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Interesting forum discussion by top spies

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    An absolute gem on YouTube, uploaded about a week ago. George Washington University hosted a group discussion with Alex Younger, the current chief of the UK Secret Intelligence Service (aka MI6), Nick Warner, the Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service and Mohammed Stanekzai, the head of the Afghan National Directorate of Security. The panel is moderated by the current, sitting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John O. Brennan.

    As someone who has had a long interest in espionage and national security matters, I believe I am correct in saying that a discussionof this nature has never been held before. It's well worth watching, very interesting and insightful.



    KimKallstrom JamesN88 JRKinder
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    I believe I am correct in saying that a discussionof this nature has never been held before.
    If you add the words "in public" to the end of your statement you'd be more accurate.
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    Watched all of it. Extremely interesting. Thanks for posting*
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    If you add the words "in public" to the end of your statement you'd be more accurate.
    To be a fly on the wall in those discussions would be astounding
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    If you add the words "in public" to the end of your statement you'd be more accurate.
    My words were "There's has never been a discussion of this nature before". Its nature being in public, at a university, etc etc.
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    (Original post by KimKallstrom)
    Watched all of it. Extremely interesting. Thanks for posting*
    No problemo!

    I thought both Alex Younger (MI6) and Nick Warner (ASIS) were particularly interesting, especially how Mr Younger was emphasising MI6's traditional HUMINT (human intelligence) focus on deep penetration, turning agents, (and making reference to the fact that in the UK government stucture, that's really only something they're capable of doing and that they're rightly respected by other services for their skills in this area) etc etc. Whereas the CIA has that focus, but also its traditional paramilitary-type roles.

    What was also very interesting was their discussion about how they deal with their relationships with foreign intelligence services who may be involved in human rights abuses.

    It was, I felt, very comforting to see that in these positions we have men who are clearly very intelligent, thoughtful
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    To be a fly on the wall in those discussions would be astounding
    Just a quick clarification, my comment was making reference to exactly what Drewski mentioned; I said there's never been a discussion of this nature before (in public, at a university, etc).

    On the substantive issue, most definitely; did you notice when John O. Brennan mentioned he'd gone to Moscow to meet with the Russian SVR chief? As you say, to be a fly on the wall would be amazing. But I think at that level, any sort of senior management position intelligence is probably one of the most interesting and challenging jobs you could ever do.

    Every Tuesday morning the UK Joint Intelligence Committee, which is a grouping of senior civil service representatives from the Cabinet Office, Foreign Office, MI6, MI5, GCHQ, Treasury, Ministry of Defence and others, meet to discuss all of the current intelligence issues facing the UK, to plan and set performance indicators, targets and priorities for the agencies. The chief of CIA's London Station is an ex officio member of the JIC and has attended every meeting since 1948. I suspect to be a fly on the wall in that room might be even more interesting than a meeting between service heads (where discussions would probably be at a very high, abstract level)
 
 
 
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