International Intelligence Sharing for Global Security 

Fatih Beren

Sunday , 23 December 2007

            Turkey hosted an important conference between 6th and 8th of
December 2007. "International Security Cooperation: Intelligence Practice"
was organized by Bilkent University (Department of International Relations)
and Kent State University at the Bilkent Hotel with the foundation of NATO.
The fact that the lecturers who are consist of  academicians and the
practitioners came from many different countries such as, USA, UK, Spain,
Israel, Egypt, India, Pakistan,and Bangladesh and shared their opinions
completely has enhanced the concept of the conference. As stressed in  the
opening speech which was given by Assoc. Prof. Ersel Aydýnlý, The Head of
department international relations in Bilkent University, who runs the
organization of the conference, the arguments about supporting the share of
international intelligence has lasted until the end of the conference. There
were several solutions about the obstacles about the issue of sharing
international intelligence and how to share international intelligence in
the presentations performed in the conference. In this article, the aim is
to give a short evaluation about the prominent presentations.

            Before arguing in terms of the share of the international
intelligence, it should be comprehended exactly what the concept of
intelligence is. Does the intelligence mean the storage of data which pass
through whole communication means throughout the worldor analyzing the
necessary knowledge correctly by obtaining it on time? When today's
knowledge pollution is paid attention, it is necessary to specifically
define the concept of intelligence. As it is agreed by many of the lecturers
who has performed presentations in the conference, intelligence is
collaborating the points related to events and actions, in other words, it
is made up of correctly processing and analyzing of the necessary knowledge
in time. Consequently, the lack of one of those components of intelligence
weakens the success of it. 
The prominent points of the conference are the need of international
intelligence sharing and the question of how to create the ideal structure
of it. According to the presentation of Dr. Peter Gill from The Salford
University, it is stated that the intelligence cooperation was established
by the informal networks which was also stressed and argued in the
presentation of Dr. Otwin Marenin.
Gustavo Diaz-Matey, from the Complutense University, underlined the fact
that "the threat" should be understood in the same way by all countries.
Since, according to his point of view, traditional threats are changing
their formats. International fighting against these new threats can be
achieved only by developing a common concept. 
According to Dr. James Walsh from the North Carolina University, one of the
obstacles regarding to the share of international intelligence is gathering
intelligence in an aggressive way. Therefore, to ensure international
cooperation and intelligence sharing, there should not be an aggressive
attitude in intelligence activities as well as there should be specific
ethic norms and a value system.  In addition to this, according to Walsh, it
is useful to use a hierarchy mechanism to establish international
intelligence sharing system. For instance, any country may send her
intelligence or police officer to another country to work in there. Liaison
Officer can be seen as a model in this point. Another one of the factors
achieving the international intelligence sharing is to organize
international trainings. Thus, not only a common terminology but also a
common value system and the conception of common strategies are formed in
conjunction with the trust atmosphere which is consisted of informal
personal networks. The necessity of protecting states which cannot play an
important role in international intelligence collaboration is also
Dr. Otwin Marenin from Washington State University pointed out that
international intelligence collaboration should involve information sharing
directed to specific operations, in other words, according to Otwin,
information sharing can be enabled within a limited area. In addition to
Walsh, Otwin also referred to effects of international trainings. But Otwin
diverges from Walsh in this point: the aim of those trainings should
attribute democratic policing culture to other countries rather than only
engaging in developing abilities. International peace corps such as United
Nations (UN) and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
(OSCE), in which many different police officers servicing, can be used in
foundation of informal networks. Besides this, Otwin, while mentioning
international security cooperation, underlined the necessity of paying
attention to other security actors rather than the police in this
To achieve international cooperation in terms of intelligence, the articles
which were addressed by Tarýk Perves, Head Manager of Pakistan Federal
Investigation Agency, can be ordered as:
·         It is necessary to trust the country or the foundation/firm that
the information will be shared with.
·         During the share of information, flow of information should not be
in one way, rather it should be mutual. 
·         If the demanded information is not in the source direction, in
there the abilities of intelligence should be enhanced.
·         During cooperation, it is necessary to avoid elitist attitude and
an equal relationship should be formed.
·         It is not certain what is the source of the demanded knowledge,
owing to this reason, a more conceptual cooperation is needed.
·         Benefits of the share of international intelligence should also be
mutual between the directions.
Moreover, Pervez explained that in Pakistan, there are several intelligence
agencies and even among those, there have been problems regarding sharing of
the intelligence. Further, he mentioned that this problem was tackled after
a knowledgeable and well-respected name was given the duty of overcoming
this problem.
            The former chairman of Israel Military Intelligence Agency
General Aharon Zeevi-Farkash shared his opinions about new understandings of
combating against terrorism. According to him, these new means of
understanding is underlined by the concept of an asymmetrical formation and
it shows itself by states' fighting against a hidden power. Accordingly,
organizations of terrorism must not be seen as military organizations,
rather, they should be regarded as a network; they should be followed and if
necessary fight against them should be made. Further, to find an effective
way to fight against terrorism, democratic states, without formal
permissions, should be able to apply their power in this way. According to
his opinions, the target should be terminated without violating democracy in
the country. This position was shared with the participants of the
presentation as a difficult dilemma.
            Dr. John Nomikos, who participated in the conference from
