The Anatomy of Counterintelligence

2 JULY 96

No Foreign Dissem

The essentials of organizing a counterintelligence service.


A. C. Wasemiller

The first purpose of this study was to help the authorities in emerging or young nations in which a counterintelligence capability is lacking or deficient. Such countries are especially vulnerable in this era, when Soviet skills in espionage, counterespionage, and subversion have been refined for half a century.

Even within the US intelligence community, however, some confusion and disagreement about counterintelligence persists. For example, it is often misunderstood as another name for security. Because the article strips away the flesh and reveals the bones of its subject, it may be useful to us here as well as to others overseas.

The paper describes the basic structure and functions of a counterintelligence service in a free society. The subject is not, however, a model CI service, if “model” is understood to mean an ideal or a pattern of excellence, created to be imitated. In this sense of the word, no model service exists. There are wide national variations in such matters as laws governing espionage and security, in budgets and manpower, and in the kind and intensity of threats. These differences are so great that a single model would not do for all countries, so that each must develop its own CI organization specifically adapted to its own environment and its own special requirements. It is possible, on the other hand, to describe the essential or standard functions which most such services share, and to show the kind of organization that derives from these functions.

The inquirers should also be put on clear notice concerning the gravity of the commitments they propose to undertake, and of the eventual dimensions of the task. The fact is that a defensive service usually must accept responsibilities which exceed the requirements of security if security is construed, as it often is, to consist of passive defenses against clandestine and covert attacks upon the installations, personnel, and activities of official or semi-official bodies whose methods and sources the government desires to protect against unauthorized disclosure. Although it is possible to describe and even to create a security service concerned solely with these defenses, such an organization would soon find itself unequal to its task. Established intelligence and counterintelligence services, especially those of the USSR, are too competent and too strong to be defeated or even contained by purely defensive tactics. The counterintelligence service must be aggressive. It must learn all it can about its country’s enemies. It must learn their secrets and be privy to their councils. This essay is intended as a short course in how these things can be done.



Counterintelligence is both an activity and its product. The product is reliable information about all those enemies of a country who attack it by stealth. Some of these enemies are professional intelligence officers and the agents who serve them. Others act under cover to promote subversion or insurrection rather than espionage or counterintelligence. Still others may be non-Communists or anti-Communists who employ the same underground tactics to try to take by stealth and force what they cannot gain through winning the open allegiance of a free people.

As an activity, counterintelligence consists of two matching halves, security and counterespionage. Security consists basically of establishing passive or static defenses against all hostile and concealed acts, regardless of who carries them out. Counterespionage requires the identification of a specific adversary, a knowledge of the specific operations that he is conducting, and a countering of those operations through penetrating and manipulating them so that their thrust is turned back against the aggressor.

Certain pre-conditions must exist if a domestic counterintelligence service is to be effective. Once these prerequisites are at hand, the service can develop a capability to carry out its functions. The functions, in turn, determine the structure of the service.

The primary pre-condition is that the service must be established by law as an element of the central government. If its existence is not based on law, its opponents will attack it openly or clandestinely, and eventually they will weaken and even destroy it. If it has a legal basis but is not a governmental entity, its position is little better; it cannot survive indefinitely.

The service must be an element or arm of the executive branch of the government. The executive may, at its own discretion, permit the legislature a degree of insight into the service and its work. But it ought not to permit any measure of legislative control, because if does so, the service will be unable to protect the secrets which it is legally charged with shielding. It will lose control of these secrets, partly because too many will know them for effective security. In addition, to the extent that they have control, legislators may try to use it for factional rather than national purposes. The service will stand in danger of becoming enmeshed in passing political struggles and of suffering internal splits and dissensions which mirror the factionalism of the political world.

The chief of the service must have direct access to the chief executive. The latter may interpose a person or group between himself and the chief of service for the conduct of routine business. But if the service is competent, it will from time to time obtain critical security information which must go directly to the chief executive for reasons of both efficiency and security. The need for direct access may arise infrequently, and a wise chief of service will exercise prudence in seeking it. The right to direct access, however, should be explicit and unquestioned.

