Intelligence was a central element of the Cold War and the need for it was expected to diminish after the USSR's collapse, yet in recent years it has been in greater demand than ever. The atrocities of 11 September and the subsequent "war on terrorism" now call for an even more intensive effort. Important questions arise on how intelligence fits into the world of increased threats, globalization and expanded international action. This volume contains the recent work on this subject by Michael Herman, British intelligence professional for 35 years and Oxford University academic. It compares intelligence with other government information services, and discusses the British intelligence system and the case for its reform. It also addresses the ethical issues raised by intelligence's methods and results: "do they on balance make for a better world or a worse one?". Other chapters explore a wide range of intelligence topics past and present, including the transatlantic relationship, the alliance strategies of Norway and New Zealand, Mrs Thatcher's "de-unionization" of British Sigint, and personal memories of the British Cabinet Office in the 1970s.
Michael Herman argues for intelligence professionalism as a contribution to international security and for its encouragement as a world standard. The modern challenge is for intelligence to support international cooperation in ways originally developed to advance national interests, while at the same time developing some restraint and international "rules of the game", in the use of intrusive and covert methods on its traditional targets. The effects of 11 September on this challenge are discussed in a thoughtful afterword.