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Ancient history background About Intelligence services

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

When writing about so emotive a topic, to start with an tempt at clarification. Secret intelligence, however; is a field of an activity in which clarity appears to be, and often is, en ... gulfed in obscurity. This is not only intrinsic, but often deliberate and not infrequently self-defeating. Let us take the humble example of the squid which exudes a black fluid in order to disguise its direction of escape from a potential enemy. The squid's enemy will attempt not only to penetrate the cloud of darkness, an attempt which will probably prove a failure, but will also calculate through knowledge of currents, submarine rock formation and so forth, the direction of escape that its enemy or prey is likely to take. Meanwhile the squid itself may become bewildered and lost in its own secret cloud and even have the misfortune to emerge straight into its enemy's jaws.
Let us take another, equally oversimplified, example. Women wear clothes not only, in many climates not even primarily, for warmth, but in order to attract the eye of the male. A man, it is said, having his attention attracted to the girl, will in his mind undress her as he passes her in the street or meets her at a party. And unless the woman is physically of very great beauty, or unless her dress-maker is quite lacking in talent, what the man imagines will almost always be superior to what he actually discovers should he be persuasive enough to induce her to take her clothes off. This sweet form of deception and intelligence will usually have a mutually happy ending, and has made many a couturier's fortune and fame. On the other hand the man who, like the Dadaist character in Annablume, lacks the intelligence to detect wig, false teeth and padding for breasts, and even mistakes artificial limbs for real legs, has been conquered by a superior intelligence, a secret intelligence. 

A third mundane example of secret intelligence is the play of a poker player. Any poker player knows the nature of 'this' maneuver. Simply, by the way he bets, a player can persuade one or more opponents that he has the better hand. They, having in fact better hands than his, drop out; he never shows his 'secret' hand ¬and collects the money. A more complex strategy is, through a series of called bluffs, to persuade the opponents that he is bluffing once again when in fact he has a very good hand. The combination of bluffs, non-bluffs and counter-bluffs becomes almost limitless. A skilful poker player can pay for his wife or mistress to patronize a very good dress-maker.
The hoax, whether in the form of a harmless joke, or the emptying of a major rail terminal by an anonymous telephone call about a bomb, is another kind of bluff.
Now, these simple examples taken from ordinary life are merely three among thousands which we encounter frequently though not constantly. And they have one quality in common: the pitting of wits, which implies a relationship based on opposition. This can vary from the competition between friendly gamblers or sportsmen to lethal hostility between states, religions or ideologies. It is with this latter form of intelligence that we are here primarily concerned and, to a lesser extent, with its offshoots, propaganda and sabotage.
Most intelligence, however, is not secret at all. This is particularly true among modern, open societies which may, for the sake of convenience, be here referred to as democracies, states which in peacetime have a more or less' free press and open frontiers, which exchange diplomatic missions, trade with one another, and observe similar styles of political morality.
There is no quite satisfactory 'model' but let us take an oversimplified version of Franco-German open intelligence at the beginning of the period which this book covers, that is to say around the end of the last century, at the time of the arrest of Captain Dreyfus (1894), and before the Dreyfus case blew up some four years later. Franco-German relations were then theoretically peaceful but potentially hostile. German victory in 1871, and particularly the partial dismemberment of France by the seizure of Alsace-Lorraine, seemed to many, in both countries, to make another war inevitable. Leaving aside, for the moment, the pacifists and those adherents of the Second International who had persuaded themselves that the solidarity of the international workers' movement had made national wars an impossibility, many Germans and Frenchmen not only regarded a new war as inevitable, but actually desired one: the French for reasons of revenge, the Germans to pre-empt a French offensive. In both countries the general staffs were instructed by their respective governments to make both offensive and defensive plans for such a war. Meanwhile on another level the two governments were maneuvering for allies. All this was open and obvious.
Other facts were also obvious. The ease with which the Ger¬mans had defeated the French a generation before had come as something of a surprise to the world at large. Since then the massive expansion of German industry, particularly of the arma¬ments industry, had greatly outstripped a similar expansion by the French. Few could doubt that in solitary combat the Germans would inflict an even more resounding defeat upon their enemy than they had on the previous occasion. Therefore it was essen¬tial for the French to find allies, as the Germans had already done. The Germans, owing largely to the Kaiser's diplomatic ineptitude, gave the French their first important ally in the form of Russia in 1892, and immediately afterwards raised the cry of' encirclement', with the dreaded prospect of a war on two fronts. At this time massive German naval re-armament had not begun to affect relations with Great Britain, which still relied on its two-fleet navy (i.e., a navy large enough to defeat any combination of two other navies in the world) and on its great wealth to preserve the balance of power in Europe. Much diplomatic maneuvering was done, by both sides, to influence successive British governments, but with little success until the Kaiser publicly announced that "Germany's future lay upon the water' and in 1898 the Reichstag publicly voted the credits which enabled him and Admiral Tirpitz speedily to build a great and powerful fleet. The near-uselessness of the 'Russian steam roller' was not fully revealed until Russia's defeat by the Japanese in 1905.