The central office, or headquarters, of the service will need regional offices, except in a very small country. These regional offices should, by law or service regulation, be subordinate to the headquarters. If regional offices are autonomous or nearly so, the service can function only through the slow process of coordination and persuasion. The timing of counterintelligence operations is frequently dictated by the initiatives of the adversary or prompted by anticipating these initiatives. The delays which inevitably result from arguments about jurisdiction and pleas for voluntary cooperation would result in so many lost opportunities that the result would be a mounting heap of failures. The degree of centralization is something else again. Democratic nations rightly distrust any domestic service which wields anything even distantly approaching the power of a Gestapo or of the KGB inside the USSR.

We are here primarily concerned with the kind of internal counterintelligence service which does not have police functions and which therefore conducts appropriate coordination with the police. Sometimes, however, the two functions are blended. Many police forces have a special branch employing much the same equipment and techniques as those used by a counterintelligence service, and in some countries the special branch is the sole counterintelligence service. Under such circumstances, however, it is important that the special branch personnel be as adept in counterintelligence as in countering crime, and that they recognize the significant difference between the two. This is a difference in targets and timing rather than methods.

The Cl specialist is waging a secret war against hostile foreign intelligence services and against concealed subversion, whether it is directed by a foreign government, the international Communist movement, a local Communist Party, or any other internal or external foe. The specialist in police work is waging a war against crime. The two specialties merge when hidden hostile activity is also criminal, or when the criminal activity is concealed and directed against the country itself. When this is not the case, when the criminal is not a clandestine agent or the spy is not committing a crime, the differences between counterintelligence and police work are sharper. The duty of the police officer, for example, is to arrest a culprit as soon as possible. The counterintelligence officer, on the contrary, will usually prefer not to show his hand until he has all the information he can get. Or he may conceal his knowledge, even when all relevant facts have been dug out, in order to mislead his adversaries, to manipulate them with or without their knowledge, and thus to make their efforts serve his ends.

Whether the counterintelligence service should have police powers, as distinct from police duties, is moot. Generally it will not need them unless and until the spies and subversives who constitute most of its targets commit an illegal act, at which point the police can be called in to act as the executive arm if the counterintelligence service so chooses. Some executive powers are very useful to a counterintelligence service. Among these are the rights to take evidence under oath, to require citizens to give testimony which is not self-incriminatory, and to subpoena witnesses. Obtaining and using such powers may, however, arouse public resentment, and the price may be too high. A counterintelligence service in a free land needs the respect and support of the citizenry, which will fear and hate any internal service that uses dictatorial tactics or that acquires a reputation for doing so. Therefore, even if the law of the land allocates certain police powers to the internal service, they should be used very sparingly, never merely for convenience, and only when a failure to employ them would probably have grave consequences for the national security.

The director of the service may or may not have arbitrary powers of employment. The law may, for example, prescribe that the service will employ civil service regulations or procedures, including those governing hiring. The director may be barred from employing certain classes of personnel: known security risks, sexual deviates, criminals, etc. All such restrictions would do no significant damage if applied to the hiring of staff personnel. But the director must have the arbitrary power to refuse employment to a seemingly qualified applicant and to discharge an employee without publicly stating the cause. These provisions are essential to the security of the service. The director also needs the right to stipulate certain legally binding conditions not ordinarily imposed. Among these are the obligations of the employee to submit to physical search of his person or of objects which he wishes to carry from the place of employment, to keep secret all information about his duties even after employment ends, to submit to the service for advance clearance the text of any speech or manuscript intended for public release, and to report promptly and in detail any contacts, official or personal, which are potentially or actually damaging to the security of the service. It does not suffice to list such principles merely in internal service regulations which lack legal force. The director must have effective sanctions at his disposal.

