Monitoring adversaries or spies, stopping their work, and giving them false information are all parts of counterintelligence. Since the end of the First World War, Federal Bill of Investigation has participated in counterintelligence operations. Several Nazi spy rings were revealed by the Federal Bill of Investigations during World War II. Throughout the 19th century, contemporary counterintelligence tactics and concerned government intelligence agencies were implemented. The Great Game era serves as a backdrop for this improvement. This phrase refers to the geopolitical rivalry that existed throughout Central Asia between the Russian Empire and the British Empire. To counter the ambition of Russia in the region as well as the possible threat that it posed to the position of the British in India, a structure of counterintelligence, surveillance, and intelligence was developed in the Indian Civil Service. The founding of dedicated counterintelligence and intelligence organizations was straightforwardly connected to colonial rivalries between the chief European powers, along with the accelerating military technology development. As counterintelligence became extensively used, it made it imperative to increase internal security forces and the role of the police into detecting as well as countering overseas spies. There are slight differences on as well as similarities on the ways counterintelligence was carried out during the cold war period and in post-cold war period.

In the cold war period, the federal bill of investigation paid attention to Russian spies and communist groups who were operating in the United States of America. As the CIA led underground cold war actions out of the country, the federal bill of investigations went after alleged communists at home. In the early cold war times, the FBI detained and executed Ethel Rosenberg and Julius. These two were accused of illuminating atomic confidential information to the Soviets. An anti-communist crusade led by Senator McCarthy, emerged. The crusade was fueled by federal bill of investigations programme known as COINTELPRO. Anyone suspected of having communist ties could be investigated.

Counterintelligence played a very significant role in international tensions between the west and east in the cold war period. Counterintelligence was and is still useful for national security worldwide. For a long time, the spies were targeting the USAF along with other military services as a way to gain the political or military advantage to show superiority over the USA. They were doing this through learning the military and defense secrets. It is interesting to find out that these spies are not only foreigners but also American citizens who turned against their state mainly for ideological reasons, money and infrequently due to blackmail. Still, in the cold war period, there was a fall in public interests in exclusion of Soviet sympathizers and communists. American attention was captured by President Kennedy’s assassination, civil rights movements, as well as the Vietnam War. There was a lot of suspicion in America about the J.Edgar Hoover, a long-serving FBI detector. This suspicion came just before the Watergate outrage, which further led to the damage of FBI reputation. Starting from this time onwards, the counterintelligence activities by FBI turned to be more reserved. Throughout this period, there were fewer counterintelligence arrests reported. Many cases implicated the spy satellites information transmission as well as other armed forces intelligence.

During the cold war, disagreement between the Soviet Union, United States, and their allies, open systems interconnection was determined on defense efforts which included identification and stopping of the spies. This was important so as to ensure that the United States air force is safe from counterintelligence as well as terrorization. In the mid of the cold war, Europe happened to be the panorama of concentrated intelligence activity on both sides as NATO nations and Warsaw pact went head on across the iron curtain. To be particular, Berlin was the center of these spying activities. Foreign intelligence compilation was prevented after being detected by Open Systems Interconnection. Every United States airman was later briefed on how to identify, shun and report the intelligence threats. In the case of Asia, OSI operated in Japan, Korea, South Vietnam, along with supplementary scenes of the United States air force. Prisoners tackles about communists brainwashing and torture were the basis of OSI study in Korea. This led to better-united states air force preparedness for conflicts that would come in the future. Net like structures wwere formed by the OSI during the south-eastern Asia war. In these net-like structures were Thai and Vietnamese nationalists who provided the secrets on likely attacks on the United States air bases. Also, the majority of South Vietnamese officials were evacuated by the help of OSI a moment before the communist invasion of 1975.

In the North America, there was intensive preparation for a possible Soviet invasion in the North Pole through a timely cold war operation. Weapons caches and a network of foods was set up by the OSI in Alaska to assist downed pilots, who were Americans, to survive. The OSI also recruited the agents that would be staying behind from the local people to give intelligent information if they would be invaded by the Soviets. Furthermore, at the United States air base the strategic air command was being helped by the OSI to perk up its nuclear forces security through conducting sensible bombshell intrusions. The weightiness of cold war tension was reflected by these significant projects. The OSI’s defensive function was also clearly highlighted.