Indeed, to return to Europe, diplomatic maneuvers were scarcely secret or, if they were intended so to be, did not remain secret for long. Diplomats, it was said, were paid to lie for their countries overseas. But the actions of their governments usually revealed quite quickly the purposes of diplomacy. What was not revealed was the degree of determination, rather than the degree of honesty, of the diplomats' present and future masters. Bluff is infinitely more difficult in the game of foreign affairs than in the game of poker, and strong nerves are essential.
A phrase of the period is here perhaps not entirely out of place, though the events of 1914 and after have made its flippancy repulsive: international politics at the highest level were occasionally known as 'the great game'. Many historians, of all political persuasions, have written with contempt and savagery of the men who led Europe, and perhaps the world, to disaster in our century. Yet it must be remembered that most of those men - and women who bear the responsibility for initiating that disaster were utterly sure of their world. And some of them did treat their awful responsibilities as a game. French eighteenth-century aristocrats who patronized Rousseau and treated Voltaire as an intellectual hero and laughed at Beaumarchais's plays not infrequently died without their heads. The dignified and honored leaders of Europe in 1900 usually died in their beds, but this, of course, makes them neither more nor less contemptible.
For 'the great game' was not of their invention. It was perhaps inherent in the ideas of Metternich, of Castlereagh and of Canning, intended originally as an antidote to Napoleonic Caesarism and evolving into the so-called Concert of Europe and the balance of power principle. Though for the weaker of the great powers, such as Austria, Spain and Turkey, it gave a welcome respite from violent change, it placed great responsibility, sometimes relished and sometimes not, in the hands of the men who ruled Russia and, above all, Britain. Since both these essentially extra continental powers were more involved in colonial expansion than in internal European affairs, it was in their direct interest to help keep the peace, by which Metternich meant the status quo "ante Napoleon Bonaparte.
The great game' did not, however, allow for the nascent nationalism of Germany, Italy and later of the Balkan nations. It may have been the most durable international political balance of modern times. In its very solidity lay its danger, for it lacked the flexibility essential to any political situation which involves relationships, which is not in fact a total, global tyranny with an immortal tyrant. To phrase this in cruder terms, the fresh pack that had been dealt with such skill at Vienna in 1815 had, by 1870, not only become soiled, with some of the cards marked, others dog-eared, while a few had been lost altogether; but the face values" of the cards had also changed. The French emperor's advisers, or at least his public opinion, ascribed far greater value to la gloire than did the King of Prussia. Bismarck played a different game altogether, in which German unity was both the stake and the trwnp card.
War, for him, was a means by which at the same time that card might be played and that stake won.
Yet despite the lessons that 1870 might have taught the players the game of international power politics continued, undiminished. What nowadays is called brinkmanship was then almost stand ... and procedure.
France and Britain nearly went to war in 1898 over the really unimportant ownership of an otherwise unknown place in Africa, Fashoda. Russia and Austria, friends for so long, were repeatedly close to war as the Turks lost control of the Balkans. The Italians, sensible people, having won their only victory of modem times by at last capturing their own capital city, made an alliance with Germany and their hereditary enemy, Austria. The Kaiser twirled his moustaches, rattled his sabre and redoubled his armed forces. The British fought a war of naked aggression against the Boers; even the distant United States found itself a manifest destiny and fought an equally naked war of aggression against the Spaniards. The great game was, in fact, becoming both pointless and extremely dangerous. Yet despite this the rules, or at least some of the rules, continued to be generally observed. Monarchs made one another admirals and generals of fleets and armies preparing for mutual slaughter; munitions salesmen such as Sir Basil Zaharoff sold weapons openly to the highest bidder and, not infrequently, to his potential- enemy as well; smooth statesmen of one country told lies to equally smooth statesmen of other countries, fully aware that both sides knew the truth but were too polite, for the moment, to announce it. The Concert of Europe was a reality. It was, however, more and more a spider's web, or series of webs, good at catching flies (or colonies) but really meant to ensnare other spiders.
And a very important ingredient of this elaborate apparatus was intelligence. As already stated, open intelligence was, and modeled- has remained.
The" most "obvious as it is tl» most easily"' available source of information about potentially hostile countries in Western Europe. Since Mettemich's system had degenerated as described above, this meant in effect that all the European powers required up-to-date information about one another. Provided that an apparatus existed to process and evaluate such information, most of it was readily available in the press, parliamentary reports, trade fairs and general international travel. Army lists were published, naval units 'showed the flag', the great gunsmiths boasted of their latest achievements which were seldom built exclusively and secretly for their own governments.
Only slightly more discreet were the normal activities of military and naval attaches. It was "their duty to remain informed concerning the strength, armaments and tactics of the armed forces of the countries in which they served. As guests of honour they were invited to attend man oeuvres.
They visited camps and barracks and not infrequently inspected the foreigners' fortifications.
