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Title: The trouble with TESSOC: the coming crisis in British and allied military counterintelligence doctrine
Authors: Davies, PHJ
Steward, TJ
Issue Date: 11-May-2024
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group)
Citation: Davies, P.H.J. and Steward, T.J. (2024) 'The trouble with TESSOC: the coming crisis in British and allied military counterintelligence doctrine', Defence Studies, 24 (2), pp. 234 - 256. doi: 10.1080/14702436.2024.2303084.
Abstract: This article examines the evolution of UK military doctrine on counterintelligence (CI), one of the more consistently troubled aspects of military doctrine in general and intelligence doctrine in particular. We argue that current UK and NATO CI doctrine are in thrall to a deeply problematic defining concept in TESSOC (Terrorism, Espionage, Sabotage, Subversion and Organised Crime) that conflates an intractably diverse assortment of security threats under CI. Furthermore, TESSOC is the latest embodiment of a slow, century-long oscillation between two different basic concepts of CI. The first focuses purely on human threat vectors (referred to here as Human Threat CI or HTCI) while the latter entails a more comprehensive, all-source range of adversary technical and open as well as human source intelligence activities (designated Multidisciplinary CI or MDCI in US doctrine). That oscillation is driven largely by the balance between conventional and asymmetrical operations in defence priorities and recent campaign experience. TESSOC is a legacy of the recent, pre-Russo-Ukraine War emphasis on counterterrorism (CT) and counterinsurgency (COIN) operations. Consequently, UK and allied military counterintelligence doctrine are entering the second quarter of the 21st Century fundamentally ill-equipped to cope with strategic peers and their use of full-spectrum and hybrid strategies.
ISSN: 1470-2436
Other Identifiers: ORCiD: Philip H.J. Davies
Appears in Collections:Dept of Social and Political Sciences Research Papers

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