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The United States and Israel have some of the most efficient counterintelligence agencies in the world. In the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency work very closely to ensure that secretes of the United States are protected from international spies. In Israel, the Mossad is responsible for protecting sensitive information about the country (Vargo, 2015). The counterintelligence approaches of the two countries have a number of factors in common. In both countries, the primary aim of these agencies is to ensure that sensitive information about the security of the country is not leaked to the enemy. They both use tactics such as stealing of information where necessary to protect their country.
It is also important to note that the two countries also have fundamental differences. The following are some of the areas that make the counterintelligence approach of these two countries different.
The two countries have a different philosophical approach in their counterintelligence strategies. Mossad’s philosophy is to protect the nation of Israel from alienation by hostile neighbors and other internal enemies that do not approve of its existence (Keeley, 2004). On the other hand, the philosophy of the CIA and FBI is to ensure that the world’s only Superpower is protected from its archrivals, Russia and China, and other terror groups that are interested in attacking the United States for various reasons.
The counterintelligence policy of these two agencies differs in many ways. The Mossad believes strongly in preemptive attacks or break-ins when it believes that a given individual or group of people are leaking sensitive information about Israel to enemy countries (Graham & Nussbaum, 2008). The agency would conduct raids in the homes of the suspects without their knowledge to get the information they desire. On the other hand, the Central Intelligence Agency believes in using spies to country spies. This is often the case when they suspect that one of their own agents is being used by the enemy camps to gather sensitive facts about the country.
According to Oren, Kfir, and Englesberg (2014), it is important to note that the counterintelligence agencies of these two countries often go against the set legal structures when it comes to collecting the information they desire. The CIA is often keen to use spies to avoid legal implications of the activities in overseas countries. As Thomas (2015) says, even if the foreign government later realizes that the CIA was gathering information about their operations, it becomes almost impossible to identify or associate specific CIA agents with the espionage. However, Mossad is more direct and bolder when it comes to collecting the information they desire. They are quick, efficient, and effective in executing their plans.
The organizational perspectives of these two agencies differ significantly, especially due to the differences in their sizes. The CIA has its agents all over the world to help protect the interest of the nation. This agency has enough manpower and resources to conduct a global operation without facing serious legal or human resource challenges. However, the same is not the case with Mossad (Zegart, 2007). This agency only stations its agents in specific regions where they strongly believe could be a source of potential threat to their nation. This is so because of the limited human resource at its disposal and financial constraints.
Graham, B., & Nussbaum, J. (2008). Intelligence matters: The CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia, and the failure of America’s War on Terror. Lawrence, Kan: University Press of Kansas.
Keeley, J. (2004). Deterring and investigating attack: The role of the FBI and CIA. San Diego, Calif: Lucent Books.
Oren, R., Kfir, M., & Englesberg, R. (2014). Sylvia Rafael: The life and death of a Mossad spy. London, UK: Springer.
Thomas, G. (2015). Gideon’s spies: The secret history of the Mossad. London, UK: McMillan.
Vargo, M. E. (2015). The Mossad: Six landmark missions of the Israeli intelligence agency, 1960/1990. Hoboken, NJ: McFarland & Company.
Zegart, A. B. (2007). Spying blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the origins of 9/11. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press.