Of course it was all part of the game. A military attaché knew that his hosts wished him to see and report a specific picture of their own strength, just as they wished his ambassador to report the desired view of their intentions. And his hosts knew that he: knew, and so on ad infinitum. It was his job, and even more the job of his own central intelligence apparatus, to evaluate his reports, "to discount what the foreigners had deliberately planted or exaggerated, and thus to create an integrated picture. It is no exaggeration to say that the evaluation of intelligence is at least.As important as its collection and collation.
However, the intelligence material has to be collected and collated before it can be: evaluated. By the beginning of the twentieth century every general staff of any important .state contained at least one branch devoted to intelligence. And, as already stated, most of the material sifted and presented to commanders-in-chief and to governments" was openly obtained. However, if this mass of material was falsely evaluated it became not useless but worse than useless.
Most intelligence, then, was 'open'.Most, but not all. Two forms of intelligence material are usually secret; for complex and varied reasons that will be discussed later they have tended to become more secret in the course of this century. The first of these concerns the overall strategy of foreign powers; the second can usefully be described by the portmanteau word, technology. At the time, c. 1900, of which we here are writing, strategy was perhaps the more important.
Leaving aside high politics - did the French intend to attack the Germans and vice versa, and in what circumstances of alliances?
The two general staffs had to prepare for both a defensive and an offensive war in any of a multitude of circumstances. The.classic case of such premeditation was, at this time, about to come to birth in the so-called Schlieffen plan. Politically this involved.
the highly unorthodox, dangerous and indeed immoral plan of invading France through two countries the neutrality of which Germany had solemnly guaranteed, Belgium and Holland. (The Dutch operation was eventually abandoned and this probably cost the Germans a 1940 type victory in 1914.)
The Schlieffen plan essentially involved a huge, strategic outflanking of the French army. It was based increasingly on two political assumptions. The first was that the British were as cynical as the German government itself and would, in fact, not honors its guarantee of Belgian neutrality in order to save France. (And had the Germans not become a naval threat to Britain, it is conceivable that the British might have behaved in 1914 as they had in 1870, despite the Belgian guarantee.)
The second assumption on which the Schlieffen plan was based was that even if Britain remained neutral, Germany would have to wage war simultaneously with Russia. Knowing the slowness of Russian mobilization and the comparative lack of communications in that vast country, the Schlieffen plan therefore proposed first to knock out France before Russia could mobilize; then, to turn about and defeat Russia. The whole German mobilization programme, or Mobilmachung, was geared to this strategy.' The plan became more and more complicated. Indeed in the final crisis of July 1914, pressure was put on the German government by certain elements of the Great General Staff that the plan had passed the point of no return; that if there were to be a European war, the German army must immediately attack France through Belgium regardless of all political consequences. Certain modern historians have main¬tained that even at the eleventh hour the trains could have been turned about and the first, hopefully decisive, battle fought in the east. Had the Germans defeated France and Russia and then been content with those victories, it was possible that Britain, even if it had come to the assistance of Belgium, might have accepted a negotiated peace. But all these highly problematical developments were based on the successful implementation of the Schlieffen plan. Therefore during the period before the First World War this Schlieffen plan (it is not altogether fair that it be linked for ever with his name: he was dead by 1914 and his plan had been much modified) was a matter of supreme strategic secrecy. The German General Staff most certainly did not show its Mobilmachung to foreign military attaches. Similar, though far less spectacular, plans' by other general staffs were likewise kept closely under lock and key, then as now.
Under the general heading of 'technology' 'this book means material objects and their application for hostile purposes. This category encompasses a truly enormous variety of things and their use, from the super-heavy siege gun to the infra-mini camera, from the cloud of mustard gas seeping into a shellhole that shelters coughing men to an airplane's bomb-sight, from a hydrogen bomb and its rocket upon a launching pad in a deep silo to a television camera carried by a satellite beyond the earth's atmosphere, from a cipher-breaking computer to a Tiger tank.
Now, 'secret weapons' have long exerted a peculiar fascination over the human imagination, and one that was apparently justified during the two world wars, but that was a concept of comparatively small importance before the First and,1 to judge by appearances, has diminished greatly since the end of the Second. Most technology is open, though for somewhat different, reasons in the conditions of today than in earlier times.
Fighting until modern times was in essence the struggle of one man, multiplied into armies, with another. This was certainly the case before the invention of artillery. It is possible that the, inventions of the axe and the spear, and later the sword, by Increasing the individual's striking power, were responsible for more major shifts of population and hence of historical change than any technological inventions since; it is even possible that this is why we, rather than the descendants of Neanderthal man, are the lords of the planet. It certainly explains why other mammals are not. Yet these inventions were no more 'secret' than, was the later smelting of iron, the building of forti8cations, the invention of gunpowder and the creation of chain-mail armour, all of immense military and hence political importance.

