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On intelligence oversight, a broader perspective.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

Introduction. Director Paul G. Buchanan has been named as a member of the New Zealand Inspector General of Intelligence and Security’s Reference Group, an external interest intermediation panel. The backdrop to his appointment is that historically the IGIS has been a hollow agency posing as an institutional check on the agencies it is statutorily charged […]

Analytic Brief: Influence Operations, Targeted Interventions and Intelligence Gathering: A Primer.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

Revelations of Chinese influence operations in Australia and New Zealand, and the ongoing sequels to the Russian “interference” in the 2016 US election, have caused outcry and concern amongst policy-makers and public alike. Beyond the xenophobic aspects to fears of the spectre of a “Yellow Peril” emerging in the Antipodes (a fear that we do […]

The Importance of Leadership Analysis.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

Leadership analysis is a vital yet under-utilised tool in the field of geopolitical risk assessment and strategic analysis. In this brief we explain why it is important, how it is undertaken and what 36th Parallel Assessments can offer clients in this regard. Source: The election of Donald Trump to the US presidency has revived […]

Occasional Paper Series: Foreign Policy Realignment, Issue Linkage, Institutional Lag and the New Zealand Intelligence Community.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau facility in Waihopai, South Island (41° 34′ 35″ S, 173° 44′ 20″ E). Source: Shultz via Wikimedia Commons.   Introduction.  This essay examines the subject of institutional lag after foreign policy realignment, using as an example the “core “ of the New Zealand intelligence community (the Security Intelligence Service […]

Analytic Brief: Foreign Policy Realignment, Issue Linkage and Institutional Lag.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

   Sometimes there is more to the picture. Forward. This analytic brief is derived from an ongoing study of South Pacific intelligence communities. There are numerous facets to the study, one of which is intelligence alliances and networks. The brief highlights three undervalued concepts in foreign policy practice and offers some general observations about why […]

Balancing civil liberties and intelligence operations in New Zealand.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

In recent days there have been claims that there has been both more and less spying by New Zealand intelligence agencies. Proponents and opponents of the intelligence community have seized on one or the other claim to argue in favour or against NZ’s involvement in the 5 Eyes signals intelligence network and the expansion of […]

Country Risk Assessment: New Caledonia.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

    Political risk assessments are an under appreciated aspect of the due diligence undertaken as part of the process of engaging in cultural, diplomatic or economic exchanges in foreign locations. Most political risk analysis, including country risk assessments, are done by large credit rating agencies and insurance underwriters. Some nations provide country risk assessments […]

Analytic Brief: A primer on democratic intelligence oversight.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

A primer on democratic intelligence oversight. Paul G. Buchanan NSA Worldwide SIGINT Platform 2013. Photo: NSA via Wikimeida Commons. Revelations about mass intelligence gathering by the US and its primary allies serve the useful purpose of highlighting the need for, and proper role of, intelligence oversight in democracies. This essay provides a conceptual overview of […]

Analytic Brief: The Transition Tango in Fiji.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Analytic Brief: The Transition Tango in Fiji. Paul G. Buchanan Fiji Parliament House. Photo courtesy of Jarred Wilshire, 2006 via Wikimedia Commons.  The move from authoritarian to freely elected rule is a dynamic moment.  It should be seen as a window of opportunity but also one of significant risk. The Fijian political transition scheduled for […]

Managing Political Expectations.

Written by Paul Buchanan on Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Monthly Analysis: Managing Political Expectations. Paul G. Buchanan “Niccolo Machiavelli (nello studio)” 1884 oil on canvas. Stefano Ussi (1822-1901). Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome. One of the less scrutinized aspects of politics is the issue of managing political expectations. Except in the most hardened dictatorships, regime and governmental stability rests on popular support. That support […]

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