Vanguard Magazine

Feb/Mar 2015

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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I INTellIgeNce 44 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2015 greg fyffe is president of CASIS and teaches intelligence and strategic thinking at the University of Ottawa. He was executive director of the Intelligence Assessment Secretariat from 2000 to 2008. T he focus of the 2014-15 CASIS conference was a comparison of the geopolitical ambitions, and intelligence systems, of Russia and China, with a reflection on the evolu- tion of western intelligence systems. Jennifer Sims, a Senior Fellow for In- telligence with the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs and the keynote speaker, is writing a book on intelligence from the Spanish Armada to the present day. She noted that the 21st century is "conflict- ridden and unstable" due to transnational terrorism and insurgencies, cyber war, the rise of non-state actors, Russia's advance into the Ukraine, and the threats from a changing climate. At the same time con- fidence in government and intelligence organizations has declined. To meet these challenges the business of intelligence has to be re-thought to ensure that it generates a decision advantage for leaders. She emphasized the need for a ca- pacity for "net assessment," which means a deeper understanding of what we need to understand about intelligence targets. Finally, decision-makers must own the process. Sims' presentation provided important insights and set the stage for a vibrant dis- cussion about China and Russia. Christopher Johnson of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, spoke about changes in Chi- nese foreign policy and geopolitical out- look. Prior to 2008 China had pursued a policy of a quiet and peaceful rise in inter- national influence. After the market crash of 2008 it became more assertive, feeling that the Chinese model was proving to be the implications of a new intelligence environment superior to dominant western economic and political ideas. Militarily China profes- sionalized the PLA, and declared itself to be a maritime power, something it had not done in 150 years. China's new assertiveness has created tensions with its neighbours, and China is trying to re-build positive relationships, while not returning to its previous cau- tious stance. It continues to be aggressive in the South China Sea, and plans to proj- ect naval power far out into the Pacific. While sophisticated in its strategies, Chi- na has no skill at "soft power" which has complicated the task of maintaining good relations with its neighbours. President Xi Jinping has continued to pursue the change in foreign policy emphasis, mak- ing it more multidimensional and lessen- ing slightly the focus on relations with the United States. Peter Matti of the Jamestown Founda- tion and an expert on Chinese intelligence systems, described a dynamic and agile sys- tem, with multiple targets, ranging from Taiwan to dissidents abroad, and support to military operations. The Chinese civilian intelligence servic- es have moved from being party to state agencies, and have decisively moved into the cyber realm – their "Dreadnought mo- ment," when technical change allowed them to move closer to the effective capac- ity of their rivals. We are likely to see China move to more third-party operations over- seas, lessening their historic dependence on ethnic Chinese intelligence operatives and agents. Masashi Nishihata of the Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre described the relent- less cyber attack on dissidents and NGOs outside China. The attempt to entice email recipients to download malware through attachments is so frequent – with several at-

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