Indeed up to very modern times the only 'secret' weapon that remained secret and of great defensive power was the 'Greek fire' of the Byzantine Empire. We are not quite sure what it was, and even less sure how it was kept secret for a matter of centuries. We do know that it was a nautical weapon - it does not appear to have been used on land - which enabled the Byzantine sailors to set fire to enemy fleets, wooden ships of course, a sort of flame-thrower with no doubt a petroleum base. The fact that it was apparently an exclusively naval weapon must have helped the Byzantines to preserve its secrecy, since it was unlikely to fall into enemy hands.
In any event it seems to have been extremely effective for a surprisingly long time. Secret weapons on land were far less successful before this century, principally because they were so tied up with tactics. Before 1870 the French did possess a primitive machine-gun, a multi-barreled weapon closer to the Gating gun that was used occasionally in the last stages of the American Civil War than to a modem, single-barreled machine-gun ..
This was regarded by the French as so secret a weapon that it was not even issued to their own troops until the outbreak of war, with the evident result that they not only knew nothing about it as a piece of machinery but had had no training in its tactical use. Although it was an effective weapon which caused the Germans very considerable anxiety, it would have been far more effective had it been better integrated into French infantry tactics. Further- i more, there was no reason why the Germans should necessarily I have copied it. They had not copied the standard French rifle of  the time, the chassepot, which was superior to their own. Nor had • the French adopted the steel field guns of the Germans, and con- i sequently they lost every artillery engagement and, probably, the war
Perhaps the only truly decisive use of secret weapons up to very modem times has been purely fortuitous, when the weapon was: not really secret at all but was nevertheless totally unknown to the enemy that is to say when two civilizations first clashed. The classic example is perhaps the appearance, in Mexico, of Spanish horsemen, which the Aztecs regarded. at first as a weird ann terrifying unit, a sort of armed two-headed, four-legged warrior. The horse, combined with gunpowder, gave Cortes's tiny force his victory over the huge and ferocious armies of Montezuma. But of course neither-was in any European sense a secret weapon.
Indeed until very modern times a tactically well-trained army would almost always defeat a vastly superior horde. Hannibal's elephants were not a surprise to the Romans as such. However, their tactical integration into the Carthaginian army was, and so, of course, was the extraordinary feat of transporting them over the Alps.
Is there, then, such a thing as tactical secrecy? The answer is almost certainly that there is not, or at least not for long. Philip of Macedon's phalanx was an infantry formation which any of his enemies could have copied. Had they been sufficiently disciplined, the Teutons could have created legions as tactically effec¬tive as those of their Roman enemies. And so on. Guderian's tank-cum bomber tactics were not secret: they had been formulated and published by Captain Liddell Hart long before 1940, and Charles de Gaulle had accepted and reproduced the Englishmen's doctrine. However, it was German, not British or French, generals who applied the theory in practice. Nothing secret here, just better generalship already practiced, more or less openly, in peacetime man oeuvres.
Tactical surprise, yes; but tactical secrecy is more or less a contradiction in terms. And at times tactical stupidity can be as bewildering, at least briefly, to a professional enemy as tactical brilliance. Non-professional, revolutionary armies have not infrequently won battles simply because they did not know what their enemies regarded as the 'proper' way to fight them. In tactical matters there is very little room for secrecy, and therefore even less for secret intelligence. The methodical capture and skilled interrogation of prisoners, combined at a later date with aerial reconnaissance, will usually 'suffice, provided as always that these forms of intelligence are properly evaluated.
To return then to the status of Franco-German intelligence a little before 1900, what purpose did secret intelligence serve? At the lowest level it could add to what was openly available concerning such matters as military strength, morale, the quality of officers, perhaps ad details concerning the efficiency in war conditions, of road, rail and waterway networks. At a higher level it could obtain or confirm technical information regarding such subjects as the strength of fortifications, the plans for demolitions, the armor and armament of fighting ships, the proposed design of new weapons such as guns, mines and so forth not yet on display. For this purpose it would require the enrolment of spies, who depending on their task could be soldiers Of, civilians. These were, at that date, usually mercenary spies ¬ideological spies came later, although a Frenchman in German Alsace-Lorraine, for example, might well spy for patriotic, reasons. At the highest level secret intelligence would attempt, almost invariably without success, to discover the secret intentions of the opposite general staff and therefore of its government. At this level the spy could only be so highly placed as to have access to this type of information. In those largely pre-ideological days such traitors were very rare. Indeed history has revealed virtually none of any significance at all in Franco-German relations at that time.
At a slightly lower level, if the military or naval attaches was a spy he was nevertheless an officer and a gentleman, in an age when this word still had a meaning; the mercenary spy was not a gentleman, neither in the eyes of his employers nor in those of their potential enemies. An inherent condition of his employment was that, if caught, his employers would disclaim any knowledge of' him whatsoever and certainly would in no way come to his assistance.
As for those upon whom he spied, should they catch him at his work they were likely to invoke the most severe' penalties, up to and including the death sentence.