If extant law does not include the equivalent of an official secrets act, the director will be well-advised to consider the desirability and feasibility of getting such legislation on the books. It is probable that his charter will charge him with protecting classified information, as well as methods and sources. But he may not be able to do so if any journalist or other private person who comes into possession of classified information can with impunity make it public.

The internal counterintelligence service should not be a military organization or part of one unless the principles of organization and management outlined above can be followed. In most instances, it would be difficult to do so because, in any military agency, the intelligence and counterintelligence components are quite properly subordinate elements serving the purposes of command. The service, on the other hand, should be solely and exclusively concerned with national counterintelligence. Its personnel should be professionals expected to devote their careers to the work.

Other departments and agencies of the government will also be custodians of national secrets. The security of these other components is therefore a matter of national counterintelligence concern, especially if they have representatives abroad. However, the managerial and operational responsibility for this kind of security should not be assigned to the internal CI service. Each government element should be responsible for its own departmental security. One reason is that a department so charged is likely to maintain higher standards and morale among its employees. Moreover, maintaining an effective watch over the security of the installations, personnel, and activities of other departments and agencies would be sure to exceed the capability of even a very large internal service.

It does not follow, however, that the service has no part to play here. On the contrary, it must try to establish high, uniform standards of security for all. It must provide advice and training to others. It should also keep them appropriately informed about hostile clandestine capabilities, personnel, and intentions. It ought to receive detailed reports from any department or agency which suffers security damage, collate this information, and draw conclusions. It should maintain a central registry of all non-overt operatives used by other departments and agencies, to prevent fraud and working at cross-purposes. It should also establish and keep current another kind of central file, containing information about known and suspected spies and subversives in the service of adversaries and about their superiors. In short, it needs to be kept fully informed about what friend and foe are doing and to play a central, coordinating role in the national intelligence community. But it does not play the part of policeman for the community.

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All the functions of counterintelligence derive from the nature and resultant activities of the adversary. For an imaginary example, let us suppose that country “X” is conducting espionage against country “Y” The latter’s counterintelligence service discovers that country “X” has changed its system for communicating with its agents in country “Y.” Until recently it had done so through couriers who left and picked up messages written in secret ink and concealed in dead drops. Now most of the agents are sending and receiving coded radio messages. The result will be the creation or sudden strengthening of a group in the defending counterintelligence service which will intercept messages, conduct electronic direction finding, try to break codes, capture radio operators and play them back, and so forth.

Generally speaking, the function of the internal counterintelligence service is to protect the lawfully constituted government against concealed attack, The government has other defenders to deal with open aggression; the CI service is properly concerned only with hostile clandestine and covert activity. Clandestine activity is that which the enemy tries to conceal totally. It usually takes the form of espionage, counterespionage, subversion, or—much more rarely—sabotage. Covert activity is not fully concealed; in fact, it is likely to take the form of a newspaper article or radio broadcast, or even terrorism, for which the widest possible publicity is sought. What the enemy tries to hide in this type of action is his sponsorship or other involvement. The goal of the CI service is to learn everything it can about these two kinds of inimical action, and therefore about the people carrying out the action, without letting these persons become aware that the service is acquiring such information. Only by making available to the government information about its enemies which is complete enough to include all essentials and which was acquired secretly, so that the enemies remain unwarned, can the counterintelligence service do the task for which it was created and designed.

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No counterintelligence service can do its job alone. The Communist services and parties are world-wide organizations which operate from Free Country “A” against Free Country “B,” from “B” against “C” (or “C,” “D,” and “E”) moving so fluidly across and over national borders that a defense which stops at the borders will lose its war. Therefore the service must have a close working relationship with other organizations, domestic and foreign, which can help it. The domestic departments and agencies most likely to have functions of counterintelligence significance are to be found in the executive and legislative branches of the government and in the intelligence components of the armed forces. The service also needs the cooperation of the citizenry.

Within the legislative branch of government there may be various committees also concerned with the country’s security, and especially with its defenses against subversion. The service will find it profitable to maintain a liaison relationship with such groups.

