Dopo aver vagamente descritto l’Office of National Assessments australiano ritengo utile dare una scorsa alla “Canberra lecture” che il suo direttore generale, Allan Gyngell, ha tenuto presso il Lowy Institute for International Policy. Think tank che lo stesso Allan, già diplomatico di lungo corso, ha contribuito a fondare anni fa.
Le dichiarazioni di Gyngell offrono la possibilità di comprendere meglio l’approccio australiano all’intelligence.
Ecco, qui di seguito, una sintesi dei punti che ritengo più interessanti.
Sul concetto di intelligence:
Probably the simplest definition of intelligence is that it is useful information (…) the sort of knowledge our state must possess regarding other states in order to assure itself that its cause will not suffer nor its undertakings.
Sulla comunità d’intelligence australiana:
Hope placed weight on the importance of Australia having its own indigenous intelligence capabilities. The model he developed for the Australian Intelligence Community has three distinctive features: its breadth, the centrality it accords to assessment, and strong independent oversight of the legality and propriety of its activities.
By breadth I mean two things. First, the range of the disciplines Australian agencies use to collect information – the full suite of information gleaned from human contacts, technical interception, the surveillance of things others are trying to keep secret as well as open source. And secondly the geographic and thematic spread of issues on which they collect and assess. (…) Australia’s national interests can be affected by developments in parts of the world remote from our shores and that we need to understand those developments and to be able to contribute independent Australian views to the considerations of our allies and the international community.”
The second distinctive (indeed unique) feature of the Australian model is the centrality of assessment. Hope recognised that the government needed effective assessments to filter the raw material of collection, to shape it and weigh it. He concluded that a peak assessment agency with statutory independence was required, separate from the collection functions of intelligence. (…)
Sul ruolo dell’ONA:
Assessment organisations like ONA exist so governments can hedge against the risk, present in every system at every time, that policymakers will tend to see the world in terms of the prescriptions they have already written to address its problems. (…) ONA’s mission is to deepen Australia’s capacity to act in the world in ways that serve our national interest and advance the norms and values we believe in, it does this by standing dispassionately apart from the policy process.
(…) ONA is in the business of ideas and information. Our success hinges on our ability to understand complex issues to identify, manage, analyse and communicate information effectively. ONA is at its best when bringing togheter the different expertise and insights of geographical and functional specialists
Sulla differenza tra think-tanks ed Intelligence:
(…) even with mysteries, secret intelligence can throw vital light on what might otherwise be supposition. And that matters to government, because the biggest difference between writing about the same issue in the intelligence community and in a think tank relates to the greater degree of confidence required by government. (…) So secret intelligence provides – or provides at its best – a much greater degree of confidence. It can throw light on the motivations of key players, reveal capacity, and be critically helpful to analysts in helping them sort out the facts from the reams of speculation.
Sulla “competizione” tra Mass Media ed Intelligence:
ONA and the Australian intelligence agencies have never been, and are even less now, the sole source of information about the world reaching Ministers (…) all of them have other, often more immediate, ways of learning about the world: from TV and newspapers, iPads and social media, think tanks, academic experts, the experiences of business-people and the opinion of family and friends.
The noise level is high. That’s inevitable and it’s the responsibility of the intelligence analyst to cut through all that noise by producing assessments that are so credible, accurate, policy-relevant and timely that our work stands out for our customers. To succeed in this we will need to be able to deliver our product in forms and at speeds that reflect the environment in which they are operating. That will have many challenges, including the protection of information. But intelligence that is not informing decision-making is pointless.”.
Sulle tendenze strategiche globali:
– power will be more diffuse and, as a result, it will be more important for Australia to be able to understand and work with countries outside our traditional areas of focus;
– in the combination of all the dimensions of power, the US will remain the most powerful state;
– China’s economic rise means that a growing number of issues, global as well as regional, will have a Chinese dimension;
– information will be increasingly abundant, so its sifting will become more important. At the same time, however, governments and private sector producers of content will have greater success in restricting easy access to valuable information;
– technological change will accelerate, providing new public policy challenges and creating new threats and opportunities;
– as the power relativities they reflect continue to change, global institutions will be in a state of flux;
– the global economy will operate in ways quite different from those we have known in the past, with developing countries driving growth;
– non-state actors from terrorists to cyber criminals to people smugglers will have a continuing capacity tangibly to affect state power;
– the demand for energy, water and food will all increase and the geopolitical consequences will play out around the globe.