Headline Sep 19, 2014/ ''' THE SPYING TRADE '''


RIGHT AT THE OUTSET  -two very respectful dedications. 

One of these to the loving memory of Lt.Gen.  Ghulam Jilani Khan, DG, ISI,  
Pakistan's Flagship security agency.

''Thank you, Sir, for the great  fatherly feelings and  thoughts, and the  many many laughs and the  -12 cigarette meetings-''

And the next then, to this gentleman officer, and a true nationalist,  Lt-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, DG ISI.

''Thank you for your gracious call. And your  ''leap of faith''  on the appointment that fell through the crack. Well,--------''

SPIES are often wrongly presumed  to work in a shadowy and exotic world. In fact they are more like  unusually crafty bureaucrats   than  James Bond.
There skills would be quite handy for business executives, according to J.C. Carleson, a former CIA officer.

In   ''Work Like a Spy'' , her gripping layman's guide to spycraft, she shows how adopting an  intelligence officer's  mindset can make managers more efficient and better at handling people.

In her eight years undercover,  Ms Carleson  (not her  real name)  ran agents in hostile countries, getting them to risk their lives to steal secrets for America. Targeting and recruiting such people offers lessons in what might be called ''strategic networking'' :

Getting information about customers and competitors. How do you make contact without seeming pushy? What is the hook, and what are the incentives? It turns out that offering consultancy fees and lavish entertainment rarely works; appealing to the ego is far more effective.

While steering clear of real secrets, Ms Carleson gives an accurate account of how intelligence officers operate.  Her   ''strategic elicitation exercise'', in which she pushes readers to get random information from a stranger, is particularly well described.

In a trade in which deceit is a tool, knowing when to be honest is important. Ms Carleson describes the ideal  CIA officer as a   ''Boy Scout with a secret dark side'', Her terse remarks on ethics sound convincing, not preachy.

She explains, for example, why fiddling expenses leads to instant dismissal in the CIA : if you cheat your country out of money, you may betray its secrets too.

Readers doing business in places where sleaze is endemic will find these points very instructive. It is wise to work out in advance the red lines you and your company will not cross  -and make sure everyone involved knows what they are.

While Ms Carleson's books highlights the skills of individual intelligence officers.

Mark Huband's   ''Trading Secrets''  gives a glimpse of what spy agencies actually do and how they are evolving to combat new  21st-century threats.

A former journalist who now runs a security consultancy , he argues that  undercover agents are often more useful not when they are spying on country's enemies, but when they are talking to them.

He gives new details about the role  that  Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, commonly called MI6)  played in opening channels of communication with the IRA  in Northern Ireland, and with Colonel Qaddafi's regime in Libya.

Mr Huband also deals with fiascos, such as political  misuse of the sketchy intelligence available about Saddam Hussain's weapons programmes.

Spies rarely provide solid answers, he says, but offer confusing bits of jigsaw puzzle of unknown size and shape. At best, secret intelligence removes an element of surprise from foreign affairs, but it rarely makes it clear what to do. 

The picture he paints is tantalisingly incomplete. His reporting based on his years as a journalist, hops across decades and between fronts, clearly in the  ''war on terror''   the neglects, sadly,  China and Russia.

He concludes that spooks are  ''awash with more information, and knowledge than ever before'' , but that  the  ''intrinsic power''  of intelligence has waned.

One reason is that some of the finest spies are being lured away by private sector.

It greatly rewards those a background in secret government service  -and not only because spycraft has given them exceptional people skills.  

With respectful dedication to the all the  ''Spy Agencies''  of the world.

With respectful dedication to all the  ''Spies''  in the world. See Ya all on !WOW! -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Divine Splendour '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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