The counterintelligence service will also need to maintain liaison with other friendly services concerned with foreign collection as well as counterintelligence. Collaboration with services in the former category is useful because they sometimes acquire counterintelligence as a by-product of positive operations. Moreover, their primary targets in (and outside) the host country are representatives and installations of Communist states. They thus share with the defenders of the country’s security a solid common interest. The Communist services persistently use diplomatic, commercial, journalistic, and other representations for cover. By working with non-Communist espionage services attacking these targets, the CI service affords the foreign service added protection and acquires useful information in exchange.

The need for liaison with foreign counterintelligence services is obvious. Exchanging counterintelligence information freely within the wide limits imposed by national considerations is the only way in which the CI service can cope with an attack so varied, persistent, and intense that no service could hope to deal with it in isolation. The information that can be obtained about hostile case officer “X” during his tour of duty is not likely to since for the purposes of negating his efforts or, better, recruiting him. These goals require all the information about him which has been obtained during his total time outside his Communist homeland—in other words, the help of all other non-Communist counterintelligence services. For these reasons the liaison branch is an important part of the CI service. Its structure and its place in the service as a whole are discussed below.

The service will nevertheless have to get most of the information that it needs through its own resources and methods. Some countries may from time to time be faced by a significant clandestine or covert threat which is non-Communist in nature (for example, a hostile non-Communist neighboring country, a Fascist group inside the country, a non-Communist opposition plotting to seize control of the government by force). The service then sets up a corresponding group or branch which studies the nature of the threat, acquires expertise, and uses it to infiltrate the opposition or otherwise negate or control it. But when we consider the Free World as a whole, the non-Communist threat is dwarfed by the danger of Communist activity. So much of the service’s energy and time must be devoted to the principal adversary that it would be wrong to set up a Communist intelligence services branch or a Communist parties branch within the counterintelligence service. The service as a whole should be permeated with knowledge, skill, and a determination focussing on the chief target.

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The service will rely upon clandestine methods to obtain its information about the adversary for the reason already given: to keep him from knowing what it knows. It will therefore need an operations branch, which consists of specialists in clandestine methods. One element of the operations branch should be concerned with planning future operations. That part of counterintelligence which is essentially security work will be timed, for the most part, in response to adversary initiative. For example, a hostile service tries to recruit a local citizen as an agent; a microphone is discovered in the foreign ministry; or a pro-Communist radio broadcast is suspected of having been instigated by the KGB. Responses to these kinds of challenge cannot be planned in advance. Counterespionage, on the contrary, secures the initiative for the CI service and is therefore the activity with which the plans group is chiefly concerned. It also plans for non-CE opportunities that will inevitably arise from adversary initiative or by chance, from deception operations, for example, or an unexpected walk-in. Finally, the plans group should be available for consultation with any national service planning an espionage (or other non-CI) operation and wishing to avail itself of counterintelligence expertise in planning for the security of the operation at the outset.

Under the command of the chief of operations there should also be a group concerned with technical services. Counterintelligence relies heavily upon the various forms of surveillance. Foot surveillance teams may need radio equipment, purchased or built by the technical services group. The same is true for vehicular surveillance. All audio operations, microphone or transmitter, require equipment and expertise. It may for instance be useful to have a double agent record a conversation with an opposition case officer. Similarly, clandestine photography is often used in counterintelligence work. A technical capability to monitor all kinds of clandestine communications, including radio, and to analyze suspicious documentation, is also essential. Moreover, countering the technical attack of adversary services is a separate, though closely related, specialty.

The CI service, accordingly, will need a group of scientific experts capable of understanding all the technical equipment used in modern CI, to the point of building such equipment if it is not available or cannot be bought securely; of installing and maintaining it; of training others in its use; and of anticipating needs through a research and development program. An able technical services group is just as important in an agrarian country as in a complex, highly developed nation, because the adversary will press the technological attack regardless of the environment. The group is logically subordinate to the chief of operations because technology and operations should go hand-in-hand. An independent technical group responsive only to the chief of the service might too easily lose touch with pragmatic operational needs. Placing the chief of operations in charge of the technical services group will ensure that this does not happen, and that he becomes familiar with the help that science can provide and stays abreast of current developments.

