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Title: Defence intelligence in the UK: an agenda for inquiry within and beyond the ‘3 Mile Limit’
Authors: Davies, PHJ
Varouhakis, M
Abdalla, N
Keywords: UK defence intelligence
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Citation: Intelligence and National Security, 31: (2016)
Abstract: When reflecting on UK defence intelligence, one is reminded of a mahogany bookshelf with a single book on it. At first glance, it may appear there is not much to the story, but when you pull the book, the entire bookshelf slides to reveal a labyrinth of history that spans decades in breadth and a surprising depth of other, sometimes additional and sometimes subordinate, but no less significant and even less scrutinised additional organisations, entities and processes that have made up defence intelligence as both institution and function. As a function, it appears lower case as ‘defence intelligence’, but as an agency and principal member of the UK Intelligence Community it historically appeared as the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS), today unhelpfully rebranded in capitals merely as Defence Intelligence. Neither defence intelligence nor Defence Intelligence has yet experienced the levels of public or academic (or, as we shall see, official and political) interest or concern that has propelled the enthusiastic scrutiny of the national agencies and Cabinet Office central intelligence machinery. And yet DI has generated an undercurrent of influence across the intelligence machinery informing UK policy in a broad range of national security spheres. DI has existed in some form under various umbrella organisations, evolving through many iterations, changing departments, and responsibilities at least since the end of the Second World War (and even earlier as one of us has argued elsewhere for seeing the original pre-war JIC as primarily a defence intelligence entity and DI’s lineal precursor ). It has played a significant role in shaping today’s intelligence community in the UK, yet remains dimmed behind the histories of more ‘glamorous’ national intelligence agencies that have managed to be both more supposedly secretive and yet more visible.
ISSN: 1743-9019
Appears in Collections:Dept of Politics, History and Law Research Papers

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