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Intelligence plays an important, albeit often hidden hand, in the everyday function of government. Australia’s intelligence agencies—collectively referred to as the Australian Intelligence Community (AIC)—are an established and fundamental component of the bureaucracy: they keep watch on potential problems in the name of national security, exploit weaknesses in the name of national interests, and build a picture of the complexities of the broader world for their consumers—other domestic government departments, partner intelligence agencies overseas and, most importantly, Australia’s policy-makers. Their aim is to provide the government with ‘information’—for that is essentially what intelligence is—to better enable it to tackle the issues confronting it; to be better armed, informed and forewarned of what might lay ahead; and to facilitate coherent policy-making. But we should not expect intelligence to be perfect, nor should we think that good intelligence guarantees good policy.
This book draws on a wide range experts including academics, former and current strategic advisers and members of government, private industry professionals and intelligence community experts, to provide a diagnostic, clear-eyed approach in explaining, accessing and exposing the central foundations and frameworks necessary for effective practice of intelligence in Australia as well as the shaping of intelligence expectations.