Il Financial Times ci informa che, terminate senza incidenti le Olimpiadi di Londra, il governo britannico ha avviato una revisione delle priorità del proprio apparato di Intelligence. Una revisione importante che, alla luce dell’austerità dei bilanci pubblici, potrebbe diventare un vero e proprio dilemma di sicurezza nazionale e non solo per Gran Bretagna.
Quali sono le minacce che devono avere la priorità nella distribuzione di risorse scarse in un orizzonte temporale di medio termine? Difficile dare una risposta se non si è sviluppato un adeguato sistema di previsione strategica.
The security services – MI5, MI6, GCHQ and the police – have been heavily focused for years on counter-terrorism and, in particular, preventing an atrocity at the Olympics and Paralympics .
With those events now safely passed, ministers and intelligence chiefs are intensifying talks on whether more effort is needed to tackle emerging risks, in particular espionage by foreign states.
The prime minister’s national security council discussed the post-Olympics agenda for the security services on July 3. No firm decisions were taken but officials said the intelligence agencies were asked to consider whether there should be a shift in priorities and report back for more talks.
“The issue on ministers’ minds was what the security scene would look like in, say, 2025,” a Whitehall figure said. “Will we look back and say that, in the decade after the Olympics, the jihadist threat remained the central security preoccupation for the UK? Or will the next decade come to be dominated by other issues, like the return of state-on-state challenges from Russia and China.”
For Britain’s intelligence community, the conclusion of the Olympics was always set to mark a watershed. Olympic security has been the dominant preoccupation of MI5 and MI6 for the past seven years because the event was an obvious attraction for jihadists plotting a major attack.[…]
The biggest question is whether there needs to be more effort to tackle the rise in web-based espionage by China. As Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, suggested in a speech this year, the amount of hostile activity generated by foreign states in cyber space is “astonishing” and of “industrial scale.”
A second issue is whether MI6 should focus more on collecting foreign intelligence on Britain’s economic rivals.
“There may need to be a greater focus on what I would call ‘old fashioned statecraft,’ collecting intelligence from foreign governments in order to further Britain’s political and economic interests,” said Nigel Inkster of the International Institute for Strategic Studies think-tank.[…]
“It makes no sense to completely unwind the position on counter-terrorism,” Mr Inkster said. “But there are questions of proportion to be discussed. In the forthcoming spending round, it would certainly make no sense for the agencies to make a bid for cash, solely based on counter-terrorist activity.”