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What does the current international security environment look like?

Eva Michaels, Assistant Professor Intelligence and Security, talks about the current international security environment, including intelligence issues with Sir John Sawers, former head of British secret intelligence, in an interview in El País.

Eva Michaels and Sir John Sawers talk about how the world is a much safer place due to the work of intelligence and security agencies. Sir John Sawers: 'The reality is there are still only nine nuclear weapons statesAnd that is a reflection of international concern about proliferation and a determination to keep nuclear weapons under control and to prevent the enormous tragedy that would follow if a rogue state or a terrorist organisation were able to get hold of nuclear weapons and use them.' 

To this, Eva Michaels responds with a question on how Sir John Sawers sees the value of publicly disclosing intelligence for warning purposes, and how he would say this is handled differently today compared to when he was chief of MI6. 'There has been an interesting development recently - and Bill Burns, who’s a good friend of mine, as director of the CIA, in many ways, has led this. In the Ukraine war, intelligence has been deployed in public in order to put President Putin and the Russians on the back foot, in order to gain strategic advantage on the battlefield by exposing in advance Russian intentions and Russian plans.' he answers. He emphasises that this is intelligence as a tool of war. ' I fully support the idea of using intelligence as a source of strategic power, and to deploy it in a way which weakens the enemy, weakens the aggressor, in this case, Russia. I think that is a very interesting and important development, as I say, led by Bill Burns and supported also by my successor as chief of MI6', says Sir John Sawers. 

Listen to the full interview here

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