No national CI service can afford to be wholly dependent upon cooperative foreign services for the acquisition of counterintelligence abroad, nor can it wait until the enemy is inside the nation’s frontiers before it begins to study him. The solution is the recruitment of certain carefully chosen citizens, from government or outside it, who spend significant amounts of time in Communist countries. These persons are likely to have contact with the C1 services of such countries of temporary residence: diplomats who have social contact, for example, or industrialists in whom a Communist service might reasonably be expected to take an operational interest. Such persons must be carefully screened before recruitment. Normally, they are told to remain passive, neither accepting nor rebuffing hostile offers on their own but reporting approaches immediately and following instructions thereafter. The CI service may also arrange to have one of its members stationed in each of the maim embassies of its country, as security officer or in some other suitable post. Such representation is valuable for the conduct of liaison with other counterintelligence services and also for investigations conducted in areas where the home country is especially vulnerable to clandestine attack. Direct representation abroad will, however, create difficulties for an internal counterintelligence service unless there is careful planning and meticulous prior coordination with other national elements represented in the same country—the foreign service, for example, and certainly the foreign ministry. Care must also be taken not to offend the host service or government.

Persons in the first category (recruits rather than staff members of the service) should be important enough so that the adversary service will take them seriously and assign senior personnel to recruiting and managing them, but they should not usually have access to important national secrets unless that access can be concealed indefinitely from the adversary.

The operations branch should also have an operating group with separate sub-groups allocated upon either a geographical or a functional basis. This branch runs the operations: surveillance and countersurveillance, penetrations, provocations, double-agent operations, technical and counter-technical operations, counterintelligence interrogations and debriefings, handling of walk-ins and defectors, joint operations with liaison, and so on. It is the largest component of the service. If the country and its service are large, it is suggested that a geographic organization will prove preferable, because this kind of structure will permit appropriate grouping of language skills and area knowledge.

If the service is small or has few language and area specialists at its command, a functional arrangement may be better. In this event the operations branch will need a minimum of four groups or subgroups, for counter-espionage, counter-subversion, counter-propaganda, and operational security. Thus, counter-espionage conducts all operations directed against hostile foreign services engaging in positive or counterintelligence activity in the country. Counter-subversion carries out all operations aimed against subversive activity; its principal target will be the local Communist party and international Communism. Counter-propaganda will monitor and control those propaganda activities directed from concealment against the national interests by foreign services or by local or foreign Communist parties. The key words here are “from concealment.” If the sponsorship of a propaganda attack is openly acknowledged, the government can deal with it openly. But if sponsorship is concealed, the government must depend upon its CI service to ferret it out and expose it, suppress it, or otherwise manipulate it so that it cannot harm the national interest.

Finally, operational security works closely with the plans group and with other operational elements to ensure that the service’s clandestine activity is properly hidden from the outset and stays that way.

The second unit may be called Research, Records, and Reports (111111). The CI service must grow in knowledge and capability; it is the function of the RRR component to see that it does so. As more and more is learned about the adversaries, the information is funneled into RRR, where it is organized, studied, recorded systematically, filed and retrieved, and used to produce the finished counterintelligence which Operations needs in order to work intelligently. RRR is not, however, restricted to close operational support. Operations writes case reports; RRR writes summary reports based on case reporting, but it also writes strategic as well as tactical papers. It moves from the KGB officer (who is the subject of operational reporting) to the Soviet Embassy (tactical reporting) to a finished compilation of what the service knows about the Soviet services (strategic reporting). Moreover, as the result of such studies, RRR becomes the promulgator of counterintelligence doctrine. Scrutinizing the enemy’s successes and failures, as well as the triumphs and mistakes of its own service, it is in a position to discern and express underlying principles.

