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The Canadian government still doesn’t get intelligence

Intelligence agencies exist to help officials make better decisions. Some nations have true ‘intelligence cultures’ where the value of this kind of information is recognised. Then there is Canada.

Intelligence agencies exist to help officials make better decisions. Some nations have true ‘intelligence cultures’ where the value of this kind of information is recognised. Then there is Canada. Borealis laments the lack of appreciation for this source of data in his own country.

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In this podcast, retired Canadian intelligence analyst Phil Gurski discusses the subject of terrorism: what it is (and isn’t), trends, developments and more. Phil is not shy to wade into controversial matters and provide his perspective honed from more than three decades in intelligence.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. and Director of the National Security programme at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute (PDI). Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

2 replies on “The Canadian government still doesn’t get intelligence”

I concur with this analysis. Successive governments of Canada have shown a marked disinterest in, and lack of knowledge of, intelligence. Like Mr. Gurski, I have little faith that this will change at some future date.

Occasionally, there is a spike in interest in what Canadian intelligence organizations can do (and equally important, cannot do) and in the intelligence they provide – military intelligence became much more important, and sought after, when Canadian Armed Forces troops were deployed to fight in Afghanistan.

Canada has been very lucky to be part of the so-called Five Eyes intelligence alliance (the five partners being New Zealand, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States); we get far more intelligence from our partners than we contribute to them. Were the Americans and the British to cut Canada off from their intelligence, Canada would be forced to do some real soul-searching about the business. For one thing, we would quickly find out just how expensive trying to do intelligence on our own would be.

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