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Jakarta Post

Intelligence services in changing nation

  • AM Hendropriyono

    -

Jakarta   /   Tue, November 6, 2018   /  11:07 am
Intelligence services in changing nation Upbeat -- Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan attends a screening test over his nomination to be the State Intelligence Agency's (BIN) new chief at the House of Representatives on Sept. 7. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Intelligence agencies are a reflection of the society within which they operate. During the Cold War, a litmus test could differentiate between dictatorships and democracies: in dictatorships, one intelligence agency covered domestic and foreign operations; in a democracy, they were split between separate agencies. 

So democracies like the United Kingdom had MI-5 for internal duties and MI-6 for external duties. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) remained within the United States’ borders, while its Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) looked outward. 

A dictatorship like the Soviet Union, by contrast, covered everything — internally and externally — with the Russian intelligence agency or KGB. Indonesia also skewed in that direction. 

These days, globalization has somewhat blurred the distinction. Many thr...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.