From this generalizing activity, additional functions flow in the areas of training and regulations. Some services make training an autonomous or semi-autonomous function, headed by a director who reports more or less directly to the chief of the service. The disadvantage is that under such an arrangement training tends to grow isolated both from the operational context (that is, the living or recent operations conducted by the service) and the immediacy of doctrine (the constant learning from experience). Incorporating training into RRR creates an organic rather than an architectural structure. The life blood of operations and the living bones of doctrine thus become natural parts of the body of training.

The service needs internal rules, and these are best when they are a codification of doctrine. It is possible to write up internal service regulations abstractly, on a basis of what seems theoretically desirable, but such regulations tend to be legalistic, bureaucratic, and arbitrary. One desirable aim is to issue as few regulations as possible, to keep them simple in both language and intent, and to derive them, like laws, from experience and probabilities in the real world rather than upon theories and remote possibilities. Placing the regulations group in the RRR Branch will help to ensure an unblocked flow and transformation from operational facts to collated facts to underlying and unifying concepts to a body of coherent doctrine. RRR will, of course, check out draft regulations with the office of the Legal Advisor and other interested elements of the service.

The service will of course have a central collection of files or archives. If the service is large or growing, its holdings are also likely to be large or growing. Deciding what raw information should be destroyed and what kept, how it should be indexed and filed, how best to retrieve it, who shall have access to it, and all the related questions are matters peculiarly within the province of the RRR Branch. Accordingly, it should have the files or central library group under its jurisdiction.

The remaining parts of RRR, like certain elements of operations, can be organized geographically or functionally. Whichever kind of organization was chosen for operations, it is desirable to match it in RRR. If the structure is geographic and there is a USSR group in operations, it is helpful if there is also a USSR group in RRR. If the structure is functional, then only two more RRR groups may suffice, a research and collation group and a studies group. The former receives all raw and finished counterintelligence coming from operations, from other elements of the service, from liaison, and from any other sources. From this flow of mixed information it sorts out the various subjects into separate holdings. It forwards to operations and other service elements useful counterintelligence which those elements did not themselves produce. It also produces raw or immediate CI reports of significance for the chief of service, for other national services, other departments and agencies of the government, and for liaison exchange. It endeavors to assure that these reports have a uniform format. Finally, the research group maintains controls on dissemination and sources of its reports. The studies group produces finished counterintelligence.

The third major component is the security branch. As has been said, the security of operations is itself an operational function and is therefore assigned to the operations unit. The remaining elements of security are the responsibility of the security branch. These include the security of methods and sources, physical security, and security of personnel.

The Source Records and Control Group maintains the records of all non-staff personnel formerly or currently employed by the service. An officer of the service who plans the recruitment of a source submits to this group all available information about the potential recruit, and the group checks other service and governmental files as appropriate. It passes the results to the personnel security group if investigation of the prospective agent is indicated. If any other department or agency of the government, in addition to the national counterintelligence service, recruits and directs clandestine or covert assets, the personnel security group receives from the department or agency concerned prior notification of intent to recruit. On this basis it maintains an interdepartmental or government-wide roster of agents and can thus give notice if one department plans recruitment of a person already employed by another, of any derogatory information, and of other contraindications.

The physical security group is responsible for fences, floodlights, guards, passes, safes, and the like, and the personnel security group conducts background investigations of potential staff and agent personnel. It also conducts investigations of any employee suspected of serving a hostile service as a penetration or of otherwise jeopardizing the security of the service.

The functions of the liaison branch were mentioned earlier. It may be useful to divide it into two groups, one concerned with domestic liaison (relationships with other elements of its own government), the other with liaison with foreign services.

The service needs a minimum of four other offices: those of the inspector general, the chief of administration and personnel, the legal advisor, and the public affairs officer.

