The advent of democracy in South Africa in the 1 990s was beset by various problems and issues, some of which required urgent attention. These included, amongst others, the challenge of integrating various intelligence agencies, of establishing a new intelligence dispensation, and of bringing the intelligence community and processes under civilian control. Although ongoing, this endeavour has culminated in the identification of a new philosophical approach to the nature and scope of intelligence as well as in a comprehensive re-organisation of intelligence structures and processes. To a large extent these initiatives were framed by the Intelligence Services Act, 1994; the National Strategic Intelligence Act, 1994; the White Paper on Intelligence, 1995; the White Paper on Defence, 1996; and the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. To provide a more comprehensive account of these reforms, and also to avoid the mere reproduction of these and related official documentation, selected excerpts are sy stematically ordered in a thematic manner.
Hence the publication consists of four parts that respectively deal with the development of a new intelligence dispensation; the basic assumptions-regarding strategic intelligence; the organisation and focus of intelligence; and the functioning of the intelligence community in South Africa. Following a brief historical overview in the first section, the remaining sections are preceded by a conceptual framework and theoretical analysis of strategic intelligence with the inclusion of civilian, military (defence) and crime intelligence, as well as aspects relating to the organisation, focus, functions, quality and control of intelligence.
This publication uses official South African publications such as white papers, annual reports and legislation, as well as public speeches by government ministers and public officials as its main sources. These are presented in the form of selected excerpts relevant to the specific topic in each section and apart from the conceptual introduction, are offered without further comment or critique. A number of Bills to amend or replace existing legislation relating to aspects of intelligence in South Africa, were introduced in Parliament during October 2002. Selected excerpts from these Bills are included in the text, following the existing legislation.
The assistance of Mr Johan Mostert, Head of the Intelligence Research Institute of the South African National Academy for Intelligence, in reviewing this publication is gratefully acknowledged.
The Institute trusts that this publication will contribute to a better understanding of current official South African perceptions regarding strategic intelligence, and stimulate further development of safety and security. In the final analysis, it is the practitioner who should not underestimate the value of strategic intelligence. In this respect it is advisable to take heed of the timeless wisdom of Sun Tzu, the Chinese strategist, who in his Art of War (200 BC) cautioned: *
Now the reason the enlightened prince and the wise general conquer the enemy whenever they move and their achievement surpass those of ordinary men is foreknowledge.
What is called "foreknowledge" cannot be elicited from spirits, nor from gods, nor by analogy with past events; nor from calculations. It must be obtained from men who know the enemy situation.
A DU PLESSIS
* Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Translated and with an introduction by S B Griffiths, Clarendon, Oxford, 1963. pp 144-145.
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|Publication:||Institute for Strategic Studies|
|Article Type:||Topic Overview|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2002|
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