News you may have missed #756 (analysis edition)

Richard FaddenBy IAN ALLEN | |
►►Intel analysts taking over leading role in spy game. In a recent speech obtained by the Canadian press under Canada’s access-to-information laws, Richard Fadden, Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, said that the role of the undercover operative is starting to take a back seat to the job of the behind-the-scenes intelligence analyst. Speaking at a conference of the Canadian Association of Professional Intelligence Analysts in November 2011, Fadden said that, “suddenly the ability to make sense of information is as valued a skill as collecting it”.
►►US intel doesn’t see Syrian regime cracking. Despite major defections and an increasingly tough and brutal resistance, intelligence officials in the United States say that Syria’s government is unlikely to fall anytime soon. A report from Reuters quotes members of the intelligence community who say that Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle is showing no signs of cracking, and without a wide international consensus to intervene militarily —a consensus that does not exist— the ongoing conflict has no end in sight. Officials also describe the war as a “see-saw” battle with rebel forces gaining strength and improving tactics, only to see the military escalate the size and intensity of it own response, with neither side maintaining a decisive edge.
►►Arrests of Iranians in Kenya spark fears of plot. The recent arrest of two Iranians in Kenya on suspicion of plotting bomb attacks has heightened fears that Tehran is widening its covert war against Israel and the United States, as Washington expands its secret intelligence operations across Africa. Kenya security authorities, aided by US and British agents, arrested the two Iranians June 20 in Nairobi, the West African country’s capital. The men reportedly led authorities to a cache of 33 pounds of military-grade explosive, believed to be RDX.

2 Responses to News you may have missed #756 (analysis edition)

  1. Pete says:

    – The Canadian CSIS boss seems on the money “must be well-read in history, religion, politics and geography and be able to provide answers to complex questions” is what we analysts, in or out of government, aspire to.

    – On the absence of a Western intervention in Syria compared to Libya – naturally we can’t mention Syria’s lack of oil compared to Libya. The US and its NATO allies in particular deny oil is ever (even one) of the strategic or economic factors driving or hindering Western intervention decisions.

    – The US’ increasing military and intelligence efforts in Yemen and “Sahel” Africa are of course in reaction to jihadi and pirate activity. But is the US in turn attracting more jihadis into those areas?

    There was a perceptible shift in jihadi efforts to kill Western soldiers as jihadis moved from Iraq (around 2007) into Afghanistan. Might this process now be recurring with a jihadi transition into Yemen and Sahel Africa? Cynicism (or otherwise) might suggest the US military-industrial-intelligence-political complex is shifting from an unpopular war to these new battle-grounds and jihadis (some newly minted ones now under-employed in Libya) are “cooperating” by meeting the US “Great Satan” in these Yemen-Sahel areas.


  2. intelNews says:

    Re: Richard Fadden’s comments, I agree. Much of the strength of an intelligence organization depends on the prowess of its analysts. Sadly, in the US intelligence community, they are often neglected in favor of operations. [IA]

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