During the Cold War, Strategic Warning Intelligence (SWI) was a necessary and recognized function within the intelligence community given the threats posed by conventional Warsaw Pact forces in Western Europe and Soviet ballistic missiles. With the end of the Cold War, the focus of intelligence shifted to tactical or operational issues against known threats, and the SWI function and expertise atrophied as a result. With today’s expanding and more complex threat environment, this article examines whether SWI capacities should be reintroduced in order to apprise decision makers of trending threats to national security, albeit based on faint signals, so the necessary policy decisions can be made and prioritized to mitigate said threats in a timely manner.
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Copyright (c) 2021 John Gilmour