Chapter 1

The Anatomy of Counterintelligence: The Origins of European Perspective

Janez Zirovnik and Iztok Podbregar


Over the past few decades, the field of counterintelligence has become increasingly accessible to lay and professional public; this is the result of many factors, such as the opening of state archives, the declassification of secret documents, materials and literature pertaining to intelligence, counterintelligence, and security services, initiatives for improved oversight, democratization of society and political systems, human curiosity, and especially the need for a new paradigm of counterintelligence. When faced with the question of how to proceed, we encounter the following problem: there are numerous understandings, definitions, and practices of counterintelligence across the world. The European region is also pressed with the necessity of finding a new counterintelligence paradigm and often looks for answers to American literature because it is the most publicly accessible. We wish to emphasize, however, that there is a specifically European perspective on counterintelligence, which is not adequately covered in literature. There are some minor but also fundamental differences between the European and American perspectives, so that the ‘general’ concept of counterintelligence, which is mostly based on US literature, should also be examined form a European perspective; this is important for European and non- European countries alike. A partial European perspective on (primarily) the theory of counterintelligence is presented; it is based on the Balkans, since the regional counterintelligence was heavily influenced by other European services and thus reflects a European counterintelligence viewpoint. At the same time, the Balkan states possess a more complex view of counterintelligence, which is not well known in the world.

Total Pages: 3-23 (21)

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