In the period between the 1970s and 19780s, the rivalry brought about by the cold war had appeased considerably thus bestowing the FBIs to shift their focus to domestic intelligence. However, international terrorism made anti-terrorism the main concern and rehabilitated the agency’s counterespionage efforts. A discovery about more than thirty-five cases of counterintelligence against the American government was made by the FBI towards the end of the cold war. Most of these cases were ranging all the way from the end of the Second World War. Those cases were involving people who spied for nations such as China, Israel as well as the Soviet Union. Later, prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, some undetected spies were still a threat to the American security through their collaboration with the Russians. In the period between 1985 and 1990, Robert Hanssen, an FBI specialist, spied for the Soviet Union secretly. He delivered top secret resources to his Russian counterparts by dropping them in public places. In addition to that, Hanssen uncovered KGB agents who were spying on behalf of the United States. This jeopardized their lives. He had the opportunity to serve more even after the end of the cold war, and he was later captured. His actions were considered the worst intelligence breech, and for that reason, he was captured later in the year 2001.

In the post-cold war period, the major function of counter intelligence has remained to be the efforts to frustrate the alien operatives from stealing sensitive information of a given nation. Agencies like CIA in the United States are still mandated with the role of protecting United States’ intelligence information. In addition to that, CIA has the responsibility of protecting its employees as well as operations to its security office. The CIA is further assigned the security of operations to numerous groups including the counterintelligence staff as well as the area unit. In post-cold war period, there has been a great revolution in how nations carry out counterintelligence operations. There has been sharing of information between agencies and good record keeping too. The other most effective counter intelligence technique that has been employed is the denying of foreign intelligence officers entry into a particular nation. However, Majority of the intelligence personnel work with the official cover or diplomatic status protection as it is known among the intelligence community. Visa denials and expulsions have not been much successful. The reason is that the foreign governments have always been retaliating. Expulsions of the suspected diplomats damage the relations between the nations that are involved. Multilateral and bilateral relation agreements and the trade relations have been put at risk when the efforts to counter intelligence have been made worldwide. The expulsions have at some points been opposed by many, especially foreign ministers, presidents as wells prime ministers. The open source material has been little in closed societies. The information concerning friendly services has been sought from training arrangements and liaison. Liaison with related services further provides information on activities of hostile services. There are two types of human sources that provide helpful information. The first human source is the individual holding an official position within a hostile service. The individual in question may agree to cooperate and provide the information for financial or ideological reason as the result of blackmail or coercion. Besides human sources, data of value for counterintelligence is also collected through technical methods. Intercepted interactions from a country to its overseas embassies can disclose either the internal security activities or the intelligence operations of the overseas intelligence service. More detailed information is provided by the satellites as well as signals intelligence. They both provide intensive information about the intelligence operations of the overseas nations. Satellites further provide intensive information on the location and layout of intelligence security services.

The major way through which technology has been incorporated in the counterintelligence operations is through the use of physical surveillance. Though it is a labor intensive method, it has to some extent helpful. It has also proved to bring positive results. There are three divisions of physical surveillance. These three divisions are electronic surveillance, mobile surveillance static surveillance. Electronic surveillance and other surveillances mostly use telephones, other forms of surveillances as well as electronic listening devices in the counterintelligence activities. These other forms of surveillance are mail covers, which serve to aggravate overseas intelligence officers through identifying their contacts and either diverting their communications to be able to have double recipients, or blocking their communication. Electronic devices assist mobile surveillance with beacons which unravel the location of an item or a vehicle. Counterintelligence depends much on these special surveillance tools. Besides tracing suspects’ movements, bugs and Tulpas can serve other purposes. Regarding provoking counterintelligence, these methods most often affect the relationships between nations as they sometimes cut ties with one another. The most efficient sources for recognition purposes are for agents themselves and defecting overseas officers. The second main effectual is the decryption of coded messages, mainly electronic. Thir is the intelligence struggle to obtain the information, including efforts to employ foreign agents with such knowledge. Fourth is by double agents who are individuals falling in either of the two groups (a) foreign counterintelligence agents that have been discovered for counterintelligence, and (b) dangles prohibited sources used as baits for foreign intelligent officers, mainly by volunteering to work for them with the hope of the officer falling into the trap. From these agents, counterintelligence officers normally hope to learn the identity, surveillance equipment and operation methods that are provided by the intelligence service to their agent.

Static surveillance is also known as fixed surveillance. It is the process that involves observation of a place most notably a suspect’s place of residence. Apart from the residence it can also involve observing of points where a suspect is known to regularly pass through. This type of surveillance has three functions: alerting mobile surveillance e team when a subject passes or exists so that the suspect can be picked up as soon as he is located: to chronicle a suspect’ movements as well as his/her visitors: and lastly to attempt to release one person to go and work voluntarily in a suspected embassy. The third function, catching potential enemy agents plus intelligence officers is, honestly, not well-served. The window of usefulness to counterintelligence is narrow for static surveillance and for that reason it is better-suited Tom watching the enemies while operating undercover. Mobile surveillance is attained in many ways; on aircraft, vehicle, foot, and cycle. This is a very common type of surveillance used worldwide. This method is usually designed for two purposes which are to discourage and intimidate a suspect from undertaking intelligence activities and getting some suspect in the act.

