Article

Diplomacy and Intelligence

John D. Stempel

in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies

Published in print March 2010 |
Published online November 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190846626 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190846626.013.151

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There is a potentially serious difference between diplomacy and intelligence. Creative tension between diplomacy and intelligence stems from the involvement of both with questions of strategy and statecraft. Indeed, the source of this conflict is often clandestine or covert activities that become public and adversely affect both relations between states and diplomats’ ongoing work. Early works in the intelligence scholarship focuses basically at the descriptive level and centers on acquiring information. In 1922, studies began considering the political aspects of the intelligence–diplomacy connection, zeroing in on the defects of US intelligence and the adequacy of policies, including those related to intelligence gathering and its impact on diplomacy. Studies about the details of the intelligence–diplomacy connection also began to appear. These studies look at the interplay between intelligence and policy making as well as the morality of clandestine operations. In order to link intelligence goals to policy needs, future studies on the intelligence–diplomacy connection should further assess the impact of culture on intelligence gathering and perception, provide better insight into the characteristics of good versus bad intelligence officers and diplomats, include qualitative estimates of the effectiveness and efficacy of techniques and strategies as well as legal and ethical discussions of control and policy, and explore the strategic interactions between intelligence officers and diplomats and how these are managed in various governing systems.

Keywords: diplomacy; intelligence; covert activities; intelligence–diplomacy connection; intelligence gathering; strategy; statecraft; US intelligence; policy making

Article.  4397 words. 

Subjects: Diplomacy and Consular Relations ; Security Studies

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