SECRET SERVICES . Power and secret intelligence


Power and secret intelligence

in the modern world

Authors: Olivier Forcade, Sebastien Laurent

Publishing House: Cartier, 2008

Regardless of their names: "special"; "secret;" "intelligence", intelligence services have always been characterized by mystery, mostly due to the discretion and absolute secrecy they are believed to operate with.

According to what the authors say in the Introduction of the book named: Let's discover "The Secret Services", the study of the intelligence services cannot be a matter of "common sense".

The authors of the book view the secret services from the point of view of the social sciences and they remind us that history helps us to understand the times that we live in, an era of informatics characterized by the flow of intelligence but also by misinformation. The authors consider that intelligence services "are nothing more than enriched information, which can be found at the core of the evolution process in contemporary societies. From political, economic, technological and military points of view we all agree that a structure of power or an individual possessing supplementary information or better than the one possessed by his partner or by a potential enemy, is in a situation of force towards the other."

The authors also appreciate the important role of the intelligence processes at a time when there are discussions about a "cognitive war". Intelligence services proved their importance along history and during "the recent international crises, whether we speak about September, 11, 2001 or about the American campaign from Afghanistan, or about the pursuit of Osama Bin Laden or about the invasion of Iraq in 2003".

The book is structured on eight chapters:

Chapter I. An analytical process of intelligence services;

Chapter II. At the center of states, the origins of intelligence services;

Chapter III. Totalitarian regimes , ideology and security;

Chapter IV. Intelligence services compulsory during world wars;

Chapter V. Intelligence services during international crises;

Chapter VI. Beyond alliances, intelligence services are "anti-diplomacy";

Chapter VII. Intelligence services in the American empire;

Chapter VIII. Political economy of the intelligence services;

In Conclusions: secrecy and democracy, the authors conclude that: "There is no doubt that intelligence services have crossed the line to the public domain. Paradoxically, nobody can say that despite this fact, the secret agencies might lose something from their secret character".

back Published in 2008-09-06 Print up