Clandestine HUMINT Operational Techniques - Staff and Skills in A Clandestine HUMINT Operations Station

Staff and Skills in A Clandestine HUMINT Operations Station

This description is based around the foreign intelligence service, of country B, operating in and against country A. It may also include operations against non-state organizations operating in country B, with or without country B support. It may also involve offensive counterintelligence against country D assets operating in country B.

The basic structure here can be pertinent to a domestic service operating against a non-national group within its borders. Depending on the legal structure of the country, there may be significant, or very few, restrictions on domestic HUMINT. The most basic question will be whether criminal prosecution, or stopping operations, is the goal. Typically, criminal prosecution will be the primary goal against drug and slavery groups, with breaking up their operations the secondary goal. These priorities, however, are apt to reverse in dealing with terrorist groups.

If there are separate organizations with diplomatic and nonofficial cover, there may be two chiefs. Sufficiently large stations may have several independent, compartmented groups.

Description Soviet terminology US terminology
Officers with diplomatic immunity Diplomatic cover, emphasizing that GRU assumed that the host nation assumed all military attaches were intelligence officers, but that some diplomats might actually be diplomats Diplomatic cover
Public association with the service's country, but no diplomatic immunity Civilian cover (e.g., Tass news agency, trade or scientific delegation) Not often used. Personnel with Peace Corps and certain other backgrounds are barred from intelligence. Some, decreasing, cover as journalists now rarely used
No affiliation with host nation government Illegal (usually with an assumed identity) Nonofficial cover (NOC). May use real name or not, but often some invented background

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Clandestine HUMINT Operational Techniques - Staff and Skills in A Clandestine HUMINT Operations Station - Support Services - Useful Idiots
... was to avoid such people in the actual clandestine operations, regarding them at most useful as distractions to the counterintelligence services ... There were communications with them, and the dialogues were clandestine ... affiliation, and it is extremely unlikely Soviet clandestine operatives would have had anything to do with him ...

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