A professional spy was in fact, and from every point of view, a contemptible fellow, ill-paid, despised and feared, a veritable rat in the bilge of the ship of state, of any state. When communicating with his German, and allied, opposite number in Paris in the '90s, the Italian military attache, Panizzardi, referred to the spy who had procured for him plans of the French fortifications of Nice as ce canaille, 'that guttersnipe', a typical attitude. Yet almost every nation employed them, and was well aware that all the other natioris did so too.
This form of hypocrisy was not limited to the varieties of espionage so far touched on. For instance, in theory embassies were physically the territory of the country which the ambassador represented, and diplomatic mail was sacrosanct. In fact, the planting of spies inside embassies, usually in a menial capacity, was common practice: the contents of waste-paper baskets were frequently scrutinized; and great care was needed to safeguard the secrecy of the 'diplomatic pouch' on its way from the foreign capita} to the home base and vice versa. Telephones, as they came increasingly into use, were tapped. Telegrams sent in code or cipher were decoded and, when possible, deciphered. Bugging existed in a primitive form, and in general civilized diplomatic conventions were rules made to be broken. Everyone knew this, and it was in everyone's mutual interest to keep quiet about it. Cipher clerks were of particular interest to foreign intelligence services.

In order to frustrate foreign intelligence, countries had evolved counter-intelligence services. These filled two primary functions. The one was to prevent the foreigners. from discovering what was hidden; the other was to know precisely how much they had discovered. A third, and increasingly important, activity was to feed the foreigners information, false or true, that would pass through the evaluation sieve and be accepted. This form of deception was antithetical to denying the foreigners all secret knowledge. A recognized spy was not automatically arrested. It was soon realized that he was of far more value if he were transmitting misleading information. This apparent paradox was induce course to produce the double agent. However, at the beginning of the century the various counter-intelligence services were almost precisely what their name implies: apparatuses to frustrate the activities of foreign intelligence services.
The work of counter-intelligence was thus inevitably closely intertwined with that of secret intelligence. Indeed in the military and international political fields it became in some ways the senior partner in a joint operation, for it had to supervise the activities of its own secret intelligence too; besides, it also had to supervise itself against infiltration. Counter-intelligence agencies and agents were and are of the greatest possible interest to foreign powers and their activities and personnel are for all intents entirely secret, or should be the activities of the counter-intelligence service, or services, overlapped those of what was usually an entirely different agency of government, namely the police, and especially the secret police. (Every country has its secret police; a country which maintains it has none is simply indulging in the hypocrisy already mentioned.) The task of the police is well-known: to protect the society it serves against that society's enemies.
Those enemies fall roughly into two categories. On the one hand there are those who flout the laws - burglars, murderers, embezzlers, arsonists and so on - and the 'open' police are here the arm of the law, though helped by other policemen who are not instantly recognizable as such. They are called in to deal with an identified crime or suspected crime and to arrest the criminal or perhaps to forestall his malpractice. The second,' rarer and far more dangerous type of enemy is he who would destroy society as such. The revolutionary will not usually be an ordinary criminal (though the Bolsheviks robbed banks in Imperial Russia, as the illegal Irish Republican Army have done in Ireland, and political murders do not cease to be murder by being called assassination). The primary purpose of the secret police is to deal with organized anti-social activities, including the purely criminal gangs like the Mafia in America or Italy, as well as politically organized groups who may not, and indeed usually do not, regard themselves as criminals at all.
And here a deliberate confusion arises. All governments always claim legality in some form or other. Therefore all governments, though they may accept dismissal by the electorate if there is an electorate with the power to dismiss them, regard themselves as identified with the state that they govern. And the result of this is that the secret police can easily become the agent of a government, not the protector of a society. If the government it serves is itself a largely criminal government, as it was in Nazi Germany, the secret police itself becomes in effect a criminal conspiracy. A government, as in Soviet Russia, that relies on such a secret police force to maintain itself in power governs what is called a police state.
However, when the police are serving a perfectly legal government, such as those of Germany or France c. 1900, it may still be confronted by enemies whose political idealism, misplaced or not, will lead them to desire the overthrow of their society by any means, including cooperation with a real or potential enemy to bring about their country's military defeat. Lenin's co-operation with the Germans in 1917 is perhaps the most spectacular example. And it is in such circumstances, potential or real, that the activities of the secret police inevitably become intertwined with those of secret intelligence and, even more, of secret counterintelligence.
All these machines are usually lumped together in popular parlance as 'the secret service'. This term, though, is a gross oversimplification.
Let us now look at the secret intelligence services of the great powers, as they were at a turning point of historical time, the 18908. Despite differences of organization, they were all remarkably similar in basic structure. At the turn of the century there were three great powers in Europe - France, Great Britain and Germany (the power of Spain and Turkey had long declined, as had that of Austria, while Italian aspirations to this status have never yet been fulfilled); the great power of Buro-Asia was Russia; in Asia proper, Japan had not yet proved itself, while China was immersed in internal turmoil, and India 'belonged' to Britain; in the western hemisphere only the United States of America had become a great power, recently and almost reluctantly.