Greece, by stating that there is a more complicated situation after The Cold
War period, proposed that distinct agencies should come together and should
form a common understanding of the situation. By taking these ideas as a
basis, he said that intelligence agencies should convert into a more
effective and more trustworthy model. 
            >From Naval War College, Assoc. Prof. Derek S. Reveron stressed
that the idea of fighting against terrorism for the solution of the global
terrorism is incorrect; rather he claimed that struggling with terrorism is
a better solution. Also, he explained that USA, by utilizing her powerful
military organizations, achieved to revolutionize the Saddam government
which was an antidemocratic and dictator regime. Nevertheless, he admitted
that they could not be successful in shaping the new community's positive
security.        As it is also seen here, in order to shape a democratic and
a trustworthy society not the armed power but the strategy of constructive
policing is needed.
            >From Carolina University, Assoc. Prof. Mathieu Deflem has
emphasized nearly the same issues which have been talked about in the
conference. He proposed a solution to struggling with terrorism: policing
model in a bureaucratic depending on a sociologic basis.           At the
core of this model, not the war on terrorism but struggling with terrorism
lies. Again in Deflem's presentation, in the process of struggling with
global terrorism process, that the international police cooperation
organizations, such as Interpol and Europol, should play a constructive and
functionalist role was underlined. 
            Mamduh Al Imam, Egypt Military Attaché, had a stance for
struggling with terrorism in his presentation and he stated that the USA by
focusing on the word "cihad" excessively has fallen to the trap of
terrorists in the process of struggling with terrorism. The terrorists' main
aim is to confront a larger society with the targeted states. Consequently,
by focusing on an erroneous target, the USA has enlarge her target by
including all Muslim regions which uses the word "jihad" but the key point
in struggling with terrorism is to reduce the target. According to Imam, a
similar mistake was done in the naming of the terrorist groups in the
process of struggling with global terrorism. The concept of "Islamic
Terror", by using whole Islam geography, has enlarged the target, and it
arouses such a wrong impression: as the Al Qaeda represents other
non-terrorist Islamist communities which have 1.5 billion populations. This
wrong representation reflects the terrorist groups as they are more than
their actual existence. Moreover, to achieve the share of intelligence
international standards should be formed and these standards should be free
of politics.
            Saadettin Akguc, from Turkish National Police Intelligence
Department, the director of Intelligence Academy (ISAK), classified
international intelligence into three main categories. The first of these
categories is international trainings. The mutual trust atmosphere formed by
these international trainings prepares as a basis for the second category:
mutual information sharing. According to Akguc, the last category can be
regarded as cooperative workings and operations.
Briefly, both the diversity in presentations and question and answer
sections contributed the efficiency of the conference. At the last section,
the question of why the international policing cooperation could not succeed
the share of international intelligence. There are many reasons of this
problem. One of these reasons is the fact that secret areas and their
degrees in policing are not certain although these areas and their degrees
have clarified in detail. Therefore, in intelligence activities, especially
in security intelligence, the fact that secrecy areas and degrees need to be
defined in a strict and distinct manner contributes positively for this
international cooperation. Nearly all the countries being in need of this
international intelligence cooperation can be regarded as a positive
development. Nonetheless, to achieve in such cooperation, inventing new and
more effective concepts and more applicable solutions as well as their real
life applications are needed. When the conclusions of the conference are
evaluated, in the angle of intelligence applications, to be successful in
the share of international intelligence cooperation;
·         In this era, organized crime and terrorism are rising threats.
·         Mental modernization must become real and in this situation, at
security intelligence, a common terminology, common ethic and value system
as well as a common understanding of struggling should be formed.
·         In struggling in 21st century, international common struggling
concept should be developed and there should be a change from "war against
terrorism" to "struggling with terrorism".
·         Struggling with global terrorism: the term of "Islamic terrorism"
should be avoided since it targeted the large communities such as Islamic
Geography. Not polarizing but integrating terms should be in use.
Consequently, rather than using "Islamic terrorism" term, "religious
motivated terrorism" term should be used.
·         To be able to construct a democratic and trustworthy community,
rather than armed power but the strategy of constructive policing should be
·         International training should be paid attention.
·         In international trainings, not only the ability of intelligence
should be taught but also democratic policing culture should be targeted at
the same time
·         In global struggling with terrorism, it is useful to benefit at a
higher rate from the international police cooperation organizations, such as
Interpol and Europol.
·         Police officers working for international peace corps should form
informal and naturally occurring friendliness network
·         For many countries, there should be a communication liaison
officer as representations.
·         Intelligence activity and sharing must not be done in an
aggressive way.
·         At international intelligence sharing point, the autonomy of the
countries which can not play an important role should be protected.
·         An elitist approach within the international intelligence sharing
should be avoided and there should be a relationship between the equals.
·         Information sharing within international intelligence sharing
should be directed to movement, because within a limited area it is much
easier to ensure information sharing.
·         At international intelligence sharing, flow of information sharing
must not be unidirectional, rather it should be mutual.
·         There should be a trust bond among the countries involving in the
share of intelligence, as well as applications which may carry the
possibility to hurt the trust must be avoided.
·         Intelligence agencies should be altered into much more effective
and trustworthy models.


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