Analysis: Germany’s spies struggle to adapt to post-Cold War changes

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BND logo

Nearly everyone in Germany recognizes that the global intelligence landscape has changed, almost beyond recognition, in the years since the end of the Cold War. Current challenges are far more underground in nature, far more flexible, far more unpredictable. The question is, has Germany’s primary intelligence agency, the BND, changed along with the times? The answer is not so simple. The BND continues to struggle immensely with bureaucratic inefficiency and substandard human and financial resources, explains Deutsche Welle‘s Peter Philipp. Even when it does produce useful intelligence, its advice is not always taken into consideration by German government officials, who tend to have their own opinions on political developments. “Most politicians do have their own view of the world order”, says former BND chief Hans-Georg Wieck, “so [we] must address the[m] in a way that makes them more likely to act on [our] information”. Philipp’s interesting editorial can be accessed here.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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