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Cox: Canadians need to get smarter about intelligence-gathering

daftandbarmy

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Well, now he's let the cat out of the bag :)


Cox: Canadians need to get smarter about intelligence-gathering

A better public understanding, through effective intelligence education programs, would go a long way to enhancing confidence in Canada’s national-security front line.

Review bodies scrutinize agencies such as the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, but the public knows little about intelligence-

A recent news article from the Canadian Press revealed the federal government’s reticence in releasing old security and intelligence documents with historical value. But the article uncovered only a mere symptom of a more troubling pathology.

Government engages academia in some serious research, but it has been downright apathetic, if not outright dismissive, of anything approaching education related to the Canadian intelligence enterprise. There is no – repeat no – intelligence education program in government to develop the future Canadian intelligence workforce. Moreover, Canadian academia itself shows little interest in engaging in serious intelligence studies.
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Government and academia need to come together to produce world-class Canadian intelligence studies programs for both practitioners and the public at large, if Canada is to sustain any credibility among its closest intelligence allies.

Intelligence, broadly defined, is the acquisition and analysis of information from various sources to support decisions or policy-making. Canadians are generally uneducated about the government intelligence enterprise. While all parliamentary and government intelligence-review bodies in Canada exercise close scrutiny for legal and moral propriety, no one seems bothered with the need to review intelligence activity for efficacy.

Intelligence studies are largely absent from most Canadian universities. Some serious intelligence educational activity appears sporadically at the graduate and post-graduate level, but only if individual students choose to conduct research in the field. Academics who see no problem here, deeming intelligence studies to be unworthy of serious (or any) academic attention, should recall that virtually all historical events have an intelligence antecedent, which may still be unknown because of excessive secrecy.

For instance, when the book The Ultra Secret was released in 1974, it led to demands for immediate and wholesale revision of historical assumptions related to the course of the Second World War in the North Atlantic theatre. Think about that: without historical intelligence studies we really know only half of history.

Of particular concern is the fact that the Canadian intelligence community itself excludes intelligence studies from its professional development programs. Some intelligence training is conducted, most prominently at the Canadian Forces School of Military Intelligence, and some in-house analytical and tradecraft instruction occurs at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, but training only teaches how to do a particular job in an organization. Nowhere in the Canadian intelligence enterprise is there any intelligence education, which is a higher intellectual activity searching for understanding about intelligence in a broader sense.

Finally, lest the reading audience become too smug, it is also necessary to make serious intelligence studies available to Canadians at large, so that intelligence is no longer thought of as a dirty word. Imagine how much more comfortable we all would be if Canadians actually understood what the government intelligence enterprise was supposed to do and how it is supposed to do it.

Having a better public understanding of the Canadian intelligence enterprise, brought on by effective intelligence education programs, would go a long way to enhancing public confidence in a practice that constitutes Canada’s national security front line.

Brigadier-General Dr. James Cox (Retired) teaches intelligence and analytics at Wilfrid Laurier University and is a member of the International Association for Intelligence Education.

https://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/cox-canadians-need-to-get-smarter-about-intelligence-gathering
 

ballz

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Ha, I was wondering if this article would spur up stories of Bde Comd inspections in the days of yore....
 

daftandbarmy

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ballz said:
Ha, I was wondering if this article would spur up stories of Bde Comd inspections in the days of yore....

Which reminds me, what colour are the threads on your grey socks? ;)
 

garb811

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I hear the best way to gather intelligence is to hide behind the potted plants in the concourse at 101 Colonel By Drive...  :whistle:
 

Retired AF Guy

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garb811 said:
I hear the best way to gather intelligence is to hide behind the potted plants in the concourse at 101 Colonel By Drive...  :whistle:

I thought that 101 Colonel By had been abandoned and everyone moved over to the new super-duper HQ??
 

dapaterson

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Retired AF Guy said:
I thought that 101 Colonel By had been abandoned and everyone moved over to the new super-duper HQ??

Don't be ridiculous.  Keep and fill both facilities!
 

FJAG

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dapaterson said:
Don't be ridiculous.  Keep and fill both facilities!

Which reminds me. The scuttlebutt when I left in '09 was that JAG would leave the Constitution bldg and move all the LegOs to 101. I gather that the Constitution Bldg closed out in 2015. Did tall of JAG actually move to 101?

:cheers:
 

daftandbarmy

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garb811 said:
I hear the best way to gather intelligence is to hide behind the potted plants in the concourse at 101 Colonel By Drive...  :whistle:

Be careful, the potted plants have ears ;)
 

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dapaterson

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FJAG said:
Which reminds me. The scuttlebutt when I left in '09 was that JAG would leave the Constitution bldg and move all the LegOs to 101. I gather that the Constitution Bldg closed out in 2015. Did tall of JAG actually move to 101?

:cheers:

Last time I had to sit in a room full of JAG and CFLA lawyers it was at 101.  As I recall, they have a dedicated floor, and had the entire space renovated before they could move in - keypads on the doors, everyone got offices; a non-zero amount of money was spent to outfit their spaces.

 

FJAG

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dapaterson said:
Last time I had to sit in a room full of JAG and CFLA lawyers it was at 101.
 

How exciting that must have been for you being surrounded by all that wisdom and common sense in one room.  :stirpot:

dapaterson said:
As I recall, they have a dedicated floor, and had the entire space renovated before they could move in - keypads on the doors, everyone got offices; a non-zero amount of money was spent to outfit their spaces.

Sounds about par for the course. Everyone had their own offices at the Constitution as well. Makes client confidentiality a bit easier than having cubicles and conference rooms.

I wonder how many rooms have become unusable because the incumbents forgot to pass on the key code to their successors on being posted?  :pop:

:cheers:
 
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