Wippl in IJIC: Observations on Successful Espionage


Joseph Wippl, Professor of the Practice of International Relations at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, discussed the constant challenges facing the Central Intelligence Agency with a focus on the years following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in a recent journal article.

Prof. Wippl penned the April 2016 article, entitled “Observations on Successful Espionage,” for the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence.

From the text of the article:

The first decade of downsizing and neglect in the post-Soviet, post-Cold War 1990s was followed by years of focus on transnational interests like terrorism and on a few countries of then-priority interest, to the neglect of other current and future intelligence issues. While that first decade witnessed a decline in CIA resources and support for espionage, the period after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon of 11 September 2001 (9-11) witnessed an increase in both categories but remained concentrated in a few crisis areas.

Professional espionage is characterized by a steadiness of purpose through extended periods of time, as well the recognition and acceptance by the American government of an interest-driven world. Espionage is about agents who provide secret information in order to understand occurring events and to prepare policies, if needed, by government. Espionage is also about agents who influence events to further a government agenda. This definition of espionage will never change.

Prof. Wippl is a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer. He spent a 30 year career as an operations officer in the National Clandestine Service (NCS). Wippl has served overseas as an operations officer and operations manager in Bonn, West Germany; Guatemala City; Luxembourg; Madrid, Spain; Mexico City; Vienna, Austria; and Berlin, Germany. Learn more about him here.