Since the middle of this twentieth century the two super-powers, America and Russia, have inevitably possessed, in mutual hostility, the two largest (though not necessarily always the most efficient) intelligence services. At the beginning of the century, however, their respective services were, for very different reasons, internationally almost negligible. Until the Spanish-American War of 1898 and Theodore Roosevelt's 'open door' policy in China of 1907, American policy was virtually confined by the Monroe Doctrine to the American hemisphere. Just as American policy barred the European powers from the American continents, so it barred itself from European and Asian affairs. And over and above that, the very concept of a 'secret service', internal or external, was pungently antipathetic to the political ideals on which the United States as a country was based. The American Civil War and its aftermath had, in general, only reinforced this repugnance. By European standards the Americans had no secret service.
In Russia circumstances were almost completely reversed. Czarist autocracy remained absolute, in theory until the creation of a short lived and largely bogus parliament, the Duma, afteI1 the abortive revolution of 1905 that followed the war lost against! Japan in practice until 1917.
The Russian Czar controlled, as do his successors, a reluctant empire, which included and includes the largest occupied national unit in Europe, the Ukraine, as well as Finns, Poles and, to the east, a multitude of Don Russian peoples, Tartars, Turcomen and so on as far east as Vladivostok. This empire was continually seething with revolt, both in Russia proper and in the conquered territories, which is hardly surprising in an ill-run country where the system of government has been described as tyranny tempered by assassination. Yet Russian patriotism had proved itself, in Napoleon's time, and had also: proved that with the weapons and methods of war then available Russia could not be conquered by any foreign nation or combination of nations. The Russian autocrat's enemies, therefore, were internal and not external this in turn meant that Russian military intelligence was, in its co-operation with the secret police, the junior partner. It was directed inwards, against Russian revolutionaries, while externally its principal targets were Russian revolutionary émigrés and their contacts with potential hostile powers. In fact, three quarters of a century ago, Russian international intelligence was scarcely more developed than its American equivalent, a curious coincidence in view of the situation that was to exist fifty years later.
The purpose of British intelligence in those distant days was again quite different both from that of its Russian and American counterparts and from what it later became The Royal Navy was the senior service, and it is not accidental that when war came all British intelligence was centered in the Admiralty, for naval intelligence was experienced, mature and extremely efficient. It had to be, in a country that not only relied for defense on its two fleet navy but also economically on colonies and dominions around the world with which the only link was by sea. Since Britain could not feed itself and lacked most raw materials it had to ascribe primary importance to the safeguarding of its nautical lifelines. Naval intelligence was flexible, too, and it was the first secret intelligence service to realize the vast importance of monitoring and deciphering ship-to ship and ship-to shore radio communications. Intelligence work in the colonies was comparatively simple when dealing with "natives', less so when fighting the Boers. At the turn of the century even Irish nationalism seemed remarkably tranquil. Nor was there any other revolutionary movement of any significance within the British Isles.
Thus internal security was allowed to lapse, or at least to become in some measure ossified. This was to cost the British dear, particularly in Ireland, where the defeat of British intelligence in 1920-1 not only lost Britain most of Ireland but probably led to the loss of empire and, perhaps, eventually to the loss of the country's very status as a first class power. In 1900, however, the great skill of British naval intelligence had made 'the British secret service' legendary. The legend has lingered on, with dig verisimilitude.
This very brief summary, this setting of the stage as it were, leaves us once again with the German and French secret intelligence apparatuses face to face at the time of the Dreyfus affair. The Germans were, in this field, efficient. The country was united - separatism from Prussia an aspiration perhaps among some, but scarcely a political reality in the foreseeable future. The country of Karl Marx had then produced few Marxists, and the revolutionaries of 1848 were dead or reconciled to Bismarck's rich prototype of the welfare state - so that despite the growing power of the Social Democrats internal revolution was highly improbable. German intelligence could thus be devoted almost exclusively to Germany's major enemies in the future probable war: France, Britain and to a lesser degree Russia. The history of German secret intelligence will be told later. Meanwhile, and certainly so far as France was concerned, it was both thorough and unscrupulous.
It would be hard to imagine a less impressive star for an historical melodrama than Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Yet upon this dull, correct, intelligent and upright man there converged, like so many searchlights, great rays of violent emotions from the past Which, transmuted through his ordeal, through his defenders and his enemies, have cast beams of horror but sometimes of hope into our century. His story is still so well known, though distorted by a multitude of passions that shall attempt to recapitulate it as briefly and as objectively as possible, for it is here only of interest in its relevance to quite another subject, secret intelligence as such.

