If the aim of intelligence services is to enable decision makers to take enlightened decisions, it might also be said that the objective of Intelligence Studies is to enable the general public to understand the intelligence process. For many years, however, scholars in the field could not select their sources or record footnotes, and, in Europe, intelligence service did their best to control what the public was told when it came to intelligence and security matters.
Following 1989, this all changed. The Iron curtain fell and citizens in Central and Eastern Europe forced open the archives of the former intelligence and security services. Gradually, even Western European countries followed suit. As a consequence, Intelligence Studies in Europe experienced a new dawn.
The annual “Need to Know” conferences were founded in 2011 to provide a platform in Europe for discussing foreign intelligence. The researchers who have presented their results here, many of whom are from Central and Eastern Europe, have made a critical contribution to the field.
This is the first publication originating from the conference series and it gives the reader insights into a range of topics: from the Abu Nidal Organization in Poland and the Canadian embassy in Havana to Danish historiography and the presence of Czechoslovak agents in London.
This volume and the “Need to know” conferences have embarked on a journey to better understand intelligence and promote cooperation between international Intelligence Studies scholars. Towards this end, it represents an exciting first step.