Targeted killing as a first resort outside active hostilities


practice of intelligence sharing is



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practice of intelligence sharing is independent of politics. This can have both its advantages and disadvantages. It is surely profitable that the US and the EU members can cooperate in the area of intelligence while disagreeing in politics. However, this bias can be the result of the lack of control by governments and parliaments over European intelligence services actions. Should this be the case, it should be used as food for thought in European capitals. Nevertheless, in the meantime the cooperation between American and EU member states intelligence services has arguably been highly successful. For example, decisions and steps taken by Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service) allowed to prevent the attack on US embassy just after the 9/11 events in the US[44]. This was possible thanks to the international intelligence cooperation. Germany and the US have share intelligence on terrorism since 1960s. This relation has remained robust after the 9/11 attacks and has even increased, not only through the ‘Alliance Base’ but also in bilateral relation. A case in point here is the unfortunate example of the German intelligence service HUMINT source agent named ‘Curveball’. The final outcome of that case, which led to the US’s invasion of Iraq – based on false suspicions that the country possessed WMD – seems to suggest that sharing information here was faulty and misleading. However, it seems less so in light of the declassified documents[45]. These show that the case of ‘Curveball’ was properly described by Bundesnachrichtendienst, especially as far as his credibility was concerned – it was in fact believed to be dubious and unclear. However, as it was the only American human source, and it was delivering information desired by the Executive, the BND kept sending reports to the United States Defense Intelligence Agency. In other words, cooperation between both services was smooth, it was the American side that used the information despite warnings coming even from home intelligence[46]. Based on this case, it can be assumed that intelligence sharing between Germany and the US has increased to the extent that even not confirmed sources were delivered to the US on special request. Once again, this confirms the argument whereby intelligence cooperation between the US and European partners has existed despite European reluctance to the US international policy. To take this argument even further, it can be argued that the transatlantic intelligence liaison will increase in the future, as long as a new threat in the form of Islamic terrorism is deemed serious danger by both the US and the European Union member states. Apart from the UK, a traditional ally of the US, there has been a group of newly accepted EU members which were, most of them, supporting the US policy after 9/11, including the intervention in Iraq. It can be assumed that those states (Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Baltic states) were prepared to seek intelligence cooperation with the US. However, it is obvious that these states did not probably have much intelligence to offer, while their first concern has always been Russia and its actions. It this particular case, there are all reasons to suspect that the ‘complex’ intelligence liaison took place. It has been confirmed in the cases of Poland and Romania when both states have hosted the secret CIA prisons used for extraordinary renditions. That they did host such prisons was confirmed by both the European Parliament inquiry[47] and investigative journalists[48]. In exchange, those states received a mixture of military, political and intelligence support. From the above analysis it appears that after the 9/11 attacks the US increased intelligence cooperation with the EU member states. There is also no doubt that most European states were willing to increase this cooperation as they saw real threat that Islamic terrorism constituted not only for the US but also for European states. It was the nature of both in multilateral and bilateral relationships. The level of cooperation has been different depending on a state. Usually, the biggest ally of the US – the UK, has led in intelligence liaison. But it is now visible that the rest of the EU has not stayed behind, and tried to contribute to the liaison in many different ways. All those alleged facts lead to the conclusion that the future liaison between the US and the European member states will increase even further as long as there will be a common strong threat to the security to all participating states.


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