Canadian Intelligence Eh!

Why is morale at Canada’s spy service in the dumps? A conversation with Andrew Kirsch

When a nation’s spy agency has a morale problem it can have widespread effects on national security: a conversation with a former Canadian intel officer.

Canadian Intelligence Eh! – Episode 145: why low morale at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) should worry us.

I spent 15 years at CSIS – and 32 years in total in Canadian intelligence – and loved my career. Oh sure, there were downtimes but overall I sas one very lucky Canadian in a job that I felt mattered to my country. Which is why recent rumours – and even news stories – about poor morale at CSIS are worrisome. In this respect I had a chat with a fellow former CSISite, Andrew Kirsch to discuss this problem and why it matters.

About my guest

Andrew Kirsch served as an intelligence officer with CSIS for just under a decade. He held roles as a policy analyst and a field investigator, ultimately leading the special operations security team running covert warranted operations. Today, he runs a security consulting firm, assisting organisations and individuals identify threats and vulnerabilities and implement strategies to mitigate their risk. His book –  I Was Never Here: My True Canadian Spy Story of Coffees, Code Names and Covert Operations in the Age of Terrorism – is now available. Mr. Kirsch spoke with Borealis about his book earlier this year.

Canadian Intelligence Eh

In a world of multiple voices and opinions it can be very hard to know where to turn.  One choice is to look to those who actually worked in counter-terrorism in the national security world. In these half-hour podcasts, 30-year Canadian intelligence veteran Phil Gurski is joined by a fascinating array of individuals with something meaningful to say about these issues as they provide insight into what they mean and what we need to do about them.

About Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. and Distinguished Fellow in National Security at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute (PDI). He worked as a senior strategic analyst at CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) from 2001-2015, specialising in violent Islamist-inspired homegrown terrorism and radicalisation. He is the author of six books on terrorism, including the most recent The Peaceable Kingdom: A history of terrorism in Canada from Confederation to the present.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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