Postcard from - Intel

I've been reading a book about the Indonesian intelligence services. It's called Intel written by Ken Conboy in 2004.

It makes interesting reading, particularly if you compare it with books by someone like Bamford who wrote extensively about the American National Security Agency. The book follows the development of intelligence services after the war. One of the issues that the country has had to deal with, is the fragmented and very silo'd attitude of both the military and government.

The main intelligence agency, BIN, has been through a number of name changes since it was first created. With each new name came operational changes. Strong anti-communist sentiment was a fundamental part of BIN's early days, to the extent that supporters of previously left-wing governments were removed from office and a number were imprisoned.

BIN's main targets were operatives from Vietnam, North Korea and the Soviet Union, and it was often assisted by the local CIA station. As the Cold War ended, terrorism took over as the primary threat, and BIN was actively fighting al'Qaeda and the associated groups.

Conboy has found a lot of previously unknown detail and tied it together very well. There's occasional, slight confusion over some of the Indonesian names, but it's certainly a book worth reading,

Further reading:


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