British Strategic Intelligence and the Cold War

Len Scott

in The Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780195375886
Published online September 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

British Strategic Intelligence and the Cold War


Strategic intelligence was a term developed by the early pioneers of “classical intelligence theory” in the United States who combined their academic perspectives with active involvement in the development of the American intelligence community. The term entered the lexicon of intelligence studies in the United States while in Britain, the pioneering academic studies of intelligence made only fleeting reference to them. While there is an informed debate and a degree of openness on the issues of intelligence in the United States, Britain tackled the lessons of intelligence within the narrow walls of Whitehall. This article is a survey of the themes and issues in the study of British strategic intelligence. It discusses the evolution of the British strategic intelligence and intelligence historiography during the Cold War. It also discusses how British strategic intelligence coped with the war within the context of Whitehall and the Joint Intelligence Committee.

Keywords: strategic intelligence; Britain; intelligence; British strategic intelligence; intelligence historiography; Cold War; Whitehall; Joint Intelligence Committee

Article.  7884 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; International Relations

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