Background reading for Intelligence Corps applicant

Discussion in 'Int Corps' started by Tramp, Jun 21, 2007.

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  1. I am currently applying to join the Intelligence Corps as an OPMI and have been told that I may have to wait a good few months before I can begin basic training. (Assuming that I get through vetting and Chicksands selection of course). In the mean time I want to do some background reading. I recently saw The Operators by James Rennie recommended on arrse and have just finished it. I thought it was very interesting but want to find a good guide to the basics/theory of intelligence gathering and analysis.

    If anyone could recommend anything along these lines then I would be very grateful. There are a number of books on Amazon, but I'm unsure how relevant/useful these are. Any help appreciated. Feel free to pm me with any suggestions. Thanks, Tom.
  2. Any background reading on Iraq of Afghanistan should also see you right. :D
  3. Tramp,

    I hav yet to see the definative book on Int. There are plenty of useful historical bits from which you can get a feel for the type of work - but of course much current stuff, or doctrine/theory is still too classified to publish (and if they have published they are probably making sh!t up). Pig in the Middle covers Northern Ireland up to 1984ish, Military Intelligence Blunders isn't bad, Armour Against Fate is not bad on WW1, Naples '44 for WW2. Steer well clear of the 'I was secret agent/SAS/SBS/14 Int' type stuff - it is generally pants or an ego trip for someone who wasn't that good. Personally I would get stuck into broadening your knowledge of current affairs with particular emphasis on the areas recommended by Crapspy.
  4. If you want to bone up a bit about the history of the INT CORPS itself try:

    Clayton, A. (1993): Forearmed: A History of the Intelligence Corps, London Brassey's
  5. The Spying Game by Michael Smith.
  6. or watch the crying game (cos you will fall for women with dicks) LOLOLOL
  7. The most recent recruiting 'gumf' (which I presume you have already seen) is pretty accurate and up to date. As already suggested here, most of the INT CORPS books are either -
    a. Very dry and/or outdated or
    b. Written by Walter Mitty characters who paint the Corps in a bit of a false light.

    Bone up on your current affairs, especially Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Ireland. You WILL be asked about them when you come to Chicksands for interview. I would reccomend you read the 'Independant' Newspaper as it gives a fairly objective / left wing view on the situation (which is sometimes a refreshing change to the 'Daily Mail' vien of thought and could give you some pointers to think about - - even if you dont agree with them all!
  8. What's the reading for - I would suggest there is no point in reading up on int gathering/analysis because once you get in there is a process called training that will impart that knowledge. If it is to get through the interview then you should take the advice of those other posters and read a decent newspaper every day. When I did interviews there anybody who read a tabloid (and by that I mean the Daily Mortgage and the Daily Diana as well rather than the obvious The Scum) was fair game for a pretty tough time and usually could be unpicked in a nanosecond.
  9. The Week is always good, intersting spread of UK and foreign media.
  10. I'm a Telegraph man myself; great comics, good defence coverage with a reassuringly right-wing capitalist whiff. The point everyone on here is trying to impart, Tramp, is that you must have an interest in, and good broad understanding of world affairs, otherwise this job ain't for you. Get a good quality newspaper, and don't just read it, but get into the habit of questioning why they are taking a certain stance. All newspapers are biased to some extent; you now need to start trying to spot the bias and question why. In a similar vein, when you start in the Corps, you will be expected to recognise bias in intelligence reports and make allowances for it. Don't worry if you can't at first, you do get some training in this.
    Another good read is Private Eye, because you will meet an awful lot of liars over the course of your career, so to do the job properly you need cynicism.
    Any good quality accounts of previous battles/campaigns by well respected authors, as these will assist you in understanding the bigger picture. Try Stalingrad by Antony Beevor.
    You should also be able to quote Monty Python and the entire 4th series of Blackadder verbatim. If not, you will miss the punchline on an awful lot of jokes.
    As someone who hands his uniform back on Thursday after 22 years, good luck and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
  11. Or you could just go in there as a normal human being and answer their questions honestly. It is not SAS selection but an interview to see what potential you have. I for one did not read a broadsheet until after I joined; a long time after I joined! Be yourself, as long as that is open-minded and inquisitive. Although personally I would recommend the Torygraph and Private Eye!!!

    Good luck!
  12. And notice the word he used: potential. They're not going to be looking for an OPMI sans uniform. If that were the case then there wouldn't be any training.
  13. Thanks to everyone who has got back to me about this. I do read a paper (not the Daily Diana Comic) most days...obviously starting with the sport. Always used to read The Telegraph but since Cameron got in it's just not the same so I stick to The Times. I do miss the Matt cartoons and the heavy Tory slant sometimes.

    My understanding of the history and politics of both Iraq and Afghanistan leaves a lot to be desired so I will follow everyone's advice and look into that. I'll also have a look at "Forearmed: A History of the Intelligence Corps" and "Stalingrad". If I get time I'll watch the crying game again.

    The sort of thing I was looking at from Amazon was


    I don't mind them being a bit dry so long as they are well informed and relevant. I also want to avoid the Mcnab clones, Walts and ego trippers. There are a surprisingly large number of books on what I would imagine to be a very specialist interest subject with a small readership. Any opinions on the above or similar would be appreciated. Thanks again, Tom.
  14. diplomat

    diplomat War Hero Book Reviewer

    Try Puppet Masters by John Hughes-Wilson
  15. Is anyone else unsettled by this post? I hate to call a hue and cry but there is soemthing that doesn't ring true.