United Nations and Intelligence.

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by gimpmask, Sep 1, 2009.

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  1. All,

    I’m unsure as to the correct forum to post this, so this will do.

    I am doing some postgraduate research into the use of intelligence at the United Nations; specifically concentrating on peace operations and UNPROFOR (Bosnia 1992 – 1995).

    I am cutting this into intelligence at three levels. Strategic (Security Council), operational, and tactical.

    So far I am sure that there was an underground flow of intelligence to the mission from multiple sources. The most interesting aspect is the flow of US (and some British) intelligence to the mission HQ in Zagrab. And the general structure of operational intelligence seems to flow OK.

    The most challenging aspect of this seems to be tactical intelligence. I have found very little written about this other than that the British were more robust than other contingents. For example, General Rose used the SAS as an un-official intelligence (‘information’) gathering. And there is even an example of Brits going behind the lines disguised as the European Tourist Board in order to collect information. Yet, there is currently not enough information to verify much of this.

    Ideally, I would like to interview or have email correspondence with those involved so I can incorporate their opinions into my research.

    So if anyone here was involved with UNPROFOR (or any peace op) and thinks they can help please get in touch.

    Steve Maguire

    (edited for typo)
  2. msr

    msr LE

    Zegrab or Zagreb?

  3. BrunoNoMedals

    BrunoNoMedals LE Reviewer

    Shhh, Zegrab was it's codename and we shouldn't be mentioning it her...

    *ptchoo ptchoo*

  4. Zagrab.

    Original edited.
  5. Have you tried de Jong et al (2003): "Peacekeeping Intelligence: Emerging Concepts for the Future", OSS International Press, Virginia?

    Remember "intelligence" is a word that is not to be used in the UN. The UN does not do "intelligence" only information.
  6. Indeed - and there are many other definitions for it as well! I use 'intelligence' here for simplicity.

    I have read most of the secondary literature about this topic, and a fair part on peacekeeping in general. The best account of intelligence in Bosnia is Ceiss Weibbes Intelligence and the War in Bosnia. The problem for me is that all of his sources are 'confidential' or come from archives closed to all but a select few. This won't go down too well with the markers. I'm happy to use such sources myself but only if I have spoken to them/read the documents in person. Ideally I am looking for a few similiar sources myself to bulk out my research.

    Thanks for the recommendation though.
  7. Oh, God. You'll spend more time editing your articles and reports than actually composing them.
    Z A G R E B
  8. Research into the use of intelligence? You are asking what action was taken as a result of information supplied? Or have I misunderstood something?
  9. Both actually. I'm looking at the impact of intelligence; and to do this I also have to demonstrate what intelligence was provided and by who. The least I can do is demonstrate that the mission either developed some form of capability or received information from national sources. At present both seem to be correct.

    There is strong evidence that the CIA (and other US intelligence), SIS, the French, and many others were in country and conducting covert operations. Likewise, there is also strong evidence of the collection of military intelligence above that which would be expected in a peace op. The SAS being deployed as UN Military Observers for example. Even the use of NGOs as cover for HUMINT meets. Ideally I would like to verify these claims and add to them to show how an intelligence ('information') network was or was not developed over the course of the mission.

    I'm not overly hopeful. Intelligence is, after all, supposed to be secret and I doubt that many will want to go on or off the record and say anything. However - if you don't ask you don't get.

    All of this goes against UN claims to have 'clean hands' with regards to intelligence. Of course, the traditional problems associated with intelligence and the UN, such as sharing with 'undesirable' countries, also have to be considered complicating matters slightly.

    Nevertheless I am looking for first hand accounts (if possible!) of how intelligence was used and how it was collected or received.
  10. If you PM me some specific questions, I do know a chap who might be willing to answer them. He was involved in int work in Bos. However, I cannot guarantee he will answer them, but as you say no harm in asking.
  12. and what's your own background?
  13. There was definatly some intellegence personel there. Was based with Equipment support company OP grapple 3. Having people come in to have their night sight fixed because it keeps flaring out when they fire their gun can't help to raise your suspicions. They also had a unit called TACP which sure had a lot of GPMG's and all their SA80 had colt mags in their Spartan. Not sure if they had anybody with the Persil's (UN observors always used dressed in white vests). There was definatly some blackmarketering which could have been used to gather intel they had to get rid of the old style Deutsche Marks somehow and petrol, ciggerettes and batteries were quite valuable or so I was told. Most of us out their were just trying to keep busy and watching them kill each other it was easier to open fire on gate gaurd in Germany than on the UPROFOR mission.
  14. I am a TA Officer who commissioned through the OTC and am going regular once I have finished my studies. At the moment I am studying for an MA at the University of Salford (Intelligence and Security Studies) before moving onto a PdH. I'm a student who has a strong interest in the UN - my undergraduate dissertation was about the successes (there is already enough written about the failures) of UNPROFOR - and am currently focussing on the intelligence aspect for some serious research into its impact.

    Further, I will not reveal the identity of anyone who contacts me, anything they tell me, or how we got in contact, unless they give me explicit permission to.

    Edited for clarity 030236.
  15. The guys in while sound more like the ECMM people.