Fast growth and usage of internet services across a globe have been great threat on efforts to keep safe some secret intelligence information. It is now anyone can easily access whatever he wants from the internet at the comfort of his seat. One newspaper disclosed more than two thousand CIA employees to the general public. Their private premises, as well as contacts, were revealed too. This happened when people were searching online data. This means that it would be easy for foreign operatives to track them. To curb the problem, the United States government has been trying hard to restrict the data that is freely available by passing privacy laws. This has included the deletion of some data from the internet platform so that it would not be available for everyone but only the security experts. All these measures are undertaken because the primary function of counterintelligence is too protecting the information from unauthorized people. The intelligence operators are the only people who have access to the information, and they have to maintain the confidentiality of the information. From the end of cold war in 1991, foreign intelligent officers have been prevented from accessing intelligent information from the foreign states. If at any point the intelligence information can leak out to foreigners it maybe because the involved state wished so. A recent example of a nation which made its stand publicly is North Korea. It was evident in the media about North Koreas atomic bomb threat to the United States of America. If by any reason the parading could not have been done we would not know the Korea was manufacturing such deadly weapons. By this action, the threatened states like the United States now take caution and gets ready for anything that might follow.

In conclusion, apart from terrorism, the main pressure to the national security of any nation is the actions of overseas intelligence organizations. In the United States alone, intelligence agents and officers from many countries of the world are working and trying to be sensitive American defense uses commercial information by use of the new and old intelligence tradecraft. Overseas intelligence operations are deviating from the usual practice of insertion of operatives under bureaucrat cover in their trade missions, embassies or consulates. As an alternative, they are giving the task to businessmen, defense attaches, researchers, visiting students and scientists to react to specific information requests that they come across. Their key target at the moment, is sophisticated technology. Overseas intelligence officers, as well as agents, hire corporation insiders, form shared ventures and even take part in activities that sometimes lead to loss of billions of dollars to hostile economic intelligence. At the same time as the counterintelligence elements of big organizations like M15 and FBI can react through increasing the workforce. Due to the magnitude of the problem, it would turn out to be difficult to have the expectations of their activities being successful. Increased operational and financial focus of security service and intelligence on terrorism has created a favorable environment to counter foreign intelligence operations. Security services are overstretched by dealing with terrorism single-handedly, and therefore foreign intelligence services from countries like China and Russia have increased their operations in countries like the United Kingdom and the United States. Further affecting this counterintelligence tight spot are a range of disadvantages of counterintelligence practices. In places where less focus had been placed on counterintelligence, it is has turned out that counterintelligence activities have been made more efficient. Those carrying out the task of protecting cover of intelligence employees have diverted the way they operate. They are no longer following the practices that were used during the cold war period. This has led to the identification of thousands of security personnel intelligence officers by the use of the internet. Notably, the challenge in fully understanding the contemporary technological hurdles gave the Italian securities an advantage to be able to unravel secret activities by the CIA who were working on sensitive operations in Italy.


Carlisle, Rodney. Encyclopedia of intelligence and counterintelligence. Routledge, 2015.

Clark, J. Ransom. "Guarding the Door to the Persian Gulf: Adrian O’Sullivan: Espionage and Counterintelligence in Occupied Persia (Iran): The Success of the Allied Secret Services, 1941–45 Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK, 2015, 293 p., $100." (2017): 425-429.

Duvenage, Petrus, Sebastian von Solms, and Manuel Corregedor. "The Cyber Counterintelligence Process: A Conceptual Overview and Theoretical Proposition." In ECCWS2015-Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security 2015: ECCWS 2015, p. 42. Academic Conferences Limited, 2015.

Montagu, Ewen. The Man Who Never Was: World War II's Boldest Counterintelligence Operation. Naval Institute Press, 2013.

O'Sullivan, Adrian. Espionage and Counterintelligence in Occupied Persia (Iran): The Success of the Allied Secret Services, 1941-45. Springer, 2015.

O'Sullivan, Dónal. "The Decline of the Spy. Intellegence, Counterintelligence and Signals Intelligence during the Second World War." Groniek 44, no. 193 (2015).

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price