The inspector general has two main functions, in addition to routine inspection. One is to prevent or detect abuse of the service by the employee: theft, falsified reporting for personal gain, abuse of official status for personal motives, and the like. The second is to prevent or detect abuse of the employee by the service. Any staff employee who believes that he has been treated unjustly and who has unsuccessfully sought redress through normal channels should have the right of access to the inspector general or a member of his office, and no punitive action should result if he avails himself of this right. If this avenue is not open, a frustrated employee can become highly dangerous to the security of the service. The office of the inspector general carries out its own investigations as necessary. The results are made available to no one outside the office except the chief of the service, who may at his discretion communicate them on a need-toknow basis to another service component. For example, if investigation undertaken by the inspector general on the basis of an employee’s complaint should reveal insecure or disloyal conduct by the employee, the IG will pass this information to the chief of the security branch, who relays it to the chief of the personnel security group for action.

The office of the chief of administration and personnel handles the payroll, assignment of vehicles, vacation rosters, office equipment, promotions, and all similar matters.

The legal advisor and his staff maintain liaison with the legislative branch of the government if the chief executive wants such liaison to exist. The legal advisor’s office reviews all service regulations before promulgation to ensure compatibility with law. It drafts, or cooperates in drafting, legislation not yet enacted but essential to the service. The legal advisor counsels the chief of service on legal matters, including the protection of sources and methods. He is also responsible for ensuring that counterintelligence cases can be turned over to the police without violation of the chain of evidence or other legal considerations and without security hazard to the service itself.

The public affairs officer is charged with maintaining essential public, non-governmental relationships. Private citizens who seek contact with the service because they believe that they have significant information—or for any other reason—are directed to this office. So are journalists, businessmen, and all other persons seeking non-official contact.

It is vital to national security that all significant counterintelligence obtained by governmental components other than the service, such as the armed forces, or by non-govemmental groups or private individuals, be funneled into the service, either through the liaison branch or through the public affairs office. This information is screened and collated by the research, records, and reports branch and entered into files as appropriate. In this way the central holdings become the national counterintelligence repository. Each department or agency, other than the service, which conducts liaison with one or more foreign intelligence or security services should provide the national CI service with enough information about each such liaison relationship so that the service knows at all times who is doing business with whom.

This paper has attempted to lay out the functions and structure of the internal counterintelligence service. The problems that the service faces are, of course, another matter: these will vary with the size of the country and its population, the amount of support accorded the service by its government and citizenry, the qualitative level of the service’s personnel and equipment, the intensity and skill of the concealed attack by Communist intelligence services and parties, the effectiveness of liaison and liaison exchange conducted with other governmental departments and agencies and with foreign services, the legal mandate of the service, and many lesser factors. The counterintelligence service of a stable country with few disloyal citizens is plainly in a far more advantageous position than is a service in a land in which revolutionary sentiment is widespread, the government is unpopular, and the opposition is nearly strong enough to resort to force or has already launched guerrilla war. Whatever the problems and their gravity, any counterintelligence service can deal with them more effectively if it manages to combine two seemingly antithetical qualities: patience and aggressiveness.

CI work is laborious and involves frustrations which, if not met patiently, will incline the service to hasty action, such as an abrupt declaration that a Soviet intelligence officer is persona non grata, or the quick arrest of a single spy. The service which has identified a spy or his handler has taken the first big step. If it patiently studies such people, it may in time be able to control them, not merely suppress their activity, which is then resumed by unidentified successors. But patience by itself leads to the acquisition of counterintelligence for its own sake, a grave error. All counterintelligence, in principle, should be used as a basis for counteraction. The questions are, what kind of action and when? Neither question can be answered until the last piece of pertinent information is at hand.

The effectiveness of counterintelligence in the free world is crucially important to all of us. As in the past, intelligence and CI services properly continue to serve national ends. Yet the skilled cooperation of the non-Communist services in all areas of common interest is of growing importance. It is hoped that the facts and ideas discussed in this paper will contribute in some small measure both to internal or national capabilities and to our capacity for international cooperation.

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No Foreign Dissem

Historical Document
Posted: May 08, 2007 08:20 AM
Last Updated: Aug 04, 2011 01:49 PM