Editors: Iztok Podbregar, Teodora Ivanuša

The Anatomy of Counterintelligence: European Perspective

eBook: US $49 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $111
Printed Copy: US $87
Library License: US $196
ISBN: 978-1-68108-412-1 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-68108-411-4 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2016
DOI: 10.2174/97816810841141160101


In recent decades, a significant volume of literature on the subject of counterintelligence has become available. The knowledge given by this literature has addressed the confusion surrounding counterintelligence methods and organizations in addition to explaining certain taboos and stereotypes. Counterintelligence issues are understood differently in European countries in comparison to the rest of the world. The factors accounting for this difference are several: the diversity of political systems, continental law, human rights, history, nations' culture, language(s), economy, geostrategic position, urban concept of cities, etc. Nevertheless, some similarities in counterintelligence methods in different regions also exist.

The Anatomy of Counterintelligence: European Perspective offers a concise overview of counterintelligence measures practiced in Europe that can rarely be found in standard texts; it provides information about counterintelligence staff, the definition of principles of counterintelligence, the targets of foreign intelligence services, how to identify agents and operatives (as well as operatives working undercover as diplomats) and some of the dilemmas in counterintelligence in the light of current events. The book also presents the case of Vladimir Vauhnik, a Slovenian counterintelligence operative in the time of Nazi Germany.

The Anatomy of Counterintelligence: European Perspective will be of particular of interest to political science scholars in Europe who are interested in studying the European angle of counterintelligence and its influence on the organization of European counterintelligence services as well as national security policy.


The complexity of the contemporary security environment and the growth of information society present us with important dilemmas in how to effectively protect key national intelligence and information, given that timely and accurate information has become an important part of achieving strategic interests. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the international community was lulled into a false perception that counter-intelligence was no longer needed, since we were in an era of supposedly open and friendly relations. This has been proven wrong, and we have recently seen that even closest allies pursue intelligence activities against each other. In order to detect these risks and threats, we need counterintelligence― alongside security it provides the most complex defense of national strategic interests. The transitional countries of Europe, among them the Balkan states, have not paid sufficient attention to the field of counter-intelligence in the building of their own national security systems. Because anything related to past systems of national security was abolished, forgotten, or overlooked, the national security of these states was negatively impacted; furthermore, they are now faced with having to look for an adequate and effective model of counter-intelligence. In doing so, they are sometimes unaware of the important differences between various counter-intelligence models, which were adapted to different countries and environments. This is why transitional countries should begin by looking at their own context and especially at the European perspective, even though the American perception of counterintelligence is perhaps more immediately accessible through open sources.

The present book is an excellent foundation for building a comprehensive European concept of counter-intelligence and for further pursuit of professional and scientific approaches in the field of counter-intelligence, in particular European counter-intelligence. The added quality of the text is the integration of practical knowledge and experience, the comparison between European, in particular Balkan, and American perspectives, and the comparison of counterintelligence models in different regions.

Denis Čaleta
Institute of Corporative Security Studies


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