Diplomati och underrättelsetjänst


  • Christer Jönsson


Diplomacy and intelligence have a common historical background. Gathering and processing information about other actors in the international arena, openly as well as clandestinely, has always been a key component of diplomacy. Diplomats have sometimes been considered “honourable spies.” Only in the latter part of the nineteenth century did a bureaucratic differentiation begin. The technological development in the twentieth century came to strengthen the significance of intelligence relative to diplomacy. Several countries, including the United States and Britain, today spend more money on intelligence than on diplomacy. This article discusses the similarities and differences, as well as various aspects of cooperation and conflict, between the two services. Two common contemporary challenges terrorism and digitization – are identified. Diplomacy and intelligence, in sum, can be compared to Siamese twins who have late in life undergone a successful separation surgery.