Alfred Dreyfus was born in 1859 at Mulhouse (or, when it became German in 1871, Miilhausen) in Alsace. In 1874 perhaps for reasons of French patriotism, the family moved to Paris; His parents were quite rich, and such a move was no hardship. At the usual age, that is to say in his late teens, Alfred Dreyfus decided to become a professional French army officer. With a private income, in our terms, of some
£5,000 0 ( $10,000 a year he was rich by the average standards of junior officers in any army and at any time. He certainly did not need the odd £100, again our valuation, which the Germans paid for information from mercenary spies. He had not, as a boy, joined the French army in order years later to become a spy. He was a clever and hard working officer, with apparently no expensive vices such as' gambling, and normal, moderate sexual desires which did not make him susceptible to 'any form of blackmail. The young artillery officer was chosen to attend the staff college, where he did well though not exceptionally so. He became a staff officer with access, therefore, to very secret information. By all reports he was a clever, hardworking, socially and intellectually rather uninteresting young staff captain. However, he was the first Jew in France, and perhaps in any major European army, to be appointed to the General Staff: certainly there was none in Germany. This must have seemed to him, the totally assimilated Frenchman, as the ultimate justification of his parents' move to Paris a decade and more before. He could hardly have expected that this was to be the cause of so much misery, both to himself and to France, let alone that as late as 1911 the Encyclopedia Britannica would list his wretched story under the heading 'anti-Semitism' , Nor for the present writer is this aspect of more than secondary, though still considerable, importance. In 1894 Captain Alfred Dreyfus was a rather gloomy, industrious officer of the staff, one among many.
On 15 October 1894, Dreyfus was arrested, tried by a court martial using 'secret' evidence for selling military secrets to the Germans, condemned, publicly degraded the following January, and two months later transported as far away from France as was feasible, that is to say to Devil's Island.. The anti -Semitic press was jubilant. So too, no doubt though more discreetly, were the intelligence officers who knew that the wrong man had been arrested and their access to French military secrets therefore remained undamaged. For Dreyfus was entirely innocent. More important from the German- point of view, French counter-intelligence was not simply inefficient, it was corrupt, and that at a rather high level.

There was a considerably greater propaganda bonus that the Germans derived from this gross miscarriage of justice. To understand this it is necessary to refer here to the condition of France at the beginning of the century and in particular to the way this reflected the relationship between the French army and French public opinion. The French economy was booming and well balanced: French Culture from food to furniture, from women's clothes to theatrical production, from the new Eiffel Tower to post impressionist painting, was generally regarded as second to none, save perhaps to the Germans in the world of music and to the British in political sagacity" From over a century of revolution alternating with reaction France had evolved a political system which was adequate and a civil service that was by then extremely efficient if unloved; it had not inherited a tradition of public happiness, or even of contentment. Politically France was profoundly, and it would seem incurably, divided.
'Divided' is both too weak and too strong a word. Too weak, in that France was in many ways less divided than fragmented. The political clinches 'left' and 'right' derive from the French Revolutionary Assembly's semi-circular seating arrangements, which arrangements have been retained in French parliamentary chambers until today. Unlike the British parliaments and, usually, its heirs elsewhere, government and opposition did not face one another. From the very beginning the French dichotomy was ridiculous,
During the Terror, for instance, as group after group of moderates and less moderates was beheaded, and therefore everybody in the Assembly moved physically into dead men's seats, the point was reached where Danton became, in terms of seating, a man of the right. Even in quieter times the men of the right were very frequently in bitter, mutual opposition: legitimists, Orleans's and Bonapartists were men of equal anathema to the men of the 1871 Paris Commune, but scarcely less so to one another.

The same was to apply, much later, to radicals, Communists and Socialists. Perhaps an indication of the fundamental instability of the French Third Republic is shown by the fact that from its' creation, in 1875, to its dissolution, in 1940, the so-called, not infrequently self-styled, 'left' won every general election; and that within the life of each parliament France was nevertheless being governed by the 'right'. Quite apart from this slithering about on the benches by the elected representatives, France has enjoyed or suffered under some fifteen forms of government, usually equipped with elaborate constitutions" since 1789.
Popular French scepticism concerning their politicians is hardly surprising.
The division between rich and poor had long been a reality.
The poor disliked the rich; the rich feared the more numerous poor. This simple fact needed no Marxist ideology, and was simply confused by the industrialization of the nineteenth century, which not only made social mobility much easier as class difference became financial rather than territorial, and a quantitative differential replaced what had been, at least in theory, a qualitative lack of equality.
The issue of clericalism versus anti-clericalism had been a further divisive factor. The Marxist identification of this factor with their 'class struggle' dialectic is true only in part. Clericals and anti-clericals alike were suspect to large elements of the French population. It is still an issue, in some vague way a class issue, but was ceasing to be of primary relevance by the time of Dreyfus.
