The Special Relationship

As mentioned before, the intelligence world is largely a secret world with two main components or missions, namely, the “analytical” missions and the “operational” missions. Arguably the modus operandi of these missions rests on two basic approaches or qualities, namely, nuance and subtlety. In turn, such approaches and qualities require two broader or overarching qualities, namely, artfulness and sophistication.

Also, and as mentioned before, the analytical mission receives various streams of information and intelligence which emanate from a variety of sources throughout society. All of them are then brought together and then categorized and differentiated based on their accurate recognition. After their accurate recognition, certain streams are then analyzed once the product is made final. Thus, the determination of when the product becomes final is something which requires accurate recognition and arguably this accurate recognition stems from the collaboration of a variety of organs or structures within the analytical mission of the intelligence world. 

In turn, what has long overarched the two different missions is the culture of the intelligence world. But this culture could change as a result of both demographic and generational factors and realities. As mentioned in previous posts, the culture of the intelligence world is one which is far from puritanical or saintly. In fact, the culture is anything but puritanical or saintly. In recent decades, the culture of the intelligence world in the United States has been marred by allegations of drug trafficking, torture, and even attempts at mind control through ethically and morally questionable means and strategies. 

Yet, and as mentioned before, intelligence is now front and center in the American system after decades of military adventurism and expenditures which have largely failed to achieve their basic aims and goals and have been proven to be futile and wasteful. For decades, intelligence was lurking in the shadows and in the background, tainted by its culture and overshadowed by the military. In a sense, intelligence was getting the short end of the stick, despite its analytical and operational importance and significance. 

But now, the tables have essentially turned, and in many places – including Afghanistan – the military presence has now been replaced by a largely invisible and hidden intelligence footprint. Part of the infamous ‘Doha Agreement’ between the United States and the Taliban, for instance, was that the United States would move its military personnel out of Afghanistan as long as the CIA could maintain outposts and a thorough but invisible and hidden presence throughout the country. Coincidentally, the Taliban agreed to this particular arrangement. 

And it is likely that the scenario which has emerged in Afghanistan – namely, that a visible and unwieldy military presence will be replaced by an invisible and hidden intelligence presence – will take root not only in Afghanistan, but perhaps in many other parts of the world as well. There is also the issue of the “special relationship” between the United States and Great Britain which is worth highlighting to a certain extent. Rather than dubbing this intelligence relationship as a “special” relationship, the more fitting label for this relationship is that this relationship is historic. 

But just because this relationship is historic, it does not mean that it is completely friendly, harmonious, or sincere. In fact, the opposite is largely true as it pertains to this particular relationship. And as a result, this relationship reinforces one of the two major rules of logic and reason which we have sought to reinforce and elucidate all along, which is that appearance must always be differentiated from reality, even though this is a differentiation which only the most artful, nuanced, subtle, and sophisticated minds are capable of making.

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