intrusions, for instance, demonstrate how dangerous and malicious cyber-threats can be during healthcare emergencies, especially if orchestrated by foreign governments. Indeed, in recent years, many experts began to view cyberspace not so much as no-man’s land but rather a battlefield where individual states can engage in confrontation for the sake of asymmetrical gains. Such scholarship, however, often focuses on government-centric perceptions of cyberspace-related events and presumes disruptive potential of cyber-technologies in situations where, in fact, it is not that pronounced. These habits of thought often preclude a more accurate and better informed appreciation of the role of cyber-threats, especially in terms of their effectiveness, as well as their mitigation through non-government efforts. For this interview, we have invited Dr Lennart Maschmeyer, an expert in cybersecurity, whose work examines existing blind spots and biases regarding cyber-operations and promotes more inclusive cyber-threat reporting among non-state actors. He is a senior researcher at the Center for Security Studies (ETH Zurich), a university-affiliated think tank in Switzerland offering security policy expertise in research, teaching, and consulting activities. Apart from his academic research, Lennart has been also involved in coordination of better cyber-threat reporting between commercial cyber-threat intelligence firms and civil society actors. In our interview, we discuss the character of modern cybersecurity threats, the role of digital technologies, including social media, in Russian influence operations, the importance of cyber-threat reporting, and dominant trends that would shape the nearest future of cybersecurity and strategy worldwide. On behalf of the Scuola Filosofica Team, our readers, and myself, Roman Kolodii, Lennart: thank you!


#1 Lennart, how would you like to present yourself to the international readers of Scuola Filosofica?

I am a senior researcher at the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich where I examine the opportunities information technology provides for actors to project power in world politics. Specifically, I focus on how technological change has altered the quality of covert operations as an instrument in strategy. Cyber operations are often perceived as a novel instrument, yet my research shows close similarities to subversive intelligence operations both concerning strategic role and operational constraints. What is probably new about cyber conflict is the outsize role played by non-state actors, especially commercial cyber threat intelligence firms whose reporting often constitutes the main, sometimes the only source of data on ‘cyber attacks’. Because these firms are profit-driven, so is their reporting—and this produces selection bias in what is, and what is not reported. This bias distorts how policy makers, academics and the public perceive cyber conflict, and my secondary topic of interests is studying these biases.

Robin Libert & Guy Rapaille | Belgian Intelligence and Counterintelligence | Intelligence & Interview N.31 | Giangiuseppe Pili

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Intelligence & Interview has one mission but several goals. One of them is to expand the culture of different national intelligence experiences within the Intelligence Studies framework, which is the international scientific standard and community. Coupled with it, the translation in Italian will reinforce the international ties for the Italian readership. We are doing our best to include as many different nationalities and perspectives as possible. First, the (international) Intelligence Studies are still focused more on the Anglosphere intelligence experience than anything else. But only in Europe, we have so many different approaches to intelligence (in practice) and to intelligence studies (in theory) that we cannot and should not be satisfied with the status quo. As I consider myself much more oriented in international intelligence studies than on the national research (though along with my colleague – Fabrizio Minniti – we already published a paper on Italian intelligence), I strongly believe and advocate for a more integrated and broad discussion on intelligence. Then, for this reason, we already explored several intelligence perspectives (in order of publication: Zimbabwe & Africa, Italy, France, Greece, the Netherlands). However, we hosted scholars from many other countries to bring their knowledge and experience (USA, Canada, UK…). With this aim in mind, it is my pleasure to publish this Interview with two outstanding experts, very experienced professionals, Robin Libert and Guy Rapaille. This is the first “double” Intelligence & Interview, which makes me particularly happy with it. I want to thank Mr. Davide Madeddu for his early translation from French. I want also to thank Giacomo Carrus for his work on the English version of this interview. Without further ados, 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, Robin and Guy: thank you!


#1 Mr Robin Libert and Mr Guy Rapaille, let’s start from the basics. How would you like to present yourself to the International readers and Philosophical School (Scuola Filosofica)?

@Robin LIBERT: [RL]

  • Historian,
  • ‘Modernist’(16th-18th Century), mainly Austrian Netherlands (18th C).
  • Intelligence analyst, from Analyst to Director of Analysis (Sûreté de l’Etat, VSSE)
  • Today: Councilor general, ‘Academic outreach & Partnerships’ (VSSE)
  • President RUSRA-KUIAD, Royal Union of Intelligence and Action Services (WWII)
  • Board Member BISC, Belgian Intelligence Studies Centre
  • Great-nephew of two Intelligence and Action Agents (WWII)
  • Author of articles
  • Co-editor of several books and the series “BISC – Cahiers d’Etudes du Renseignement”
  • Curator of expositions on Belgian intelligence history
  • Assisted in the realization of several TV documentaries on historical cases.

@Guy Rapaille: [GR]

– Honorary Attorney General at the Liege Court of Appeal.

– Honorary President of the Permanent Control Committee of the Intelligence Services (“Permanent Committee R”).

– Member of the board of the BISC (Honorary President).

– Former scientific collaborator at the University of Liège.

– Chairman of the board of directors of the information and notification center on harmful sectarian organizations.