In his Development of Modern France 1870-1939 Sir Denis Brogan saw yet another acutely divisive factor in France, the estrangement between Paris and the countryside.' Paris, faville lumiere, had indeed little in common with the rural population of, say, the Berri. And every French Revolution was in fact a Paris Revolution, usually carried out by the Parisian proletariat, led by the Parisian bourgeoisie, and crushed by the rural proletariat led by their own bourgeois. According to Sir Denis, when Theirs finally and brutally massacred the supporters of the Paris Commune of 1871 he was quite deliberately completing the work of counter-revolution that took place between 1848 and 185L
Amid so many divisive forces and cruel memories, one French institution had remained largely untouched by division and bitterness: the army. For a century the French army had, to a quite extraordinary degree, served France rather than the regime in power. When the Austrians and Prussians invaded France to destroy the Revolution in 1793, it was the army of Louis XVI~ led by aristocratic officers, that saved France at Valmy. When Napoleon destroyed the Revolution, its army became his army and served him with devotion and despite enormous casualties to the end. Though right-wing in tone, officered in large measure by aristocrats and manned by the stolid peasantry even when a conscript army, it could be wooed though not won by the various pretenders to the empty throne. When its own General Boulanger made his failed bid for a populist dictatorship in 1888, the army did not help him, though it would doubtless have obeyed him had he allowed the Parisian mob in weird, temporary alliance with the Monarchists to put him in power. Like the greater part of the German army from 1918 to the present day, it dutifully obeyed - though many of its officers might despise - its political masters.
The French Third Republic wished to make its army more 'democratic', both by a sensible rationalization of the Conscription system, which had favored the rich under the Second Empire; and by basing its officer corps more broadly. The first was carried out in stages and successfully: the second was facilitated by a fastidious but surely comprehensible reluctance on the part of the aristocracy to serve its proclaimed enemies. The officers of the army were drawn increasingly from the middle and upper midqle class; its troops from the working class. It was this transition that allowed Alfred Dreyfus to become the first Jewish staff officer. It was this transition that caused the stress and strain within the French officer corps which became crystallized or classicized in the affaire Dreyfus. And it was this transition which therefore made the affaire a matter not simply of espionage but one which gave to secret intelligence an extremely powerful secondary role, in that it nearly destroyed the confidence of the French people in the French army. In fact it was the first really Spectacular example of an intelligence scandal becoming a propaganda victory for the potential enemy.            .
It is not intended to describe once again the course of the Dreyfus Affair, which lasted until 1906 when Dreyfus was red stated with full honors. What is relevant is that although to the

Germans French disarray was a most welcome sight, they were' clever enough not to intervene in any way. It would seem probable, if not certain, that Lenin had the Dreyfus affair in mind' when he wrote: 'The soundest strategy in war is to postpone operations until the moral disintegration of the enemy render~ the mortal blow both possible and easy.' And he was shown his usual prescience, when not half-blinded by the blinkers of the Marxist dialectic, for the 'affair' not only revealed the continual: bitterness in France but also foreshadowed much that was toj come, there and elsewhere.
First there are the motives of the real spy, Major Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy (1847-1923). This staff officer, of Hungarian antecedents, was a womanizer and a gambler. He was perpetually in need of money in order to live the life that he had chosen. This made him accessible to the German military attaches, Colonel von Schwartzkoppen, who was dealing with French traitors without the knowledge of his ambassador, Count von Munster, who to the best of his knowledge was telling the truth in 1894 when he officially told the French government that no member of hi$ staff was engaged in espionage. The need for money, however, has seldom been enough to make an officer turn traitor. Letters written by Esterhazy to a former mistress showed that he also hated France. These letters included such remarks as, 'Were I told that tomorrow I should die an Uhlan sabring Frenchmen I "should be perfectly happy,' and that he would like to see Paris ('under a red sun of battle taken by assault and handed over to be looted by 100,000 drunken soldiers.' Though such sadism can'
hardly be equated with ideology, it is obvious that many Communist spies drawn from the British and American governing classes have been less attracted by the Soviet system than filled with hatred for their own society in which, like Esterhazy in his, they have often enjoyed confidence, success and even high office.
Secondly, the French counter-intelligence service, under Colonel Sandherr, knew more about Schwartzkoppen's clandestine activities than did the German ambassador. They bugged Schwartzkoppen's office and planted their agents inside the German embassy. The Spanish military attache, the Marquis de Val Carlos, also worked for Sandherr. In fact the French counterintelligences had what the British and later the Americans were to call it Department of Dirty Tricks. One of its senior officers was a Major Henry. He was not a German spy, but he was an expert forger or at least controlled forgers. When the 'affair' endangered the French army, and particularly its General Staff, he was ordered to forge the letter incriminating Dreyfus that the Italian military attache was supposed to have written to Schwartzkoppen, The Italian's denial of its authenticity was not believed. Thus was military counter-intelligence used for internal political purposes, and not for the last time
It is often believed that a Department of Dirty Tricks, being cocooned in secrecy, is immune to normal scrutiny. When this reliance on secrecy failed, when the letter was proved a forgery and Major Henry arrested, he committed suicide.
Finally, Clemenceau's involvement, which became passionate in the campaign to secure justice for Dreyfus, enabled that great patriot to recover from his involvement in the dirty Panama scandal, which appeared to have left his political career in ruins. When he entered into the 'affair' he seemed to his enemies a shabby, political crook. He emerged from it to become one of the great French heroes of this century. And it was Clemenceau, more than any other politician, who led France to victory in the First World War. 


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